I always enjoy reading the Bryn Athyn Post. Being my advanced age, I remember when it was just two columns in The Breeze, a small regional newspaper.
Back then, Otho Heilman typeset the Post in the basement of DeCharms Hall, which is now part of the high school but which housed the elementary school up until the late 1950s. Leon Rhodes has been editor for many years now. The Post fills twelve 8 1/2 X 11" pages, plus inserts.
Getting the Post is always a high point of my week, giving me a chance to play catch up with my community's goings on.
This week's Post seemed special to me. Perhaps it is because of the memories it brought back & the many events that loom large on the horizon.
On page three, there is an invitation to women of the community to take part in the Theta Alpha/Senior Girls' Banquet. Elsa always referred to it as the Senior Celebration, but then she tends to think of everything as a celebration (right down to when I am a dearly departed, when it is time for my Memorial Celebration). Anyhow, the ladies are gathering at Paige Austin's to come up with this year's special event.
Two years ago, I went to several of the planning meetings, even though I had a hard time hearing what was being said. It felt good being in a room (in DeCharms Hall!) in a circle of what to me were very young women talking about even younger women, connecting with the graduating seniors as a class and planning a special event that would be designed around them and them alone. It was special.
That year, the group decided to sing a blessing to the honored guests before the banquet and - wonder of wonders – I was one of the singers. Last year, all I was able to do was drop by before the banquet started to see all the tables. I do what I can, 100%.
Also on page three is an invitation from Danielle Odhner to drop by her house on Wednesday mornings in March from 9 to 11 a.m. for gardening discussions. Danielle and Eric bought Glenhurst, a marvelous house that belonged to Robert Glenn, the only boy in a host of "Glenn Women" sisters. I always enjoy driving past and seeing the gardens. This week's topic is pruning, with Danielle sharing several techniques for shaping plants. By the way, she notes, “The coffee pot will be on.” Tempting…
The Women's Discussion Group - which I took part in for several years - is just finishing up Ray and Star Silverman's book, Rise Above It. I dearly wish I could have been at those discussions. The book seems wonderful, but a bit too much for my present energy level. I would enjoy hearing it on audio tape.
Elsa's notice for a "For Men Only" workshop showing how to make Irish Potatoes is on page 5. Since March is National Craft Month, she offered craft workshops every week. Not a single taker. It did not get her down - "Mom, it is not about who shows up, but about offering everyone the opportunity, if they want it."
"Bishop Actor's Doctrinal Class" (see page 7) brought me up short for a second before I realized it was talking about the present Bishop Acton, not the one who married Pete and I over 64 years ago.
I got a big kick out of reading excerpts from notes sent by BA students away at college thanking the community for the Valentine's Day care packages organized by the Pastors' Office and done up proud by many people in the community. Anna Tennis is in Austin, Texas - I remember when Elsa invited her over to the house on Woodland Road for a Doll Tea Party because she reminded us so much of one of Mim's dolls, a doll designed by Eloise Wilkins. I think Anna was around four or five.
There was an insert for "Iolanthe" - April 19,21, 26 and 28 at 8 p.m., April 22 at 2:00 p.m. $9 for reserved, $7 for general admission (205-938-PLAY). Bryn Athyn has always loved Gilbert & Sullivan productions. When my children were in high school, the school alternated a play one year and a Gilbert & Sullivan production the next. We were insatiable when it came to Gilbert & Sullivan.
Page 9 includes a "blurb" about the production, mentioning that Bob Gladish plays Lord Mountararat. Bob has a fine voice, both for speaking and singing. I remember going to a piano bar with Bob and Margaret and Elsa and John. The evening was winding down when the pianist started playing a tune that caught Bob's fancy and he started - for the first time that night -singing. Everyone was amazed. The pianist, who is used to all sorts of people who act like prima donnas about their voices even when they don't have that much to be proud about, was downright flummoxed. "Where the hell have you been all night?" he demanded.
When Bob sang, he sounded so exceptionally fine, the kitchen staff actually filled the doorway leading to the bar area to listen. It was quite a moment in time.
I see that the Academy is hiring a new Dining Hall Manager, who traditionally lives over the Bean Hall. It would be interesting to have a listing of all the people who have lived there over the years. Original Glenn Hall is long gone, Stuart Hall is just a memory, but the Bean Hall still looks the same.
The most amazing thing in this week's POST appears in the Classified section. Katie Lynch is looking for someone to assist her in her new apartment. Here's Katie, who was supposed to have died when she was a wee tadger, who has technically died on a couple occasions, who always rises to the challenge in unexpected and breath-taking ways. Here she is, a university graduate making her way in the world, known all over the world for her motivational speeches, a remarkable woman. Her mother recently told me that the family can't wait "to hear what she will come up with next" as a self-set challenge.
I look at how disabled it feels to have my left arm in a sling and I think about Katie, who never presents herself as anything other than fully abled, and it gives me pause and inspiration.
Finally, on page 11 it announces the series of 12 workshops that Eleanor Deckert is giving designed to address the needs of homemakers and to encourage them in the complex work done in the home. She is giving each workshop twice, once at night and once in the morning. Eleanor is another remarkable young woman, a mom who lives in British Columbia with her husband and children but who chose to come to Bryn Athyn College to take a year of courses. One of her college mates is her daughter and I think her son is there too (not sure). That is remarkable.
I forgot Paige Austin, who is mentioned twice in the POST - the gathering discussing the Senior Girls' Banquet is meeting at her house AND she performed tonight at Common Ground. Paige has a singing voice that goes straight to my inner core.
It does not seem possible that Common Ground is ending its 10th season. My congratulations to Mira and to Nina for their vision, creativity and hard work.
Well, that's about it. I left out lots and lots of stuff, but those are the items that especially took my attention. Believe it or not, I could have written much longer postings on each one individually. When you get older, the memories rack up and the thoughts flicked on by the thought of the POST itself, or Paige, or the Bean Hall, or any of the items mentioned here, could fill volumes. Thanks for letting this old grey mere meander.
Nite nite and God bless - Kay Reynolds Lockhart, Class of '28