Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Globe on Bankside in London Posted by Picasa

Wooden O's and Pythons

Just started looking at a new book Shakespeare's Globe Rebuilt edited by J. R. Mulryne and Margaret Shewring. A lot of the ground is familiar, but an essay by Andrew Gurr gives a new slant on the importance of the Second Blackfriars Theatre. In my own book London Theatre Walks I do mention that Shakespeare's company was hard pressed to find a new theatre in 1596. When the use of the newly remodeled Blackfriars was denied to the company, they had to look elsewhere for a new home. Luckily they found Bankside and built what came to be known as the Globe. Gurr, as usual, catches the real drama of the situation as he notes that if Shakespeare's group had been allowed to move into the remodeled Blackfriars, they probably would never have built the Globe at all. Thinking about that boggles the mind and shakes the very foundations of the "Shakespeare Industry" as we know it. Would there have been a Southwark revitalization or would it have been as strongly cultural in nature had there not been a Globe on Bankside? Would the remains of the Rose have been sufficient to fuel the current economic growth? Would Sam Wanamaker have been drawn into what became a thirty year quest to build a replica on the banks of the river? Sometimes we just have to thank our lucky stars that conservative local authorities are balky about allowing unruly actors and their less than savory public entertainments in certain parts of our cities.

While we are on the other side of the pond.

Monty Pythons Flying Circus has been on my lovable list since the early 70's when a year in London gave our family a whole new bag of "favourites" including such Brit Icons as Blue Peter, Dr. Who, and the Wombles of Wimbledon. John Cleese's latest ode to REVOCATION can be found at

From the Sunday paper. How can you tell a coward from a hero?
Check the direction they are running.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Fast Week

The AAUW Art Presenter program started its 33rd year last night with a well attended kickoff event at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in downtown Monmouth. Warren County is a richer place by far with its presence and all of the volunteers are to be congratulated.

Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux won his 13th while former Illinois governor George Ryan is trying for 12. Ryan needs jurors; Maddux just needs a team that is deserving of him. In the case of Ryan it will be interesting to see whether the buck will stop before it gets to the top. In the case of the Cubs it is hard to find anyone who even cares.

But just wait until next year!

Hearts continue to go out as the South prepares for another hurricane. Time to pony up for the Red Cross some more. And speaking of ponying up, can someone tell me why we should not start paying some of these bills now instead of leaving them all for our kids and grandkids? Shouldn't there be some sacrifice now? Pump up those bike tires and turn the thermostat down--it's going to be a long cold winter.

Watching the traffic jams pile up as people tried to exit the coastal regions did bring up another little question. Can we expect to efficiently evaccuate two or three million people with most of them driving their own private cars? Not much choice when there isn't an inter-city mass transit system left is there.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Welcome to the Pulaski High School Reunion Weekend! Posted by Picasa

First a quick Pulaski High School Tour. Posted by Picasa

Our auditorium. Posted by Picasa

Our cafeteria. Posted by Picasa

Our Gym Posted by Picasa

Our pool. Posted by Picasa

Our tour of PHS was a big success Posted by Picasa

Behind this group was that moving board honoring those who were not able to rejoin us. Posted by Picasa

Dinner was elegant and the prizes were nice even if I didn't win one. Posted by Picasa

Here's a happy pair. Posted by Picasa

A groovy band! Posted by Picasa

Trippin the Light Fantastic!  Posted by Picasa

Still as fresh and lively as morning dew. Posted by Picasa

Raise your glasses! Posted by Picasa

Another Quartet Posted by Picasa

I didn't think you were allowed to eat in the library. Posted by Picasa

A Leons man all the way Posted by Picasa

Four Aces Posted by Picasa

Some long time buddies here, but Dennis and all the rest of the committee, you're the tops. Thanks to every one of you. . Posted by Picasa

Let's toast the most! It was a fine party. Posted by Picasa

And that was the Reunion That Was!

After a rousing start on Friday, the reunion attendees (some 200 of them) gathered at the Four Points Sheraton in Milwaukee on Saturday evening. There were plenty of toasts, a lovely dinner, lots of stories of the good old days, and also a moving moment of silence for those of our class who have passed away. I hope perhaps the pictures say it best, because it's hard to find the words to describe how pleasant it was to rekindle the memories of those days (between the wars) when somehow things seemed so much more simple and less threatening. I'm afraid our grandchildren will not have it as easy as we did. I can only hope that the strength and wisdom we can impart to them will be sufficient to match the increased challenges and complexities of the 21st century.

Cheers and best wishes. Drop a line if you can. Retirees have plenty of time to write.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Casmir Pulaski Still Reigns

The fiftieth reunion of Milwaukee's Pulaski High School class of 1955 got off to a grand start yesterday. We arrived in town in mid afternoon, settled in at the Airport Best Western, and then drove over to Pulaski. It was innundated by a herd of busses taking students back to various places all over the city. Found a place to park on a side street and strolled on in. Front hall looks pretty much the same except for the console in the center manned by a guard. Several TV monitors for security. Sort of like entering a modern office building. Did not see any metal detectors. Maybe they hide them after everyone gets in. Principal's office still to left on entering, the little cubby to PA announcing was still to the right.

We headed past the security fortress and down a few steps to the library, which also looked pretty much the same except for several tables of computers. Tours were organized from there and we were able to see the gym, the pool, some classrooms, study halls, and the cafeteria.

Back to the library for some chatting and wonder of all wonders some cookies and Leons Frozen Custard. It tasted just the way I remember it.

From there it was out to 51st and Oklahoma to the Serbian Hall for an old fashioned traditional Milwaukee fish fry. More grease in an hour than I have had in the last ten years. But the beer was draft and only a buck and a quarter a glass. Better by far than the five buck quaffs at the Peoria Country Club. The place was jumping. Hundreds of cars--some waiting in drive up lines.
We looked in at the bowling alley. Not sure if the main dining room was the place where we had our post prom party all those years ago. The atmosphere seemed about the same, but unlike the school, Serb Hall seemed bigger than I remember it.

Touched base with a fair number of folks including Terry Rose, Ron Pechauer, Marilyn Webb, Jerry Freitag, Jerry Albert, and others. So far so good. It was nice to ease into this with smaller groups so the big gathering tonite will be a little easier to handle. Fifty years of separate paths--each one a life full of marriages, kids, good times, bad times, travels, victories, defeats, and all those things that move you forward. Lots of puddings here. All of them well stirred. More tomorrow.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Peoria High School Fifty Year Reunion of Class of 1955

Here they are in all their glory--The Peoria High School Class of 1955 in the year 2005. In a day when "classic" status is attached to anything that lasts more than a month, it is refreshing to know that some things can really go golden. My wife spent a marvelous two days reliving old stories and hearing many new ones. I was the fifth wheel so to speak, but fully enjoyed the event as well. The meals were great, the people were delightful, and it was fun to learn little things that I had not known about my spouse of 46 years. She will return the favor next week when we travel to Milwaukee to celebrate my fiftieth at Casmir Pulaski High School. No oysters on the half shell there. Kielbasa on toast and plenty of beer I would guess.