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From January, 2020 Newsletter
Bobbi Weber recommends the following article:
The Universe Was Speaking to Me (I Think)
- Submitted by Terri Evans
On December 8th, a bitterly cold and snowy Sunday evening, I found myself sitting in French Meadow Bakery’s Nord Scott Hall, surrounded by a group of interesting and passionate individuals. I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d gotten there…
In October I had read a piece in the Star Tribune about something called “The Island of Discarded Women,” developed by a local actress and radio personality…Sue something…“Prairie Home Companion”… ageism…familiar names and faces. At about the same time, the Transition Network newsletter had included a mention that member Lorna Landvik would be a guest on something called “The Island of Discarded Women.” I heard bits and pieces about a podcast…music…women’s stories…interviews. On a day when I was feeling adventurous, I went to The Island of Discarded Women website and found out a bit more…second Sunday of each month…live recording of a podcast…women’s stories…original music…acting…an interview. On a whim, I decided to purchase tickets; however, they were sold out until the December event. I took the plunge and bought tickets a couple of months out.
When the day finally arrived, I wondered what I had been thinking. A Sunday night? In the middle of winter? A long drive to Uptown from St. Michael? Ugh! And then…suddenly…I found myself sitting at a table with a nice glass of wine, a savory dinner, and warm company. And the show had not even begun! Then came the music and the poetry and the acting and the true stories from the diverse group of women who had found themselves on The Island of Discarded Women. And more…Sue Scott’s moving interview with Susan Kimberly, “a force in St. Paul politics and a trailblazer who was the first transgender woman to become the deputy mayor of a major American city.” Through tears and laughter, I wondered what the universe was trying to tell me - why had I ended up at this moment, in this place, with these people, experiencing what was taking place on the stage in front of me?
It was announced at the end of the show that, because of the success of The Island of Discarded Women, they had been offered a new, larger, and permanent venue - Crooners in Fridley! It was also announced that Lorna Landvik would be joining the cast! The group would be taking a month off while they transitioned to the new venue.
Surely, the universe was telling me that I needed to share this experience with others so that they could experience it as well. Right? The next live podcast recording of The Island of Discarded Women will take place on Sunday, February 9th at Crooners in Fridley. It will feature an interview with civil rights attorney and activist, Nekima Levy Armstrong (formerly Levy-Pounds). Several TTN members have already purchased tickets for this event. Please join us! (Note that the event usually sells out well in advance.) Visit The Island of Discarded Women official website (purchase tickets here): https://www.islandofdiscardedwomen.com/
Read the Star Tribune article - “Former 'Prairie Home' Performer Starts a New Chapter with Podcast about Battling Back”: http://www.startribune.com/former-prairie-home-performer-starts-a-new-chapter-with-podcast-about-battling-back/523274681/
For those interested, several TTN members will be attending the History Theatre’s March 1st, 2:00 PM matinee performance of Superman Becomes Lois Lane, based on Susan Kimberly’s story. Purchase tickets at https://www.historytheatre.com/2019-2020/superman-becomes-lois-lane.
See the MPR story about Susan Kimberly and the play at https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/01/11/play-charts-civil-servants-journey-from-man-to-woman
From November, 2019 Newsletter
by Melissa Cathcart
My grandmother's buttons were kept in a jar in her spare room full of vintage castaways, tributes to a past once treasured. They held for me a fascination of color, shape, texture. Some were sets; most seemed singles. Sometimes I would dump them onto a surface to explore their forms. One was moss green plastic with bumps and a recessed edge. It had two holes. I liked the way it felt, smooth and cool like the earth. Another had a fabric center and a loop on its back. I found four of these. They reminded me of Elizabethan shoes and high-laced collars. Each button evoked its own sensibility, perhaps held a story. The collection together felt like it transported--maybe to another time or to another way of being.
Eventually grandma passed. Mum inherited the button collection. She kept them in the basement, which was packed full of forget-me-nots, could-have-been's, and if-only's. Now mum has passed. I don't know what happened to that collection of buttons, lost in a remote sense of longing.