Sunday, April 27, 2008

Not a Multi-Media Event

Anyone who has read this journal for any length of time at all knows that I am obsessed with recording the special events, as well as the mundane events, in my life with photos and now with video. But, you know? Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and watch it all happen, without hiding behind the camera.

We are now home from our whirlwind trip to Southern California for the taping of four Says You radio shows and I have only a handful of photos to show for the trip, and none of those is particularly good. But I sure have a wealth of memories of the lovely time that it was.

This morning started with a Grand Slam breakfast at the Dennys attached to the motel. We thought we might take in the Bob Dylan exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center, where the Says You tapings were taking place, but there really wasn't time. By the time we got to Skirball, "the faithful" were already lining up to pick up their pre-ordered tickets (the show was sold out). By the time the doors opened, they filled the 300 seat hall.

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One woman, who definitely qualified as a hard core groupie, let us know in no uncertain terms that she was first in line. She had been to see the group in Raleigh No. Carolina and now in Los Angeles, but she missed the taping in her home town of Seattle. But she was an expert in All Things Says You and wanted to make sure we all knew it.

Walt and I sat with a lovely couple from San Francisco, who had also been to the previous years' tapings. So we were not the only ones to have come such a long distance.

While we were waiting, Tony Kahn passed by on his way from the Bob Dylan exhibit to the green room, and we all chatted for awhile again. One topic was Tony's six part show, Blacklisted, originally produced in 1996, which is available to hear or download from the WGBH web site.

Tony's father was screen writer Gordon Kahn, whom J. Edgar Hoover, called "one of the three most dangerous Communists in Hollywood," and put him on his "security index," a secret list of people to be placed in armed detention camps in the event of a national security emergency. Gordon Kahn spent Tony's growing up years shuttling his family back and forth between Mexico and the United States, always under the watchful eye of J. Edgar Hoover, trying to feed his family by writing under various nom de plumes. The experience of growing up in such an environment related by Kahn and a host of top notch actors (Carol O'Connor is Hoover, for example) is both riveting and an amazing piece of theatre. I highly recommend checking it out, if you remember living through that period, and even more strongly if you are too young to remember. Hear what it was like for the families of the victims of the witchhunt which was conducted in this country for fifteen years and find out the secret Kahn kept during all those years.

...but back to Says You...

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The other panelists: Carolyn Faye Fox,
Arnie Riesman and Paula Lyons

As it was yesterday, the show was just so much fun. And of course we came away with a bunch of esoteric facts, like learning about the Pando aspen grove in the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, determined to be part of a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,615 tons, making it the heaviest known organism. The root system of Pando is claimed by some to be among the oldest known living organisms in existence at 80,000 years of age.

I also want to commit to memory the term "clem" which is the state of being very hungry!

Once again, first grader Benjamin Shur, son of moderator Richard Shur, was one of the scorekeepers and again I was reminded of how much he looked like a very young John Denver.

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The neat thing about Says You is that it is really a comprehensive word game. If you can't do all that well on astronomy or other science questions, or aren't too clear on your sports trivia, just wait and they'll eventually hit your category.

Today it was identifying Broadway musicals from a list of songs in the show, from lest known to best known. If you identified the musical with the first song, it was for 10 points, if you needed two songs it was 8 points, etc. I got every single question with the first song (except The Producers which I needed two songs to identify), while all the panelists struggled with each set of songs.

Ok--so I don't know anything about the Van Allen belt, but I know that "Little House of Uncle Thomas" is from The King and I!

Tony and I talked a bit about bringing the show to San Francisco and what is involved in that. I offered some suggestions of possible venues that would work and be the right size for the show and hope to follow through with that in the coming weeks.

After we left Skirball, we drove through town looking for a place to eat, and ended up at a Mexican restaurant, where we filled up on burritos and tamales and really good chips. Then off to the airport, onto the plane, and home again.

We'd been gone only 36 hours but sure filled those hours. We also came home to only three dogs. Scrappy and Scooby are gone. I have to admit that though they were real cuties, it sure is more peaceful around here tonight!

This is the "Photo of the Day" over on Funny the World.
I just love it--it's panelist Paula Lyons in conversation with young Benjamin.

1 comment:

Harriet V said...

For all the show songs I know, I have discovered that there is a huge portion that was created since I stopped following what's on Broadway.

But I would have gotten "The Small House of Uncle Thomas," one of the most imaginative pieces in the play. "...run, Eliza!"