Saturday, December 13, 2014



Going over reconstruction details with Pat O….


I arrive to find the police with Charles, taking reports done on damages from an  unauthorized removal project at the church. Don’t like doing things this way. And I would not make a good witness.

Jeremy G is in to finish details on his grant proposal to do a follow-up conversation on performance and spirituality this winter. There are so many more to invite now.

Emil and Jaret in to discuss an acting school and possibly an event.

Nan in to go over financials. She is retiring at the end of the year. She helped us navigate our way through some very lean times. With a calm and steady bearing at all times. She will be sorely missed.


For real, actually….starting with the exposed ceiling in Mc Alpin Hall.

Noche is back and in rehearsal. They have found a venue to perform their flamenco version of Antigone. Feels good to have them back.

Martin’s mother Luli is in. She has a bookcase she is willing to donate.

David S and Steven S working together on a number of projects.

Geoffrey has been coming in late afternoon and sleeping in the pews. RL has asked him to leave and Geoffrey responded excitedly in a non-identifiable language.

Kieran comes with questions about the Gospel of Thomas he has recently discovered. Why did they keep it out? I explain that it was a political process. An emerging imperial church had to batten down its theological hatches, so to speak. When I say there were dozens of gospels, he is intrigued and somewhat shaken. I show him Hal Taussig’s A New New Testament.  ( Now he is really interested.

Because of the construction, our Shakespeare ladies Lee and Trish have moved their reading of  Richard III to the sanctuary.


Martin and I have much to talk about. There is still a strong desire to work out a long term agreement. Like can we finally do  it? They are so much part of the house. Martin’s daughter Gabriela still working on her story about Teddy. Martin still amazed at how Teddy touched her life. And how deeply the whole has touched her.

It is (almost) a day from hell. The start of reconstruction has necessitated moving people all around. Changing everyone’s spaces. And no one is happy about that. Especially if they  had a vision of what a particular event might be like. For example, the West ‘80’s Association. Our neighbors. Had scheduled Mc Alpin with its rustic exposed lath ceilings for their holiday party. Now what to do?

The only solution seems to be if we can borrow Martin’s studio.

Likewise, Ethel is being shuffled all over the place. At first they think there’s no room for them any more and then we explain the construction situation.

At some points, I feel like banging my head against the wall. But, as I said to our friend from the West ‘80’s, when I stop and think, I’ll gladly trade the anxiety of will we survive for the chaos of reconstruction any day.

Talking with Sam G about his next Shakespeare jam. I tell him about the amazing work that was done by Milica and Composers Concordance.  Our younger friends grow by being exposed to what is possible.

I’m happy to sign a grant application for Marc G. Our Interfaith Assembly can use all the help it can get. At the very brink of disaster, we were blessed wit a major gift. As always seems to happen. But that’s not a good business model. We have to keep working at it.

David S out to buy cable to repair Internet cables damaged by reconstruction.

We’re just about ready to begin our rehearsal for Monday night’s benefit when the Shakespeare ladies come in because their reading has been shifted out of Mc Alpin Hall. The snoring Geoffrey is also discovered in the back of the sanctuary. (Who thankfully, David S will remove...)

So before I lose it, Jeremy moves us into the chapel. And pushes us through our paces. Breaking down the different pieces of harmony. When the notes come out just so, it feels so good to be blending voices, taking turns as the lead. It feels something like joy.  As we are finishing our work on Hard Times Come Again No More, the Open Mic crowd is starting to gather. When we finish, there’s strong applause.

See you in 2015
It’s, well, a different Open Mic. Pat O has another engagement, RL not feeling well. So Mandola Joe will MC this diminished, well, in numbers, crowd. David L plays three favorites,
David L opens
but Rachel R (his wife)
Rachel R closes strong with 
shows off her former professional skills with a song accompanied by Stephen B who follows with his own set.
Joel and Steve, as usual!
Young Jeremy makes his last visit before the holidays and gives us an original we can sing along with. (As well as Wild Horses…).Mandola has a surprise tribute to Frank Sinatra in honor of his birthday.  With a small crowd, it’s a chance to try some new things.
Mandola Joe goes with a standard
I called Steve up to accompany me on a new song I wrote that was demanding to be played. I also had to try If You Won’t See Me, a Lennon-Mccartney  Beatles’ song from Rubber Soul, which as Stephen points out, was covered famously by Anne Murray. David S has his usual  solid set of  classic pop and one of Mandola’s old friends Adam has dropped in for a surprise appearance and plays a few songs.

Mandola Joe ends the night with Stay on the Sunny Side of Life, inviting me up for harmony.


We made it through, yo, thanks to Mandola Joe.

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