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Florence in Words

Blog Miscellany

I apologize to my blog-readers for silence, which has two causes: laziness about writing blogs and the absence of dear Jeannette, who is off at a seminar for much of June. For those of you just tuning in, this website depends on the skills of Jeannette Petras, who used to be the Feminist Press's brilliant marketing manager, and would that she was still there marketing my book. But that’s another story.

I’m writing this blog as a catch-up and I’m not going to comment on the latest weak-willed male idiot in the news, nor on Republican politics which insists that the only strong candidate renounce the best achievement of any governor in order to suit the party’s antipathy (again, I’m being kind) to our President’s achievement, even though the two medical plans are, in reality, closely related. But of course, one will have to remember throughout the next 18 months that “reality” has flown out the window, and political fiction will reign.

So instead I’m going to tell you that I actually saw a great piece of theatre—“War Horse”—in which reality-sized puppets, each handled by three men who become invisible, while the horses magically appear as real. And on a bare stage both men and horses die—the lighting and the sound are also brilliant. I who almost never will cry (see my memoir) wept real tears. I won’t talk about the clunkers I saw, and if you want to know why, it’s that I support Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, and Primary Stages, and so see between 15 and 20 scheduled plays a year. If two or three are great, that’s the miracle.

And finally, I attended a celebration here in New York of Betty Friedan, organized by the Veteran Feminists of America, chiefly through the leadership and very hard work of Jacqui Ceballos. We got to see a snippet of a new film by Mary Dore and Nancy Kennedy to be called “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” and then Al Sutton’s very moving 10-minute film, “Equality I Am Woman.” These were fun, and for me one of the high point of the evening were talks by Betty Friedan’s daughter, a physician, who spoke lovingly, and Betty’s granddaughter, a teenager, eager to claim her grandmother’s heritage.

Best for me, I went to the event with my dear friend Alida Brill, who is writing a new book that will include her close relationship with Betty. Alida took the microphone towards the end of the evening for an impassioned moment of memories.
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