Small Kindnesses Remembered at Conclusion of 2012

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on December 28, 2012

The painting wasn’t even in the auction proper; it was a silent auction piece.

I saw it and shamefully put a bid on it far less than the artist had suggested. I had done that to a number of pieces of art, but all were bid over my initial bid — my loss, the theatre’s gain.

The painting is a simple one, framed in a large, ornate gilt frame which only draws more attention to the simple image of a man sorting, picking or choosing a tomato.

My history with tomatoes is a long one. I wait until almost August to find what I always refer to as “ugly” ones, for they are always the best. For eleven months, I am reminded of the sweet taste I long for but miss all year. Then August rolls around, and the “ugly” ones I’ve longed for happily appear!

I’ve gotten to a point in life when — like not winning the lottery — I let things go like that painting which I longed to own but didn’t get.

I don’t think the final bidder, Robert Whitley, came to the Gala. I suppose he got a call telling him that his bid was last, and he was the proud owner of “Farmer’s Market” by Monica Dahl.

On the day he came to pay for it, he said to me, “You like it?” I said, “Yes! I do.” He handed it to me and said, “I want you to have it.”

I was thunderstruck and, believe it or not, speechless. He said, “I want you to have it, for all you do for our community.”

Speech returned: “No! I don’t do it for the community. If the community gets something from it, that’s all well and good. I’m not drawn by altruism; this is all I know how to do.” But the gift was priceless, as was the sentiment behind the gift.

Nicole Powell, a shy and unassuming young dancer and actress who was one of the ensemble players in The Rocky Horror Show, did a fine job done with not much stage time to do it in. All the goodly off-stage kindness, helping with this and picking up that, goes (as it should) unnoticed by an audience; but it is noted, remembered and taken into account when next casting a part with more stage time.

Out of kindness, concern and human compassion, John Davis came by to assuage my wounded spirit with two pennies — one 1912 and the other 1914. Again, who is to say the value? Who is to note the value of the search? Who am I to receive in gratitude the two cents he put in my hands toward repairing the Lillian souvenirs?

We end the old year with kudos to all who made the start of our 30th year a S.R.O. success, and we are pleased and proud to announce Les Miserables as a future production for 2013.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

[John McDonald]

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