Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Day of Latte, Theatre, and Baseball

March 16, 2008

Yesterday came as close to a perfect day as I have had in Hoboken. To begin with, the day was sunny and crisp, with clouds in the sky and temps in the low 50's, as opposed to raining and bonechillingly cold. That first promise of spring is what makes definite seasons appealing.

I was to meet with the chairman of the board at Panera Bread for coffee at 2:30 P.M. This was to make up for my default on the original date at Amanda's for a fund-raiser the day I got sick. I would know him by his black leather jacket and black baseball cap. Of course, easily 2/3 of the guys in Panera were so attired -- it's pretty much the Hoboken uniform -- so it looked as if I'd need to look for someone who was looking for me.

I looked at the coffee meeting as pretty much a job interview for the rest of my life, but I tried not to make too much of it. I have had many such one-on-one meetings, and all I have to do is not talk too much, listen a lot, and flash just a bit of my biography, judging my audience as to how much to reveal at once.

That's pretty much how it went. I ordered a chai latté; which sounds prissy but is actually delicious and pretty much good for you except for the calories. I felt it would be comforting, too, and take the edge of a first meeting. It must have been a good choice, because when my companion came toward me, he had the same thing for himself on a tray.

I tried to tell him how good I would be for Hoboken, and how much I enjoy the little city so far. He learned of the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education, of the Single Tax Colony of Fairhope, Alabama, of the Jubilee Fish Theatre and the Little Theatre of Geneva. He tried writing stuff on his Blackberry, but it got zapped and I promised to send him some material. He suggested that he'd tell his wife about me and that she might contact me about getting involved with the local Friends of the Library. We talked about our children, and I told him about my grandsons. I told him about 13-year-old Elias, who regards himself as a black sheep of the family because he isn't Liberal (he's a Ron Paul supporter). I told him about Andy, who at age 10 has been cast as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We nursed our chais for about an hour and a half and then I walked him home to the house he owns on Garden Street. I went home and readied myself to attend the plays about baseball to be performed by the Mile Square Theatre that night. Then the phone rang and it wasn't Alison confirming Elias' visit for the matinee of November on Wednesday. It was Kathryn, my new friend who had been reading my blog and wanted to tell me how much she liked it. We set up a date for early April, and may go to Pennsylvania to canvass for Obama.

When I got to the theatre, I was already high. There was that pre-show excitement of an audience gathering. There was the anticipation of my first chance to view and new theatrical troupe and see what they had. In the fund-raising event, seven one-acts about baseball were performed by 18 actors. A glance at the program made me wonder why they hadn't doubled some of the roles. I don't know the answer, but it didn't hurt the evening, and may have made it better. Each of the plays was a little gem, and all the acting was excellent. Baseball itself is a good backdrop for a play, and the playwrights all rose to the challenge. Hoboken claims to be the birthplace of baseball, so baseball plays are a natural. These were gutsy little comedies, some with a hint of fantasy. It was a superb evening.

Somewhere in the program was an envelope in which I was invited to put a check. I'll put that aside until I have a little extra money, which may be next month. Then there were the questions: "Interested in volunteering? Want to serve on our Board?" followed by a contact number. Ah. Yes. Here I go again.

The next production will be a summer outdoor version of The Comedy of Errors. Wonder what I'll be doing on that one.

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