On February 12, 1997 members met to celebrate completion of the Society's first year. Again, Glenn graciously opened his house to us. The program was a potluck dinner, without a planned presentation. To the keen disappointment of all, Marvin, our founder and mentor, was unable to attend. Never-the-less, his spirit of leadership and searching inquiry guided us throughout the session.
Present were Curtis, David, Donald, Glenn, Jeff, Meredyth, Rachel, Roger, and later, Andrea, who arrived just in time for dessert--a sinfully rich ice cream mud pie contributed by Meredyth.
Festivities began with small talk, libations of the region (provided by those who didn't bring eats), and a marvelous four-layer Mexican dip which was provided by David. After the last of the regulars had arrived the party moved to the dinner table where the serious business of the evening commenced. Topics touched upon ranged from ways to handle unsolicited telemarketing calls to discussions of the works of the mathematician Paul Halmos, who, Roger reminded us, will be speaking at SSU's Mathematics Colloquium later in the school term, and the stories of Shirley Jackson. Rachel confessed to having recently been in a stage production of one of that author's works.
Meredyth gave a reading from The Dowsers Journal, the thrust of which seemed to be that dowsing need not be limited to locating the earth's watery treasures; it can also be used to plumb the depths of the human soul. Of course, this evoked a lively discussion, in the heat of which Glenn boldly confronted a fact known from the first meeting of the Society but not before openly articulated--that members tend to view the world from either a scientific outlook or a spiritual one. Glenn even went so far as to name names. All this was discussed without the least hint of rancor. Experience during the first year has shown that members, while content with their own views, respect those of others, and are eager to know about them. A sort of intellectual peaceful coexistence.
At one point Glenn passed around a 1983 Playboy magazine (it wasn't dog-eared, in spite of its age) in which underwater pictures taken by Curtis were prominently featured. We were amazed and impressed. Well, nobody else in the history of the Society could make such a claim to fame. Then Donald, perhaps in a move to steer the proceedings toward less dangerous waters, asked each person, in turn, to comment on the formats of past meetings, and, if they wished, to suggest other ways of presentation. Again, more discussion, with a consensus, almost unanimous, that what had been done was quite satisfactory. It was felt by all that format and style should be the presenter's choice.
This Feast of Reason and Flow of Soul (or was it Wine) helped to while away the time waiting for the main course to complete its stay in the oven. We were sustained in this interval by the remainder of the dip, raw carrots, and a spicy green bean dish, the last two having been brought by Rachel. The main dish, a fish souffle, was the work of Glenn. It was superb, and well worth the wait. And then, of course, that sinful dessert. The careful observer would have noticed that some members (names withheld to protect the guilty) had more than one helping.
Jeff proposed that this and future meetings of the Society close with a Group Hug. There being no objections, everyone (except David, who had escaped earlier, but not before dessert) gathered into a close circle for the ceremony. When it was over, nobody seemed to be the worse for it.
Don J. Farmer