A Mona Lisa sort of way

By David Grima | Nov 27, 2019

Lovers of theater in the Washington D.C. suburb of Georgetown were recently treated to a play about Louise Nevelson, the artist who grew up here in the Beloved South End of Rockland.

Who knew there is a play about her? Not me, obviously, or else I wouldn’t be going on about it as though I had just discovered the crazy club scene in Appleton.

The play is called “Occupant”, and was written (or published, which is the best the Internet can do to explain its origins) in 2001 or 2002. Again, the Internet can’t make up its mind. Not the bits I could find, anyway.

Edward Albee, who more famously wrote “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1962, apparently knew Nevelson, who died in 1988 decades after abandoning the Lime City for the irresistible lights of New York City. The play, with two characters only, is apparently some kind of post-mortem interview with her.

Maybe someday the play will be produced in Rockland, no doubt to our collective mystification and deep puzzlement.

According to the review I read in The Georgetowner, “Occupant” runs through Dec. 8 at Theater J. On Sunday, Dec. 1, a conversation improved with wine will follow the 7:30 p.m. performance.

So, those of you who are dying to see the play might still have the ghost of a chance of getting tickets.

* * * * *

I see naughty Prince Andrew of England has been sent to sit in the corner by his queenly mum, for having hung out with even naughtier Jeffrey Epstein and his underage girls.

Really, these British Royals are absolutely awful. They have no class whatsoever, but seem to have more in common with the Kardashians than any ancient line of classical monarchs.

Actually, I once thought the Kardashians were the strange bald little aliens with sharp teeth who lived aboard Deep Space 9, but then I turned out to be rather wrong about that. So I wouldn’t listen to everything I say, if I were you.

* * * * *

On Monday afternoon a chap from Tenants Harbor called in to the Maine Public Radio show, “Maine Calling”, to express his irritation at the way everything is now digital and high tech.

He said “you all know what racism is” then proceeded to equate it to “technism”, in which people who don’t do computers, cell phones, etc., are apparently discriminated against by a cold and heartless world that does.

* * * * *

Still, there remains a modicum of respect paid to those of us who generically can be described as old farts. (Can we say that in the paper…? Let’s find out.)

Uncle Ed and I went to breakfast after church on Sunday, and by the time we were done with both, we had been called ”gentlemen” four of five times over in both places.

The first time was a bit of a surprise, but by the fifth we were starting to wonder if we were simply being mocked.

I went home to the cardboard box on top of the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, and thought about it.

* * * * *

Well, we’ve had a few days off from the Impeach Mint hearings down in Washington, a respite which is not actually to everyone’s liking.

I have it on fairly weak authority that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson showed up a day after the recess began, and was much disappointed, having hoped very much that he could get in and make a speech on behalf of Brexit before being discovered and asked to leave.

Before you decide that sort of thing might be too odd to be likely, remember that BoJo was in fact born in the US and can probably still speak the language, and might even understand it if you were to talk to him slowly.

* * * * *

Here we all go for the Parade of Lights and other festivities in Rockland, after nightfall on Saturday.

Don’t think for a minute we take these things lightly, just because we are mere provincials up here in the wild northland. For proof of how seriously we take the annual post-Thanksgiving festivities, here is the preamble to the nine separate rules to which all parade entrants are obliged to adhere, on pain of expulsion:

“Due to the family-oriented purpose of the annual Parade of Lights, the following rules are in place to protect parade participants and parade viewers from being exposed to unsafe actions, political signs or messages, overtly religious messaging, pornographic or other offensive or graphic words, symbols, photographs, music, video, images, audio, uniforms, signs, banners, decals, vehicle wraps, flags, papers, electronic, digital, internet or satellite projected content of any kind, or the promotion or advocacy of or for any legal or illegal substance or drug including alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, or street drugs.”

Now, to the ordinary innocent Rockland person this might sound like a few degrees of nuclear overkill, but I assure you there are good reasons for the strictness of these parade regulations.

At one point not too long ago the organizers were legitimately worried that somebody was going to sneak bloody images of dead infants into this family-friendly festival. Wouldn’t have wanted that, would we? I wouldn’t have wanted it.

Free speech is one thing. Poor taste is quite another.

* * * * *

Most Tuesday afternoons I drive down to Warren to visit one of the several prisons there, hoping to do a little bit of good in this poor world. Usually the kids are getting out of the middle school at about the same time I am going through Thomaston, and last week I saw a most delightful thing, and to which I could not help but write my own script.

A boy in a red t-shirt and a girl in a green sweatshirt had just gone their separate ways as they walked home from school, and the boy was crossing Main Street in some peril of his life but was otherwise quite delirious. He threw a cheerful glance over his shoulder at the girl as he ran to the opposite sidewalk, then leaped in the air for joy and high-fived a street sign as he went happily out of view.

The girl, looking oddly thoughtful but a little non-committal in a Mona Lisa sort of way, well, she just kept on walking.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.

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