January 19, 2006

Neighborhood, Suburban Style

We attended a neighborhood citizen's association meeting last night.

Not all people are born with the Public Speaker Gene. Some of those without such a gene take the long and winding road to their point, stopping to pause and smell the flowers while singing their praises to Mother Nature along the way. Others stumble and fall headfirst over a cliff. But bless their hearts. At least they're trying.

Meetings like that are not entertaining and one has to really focus to glean relevant information. Yet I've run meetings of a similar ilk and know it's not easy. Volunteer organizations are never easy. So I'm patient. The whole thing had a surreal air about it: the people, the personalities, the presentations.

I'd say 99% of the 75 in attendance, were white. About 50% looked to be of retirement age, 20% of those elderly. That about sums up our neighborhood which, while in a racially diverse area, isn't particularly racially diverse. My gaydar indicated no other lesbians in the audience. No surprise.

So the President-fellow, a soft-spoken yet passionate elderly gentleman who strongly presents as a stereotypical gay male but who could just as well be heterosexual, stood at the podium and, as part of his presentation, named and thanked the military members of our neighborhood who have either recently returned from Iraq, are still there, or will soon be deployed.

Then a thin, reedy soprano voice hesitantly sounded in the rear of the auditorium. It slowly gained strength as a teenage girl sang "O beautiful for spacious skies..." and so on and so on, a passable albeit somewhat grating rendition of "America the Beautiful."

A carefully scripted moment but to what purpose?
Whatever the purpose, I think I liked it.



weese said...

thats awesome

Career Guy said...

I thought maybe the entire assemblage would join in, but I guess they didn't.

Liked your description of the public speaking styles.

Jane said...

That reminds me of the time last year when my husband and I attended a dreadfully boring meeting to discuss whether our neighborhood should switch from septic tanks to a sewer line.

You know you've really become a responsible grown-up when you voluntarily sit through something like that.