A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Posted 9/20/17

I’m absolutely positive that Arthur Fletcher did not have me in mind when he coined that phrase while serving as head of the United Negro College Fund in 1973, but that is approximately the …

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A mind is a terrible thing to waste


I’m absolutely positive that Arthur Fletcher did not have me in mind when he coined that phrase while serving as head of the United Negro College Fund in 1973, but that is approximately the same time that my mind became mush. During the intervening years, my poor brain has been washed, addled and definitely strained, but (as far as I can tell) no amount of shrinking the “grey matter” has actually helped. When push comes to shove? Suffice it to say that I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, yet another famous phrase that applies to my state of mind on any given day.

“Well, that makes no sense at all,” you say? Imagine how I must feel. The plethora of reminders, Post-its, and voice commands on my (smarter-than-I) phone are useless, and “scatter-brained” has become an overall theme. Somehow, last week and this week became rolled into one, and I’m having difficulty keeping track of who, what, when, where and (heaven help me) why.

For some unknown reason, I became momentarily obsessed with obtaining a library card last Thursday, and my world (you do not want to go there!) came close to crashing over it. The fine folks at the Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello were very helpful in calming me down, while my “plight” undoubtedly provided some water-cooler chatter about “that crazy guy with the dog.”

Where was I? Oh, right… my brain. What’s left of it, anyhow. More often than not, my schedule of events to attend is erratic at best. At worst? Confusing, even for those of you who are far sharper than I. Do I consider myself “sharp?” Sure. Like a butter knife. With the weeks melding, I lost whatever focus I might have started with, and I’m pretty sure that it showed, when I stumbled into the library, where I was forced to shush myself on more than one occasion.

Confused? Imagine how I must feel. I decided that it was OK to take some “personal time” and join my gorgeous gal-pal Rachelle Carmack (and 50 of her friends) in order to celebrate and honor her mother’s 90th birthday. Poor as a church mouse, I volunteered to capture the event in photos, hoping that my services could masquerade as a gift—and give me something to hide behind as well, since as most of you know that I’m extremely shy and reserved, especially at a party. Rachelle’s mom, Annie, was definitely surprised, and the party went off without a hitch, with assistance of a small army of Rachelle’s friends. The fact that it was also Rachelle’s birthday added to my confusion. I became “absolutely convinced” that Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) was about to commence, making me unsure how I was going to get to temple and attend the Big Eddy Film Festival at the same time—none of which was the case.

The film festival has been gaining popularity exponentially and it attracts an amazing roster of actors, directors, and filmmakers to the Upper Delaware River region and all that it has to offer, be it a studio, post-production facilities or some of the most fantastic scenery and locales in which to make movies. On Sunday morning, I attended a brunch and panel discussion down the road from the Tusten Theatre, an interesting event that covered subjects ranging from the logistics of finding locations to the tasks of obtaining permits and how Sullivan County can benefit from same. Following that, Dharma and I took our seats indoors to watch Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” directed by Narrowsburg’s own Kirk Wise and starring the voice of his wife, Heidi Mollenhauer, who were the subject of Fritz Mayer’s interview in last week’s edition.

I had never seen Disney’s animated tale, and relished the opportunity provided to us by organizers of the film festival (www.artsalliancesite.org) to meet the filmmakers “up close and personal.” They are (IMHO) nothing short of amazing. The film was visually stunning, and the chance to participate in the Q & A was something I did not want to miss, so I had made notes—which were (of course) confusing.

Wait, where was I? Uh oh. Now it’s not just my mind going to waste, it’s your time. Undoubtedly, you have already turned the page.


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