Website of the Day
The story of Charlie and Buttercup.
10 January 2005
We couldn't have packed more activities into one day if we'd tried.
Well, I guess that's not true. The morning was pretty calm, but once we left the house....
Our first stop was a gay bar in midtown Sacramento for the "memorial" for Clifford. This had been Clifford's favorite bar and a group of his friends were there to talk about him and comfort one another. There was a nice assortment of photos of him (including two I had taken) on display along with the croissant sandwiches and shrimp platter (no tray of nachos up against the wall, tho).
Even though I didn't really know him well, by virtue of the fact that he's been such a good friend of Kathleen's for so long, I feel like I knew him better than I really did. It seemed strange not to have him there because I was sitting around with all of the people that I'm with every time I do see Clifford.
We stayed a couple of hours and in that time had a fascinating discussion with a guy who is a Druid and had been to Ireland visiting old Celtic sites and getting immersed in the ancient Celtic history and rituals.
What amazed me from the conversation concerns my old grammar school. I attended St. Brigid's School in San Francisco, and it turns out that Brigid was a goddess in Celtic mythology and when Catholicism spread throughout Ireland and got rid of all the old druid traditions, they changed her name from the Goddess Brigid into St. Brigid and she transmogrified into Catholicism. At one time she was one of the saints that the Vatican was going to "defrock," but the Irish would not hear of it, since she was so important to Irish history.
Brigid was apparently part of a fire cult and there was a perpetual flame which was kept burning at St. Brigid's Abbey in Kildaire. The Pope at one point ordered it put out and apparently the order was ignored.
The party was breaking up around 3:30 and the show I was reviewing wasn't until 8, so we checked the local newspaper and decided to go and see The Polar Express, which was playing at a big theatre on the way to the university where the other big event of the day was being held.
I'm not sure what I expected of Polar Express. I'd seen Tom Hanks interviewed about this movie so often, I felt that nothing would really be a surprise, but I did want to see it on the big screen. However, I was mistaken. There was a lot that I didn't know and the movie was absolutely charming. Jeri had told us that it's also playing at the Imax theatre, and I'm sorry we didn't see it there. What an incredible Imax feature it would make!
We still had time to spare when the movie was over, so we stopped off at Fresh Choice for dinner. I sat there watching the other customers and realized that the majority of customers for this "salad bar" were chubbies like me. We all feel so noble and healthy by eating in a salad place, but really very little in the place is low-cal and once you pass the bin with the greens and veggies, the "salads" are all things like pasta salad, and potato salad, and cream-laden ambrosia and stuff like that. Then, once you've paid for your salad, you go to several other stations where there is an array of fresh baked breads, vats of "spreads," baked potatoes, slices of several different kinds of pizza, a pasta bar and at the very end a dessert bar with a choice of soft ice cream or a faux strawberry "shortcake" -- or both. It's "all you can eat" of everything.
You could probably make better choices at McDonald's!
Finally we made our way over to the campus of Sac State University. The show was "...and the Dream Goes On," which is produced under the auspices of the "Martin Luther King, Jr. Project."
We last saw this show 2 years ago, when it traced the history of the Civil Rights movement in song and story and gave a very uplifting message about continuing the dream of Martin Luther King.
Things have changed in 2 years. I thought several times during the show about the kind of flack Bill Cosby has been taking lately for his harsh message to the Black community about those who are wasting their lives, living on welfare, etc., etc.
"..and the Dream Goes On" kind of builds on that message, with the thrust of the evening being the keepers of the MLK tradition trying to pass it along to the new generation, in the person of "Chuck Temper," a young rapper and his two "homies," who are filled with anger, have left school, are living off of the system, etc.
The show had a stronger religious overtone than the previous one, but it had a hard-hitting message that "Chuck" and his ilk are squandering the dream of the Civil Rights Movement and that it is up to them not to let the flame of Martin Luther King's dream die out.
It didn't have quite the punch that the show I saw before did, but it had a knockout first act finale, a song called "If I Were Allowed to Live," sung by four women, representing women who had been killed in the 60s. It was the first time I'd seen a first act number get a standing ovation.
In the photo at the right, one of the women is singing to a little girl who represents the children who were killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.
That same woman later did an excellent job portraying one of the students who desegregated Central High in Little Rock, following the Brown v. Board of Education settlement outlawing segregation in public schools in the United States.
So I've now seen all three of my shows for the weekend (plus a movie), but still have two reviews to write and a tape to transcribe tomorrow, all before we go off to a 50th birthday party for my old biking buddy/current dentist, Cindy.
I haven't had a weekend like this in...recent memory. It's almost like I'm living my mother's life!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
"...and the dream goes on..."