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My next door neighbor, James, came by about an hour ago to say he was cooking a turkey and giving out plates to people, including us. I said I don't eat meat but that Paul would be happy to eat it. James said he'd fix a veggie plate for me. Just a few minutes ago he came by with our plates, rushing in and out. The plate had some beans with an odd flavor, corn bread, broccoli, and some stuffing. I didn't eat the stuffing because I don't know where it's been...

I'm glad he brought them by, though. Paul is really at the end of his resources, it seems.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2007 09:44 am (UTC)
What a sweet thing for James to do. That was just lovely and put a smile on my face.
Apr. 9th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
James cares very much about others and I believe this was an Easter gift. He has been working for a long time on a book on his mentor, an actor named John Randolph, which he is calling a debt in gratitude. He works at elderly care centers and really gives a damn about the patients. He often arranges to dance for them! He is a former ballet dancer. And he sees this kind of thing as a way to engage people who are far gone, who have been abandoned, and feels we owe it to our older people to reach out to them and to hear their stories, literally.

James is a really unusual person. He has an eternal optimism. In the years I have known him he has gotten started in one idea after another, to make money or to promote education - he has tried teaching local children dance, for example - and he is always just as enthusiastic about each venture as he was about the last.

It was some kind of pure accident that I met him initially (even though he lives next door!), through someone who was visiting him. This person saw a bumper sticker on my car and said "You'd probably like James," and immediately introduced us.

I recently realized that he had given back to me as well: I suggested that he audition for the master chorale years ago and said the auditions were the following day. He went for it, got in, and has been singing like a lark ever since. From there he got into the chorus of the local opera and he just drinks it up. When I watched him on stage in the last opera, I saw how much he belonged there, how well he fit and I felt he had given me a gift. A long time ago my stepmother said her job in life was to applaud. I thought no, nobody could really feel that way. But when I saw James on the stage that's rather the feeling I had, that my job was to applaud.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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