Thursday, October 4, 2018

5th Mystery Writers in Mausoleum


Join us! 7-8:30 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018



Santa Rosa Memorial Park is hosting the fifth Mystery Writers in the Mausoleum evening on Thursday, October 25. The free event takes places 7 pm – 8:30 pm in the park's 105+year-old Odd Fellows mausoleum. Still without electricity, this building is located at 1900 Franklin Avenue in Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
                                                                                                      
The juried selection of local mystery and suspense writers and playwrights include John Lynch, Linda Saldana, and Karen Pierce Gonzalez, Linda Lau, and Rachel Mansfield. Dramatic retelling of ghost stories and murderous monologues by actors include David Gonzalez, Micaelyn Richmeier, and others. There will also be a premiere of a short horror play presented by a cast of Santa Rosa Junior College students.  All performances will be by candlelight.

“This is a great way to showcase some of the area’s local talent,” said Tim Maloney, General Manager, Santa Rosa Memorial Park. The mausoleum, he added, will be the perfect setting for spine tingling suspense.

This event is sponsored by FolkHeart Press, a Sonoma County boutique publisher of folklore-related material. Participants can have a chance to meet writers and readers after the event. Warm wear is advised.  Seating is limited.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Mausoleum after Dark


We Are Seeking Submissions For

5th MYSTERY WRITERS IN THE MAUSOLEUM


7 pm-8:30 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

Themes include: Suspense, Who-Dun-It, Supernatural (vampires, goblins, ghosts, etc.)
Sonoma County writers are invited to submit short stories (including flash and micro-fiction), folktales (including ghost stories), or creative non-fiction for our annual reading. Designed for all ages, this October event, sponsored by FolkHeart Press and hosted by Santa Rosa Memorial Park  is held in the park’s Alaskan Marble Odd Fellows  Mausoleum located at 1900 Franklin Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA.

Guidelines:
  • Work  should take up to but NO MORE than 8 minutes to read aloud .
  • Email submission as word document or pdf by September 28, 2018 to Folk@FolkHeartPress.com .
  • Selected writers will be notified by October 5, 2018.
  • If selected, please be prepared to provide author jpeg photo and brief bio (including website or Facebook link) for promotional purposes.
Lighting will be provided by kerosene lamp and/or LED lanterns.


More:
Santa Rosa Memorial Park hosted the first Mystery Writers in the Mausoleum in 2013. The event, sponsored by FolkHeart Press, takes place  in the park’s then 105-year old mausoleum. Prior collaborations with Redwood Writers, Sisters in Crime NorCal, and other Sonoma County literary groups, this event has gained a loyal and well versed following.

Bright luminaries line the entrance and lighting inside the Alaskan marbled room creates a “mystic yet mysterious” feel. 

The readers are diverse in their story telling, ranging from reading of novel, short stories, original dirges and  dramatic readings of such classic works as Frankenstein and Tell Tale Heart.


As Santa Rosa Memorial Park's General Manager Timothy Mahoney noted,  this was a great way to showcase some of Sonoma County’s literary talent, and give a real Halloween spook to our fellow Sonoma County residents.










Thursday, June 21, 2018

Buddha's Hand Food Lore

Here's to Buddha's Hand


    
For any fruit to be named “The Buddha’s Hand,” I would imagine that it must live up to its name! Although this citric fruit is composed mostly of rind (little if any juice), it has multiple uses that make it very practical and yet beautiful and intricate at the same time.

With origins that trace back to Northeastern China, the Buddha’s Hand is a yellow citrus fruit that grows from a smaller bonsai type tree. In China today it symbolizes happiness and long life, because its name, “fo-shou”, has those meanings when written with other characters. In Japan it is called bushukan which i means “fingered fruit”. There it is a popular New Year gift that bestows good fortune on a household.

Historically, this fruit evolved from the original cinturon that was originally grown in the lower Himalayas. It was only until the late 19th century that the fruit was exposed to places such as California.

When fully grown the shape of the fruit looks as though it has elongated fingers. The Buddha’s Hand has an extremely thick rind, rarely containing any juice or seeds in contrast to most citrus fruits. One of its main qualities is its beautiful scent. Used to decorate tables, its scent can be smelled from one room to the next and has been used to perfume clothing.

One of the most important uses for the Buddha’s Hand is for religious purposes. The fruit is often given as an offering in Buddhist temples. It’s important to give the Buddha the fruit when its fingers (elongated branches of the rind) are closed together in the center. It is believed in Japanese tradition that the Buddha appreciates when the fruit is in this form because it resembles the act of prayer.

Buddha’s Hand Recipes

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Medieval Mead



Celebratory Drink 


Mead has lost its popularity over the years to the sweet taste of wine.  When people think of mead they often think of medieval men and women drinking down a rough alcoholic beverage. We picture vikings, knights and kings toasting to success and victory.  What many people don't know is that mead is actually very sweet and easy to make.

Mead dates back so far that it is hard to pin point the exact origin of the ancient drink.  Historians believe that it was made accidentally discovered by the people of early civilizations in Ancient India and is the very first known alcoholic beverage.  Mead is a very basic drink containing only fermented honey and water.  It is the only alcoholic beverage that can be created naturally without the help of man.  It is possible that man's first experience with intoxication came from honey in an old tree trunk that was diluted by rain water and fermented by wild yeasts.

Not only is mead considered to be the nectar of the gods, but it is also the drink of love and fertility.  The phrase “honeymoon” comes from the consumption of mead at wedding celebrations of the Norse (Scandinavians).  They would drink mead at wedding celebrations and if the beverage ran out before the last full cycle of the moon the host would have bad luck from then on.

Although we picture the rich and poor consuming mead in Medieval Europe, it was actually a drink only for the wealthy.  Mead is made easily after the honey is harvested, but honey during the medieval period was rare and hard to yield.  This is the main reason why mead has grown out of popularity.  It is much easier and cheaper to plant rows and rows of grapes for wine, than to plant hundreds of beehives.

During the Renaissance, mead was often saved for special occasions as it was a celebratory drink.  Today it’s available at almost all  Renaissance Faire’s.  

Related Information

List of 2018 RenaisanceFaires  http://www.therenlist.com/fairs


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

American Naturalist


John Muir


One of America’s most noted naturalists was born in April 1838. A native of Scotland, John Muir went on to become an influential advocate for preservation of this country’s open spaces.

Raised on a Wisconsin farm when his parents immigrated to the United States, Muir was familiar with the Midwest which was then considered the wild west. 

He went to seek his fortune as a mechanic and inventor during the industrial explosion that was sweeping the country. Unfortunately, he had an accident that left him temporarily blinded and changed the course of his life.

He decided to take a 1,000-mile walking tour of the American West. Locations included the Sierra Nevada. Admittedly encouraged by transcendental thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, he believed that that wild nature offered a “window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.”

Muir was committed to keeping the Sierra Nevada undeveloped and, by 1892, he and other early preservationists formed the Sierra Club. Their goal was to maintain the importance of wilderness preservation so that others could be replenished by its splendor on both spiritual and physical levels.

During his lifetime Muir published over 300 articles and 12 books. His credits include being known as the “Father of the National Parks.” He was also a geologist botanist, and writer.

He often called the Sierra Nevada his home, even after his 1880 marriage at the age of 40 to Louisa Strentzel, daughter of a prominent physician and horticulturist in Martinez, California. He died in 1914 and was the first person honored with a California commemorative day - John Muir Day - which was signed into law in 1988.

Parks and recreation areas named after him include:
Mount Muir
Muir's Peak
Camp Muir (Mount Kilimanjoro)
Muir Beach

Related Information:



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Beliefs About Illness




What We Used To Believe


Every now and then we like to explore ‘old world’ remedies for illness. These folkways are fascinating reminders of how we all strive to understand our bodies. There were very real life-threatening concerns about threats to our wellbeing. This was all part of our efforts to cure what ailed us.
So here are a few interesting tidbits:

How Night Air Spread Diseases like Black Death

Back in the Middle ages, it was believed that bad air came from the decay of organic matter. People believed this foulness was more free-floating at night, especially for those who lived near swampy areas. The cure was to stay indoors at night with doors and windows tightly shut.

Epilepsy as Divine Visitation

Divine visits from the gods and goddesses of early Greece were believed to be the cause of epilepsy. The Greeks referred to this sacred disease as being neither a good or bad one. The quality of the visit was dependent upon the symptoms. For example, if during a seizure one screamed like a horse, the visit was thought to be from Poseidon who ruled the sea, earthquakes and horses.

Mental Illness and Witchcraft

Witch or wizard curses were the cause of mental illness, according to Medieval folkways. The most common medieval treatment was exorcism which was supposed to rid the person of the curse and/or demonic possession. During the Renaissance, burning the body to free the imprisoned soul was a common treatment.
Today we can laugh at these beliefs, right?
One can only imagine how future generations will look upon some of our medical lore. Perhaps they will wonder how it was we thought an apple a day, glass of wine nightly, or sleep tablets could help us set the world right.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Two Broadway Ladies

The Ethels

Among Broadways' Best honored this month


Ethel Merman and Ethel Waters are among the talented and tenacious women of Broadway. They sang, acted, and danced their way to the stage that memorialized them. Their abilities earned them well-deserved claim and paved the way for many professional female performers who have come after them.

Both Ethels belong to the panethon of distinguished women of the stage to be celebrated in Transcendence Theatre Company's upcoming The Ladies of Broadway. This musical revue runs March 17 through March 25, 2018 in Northern California's San Rafael and Santa Rosa.

Merman, often referred to as "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage" began her career as a torch singer in clubs that headlined celebrities like Jimmy Durante. 

With her powerful voice and pitch she made her debut on Broadway in 1930. She clinched the audition for the role of San Francisco cafe singer Kate Fothergill in the George and Ira Gerswhin musical Crazy Girl. That's when she made  "I Got Rhythm" one of her signature songs.  She also appeared in a series of short Paramount musical films. 

Still active on Broadway, she won the 1950 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in Call Me Madam. She also starred in the 1953 screen adaptation and won the Golden Glove Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

In 1959 she starred in Broadway's Gypsy which had an impressive 702-performance run. 

Waters' full-bodied voice was also legendary. The first woman - the first African American woman - to sing the W.C. Handy classic "St. Louis Blues" on the stage, she rapidly rose to success. At 30 she was already on Broadway.

In 1927 she appeared in the all-black revue Africana and three years later the musical revival of Blackbirds. Her first departure all-black cast shows was Irving Berlins' 1933 musical As Thousands Cheer

Considered to be one of the great blues singers of her day, Waters also performed and recorded with jazz greats Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Several composers wrote songs especially for her, and her name became synonymous with "Stormy Weather."

Women like these two are at the heart of The Ladies of Broadway which presents seven of today's accomplished female artists:

= Lindsay Chambers (Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Lysistrate Jones)
= Jennifer DiNoia (Wicked, National Tour of Momma Mia)
= Amy Hillner Larsen (National Tour of Hairspray, National Tour of Queen of the Desert)
= Leslie McDonel (Hairspray, American Idiot)
= Sydney Morton (Motown the Musical, Memphis, Evita, American Psycho)
= Kristin Piro (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, An American in Paris, Rocky, Catch Me If You Can)
= Laurie Wells (Mamma Mia, National Tour of An American in Paris)

These legends-in-the-making will perform iconic show tunes and dances made memorable by the two Ethels and many other women trailblazers who helped to shape Broadway for performers and audiences alike. Included are Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, and Audra McDonald.

The Ladies of Broadway reflects the high caliber of work that Transcendence Theatre is known for. According to  Director Eric Jackson, this revue also "incorporates stories alongside stellar singing and dancing" that continue to inspire audiences of all ages.

Transcendence Theatre Company is an award-winning, nonprofit arts organization comprised of artists with professional experience from Broadway, film and television. Established in 2011, it is based in Sonoma County. 

Headliners have included Sutton Foster and Megan Hilty, and featured performers have appeared in numerous Broadway productions such as The Book of Mormon, Mamma Mia, Les Misérables, Chicago, La Cage Aux Follies, and Follies.

Details:


Marin Center’s Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael: 7:30 p.m. Saturday - March 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday - March 18, 2018. 
Tickets:  www.LadiesOfBroadway.com  or 415-473-6800.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa:  2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday - March 24 and 2 p.m. Sunday - March 25, 2018. 
Tickets: www.LadiesOfBroadway.com707-546-3600  Box Office daily 12 to 6 p.m. at 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.

General tickets: $29 - $89. VIP tickets include pre-show festivities, premium California wines and artisan hors d’oeuvres: $129 - $139.

For more information about Transcendence Theatre Company visit www.BestNightEver.org