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Showing posts from March 30, 2008

Eileen Hall

Eileen Hall was one of the most wonderful women I’ve ever met.

British born, Eileen was a G.I. bride. I met her at St. Christopher’s Church in Chicopee, MA when I was Vicar there between 1980 and 1984.

Eileen would produce the most outrageous (and sometime risqué) shows to benefit St. Christopher’s Church.

In one of them I sang the “Lumberjack” song from “Monty Python”. It called for me to produce a bra’ at the end of the show. The props person forgot to bring a bra’, so Eileen removed hers for me to use.

I would boast that I was the only member of St. Christopher’s who had ever worn one of Eileen’s bras.

We met last on Boxing Day 2006 when she was visiting her son Nick in Tampa, FL. She wanted to have lunch at the “Olive Garden”, and so there we went.

Eileen died in 2007.

She was a member of a Northampton, MA based Chorus known as “Young at Heart”: a radical Chorus of seniors.

British Airways sponsored, and Fox released a wonderful Documentary about “Young at Heart”.

It’s been shown …

But I hate Mahler's Music

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote 32 Operas. That’s a lot!

On Wednesday 2nd April I was at the Sarasota Opera House to enjoy I due Foscari - performed first at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, in 1844. (One hundred years before I was born).


Maestro Victor DeRenzi in his 26th year as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Sarasota Opera, is aiming to perform the entire Verdi Opera “Canon”, so we were treated to I due Foscari in its first USA performance in forty years.

I was there with good friends M, E and J.

M is a most gracious and thoughtful woman. It’s a joy to be in her company.

E is an Opera buff. He knows more about Opera than I know about G-d.

J is E’s partner. He hates (or pretends to hate) all Opera.

(I asked him if he saw any Opera before he met E.
E replied - “yes he saw “Jesus Christ, Superstar”!)


So, on Wednesday, I was in a Box with these three.

At the first intermission J said: “This is the first time in 40 years that I due Foscari has been performed in the U.S.…

Shall we play a game? (Sent to me by D.M.)

Shall we play a game?

It's very simple. Which one of these statements is different from the rest?

1. "Capital punishment is our way of demonstrating the sanctity of life." (Sen. Orrin Hatch)

2. "President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." (Alberto Gonzalez)

3. "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right ... [N]ow you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife." (Senator John Cornyn [speech draft])

4. "You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran... Ha Ha Ha Ha! Hee Hee Hee! Ho Ho Ho Ho!!!" (John McCain)

5. "We just want Jews to be perfected." (Ann Coulter)

6. "I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between …

How could I have forgotten?

And how could I have forgotten Forsythia?

Or Morning Glories.

(Brief blog, off to the Opera tonight).

Missing in Florida

Spring, if there is such a thing in South West Florida, has sprung with a vengeance. The days are lovely with temperatures in the 80f range. Blooms are blooming.

But there are missing pieces in a SW Florida gardenscape.

There is no Lilac. I miss Lilac. Uncle and Auntie Charlton, next door in Devon Road, Bristol had Lilac trees. So I grew up with them.

The best Lilac I’ve ever met was in Pittsfield. I was walking in my neighbourhood one evening, just after a brief rainstorm. Lilac scent filled the air. Heavenly!

There are no Daffodils. I s’pose it doesn’t get cold enough in winter for the bulbs to die and rise again. I miss Daffodils. The finest daffodils I ever saw were in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, U.K. There they grew wild, and in massive abundance. Generously.

There are no Lupins. They were the first flower I learned to identify as a young child. The most wonderful Lupins I ever saw were in California. They grow “wild” and blanket the grassy strips aroun…

Salamagundi (2)

When I was about 10 years old I had a school-chum whose name was John Nairn. He lived on Stapleton Road, Eastville, Bristol, within sight and sound of “Eastville Stadium”, where the East Bristol Soccer Team, “Bristol Rovers” played.

But he had the cohones to be a supporter of the South Bristol Team, “Bristol City”.


If he could do it, so could I, and from that day I have not cared a rat’s -ss about the Rovers, and I have been a City Fan.

Now, Bristol City Football Club, with five games to play, are on the cusp of promotion to the English Premier League, where the “big boys” play.

For American readers, if this happens, it would be comparable to Davidson College winning the NCAA basketball championship (which sadly they cannot now do).

I am keeping my fingers crossed for BCFC. Our theme song is

“When the red, red robin goes bob, bob, bobbing along”.

Sing it with and for me will you!

Last Friday Ben and I were at the Florida Studio Theatre for a production of “Jewtopia”.

It’s a hilarious …

Sermon for March 30th 2008

Sermon for March 30th 2008
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at All Angels by the Sea, Longboat Key, FL

Acts 2:14-41; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

I thank Fr. Danner for the opportunity to preach here this morning. I asked him if I might do so, so that I could “strut my stuff” in the presence of my dear friends Pat and Jack McLaughlin who are vacationing on the Key.

Jack and Pat hail from Wolfeborough, New Hampshire. They are members All Saints’ Church there, in the Diocese of New Hampshire. Great Diocese! Great Bishop!

A preliminary note. None of the Gospels should be read primarily as biography. They are teachings about Jesus, based on memories of his life. Each has a point “to get across” about Jesus.

John is the last of the four. I think of John as a series of meditations about the meaning of Jesus, and they come at a time when the Jesus movement and the Synagogue are in conflict. John sometimes writes as if Jesus were not a Jew, and he uses (in English) “The Jews” as a kin…