This past year we met another retired couple--younger than us--Sandy and Michael, at a fundraiser for Portland Playhouse. An unusual event, low-key, perfect for conversational exchange. Ten people around a table in a charming arts and crafts home, joined by two principals from the upcoming play, "Mother Teresa Is Dead" which takes place in India. Meal prepared by Brian Weaver, Artistic Director, who learned to cook Indian food while there earlier in his life.
We've seen most of the PP productions since we came to Portland; the company started not long before we arrived. I've linked here to the production of "The Huntsmen." When I first saw the announcement, my thought, "Oh no, not another take on teen angst!" Wrong: it was an amazing work--crazed script, music and dance, fine performances.
"Read Around" was an idea that Sandy and Michael had been exploring. Small group get together, each reads a piece recently attracted to. Discuss. We like this and the range has been wide. One time Ron and I read the first few pages of "Knowing Cairo," a staged reading we'd enjoyed at Profile Theatre. (If you have an aging mother who insists on living in her own home with a care-giver she loves but you're not comfortable with her choice, you might read it.)
July's gathering was six of us. Robotic future from Scientific American (not the right link but entertaining video) had us going on issues like where will the jobs be, what will humans lose if many tasks performed by robots. Of course, I'm convinced robots could make more satisfactory care-takers for the elderly than current young Americans. Have you read the 2007 book with he surprising title "Love and Sex with Robots." It's non-fiction! David Levy explains interest by both Japan and U.S., each with fast-growing aging population, in robot research.
Why these two photos? It was the same night the NAACP held an online conversation that I've been tracking down. Feeling frustrated that I do not have new ideas, opportunities to exhange with others about race. So I took to Read Around a book of photos from early 20th century, "A True Likeness: the black south of Richard Samuel Roberts." The charming little boy and rooster is on the cover, the other is Roberts (1880-1936), the photographer of Columbia, South Carolina.
The story of the discovery of 3,000 glass negatives of Roberts' beautiful photos, preserved beneath his home by his family is HERE. Also some of the book's photos. "A clear evidence of a black middle class at the time," as one historian notes on the film clip. I hope you think of sharing some of these images and this history with others.
What is worth doing? The question challenges me every day.