June 30, 2011 —
I think about writing all of the time—and especially this column. As I plot out the details of the coming week, the column begins to take on life in its own ever-changing, capricious way, almost becoming alive in my anthropomorphic mind as I wend my way through this entertaining, never ending tour of the Delaware River Valley. Sometimes I stop to snap a pic of a baby skunk by the side of the road, and this act alone gives birth to a paragraph or two. Other days, it’s the weather.
On Tuesday, I joined a huge crowd at the Dancing Cat Saloon (www.dancingcatsaloon.com ) to bask in the glorious musical experience that is jazz vocalist Donna Singer, performing selections from her new CD “In The Living Room” with the Doug Richards trio (www.cdbaby.com/cd/jazzinthelivingroom ). The show was tremendous, and I figured I’d have plenty of space to devote some pithy comments on the evening’s enormously successful launch party.
And then, on Saturday morning, I turned to the news. Every so often (don’t get used to it), this column is influenced by something monumental, and that happened on Saturday as I watched TV and discovered that New York State has joined the ranks of six others in recognizing the civil rights regarding marriage of its citizens. Wow.
The event provided me with a timely inspiration. I was planning to attend a DVAA “Arts Alive” garden party at the Cutting Garden in Youngsville (www.thecuttinggarden.org ). The garden and hosts were lovely, as was the fundraiser, but the “Garden Hat Contest” had me perplexed. I knew I wanted to participate, but how?
After hearing the news, I knew how. I got out my glue gun, a toy lumberjack (they’re not dolls—they’re action figures), a tube of glitter and a miniature rainbow flag (basic household staples, In My Homosexual Opinion) and went to town. Inspired by the design lunacy of local legend Ramona Jan (www.ramonajan.com ), I glued and glittered my way to a prize at the party, while announcing (yeah, it was a big secret until that moment) to the world at large (and the ladies playing croquet) my own brand of gay pride.
Naturally, my fabulous hat sparked conversation. Many of us were very much around in 1969 when the revolution (it’s been a long, winding road) began at the Stonewall Inn in NYC. The Internet provided some background for me: “The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.”
Thrilled that I’ll always have my incredibly macho hat to commemorate the event, I toasted New York along with the others, and hearing no whispers of dissent in the garden, moved on, silently praying that other states will join the ranks, while making a mental note to find someone to propose to. Positive that wedding invitations would begin flooding the mailbox, I decided (always a bridesmaid... ) to have a good attitude about my love life and celebrate that, if nothing else, it’s legal!
Even though the hat was still in the truck, I thought better of wearing it to the NACL Theatre (www.nacl.org ) in Highland Lake, NY (which is in an old church… hmmm) where they were celebrating their own moment—the commencement of the theatre’s 11th season with “Darwinii-The Comeuppance of Man” (www.nightjarapothecary.net/darwinii ), conceived and directed by Glen Berger and Brett Keyser.
The one-man show was riveting, amusing and deep-thought provoking, and the NACL performance space was transformed into a “Charles Darwin Experience” that, quite simply, blew me away. Berger and Keyser have impressive credentials, and I was impressed accordingly. I left the theatre with a strong desire to read everything Darwin wrote and see everything the NACL has to offer throughout the season, which promises to be stellar.
I may not be getting married in the morning, but have a good idea of where the ceremony and reception should take place, having enriched my soul with beautiful gardens, envisioning a great jazz trio playing in a magical space where anything can happen, and the confidence that New York will stand by me, whatever comes my way.