Thursday, September 13, 2018

Public and Private (Kant, Mo, and Delores)

A few of the older buds have been reluctant to post their stories online, due to concerns about being traced or watched by dangerous forces. This is understandable, between Cambridge Analytica, Edward Snowden, and all the myriad ways apps and websites can collect your information with its users none the wiser. However, they were more than willing to post stories under pseudonyms and noms de plume. Some of you might be surprised to learn that Mo McCooper's real name isn't Mo McCooper. He actually took the last name in honor of our fearless leader Benita.

On the other hand, there are plenty of older buds who are more than happy to share their lives outside of the workshop and website. Delores took time out of her weeknight to see a play I had produced back in March, and she brought a friend with her who had no problem with her picture being put on the website. I even saw her walk past the window when I was having lunch and gave her a quick call to ask if it was her.

The most important thing for me as a Best Day Facilitator is to make sure the seniors are comfortable enough to share their stories, under their real name or otherwise. Many of them come from places of hardship, and I never ask them to divulge something so intimate until they're absolutely ready. That is why I always feel so grateful that they do, that they trust me with their lives...along with the world.

Kant Spel
The Best Thing You’ve Learned In your Life to Differ Judgment 

I always want to be right or at least have people think that what I’m saying is valid, correct, accurate. I have needed this affirmation. Being somewhat wobbly about most important things. The things my parents did were full of contradictions and didn’t make sense for me so I had to forge my own path.
I was somewhat desperate for clarify and a moral path, goals, with integrity. I read, I listened, I consulted. I compared my discomfort with other girls my age. Very few were as lost or discouraged as I was. They saw their parents as role models. I did not. I judged them because of my extreme discomfort. I had a grueling path to adulthood. Whatever my other efforts were – schooling, relationship, artist stimulation, my primary effort was to stabilize myself.
I held on to a few things that helped. Shakespeare’s words “to thine own self be true” came up frequently.

Mo McCooper

The only debates I remember when I was going to school were in games where you or a guy on the other team were out of bounds. There were no referees at those playground games, but we got by with some unwritten rules. If you called fouls on defenders, that seemed excuses for missing a shot – we would all foul you harder to discourage the habit.
Baseball and football had fewer disagreements, but they were sometimes harder to agree on.
The younger players would learn from the older or the new players from the regulars.
For it all to work, we had to learn how the games were more worth playing and winning more rewarding if a playground rules were followed by all.
As far as the classrooms from first grade to 12th grade, I don’t remember any debates at all.
More to follow.

Delores Wilson
Taste of Nostalgia

Our family was one of the first to have a television on the block.
The neighbors were welcome in our house to watch television until they could afford their own.
The programs were very original and children, friendly. They taught a lot of object lessons.
Did we have a favorite? Yes, Sunday for me was “Lassie.”
We were encouraged to pay attention to the local and national news.
The adults understood how to engage us children in current events of those days.
I recalled one time, it was a commercial on televisions. Mr. Lynch shared with me, “that the commercial paid for the shows.” After hearing that, I
Ed Sullivan Show was a variety show that aired on Sundays. Featuring movie stars that are still alive and performing today such as Gladys Night, etc.
The Uptown Theatre was “the place.” All who was who came from there. The Apollo Theater in New york held that same standard.
To be an “Artist” at that time, rather acting, singing, dancing, writing behind the scenes or in front. The enclaves demand the best and they, the “artist” gave their best.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri