Friday, October 05, 2018

Yes, that's just who you think it is ... Gloria Steinem!

... and it's about all I can think about today, or at least would be if events of the day weren't threatening to blot out everything of importance in our country and world.

Woke to the panels on CNN and CSPAN preparing  us for the Senate vote for cloture; all in preparation for tomorrow's next steps in the process of seating Judge Brett Kavenaugh on the Supreme Court.

I'm not certain just why it was that I was still clinging to the notion that sanity would yet prevail, and that those old white men would finally see the error of their ways, and would show respect for Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford by honoring her truth.

It was not to be.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine, on whose shoulders rested the fate of that decision, finally gave her 45-minute statement that said all the right words, but little of the truth they were meant to convey.  She tried hard to cover all the bases by granting Dr. Ford a nod of acceptance that "... something had surely happened to her, but that it surely wasn't Brett Kavenaugh!"

Over the next 24 hours the final vote will be taken, but I know longer hold any thoughts for the hoped for outcome that every sensible and frustrated woman in the nation is screaming for.

But I need to tell you that I've known for several weeks that three friends I'd met while attending the Makers Conference in Hollywood last spring were flying out to attend my talk at the Visitor Center.  When I first learned of it from Amy Richards (of Soapbox Productions, NY) it sounded just too good to be true, so I held the news for a few days until it felt comfortable to share.

I finally trusted it enough to tell Tom Leatherman, our superintendent, but withheld it from the rest of staff. Then a plan formed, and it felt right.  I announced to our lead ranger, Elizabeth Tucker, that their visit on October 4th was confirmed, and that I needed our staff to work with me to make it work for us all.  We entered the three under the name, Amy Richards, in the reservations book in order to not disclose Gloria's name in print.

First, my talks have remained fresh and new for me over time by my being able to look into the faces, eyes, of an audience for whom the stories are being heard for the first time.  After so many months and years of telling those stories 3 and sometimes 5 times-a-week over a number of years, that has become the way that the excitement of sharing those long-forgotten truths without becoming numb to my own telling is maintained.  Without that aspect being honored, the work would become robotic, and I'd probably not be able to continue to do it.  There's an emotional component through which I find the energy to keep it real.  Without the authenticity the work would be impossible.

That meant that we needed to keep Gloria's visit under wraps, to not disclose her visit lest the theater become filled with docents, friends, relatives, and I'd be robbed of the "new eyes and faces" that were so vital to my work.

The secret was successfully kept, and the audience was made up of about 20 elders who arrived on a tour bus, plus others who had made their reservations with no knowledge of her anticipated presence.

After a lukewarm start -- since I'd had a sleepless night before due to a flu shot that created some discomfort -- but before the end of my talk I hit my stride when the energy kicked in and "Truth" weighed in with its usual force, and it all worked out.

Gloria, Amy, and Blaine, appeared to be moved by both the short films and my talk, and a leisurely conversation over lunch afterwards.  Amy was back on the Red Eye flying back to NY last night.  I can't imagine doing that ...  .

I will see them all again soon when, in early November, when I take off for NY events.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Another milestone past, and another item off my bucket list ... !

This has been a week like no other, starting with a flower-strewn 97th birthday that was celebrated quietly with Dorian -- watching Netflix movies and eating lavishly buttered popcorn.

Quiet was a gift onto itself, in the middle of another fraught-filled daily schedule that defies custom, practice, or even common sense!  What other woman approaching the century mark would dare to even attempt the life I'm leading?

And next week, month, year, holds promise to deliver more of the same, since "The World"  doesn't appear to be slowing down one iota, and I continue to rise up to meet it, sometimes foolishly, I suppose.

I'm enjoying the book readings/signings, and audiences seem to be as well.

Note:  "Of Lost Conversations" is the title of my talks that occur 3-5 times weekly in our theater at the Visitor Education Center at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.  Reservations are necessary due to limited seating, and can be arranged  for by calling (510) 232-5050 x 0.  Groups over 20 can arrange for a special presentation at another day and time in addition to those listed below.  Lead Ranger, Elizabeth Tucker, schedules such events.

Tuesday        October 2   "Of Lost Conversations" (2:00-3:00)
Wednesday   October 3    Radio/video interview for Manufacturing Radio NJ
Thursday      October 4    "Of Lost Conversations" (with special guests!)  (2:00-3:00)
Saturday       October 6    "Of Lost Conversation" (2:00-3:00 pm) (11:00)
Sunday         October 7     Phone interview with two middle-school girls in W. Palm Beach, Fla
Sunday         October 7     "A Community Conversation" (South Berkeley Senior Center)
Monday        October 8     Phone interview with S.F. Weekly re S.F. Litquake (11:00)
Monday        October 8      Book Signing at Book Passages in San Carlos
Tuesday        October 9     "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00 pm)
Thursday       October 11   "Of Lost Conversations   (11:00 am-12:00 pm)
Saturday        October 13   "Of lost Conversations   (2:00-3:00 pm)
Monday         October 15    Storytelling at "Litquake", San Francisco book festival
Tuesday         October 16   "Of Lost Conversations" (11:00 am-12:00 pm) for high school class
Tuesday         October 16   "Of Lost Conversations  (2:00-3:00 pm)
Thursday        October 18   Interview re Port Chicago tragedy with journalist
Thursday        October 18   "Of Lost Conversations (11:00 am-12:00 pm)
Saturday         October 20   "Of Lost Conversations (2:00-3:00 pm)
Sunday           October 21    Fly to Irvine for book/signing reading for Orange County Librarians
Tuesday          October 23   "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00 pm)
Wednesday     October 24    Facebook live interview with Sheryl Sandburg (all day)
Thursday        October 25    "Of Lost Conversations"  (11:00 am-12:00 pm)
Saturday         October  27   "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00 pm)
Sunday           October 28    Into the studio to record the audio book for Hay House
Monday          October 29    Into the studio to record the audio book for Hay House
Tuesday          October 30    Fly to Southern California to tape Steve Harvey Show (all day)
Wednesday     October 31    Into the studio to complete audio book for Hay House
Thursday         November 1 "Of Lost Conversations"   (11:00 am-12:00 pm)
Thursday         November 1  Book/reading/signing, San Leandro City Hall (5:00-8:00 pm)
Saturday          November 3  "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00 pm)
Sunday            November 4   Kensington Unitarian/Universalist Church, Berkeley (2:45-4:30 pm)
Tuesday          November 6  "Of Lost Conversations"  (11:00 am-12:00 pm)
Wednesday     November 7   AAUW Book Signing,  Pleasant Hill, CA
Thursday         November 8  "Of Lost Conversations"  (11:00-12:00)

Then I'll fly to New York and the East Coast for events associated with Glamour Magazine to be held 11th, 12th, 14th.  Will return around the 16th.  More about this as the dates approach.  Very exciting, I promise, but not to be revealed (on orders from Glamour) until the December issue hits the stands on November 6th.

As an aside, half the fun of having these incredible experiences is sharing the anticipation with those near and far.  Having to keep secrets about such things is both difficult and, at times, virtually impossible.  Spoils the adventure in some ways.  I've only been reasonably successful, but not completely.

Monday         November 19  Town & Gown Club book reading/signing , Berkeley
Saturday        November 24  "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00)

Break for Thanksgiving

Saturday       December 8      "Of Lost Conversations"  (2:00-3:00)

Dates in December will be erratic and at this point unpredictable, what with it being the holiday season, and by then fatigue will surely have set in, and it will be time for me to "... rest ye with those merry gentlemen" or collapse totally!

In December there will be the introduction of one of my original songs by the Oakland Symphony on the 16th at the Paramount Theater in Oakland.  The National Parks Conservancy Association West Coast annual meeting in San Francisco to which I'm a participant.  The Berkeley Public Library Association is holding their Authors dinner at which I've been invited to participate in February.

I will copy this entry to the "Sign my name to freedom" pages, and will add to them as needed.