Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ashland and Points North - 2008

It was June and time to get back to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Ashland, Oregon.  I finally figured out that I first went in l952 - I used to think it was l954 but looking at old programs:  it was l952.  We, my husband and I, went with Jack Jacobus, who became our housemate.  We all worked at the Oregon State Penitentiary at the time.  I remember seeing the Tempest in the outdoor theatre; I remember the lovely Lithia Park.  

We didn’t get back for maybe, ten years but then started a regular yearly drive - later, to be a flight - to Ashland, missing only a year when I was recovering from surgery and the year before Robin’s death.    So I continue the tradition, flying to Medford and shuttling into Ashland and the Columbia Hotel, an old establishment on the main street, a second story store front place with a Victorian motif and facilities down the hall.  Reasonably priced and more than centrally located.  I’ve stayed there since I’ve been a single.  Have breakfast  outside overlooking the creek at the Greenleaf Cafe.  Walk around in the mornings, f rom town  up into the Park, check my E-mails at the library, look into shops for a guest-gift for my niece and sister in law who I will visit afterwards.  

And go to  the plays - four at OSF and one at the Cabaret theatre.  I also sign on for all the lectures and discussions, whether they apply to plays I’m seeing or  not.  Archie and Mehitabel was at the Cabaret Theatre this year and, along with a fruit and ice cream dessert, was fun.  I saw most unique Indian musical  of sorts Clay Cart,  a wild Midsummer Night’s Dream that did justice to Gay Pride Weekend, a moving Our Town that had me in tearing up at the end and the out of the box Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler.  Hedda Gabler made the least impression on me, for I keep forgetting it.  

Now,, instead of the one outdoor theatre,  they are three working theatres and small ex-theatre used as a lecture/discussion area.  I suspect OSF  is Ashland’s biggest draw , even with the University and Rogue River rafting runs.   Bay area people, like me, dream of moving there.  In fact, enough have so that real estate is comparable with the Bay area.  Expensive!  Still, for several days a year, it  remains a place out of time and, when I was a worker bee, a neededrespite from my stressed  world.  

From there, I did the family bit:  to the Seattle area to visit with my in-laws.  My sister in law and her husband are still managing quite well:  they’re in their eighties; in fact, he may be ninety but still volunteers at the Air Museum.  She is a crafter:  does marvelous quilts.  Their younger daughter is my executor  so we spent time reviewing trusts and the like. Others in the family were  over the Fourth weekend  and then I headed  home.  We enjoy each other for the several day stay which seems  just right.  It’s on the list for next year.  

Along with Mesopotamia, a return to Afghanistan, Palestine/Israel, and Libya if they’ll give me a visa.  The Rift Valley  camel trek is off for both this year and next but I’m signing on to a week long course for survival in hostile environments - looks like I’ll do that in September, consecutive to the TE Lawrence symposium at Oxford.   Expensive but necessary if I’m continuing to go to places with a plethora of old Russian AK-47s  lying about.