The Week That Was

Virgil HoftiezerBy Resident Virgil Hoftiezer —

Last week was super busy as my wife and I enjoyed five outstanding recreational events back-to-back. Now here at Kendal at Granville, it is not unusual to have at least three events scheduled in a single week and to be perfectly honest not every presentation is outstanding—usually very good, but not outstanding. But last week was exceptional—five events, all different and all outstanding.

First there was our own Kendal Speakers Series—usually scheduled about twice or three times a month. Topics and speakers vary. Last week Dr. Tom Wortham, retired UCLA literature professor, spoke on “Mark Twain.” The title was misleading as Professor Wortham discussed Samuel Clemens and Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and adult literature. It was an entertaining, informative and thought-provoking presentation, proving ‘you cannot judge a book by its cover’ nor a presentation by its title. It was a stimulating evening.

Then we attended an LLI (Lifelong Learning Institute) class. Our local LLI group provides a huge menu of topics and speakers. The particular LLI offering we attended last week was “Axis Sally: Ohio Wesleyan’s Most Notorious and Least Understood Alum,” presented by Professor Michael Flamm. Sally’s story was amazing, but equally amazing was that two of her former students and one of her co-workers were in the audience and enhanced the discussion.

Midweek we attended the Thurber House Author Series at the Columbus Museum of Art by Tom Batiuk, the creator of the comic strips “Funky Winkerbean” and “Crankshaft.” This is the 10th anniversary of the death of Liza, one of Batiuk’s characters who suffered from breast cancer. Batiuk has been recognized for increasing awareness in early diagnosis and he introduced his newly published Lisa Trilogy. His story of how he managed to deal with such a serious subject in a comic strip was inspiring, humorous, interesting and educational. It was worth much more than the nominal ticket price.

Thursday evening, we took the Kendal bus to the Vail Series at Denison University. The Eroica Trio was superb. Three very talented women, playing piano, violin and cello, performed a breath-taking program of music that left me both breathless and speechless. The warm camaraderie of fellow Kendalites on the bus ride home was a perfect end to a perfect evening.

On Friday, we capped off the week by attending the Columbus showing of Manhattan Shorts. Manhattan Shorts celebrated its 20th anniversary with this year’s selection of 10 short (8- to 10-minute) films selected from over 1,600 submissions from 52 countries; the films are shown simultaneously for one week in select theaters throughout the world and the audience votes on best film and best actor. Winners will be announced next week. This year’s selection of films was exceptionally good and voting was even more difficult than usual. All the films were discussion-worthy as we dined with friends following the showing.

We needed the weekend to rest up for this week’s events—which are as varied as the interests of our friends and neighbors here at Kendal. We are all forced to pick and choose amongst the many events and activities that are available to us. Some are internal, some are external, some are shared by many, while some are as unique as we are.

I am just happy that I now live at Kendal where I can direct my time and energy to attend and do the things I want to do instead of the things I used to have to do—like yard work, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc., etc. I wish we had moved here sooner.