Andrew Zuehlke chauffeured residents Carolyn Dixon, Mary Oviatt and Ted Stewart to the simulcast presentation of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess at the Sycamore Mall in Iowa City. Arriving at the theater they were joined by Gwen Ying and one of her violin students. According to the Gerschwin.org website, “Porgy and Bess is probably the most famous and most successful American opera from the twentieth century. Set in the 1930s in an African-American Charleston neighborhood known as Catfish Row, Porgy and Bess centers on the tragic love story of a cripple beggar Porgy and beautiful Bess, who longs to turn away from her former life as a prostitute and cocaine addict. The two strike up an unlikely relationship and find acceptance on Catfish Row until a hurricane changes everyone’s lives forever.” It is a dramatic story of community, addiction, loyalty, betrayal, love, sin, abuse, forgiveness and at times redemption with references in word and song to faith in Jesus. Andrew reports that it was a wonderful experience and that we should all strive to emulate the loving, merciful and loyal love that Porgy showed Bess and may we learn to prioritize what is truly important in life. Porgy boiled it down to the Lord, his gal and Heaven the whole day long as he sings, “Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’, and nuttin’s plenty for me. I got my gal, got my song, got Hebben the whole day long … got my gal, got my Lawd, got my song” … amen.
Jim and Arbie Reed; George and Meda Fulton; Lucy Landon and Betty Flynn all celebrated birthdays in the Town Centre this week with some very delicious treats.
Dwain Burkholder of Ocala, Florida spent the weekend with his father, Stanley Burkholder. While in the area Dwain attended a wrestling meet at his Alma Martyr, Upper Iowa University. Dwain was a stellar athlete excelling in wrestling during his high school and college years and in 1998 was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Dorothy Soucek enjoyed a weeklong visit from her daughter Suzanne Riley of Provo, Utah. Suanne plans to return in a couple of months at which time she and her mother will celebrate their mutual birthdays.
Jeaniene Dusenbery and her daughter, Sue Kos enjoyed lunch together on Tuesday in the Moore Family Dining Room to celebrate Jeaniene’s birthday.
Following the Campus Council meeting on Wednesday morning, Pastor Darren Brown addressed the group concerning his ministry at the newly formed The Lighthouse Center in Washington which serves the homeless and people in need of assistance. Darren saw the need for such a support system and was instrumental in organizing the center which opened late last year. The Lighthouse currently has twenty-seven clients staying there, eleven are children. Forty-seven people have stayed there since they opened with seventy-five percent of them local to our area. The center has served seventy families through a food pantry and has also assisted ten families with furniture. Darren reports that a new thrift store will open soon across from the United Presbyterian Church to help fund The Lighthouse Center.
Classics Et Cetera for Thursday, February 6 included the overture to “Euryanthe” by Carl Maria von Weber; “Memories of the Alhambra” by Francisco Tárrega; “A Medley of Plantation Songs” by Al Hayes, performed by The Golden Age of Bands 1860-1915; “La ci darem la mano” from “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; 3rd and 4th Movements of Symphony No. 88 by Franz Joseph Haydn; “March Militaire Française” by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) was a brilliant German pianist and guitarist and one of the first significant composers of the Romantic School. He was best-known for his German Romantic operas which were precursors to those of Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Weber suffered from a congenital hip disease and did not walk until he was four. He was a nephew-by-marriage of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791); whose father, Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), was half-brother to the father of Constanze Weber (1762-1842), Mozart’s wife.