GE Historical Society to meet
If you admire Glen Ellen, the place you’ll want to be on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. is the Mayflower Hall next door to the Glen Ellen Community Church, 5311 O’Donnell Lane. That’s when our town’s vibrant Historical Society will be presenting a “Town Hall Open Mike Show and Tell.”
These meetings have inspired many folks to recall and share their own memories of our eclectic and changing town.
Eclectic and changing? A rather pedestrian and veiled description of our town, I admit. My favorite succinct village label was coined many years ago (at least 20) at another town hall meeting, when Gary Graham described Glen Ellen as favoring genteel dilapidation. We hope you’ll join other enthusiastic folks to add your view at this next meeting. As always, admission is free although they do appreciate donations and membership in the organization is encouraged.
I advise you to arrive early. I will. Seating is limited and their previous meetings have proved extremely popular. Rightly so.
The last quarterly Glen Ellen Historical Society meeting featured three eminent speakers “Deconstructing Jack London.” Jonah Raskin, Clarice Stasz and Lou Leal provided ample evidence of the complexity of that famous author whose spirit still influences our town.
Mayflower Hall was filled to overflowing that August afternoon with a crowd that included a pleasing variety of guests. When I first arrived, the hall was already beginning to fill. A sweet, vocal gentleman behind me offered, “It’s too bad there aren’t more young people here.” Almost as if on cue, upwards of 20 young folks walked in. Many seated themselves on the floor up front, while others wandered to the back.
Sure, they were encouraged to attend by their English teacher Alison Manchester, who teaches at Sonoma Valley High, admires London and includes his writing in her curriculum. Also in the audience that day were London’s family members who spoke movingly about their famous ancestor. One descendant stated that discussions like this offer healing to a family who has, at times, suffered from the popular media’s portrayal of London. Among those relatives were Bruce Knight, Becky London’s grandson; and Tarnel Abbott, Joan London’s granddaughter, along with others.
Speaking of media portrayals, just this past week, I read an eloquent first person account of the current Occupy Oakland demonstrations by Tarnel. Her descriptions are clear and concise, calm and convincing. Hers is a view that her great-grandpa would undoubtedly champion. It’s also pretty obvious that the flame for writing and political activism continues to burn brightly down the generations. Tarnel Abbott’s eyewitness report is on the indybay.org website. Try Googling “Tarnel Oakland” or follow this link: www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/12/08/16643971.php.
I’ll see you at the next meeting of the Glen Ellen Historical Society on Nov. 19. Meanwhile offer up grateful thanks to the board members of our GEHS for creating this lively and open arena for viewing our past as we envision the future of this unique little village.
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Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call me at 996-5995; write me at Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.