June 23

posted Jun 27, 2015, 11:52 PM by Amherst Club
President Roger Webb called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015, and welcomed us all for the last time as president..  Roger also ceremoniously handed over the mailbox key to incoming president Andrea Battle. Roger’s last official act was to lead the group in singing Happy Birthday to a mysterious unnamed birthday celebrant about whom he would only say “She’s 39 today!”  Thank you for a great year’s work, Roger!


Jacquie Price read us a poem, “Thirsty,” from Mary Oliver’s book, The Place I Want to Get Back To.


Vivienne Carey thanked Larry Siddall for leading the recent excellent activity, a visit to Mount Holyoke College’s Skinner Museum.


Arthur Kinney reminds us that the Hampshire Shakespeare company presents Romeo and Juliet outdoors at the UMass Renaissance Center, June 24-28, at 7:30pm and  The Merry Wives of Windsor, July 8-12, July 15-19, at 7:30pm. Please arrive early in order to purchase your ticket and take your seat.

Ellen Kosmer reminded us that the Amherst Garden Club Garden Tour takes place this Saturday, June 27th, from 10 am to 4 pm. The tour benefits the Strong History Museum. This year’s tour features eight members’ gardens, including Amherst Club members Susie Lowenstein and Ellen Kosmer. Tickets may be bought at Hastings, Amherst Books, and Hadley Garden Center for $20 in advance or $25 on the day.

Because this year is the centennial anniversary of the Amherst Garden Club, they are featuring a public lecture on Sunday, June 28th at 2 pm by Roger Swain, well-known former TV Victory Garden host, on “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Gardening.”  The lecture admission is $5 at the door of the Yiddish Book Center, with a reception to follow.

Barbara Freed reminds us that the Valley Light Opera and Amherst Ballet present their first-ever collaboration, Pineapple Poll, a ballet, and The Zoo, a comic opera set to Gilbert and Sullivan’s music. Friday June 26th at 7:30pm, Saturday June 27th at 7:30pm, and Sunday June 28th at 2pm at the Academy of Music,  Telephone: 413-584-9032, ext. 105

Raffle:  Andrea Battle won the wine. Ann Levinger won the $10.


Vice-President Elect Allen Hanson introduced our speaker, Professor Donna  Zucker from the UMass Amherst School of Nursing. Prof. Zucker explained that she has been working on the healing power of meditation, which is a subject that has been highly developed by the UMass School of Medicine in Worcester.  Researchers there have established a proven link between core brain functions and the practice of meditation. Prof. Zucker works with local communities including the homeless and inmates in the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction , two populations living high-stress lives – although, she noted, everyone’s life has considerable stress. One ancient form of meditation is to walk a labyrinth, an endless circle curving in on itself. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has no dead ends: you keep walking to the center, and continue on until you return to where you started.  Labyrinths were known in the ancient world, and were incorporated in some medieval churches. Professor Zucker recently visited the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, in France, and walked it while exploring the whole cathedral.  She found it extremely calming, and brought back the idea to the Hampshire Jail, where there are rehabilitative programs in sustainable gardening and crafts. The jail now has a labyrinth which some of the inmates walk as part of a 6-week program in calming meditation aimed at leading to better decision-making. The inmates report it as very strengthening: one said “As I walk in the labyrinth, I forgive myself.”

Your scribe,                                                                                                                                                   
 Linda Honan