Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oberon gives thanks for another wonderful year

Dear Oberon,
I can't believe it. Finally.  A day off and nothing to do but drive to our niece's in Ann Arbor, hug everybody, eat, watch the Lions  until they are hopelessly behind (approx. the middle of the first quarter), sleep, and drive back hopefully while awake.  In this especially tough time, there is still no end of things to be thankful for.  It is good to take the opportunity to think about our blessings.
At our Oberon meeting last Thursday, we recalled the highlights of 2008.  There were certainly many more than any one of us remembered individually. We were all surprised at how long the list came to be.  Please help us to make the list as complete as possible by replying with anything we forgot.
First of all, the monthly meetings.  I think it's safe to say that those of us who attend regularly look forward to these, to the interesting conversation, to the camaraderie, to the informative presentations (memorably this year from Ron, Linda, Tom T and Robin among others), to the treasurer's  reports, to the post meeting at Ruby Tuesday's, and even the pre meeting in the library coffee shop.  If you weren't able to be with us in 2008, we hope to see you in 2009.
The Hamlet Project.  Bigger than we thought. We hope to finish it in 2009.
Oberon Up North.  First of what we hope to be an annual event. Rosey remembered the fun we had driving around the Old Mission peninsula in Traverse City looking for the Old Mission. There is no Old Mission. It's a long story.  And how can we ever forget Sue and Mark's warm and generous hospitality at their place on Torch River?  And during Oberon Up North part 2, we got to meet Richard's wonderful artist friend Marina.
Interlochen, during Oberon Up North, where we saw Twelfth Night and were treated to the first rate hospitality of Tom Townsend's good friend Gordon Berg, Interlochen's PR guy, who literally carted us around on a whirlwind tour.
Speaking of annual events, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson which defied the common wisdom and staged a lively All's Well That Ends Well. An additional highlight was that John Neville Andrews, the director of the play and the festival's artistic director, joined us for dinner. We feel so supportive of the festival that we actually spent some of our treasury on an ad in the program.
Also plays at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, including  a great All's Well.  We believe that two separate productions of All's Well within days of each other and only a few miles apart must set some kind of Shakespeare record.
A major development--Richard's memorable reports from the various conferences. These are informative, funny, insightful, breezy summaries of what goes on at these meetings. They are becoming a kind of tradition now.  Look for them on our blog and in the SOS newsletter.  We lay claim to them first of course because Richard is one of us.  When Richard becomes famous, we hope that he will still come to our meetings.
Sue and Richard on the SOS board.  I'm darned proud of what these two are bringing to organized Oxfordianism, which, before they got at it, was an oxymoron if there ever was one.  If Sue and Richard can't get the movers and shakers to focus, there truly is no hope.
Our six members at the joint SOS/SF conference in New York this October.  It was a great meeting, and 10% of the attendees were from Oberon!  Look for Richard's upcoming reports.
Barb Burris' two readings from her forthcoming Oxfordian mystery novel.  This is good stuff. Stay tuned to our announcements for the date of her next reading. Don't miss it.
Linda Theil's a-maze-ing potluck which is becoming another Oberon tradition in September.
The wonderful Oberon blog which Linda created and maintains.  Because of Linda, Oberon is on the internet via our blog.  We have already had contact with random web travelers who have found us via the blog, including Philip Davis, author of Shakespeare Thinking, who sought to thank Linda for her positive comments about his work.  Linda has also established and maintained contact with the Fellowship web site and posts our activities there.
Our January meeting featured Charles Adams Kelly and the exciting work he has done on the Hamlet quartos. 
Driving across Michigan for a Stephen Greenblatt lecture at Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, talking with him afterward and making contact of sorts, and stopping--surprise!--to see Richard's friend Marina.  He was driving. We had no choice.  Just kidding. It was a delight to see her.
The Reasonable Doubt petition signed by many Oberoners and raised to the next level this summer by Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi at the Chichester Festival in England.  You will be hearing more about this in our plans for 2009 when we hope to take a more active role.
Gee, the cooking smells are emanating from the kitchen, and already I'm getting hungry this Thanksgiving 2008 morning.  I know I have missed a bunch. Please let me know about 2008 Oberon highlights which you recall which are not listed here.  Have a wonderful holiday.
Your devoted chairperson, truly grateful for people like you,

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