Wednesday, July 01, 2009

From Pam Phillips at Writing Every Day

I was working in the garden last weekend when this beautiful insect settled on a rock right next to me. Its iridescent blue-green body glowed and set off the velvety black wings. I thought it was a dragon fly of a variety I’d never seen before, but Doug Taron set me straight (so to speak) that it was a damsel fly.

This is my current project, a stone-paved culvert to take water draining past the house and direct it harmlessly to prevent wash-outs as it heads downhill. The frame is the underpinning of a short bridge from the paved driveway to the foot of the walk leading to the house.

Virtually all the plants are now set in the garden in front of the house. A few stragglers will come as they become available at local wholesale nurseries. Each of these perennials will expand with time to fill the garden solidly with flowers and ornamental foliage. Down front and center is what I call the “heelstone”, a small boulder with a hollow in its upper surface.

In the hollow, Fritz planted a miniature garden of hens and chickens and other succulents, now in delightful blossom.


This story is almost too cute—it comes off like something from a 1940s movie starring Mickey and Judy and all the kids.

Those local theater companies that have so far managed to survive in the current economy are looking to produce less arcane and much more popular family material. The Gloucester Stage Company recently announced “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and went into rehearsal for a late June opening. Everything was going just fine until the opening day of the production with matinee and evening performances scheduled. That’s when Gloucester’s Charlie Brown, Stephen Gagliastro, informed the producer that he was ill and had no voice.

With cancellation of the opening staring them in the face, one of the company’s staff remembered that the High School in neighboring Rockport had presented Charlie Brown in the spring. A quick call to the Principal led to Brian Audano who had played the part. The 17 year old Audano had a ticket for the matinee opener and had put on his yellow shirt with Charlie Brown’s characteristic zig-zag horizontal black line that morning. The call came in at 1pm and Brian was offered the role. He left for the theater immediately as word spread rapidly through Rockport High’s student body. "It was pretty amazing, a little nerve-racking,” Audano said, “but I was lucky because all of the cast were so kind. I had about an hour and a half to go over new stage directions.”

David Sharrocks, who played the role of Snoopy, said they appreciated Audano stepping into the part, "I was thoroughly impressed that he never opened the binder with the script. He was surprisingly relaxed the whole time and he seemed very comfortable with the experience."

The stage manager came on stage at curtain time to announce the cast change and stumbled over the pronunciation of Audano’s name—at which point the audience, now packed with Rockport students and teachers, roared out the correct pronunciation. The performance proceeded flawlessly.

Audano, who will enter Wheelock College in Boston (where they do quite a bit of theater) this fall, will enter with a really nice professional credit and a fist full of good press notices.

With quotes from The Gloucester Times

Oh how I love your house Will! It's fantastic... and the succulents, too precious!! Keep up the great work. Can't wait to see your finished project!! woohoo!
Dragonflies and damselflies are very closely related to each other. Ebony Jewelwings are a big favorite of mine. I enjoyed the theater story. A friend of mine in grade school was named Audano. We lived in the next town over from Gloucester. I wonder if this kid is a relative of my friend.
You have a beautiful house and yard.
Your home is delightful. It looks so serene and beautiful....Great job, guys!

thank you, Michelle--it's nice to see you leaving a comment. Please stop by again! Yes, the house is a joy to live in and has a very positive and warm feeling to it, which was my hope in developing its layout and details.

Mark and Robert--thanks and I assure you I will keep documenting the progress of the work.

Doug--wouldn't it be a great coincidence if it turned out he was your friend's son? Stranger coincidences have happened--look for a story like that in my next post.
I wish I had some of your carpentry and/or masonry skills! Why didn't I pay more attention in shop class??
Just checking in!
There is so much interesting stuff in your blog.
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