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Friday, September 6, 2002

While I was out running errands this afternoon, I found myself by happy coincidence across the parking lot from Target. It's been so long since I've bought anything for myself that I didn't need that I just had to wander in and look around.

Actually, I had an ulterior motive. Eric and I are riding the special bus next Wednesday to the Giants' game at Pacific Bell Park against the hated Dodgers. Since next Wednesday is the day it is, they're having special memorial ceremonies and have asked fans in attendance to wear red, white and blue (instead of the usual orange and black).

I wasn't about to wear anything in (hated) Dodger Blue, and I don't like the way red looks on me, and I can't wear white shirts more than once because of the nasty yellow stains that appear almost as soon as I put them on. So I was stuck for an idea. I thought I might find a white ball cap, but I didn't find anything I liked.

Then I saw the special rack of novelty shirts for five dollars each. Usually any special deals are useless to me because all the XL sizes are gone by the time I know about them. I'm not an extra large person, but I have to wear size XL in T-shirts because— well, I just do. For five dollars, I think I can take a chance on a white T-shirt with a U.S. flag and the words "We Will Remember" on it.

I love my country (even if I complain about its government a lot), but I don't wear its colors as some kind of sign of loyalty or patriotism. I just don't think it's necessary. Maybe it's a residual feeling from my rebellious youth in the land of burning bras and draft cards. I never burned either, but then I never had either so it didn't come up.

I wish I could write something that would get people to go see the Santa Rosa Players' production of "The Wizard of Oz." This is community theater at its best, not polished but full of imagination. For me, a believable performance can make up for most shortcomings in a stage play, and in this show the acting is wonderful. That makes the whole experience a delight.

The dog was a little unruly and thoroughly scared of Dorothy's Judy-like voice, whenever she spoke louder than a whisper. The many kids in the cast were somewhat better behaved, although I caught a few impish glances that told me they were having fun on stage. Their enthusiasm makes up for the fact that it's hard to cast real Munchkins from the local talent pool. Dorothy, on the other hand, is the real deal. She has a marvelous singing voice, and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" fairly echoes through the auditorium.

The most important element in any production of "The Wizard of Oz," though, is the trio of friends Dorothy makes along the yellow brick road. If you can't see the intelligence behind Scarecrow's "head all full of stuffin'," and feel the pain in Tin Man's missing heart, and if Cowardly Lion doesn't generate several genuine belly laughs, then something's wrong. Nothing was wrong with those characters last night. There were no actors on the stage, just a Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. For all the makeshift sets and fumbled lines, that's the magic of live theater.

And this magic comes from an all-volunteer cast and a mostly volunteer crew.

Alas, the house was less than a third full and the run of the show ends Sunday, so nothing I say here is likely to help the box office. Most of my local readers, as far as I know, have crowded schedules. Still, there's a 7:00 show Saturday night and a 3:00 matinee Sunday, and it's a rollicking good time.

house and garden

My house and garden, seen from the shade of the old oak.

After being laid up for almost a week, Mom was ready to get out of the house last night. We took it slowly, and she used a cane and leaned on my arm as we walked. We also used her handicap placard to park as close as possible to the door. But we made it into the theater and back out again, and we both loved the show.

I'm so glad she was able to go, just six days after wrecking her hamstring. Sitting in the ER last Friday night, we didn't know how long it would be until she could get around again. We still don't know how long until she gets around easily, but just because it's not easy doesn't mean she's going to stay home.

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We get up at twelve and start to work at one,
Take an hour for lunch and then at two we're done.
Jolly good fun!