Thursday, July 8, 2010

Senior Center Talk a Success

The most poignant part of last night's talk at the Senior Center came afterwards. One very sweet older lady asked me during Q&A if I would continue Dusty Diary. "I read you every day," she said. My heart was touched, and I've truly been a slaggard at maintaining this blog during vegetable-gardening planting season. That was lazy and rather irresponsible of me. The lady's kind words, and some nods in the audience, have given me resolve to return to and do a responsible job of maintaining this blog.

Last night's talk at the Senior center was fun. About 30 folks attended. We blasted off with a game of Ypsi Jeopardy, which folks enjoyed. I had set up chairs into 2 teams and asked each team to pick a team name. One picked the Towers, the other the Braves. And we were off, with a game set up on an old slide-projector screen. James kept score, sort of.

Afterwards James gave a talk on Oscar Lawrence, a man possibly linked with the Dan Corey murder. I did not vet this talk. The talk was based on secondary source material. Primary source material available at the Archives that includes census records, grave records, genealogical records, and a WWI draft registration card collectively present a factually different portrait of this man--and of his character. Afterwards I gave a talk on Depression-era social worker Inez Graves. There was a raffle for two of my books and two of James's books--his book comes out in late July and will be available at Salt City, Mix, and Amazon.

I noted several aspects of my presentation skills that need improvement. I need to relax more, monitor the pace of my speech, and I was wearing heels that made a distracting sound on the floor. Also, I later realized I'd talked about Inez before at a former talk, and there might have been at least one of the same audience members--think I recognized one--at that former talk. Not too bright. An oversight. Mistakes are an opportunity for me to learn and get better.

As folks drifted in my husband manned the Victrola, changing needles and rewinding as necessary. The whispery, tinny music created a nostalgic atmosphere. This beautiful machine was recently renovated by an Ypsilanti artist. It's now at the house of a fellow Ypsilantian "Victrolian" [term coined by husband] who lent me a few of his 78s for the talk. Today's Courier contains a story about its renovation. So welcome back to DD, and hope to have the compliment of a visit tomorrow!

10 comments :

Joe said...

Hooray! I miss my weekly update of Allie,s diary.

Russ said...

I was afraid something had happened to you! I'd gotten so hooked on reading your articles every few days. Then, there was this huge period of going to your site but nothing new. Perhaps you could give everyone a "Heads Up' during the breaks. :-) Keep up the Great Work Laura! Best Regards, Russ

Dusty D said...

Thank you for your patience Joe and Russ. I apologize; indeed I should have given a heads-up. New diary excerpts posted. :)

BF said...

Welcome back, D. D. I do know how much your green thumb pulls you outdoors.

Dusty D said...

Thanks BF. It's true...we did a lot of work in the yard this spring, with the front-yard orchard and an expansion of the garden. Still planting late-season beans and the weeding never stops. Nevertheless, I need to do a better job of maintaining DD and I plan to.

Mike said...

I agree! :) I know keeping up with the site can be overwhelming but I really would be heartbroken to know that ypsi no longer had this blog. I'm very glad that woman said something to you.

Lisele said...

I have missed you too! So sorry I was out of town for your talk with James. I would have enjoyed it so much!

Dusty D said...

Thank you Lisele. James was kind to come along when I invited him to join the talk and I hope there will be more events with him. I think presentations with a touch of a theatrical element, like role plays, might be interesting and vivid. The game was a hit, as well.

Diane said...

So glad to see you back! Have been checking everyday and wondering where you were. By the way, finally got your book and loved it. My mom, Rosena, and Grandma, Bertha Wiederhoft Kruger, would have been so pleased to see their stories published. Thank you!
Diane

DD said...

Diane: Thank you for the lovely comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was privileged to learn about your relatives and write their stories. Thank *you*! :)