OSF's 'what-if' artistic director
" 'I thought about my interests and was looking for overlap in what OSF did. I thought of Shakespeare's history plays and thought, what if?' " —Tidings lead article by Bill Varble, Wednesday, April 30.
Writer Bill Varble quickly captured OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch's thought process when Rauch applied to OSF, and his moment of personal/professional epiphany: the genesis of the OSF's 10-year American history cycle.
Bill is gifted with an alchemical ability to see artistic gold in apparently disparate base elements, displayed in his vision for the American history cycle. Inspired by Shakespeare's history plays and drawing on America's many socially and culturally defining moments, this cycle has catapulted the company to new heights, including the Tony Award nomination for best play of 2014.
Bill's visionary powers are seemingly inexhaustible. But, just as crucial to his "what-if" artistic leadership is his unfailing spirit of gratitude and appreciation, which invites the best from others.
"I couldn't be more proud and grateful ... It's ('All the Way') a home-grown play. We developed it, and I'm so proud of our actors and other artists and our audience." These words from the April 30 Tidings article reveal the complementary aspect of Bill Rauch's innovative and energizing leadership: his deep love for and thankfulness towards others.
A casual reader might think, "Is this genuine? Could a man of Bill's accomplishments and national recognition really mean it, when he shares — nearly gives away — the credit to others, including his collaborating artists and audience members?"
Bill's has a child-like ability to look freshly at reality and to see possibilities that border on the magical (the "what-if" mind set). And, this powerful mode of seeing is invariably accompanied by a profound and authentic gratitude and appreciation for others.
Thank you, Bill, for showing us a way to be world-class and quintessentially human at the same time. Your "what-if" life inspires us all.
Not after James Farmer's guns
James Farmer, in his letter to the editor of April 30, objects to E.J. Dionne's opinion as being "... distorted, derogatory anti-gun trash ... ." He writes that he "... could react with aggressive harshness, go into a tirade, and lose it — which is not only counterproductive but turns readers off." He then does exactly that: puts forth the perception that the poor gun owners of America "collectively are racist, if not anti-Semitic, hatemongers." Is he feeling a bit paranoid?
Nothing could be further from the truth. The "rich, anti-gun, socialist politicians and celebrities" aren't after Mr. Farmer's guns. They, along with most Americans, reject the fact that it's almost easier to buy an automatic handgun than it is to purchase a bottle of Tylenol.
The NRA of 1871 is not the NRA of 2014. If Mr. Farmer doesn't agree with everything the NRA stands for, I suggest he take steps to remove Wayne LaPierre and the current leadership from office. As long as you have highly visible members like Sarah Palin spouting that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke," you're not defending the Second Amendment, you're making a mockery of it.
Perhaps another suggestion is applicable: move to Georgia.
Two conscious acts to help the earth
Here are two simple ways to help the Earth:
1) Carry our own container for drinks we may want during the day. This helps reduce the number of trees cut, and paper cups cluttering landfills.
2) When grocery shopping, bring our own sturdy cloth bag. Two bags are even better to cover the one we didn't get around to replacing in the car.
It may take a while for these two simple acts to become a habit, so be patient and persevere. Our beloved Earth thanks those who are already doing this.
Vote for Family Farms measure
Please vote yes for the Family Farms Measure 15-119.
The Rogue Valley has a rich agricultural legacy that is worth preserving and fostering. We know several small farms that grow seed for seed suppliers and the GMO cross-pollination/contamination issues are serious and threaten their livelihoods and their land.
The USA is compromising international trade options by allowing GMO crops. Many developed countries do not allow these crops to be imported. Why limit our trade options through decisions made by corporate patent farming practices?
Vote yes on Family Farms Measure 15-119.
Vote for Rick Dyer for commissioner
Please vote for Rick Dyer for county commissioner. I have known Rick for several years and he always takes a practical approach to solving problems.
Rick's greatest strength may be his sense of fairness as he listens to everyone's point of view, even though he may not agree with the person's position. Rick also has tremendous energy. Even though he has a full-time job running his general contracting business, he has served on the Rogue Valley Transportation District and coached countless youth baseball, football and basketball teams over the years. Rick is exactly the person we need to represent us as a Jackson County commissioner.
Ryan J. Vanderhoof