Monday, July 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Almost 25 years ago, I met Denny Allman, the priest at Christ Episcopal Church and his lovely wife, Norma. We met while playing in the local Vicksburg Theater Guild production of Camelot in 1989.

I was cast as Nimue, the nymph who comes to lure Merlin (played by Denny Allman) to her cave and eternal sleep, thus taking him away from his role as adviser to King Arthur. Every night, I climbed up a 14 foot platform, without my glasses, and trailing costume. Coming down was even harder. Denny stood by the ladder and helped me down after I had lured him away to "Follow Me." 

Norma, Denny's wife, was cast a Morgan le Fay, who dwelt in an invisible castle. By keeping Arthur away from Camelot for one night, Morgan allowed Guinevere and Lancelot to be caught together. Thus began the fall of Camelot. 


This was a behemoth of a production. There was such a long period between times when the chorus was needed that people had time to go to Daiquiri World and back. 

I am not kidding. 

Needless to say, there was also time to talk and make friends. While I made several, Denny and Norma became particularly special to me. The next year, after my mama died during the night, Denny was on my doorstep the on the morning of December 26th. Denny and Norma helped me through the severe depression I went through while dealing with my loss. More times than maybe even they know, they saved my life just by being the right people, at the right place, at the right time. They always had time for me. 

I was never a parishioner of Christ Episcopal, but Denny always treated me as if I was. He visited me when I was in the hospital, helped me through the loss of more loved ones, and cheered my successes. 

Denny and Norma are moving to Baton Rouge to be closer to biological family. But, no matter where they go, they will always be part of my chosen family. 




Monday, July 07, 2014

Social Media

Last night, my husband and I spent several hours watching a CNN series on the Sixties. As we watched through historical events from Kennedy's election, to Vietnam, to Freedom Summer, I saw footage of political figures that I had never seen before. I found it ironic, that in this age of social media, I am just now finding out about things from 50 years ago. 

It made me wonder how past presidents and other political figures would have fared had camera phones, Facebook, Twitter, and Vine been available back then. What if they had been caught in that split second before they could put hands over hearts for the pledge? Had photoshopped pictures made that totally distorted situations? What if misinformation could have been spread like wildfire at the click of a mouse? Presidents who have been considered some of the greatest in history have made some pretty big mistakes. ("Bay of Pigs", anyone?) Would their legacies have been the same had the public known about their mistakes instantly? 

Social media can be a wonderful thing. I love connecting with friends and family. I love discussing issues near to my heart in groups. I loved getting to see pictures of my dear friend's newborn granddaughter who was born on the 4th of July. But, I have to wonder if social media is playing a part in creating and maintaining divisions. Divisions between political parties. Divisions between religious denominations. Divisions between races. Yes, racial divides still exist, even today, sadly enough. 

Just for today, think about how social media can be used for good or for ill. Resolve to check out things that might be in doubt. Snopes.com is a good way to see if something is true or false. 

Check things out before passing them on.