Today is the last day of May and tomorrow we plunge headlong into June. Hooray for summer. But today in Around Davidson we catch up on recent trips taken by Margo and Bill Williams as well as by Kathy Pearce and Paul Wetenhall. We also bid a fond farewell to Linda Turner, who is saying goodbye to her post at Davidson United Methodist Church. And we have a “post script” to our Tuesday item about Giddy Dyer and her family. Further there is a Noteworthy Note about circling The Green!
PAPA PASSES or PASSION IN “P”
Last Monday’s gathering at Erwin Lodge to remember Giddy Dyer and her family brought mention of a play, “Papa Passes” or “Passion Play in P,” that Giddy’s father, Mr. E. J. Erwin, had written while an English professor at Davidson College. Giddy’s mother, Mrs. E. J. Erwin, was a charter member of Davidson’s Thelemite Book Club begun in 1922 and the couple was well known for their wit and humor.
Always interested in drama, Professor Erwin wrote this one act play in which every spoken word started with a “P!” (See it at this link, with thanks to Leland Park for providing it.) First performed on Jan. 23, 1931, the play was a hilarious success, prompting the club’s secretary, Betty Schenk, to record in the minutes that “before the players had finished the first scene, we felt sure Mr. Erwin had discovered some p’s that Mr. Webster overlooked.”
What fun! And even better to know that today’s Thelemite Club performed this same play this month at their spring picnic as part of the club’s 90th anniversary celebration. Thank heavens for the Davidson College archives for such remarkably well preserved, delightful bits of “literature” – especially one that take place in a piquantly picturesque Parisian Pleasure Palace!
HAPPY RETIREMENT, LINDA TURNER
Linda Senter Turner has been called “the information goddess” of Davidson United Methodist Church (DUMC) by Senior Minister Jody Seymour and his wife, Betsy. She has been the church’s “face and voice” since December 1998. Moving to a Spinnaker Point condo in Davidson in June 1997, Linda expressed an interest in joining DUMC. Six months later James Howell, then senior minister, had her on board as “part of the human furnishing” of the church.
A native Charlottean and the daughter of Clarence “Buck” and Bessie Senter, Linda graduated from Hoskins Elementary School and West Mecklenburg High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Doug Turner, in 1966, and they raised a son and daughter in Charlotte. Widowed in 1990, Linda continued working at Carolinas Medical Center until her move to Davidson.
Fondest memories of her time spent as church secretary include just “being there” for members of the congregation on 9/11, seeing the sheets all over town when Jo Anne Shackelford died, and the spontaneous merriment of Fat Tuesday celebrations with costumed James Howell accompanied by organist John-Palmer Smith.
Linda will miss the excitement of the church office but looks forward to retirement. Her last day is tomorrow, June 1. Her plans for the future: “To do what she wants when she wants” and certainly NOT to get up early! Linda will look at volunteering, reconnecting with friends and continuing to liven gatherings with her ready smile. As the sign she is holding says in part: Sing, Smile, Hope and of course, EAT ICE CREAM! Best wishes to you, Linda Turner.
CHECKING OUT PARIS AND ROME
What fun for Concord Road residents, Margo and Bill Williams, to fly across the pond and visit France and Italy. This well-traveled couple had never been to Paris where they found the people to be uniformly friendly and helpful. The metro was easy to manage so they were able to walk most everywhere from their little hotel.
Leaving Paris and heading to Italy, Bill and Margo first stopped in Sorrento where they enjoyed the Amalfi Coast, with the unearthly beauty of the cliffs, the lemon trees, olive groves, and the Bay of Naples. Heading next to Rome was a mixture of sightseeing and business for Bill who attended meetings finding excitement at the prospects of cooperation in areas of international medicine.
Asking Margo for a few highlights of their time in Europe, she responded with the following: “Some special moments come to mind. Monet’s massive last works at the Orangerie that demonstrated his unwillingness to give up the light and then Giverny, where his garden was riotous with spring colors and the pond was a marvel of balance and harmony. The Seine lunch cruise with rain hitting the clear roof. Sidewalk cafes. The Burghers of Calais in the Rodin garden like the one in the Visual Arts Center at Davidson College. Sorrento, overlooking the bluest Bay of Naples. Capri, with tiny alleyways filled with shops, cafes, gelato stands, gardens, hotels, and people. Letting the imagination run wild at the Coliseum. Standing under the oculus at the Pantheon and studying Bernini’s wonderful fountain of the Four Rivers at the Navona Plaza.”
We are glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip and were not in Northern Italy where our hearts go out to the earthquake victims in the area of Bologna.
A PEACEFUL EGYPT AND JORDAN
Kathy Pearce and Paul Wetenhall of Hobbs Hill just returned from a 17-day trip to Egypt and Jordan with Viking River Cruises. They found it was an exciting time to be in Egypt, to see the election posters everywhere and to hear how hopeful the people are that the political future will be better. In both countries, the residents were kind and helpful and very eager for more tourists.
Since tourism was down, Kathy and Paul did not have to wait to get into the temples or dodge tour groups, plus they were able to go into the tomb in the Great Pyramid in Giza, which is limited to the first 150 people. Visiting the giant statues of Ramses at Abu Simbel was like a private viewing, which was delightful but certainly more people should be enjoying these amazing creations – and the Egyptian Tourist Bureau would agree.
Kathy commented that they packed their 17 day tour with a lot of sightseeing as she wrote: “We did it all – pyramids, Sphinx, Museum of the Antiquities, camel rides, Luxor, balloon ride over the Valley of the Queens, inside the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, felucca ride (sailboat), and river cruise in Egypt. In Jordan, we saw Biblical sites (Mount Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land), mosaics, forts from the crusades, the Dead Sea, the extensive Roman city of Jarash, plus the highlight of Petra. So if you have a sense of adventure, now is a great time to visit.”
Well said, Kathy. So glad you and Paul had a marvelous trip!
Be sure to stop by The Green Friday evening or Saturday morning, to cheer on the runners who are taking part in “Loopy for a Cause” which will raise funds to support research for a fatal childhood disease called Batten Disease. Runner Jeff McGonnell will be running around The Green for 24 hours straight (last year he ran over 80 miles) and has asked some of his fleet-footed buddies to join him. It promises to be a festive occasion with runners in fancy get-ups, as well as music and movies for those cheering them on. Bring a chair, bring a donation and join the fun which begins on Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m.
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