Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tony's okay

Sweeping the steps after lectionary.  Thinking about Romans 8, I actually gave a second thought to Malick’s ponderous, pretentious, stunningly beautiful Tree of Life. Good to think about while sweeping.
Inside typing when Jed walks in. Show him the amazing transformation  of the basement. Then head to Popover’s. We review Andre’s concert. Erasmia’s remarkable skill in planning the arc of the program,  the way the concert  showed the breadth and depth of Andre as an artist.

Jed and Andre

Talk of other things. Of our Bible Marathon, straight through read through we’ve been thinking about. Jed has actually given this osme thoght and beguj to think about what it might  look like,  artistically, logistically. Different languages, international connections. To do this right would take until next May. First thing to do is to establish a running order. Jed has someone he thinks could take that on. So we’ll work on that.
And since we’re getting a second piano, he’s got some great ideas for eight hand piano open readings. And what Andre teaching open master classes. I love the creative sparks that come from our conversation. 

Back in the office, Danielle and I at work on the usual host of  knotty problems. I’m working through liability issues with our broker. I gove a couple for Australia a quick tur of the sanctuary, talk about the church’s social history significance.
Jeremy comes in, sits down at the piano, plays some hymns, some of his own music. It’s cool that he’s hired Piano Dan to tune his piano. We talk about the Monday night pasta and music event Jack Hardy used to host the village every week. Jeremy may actually talk me into going.  It’s his birthday. Headed on his bike to date in the cemetery. Before he goes, I check out his Martin backpacker guitar. He’s ready to move forward on the Wednesday night event with Jane idea.  
Lynnea, the director of Frog & Peach Theatre Company appears in my door. She’s not really been in the church since her last production six? years ago. As we walk thorugh the  church house, it’s impressive to see the Woodshed Collective at work everywhere. Mc Alpin has become a scene shop with saws and sawdust. The Chapel has been turned into what John Hudson calls a proper production office. Electric cables being lugged about. Rehearsal in the gym. Lynnea says, they must have money.

(See the Woodshed teaser trailer below)


As we come back through the old theatre, the memories come back. The ruins it was in back in 1995 when I arrived. How she and her hsuband Ted excavated the theatre, made it usable again. Thier years of productions. Some wonderful moments. 
Lynnea and I to out to the steps. A man who looks vaugely fmiliar approaches. Pastor, do you rememeber me? It’s me, Tony. I look into his face, and remember. He was homeless and alcoholic,l iving on our steps 10 years ago. I’m ok now, he says, got my own place in the Bronx. Don’t drink anymore. We talked about the days when he and Gregory and Arthur all lived on the steps. 
We knew them well. They joined in whne Kate rang bells whenever someone was executed by a state. Ringing out against capital punishment.  They would join us for worship. Arthur, who used to work for the Metroplitan Opera would sing.  He froze to death on the steps in 2003 (see the NYTimes article here). Some people still blame me for that.
Tony tells me Gregory has been sober for almost 8 years. Has a job working at a nursing home, his own apartment. Arthur died. They made it back. Tony's okay. Makes me happy.
A Mexican couple is passing by. The woman in a serape, even in the heat. Tne man with long black hair pulled back in a pony tail. Helooks up, crosses himself. Kisses his fingers. Walks on. 

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