Berlin’s cabaret

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 5/26/20

BEACH LAKE, PA — Posted to the door of the Berlin Township Community Center is a brightly-colored notice informing the public that everyone who enters the building must wear a face …

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Berlin’s cabaret

Posted

BEACH LAKE, PA — Posted to the door of the Berlin Township Community Center is a brightly-colored notice informing the public that everyone who enters the building must wear a face covering.

Supervisor Rob Mahon, suitably masked, tried turning the doorknob of the Berlin Township office. Locked. He knocked gently, then harder. Tried it again. Still locked. He’d seen supervisors Cathy Hunt and Charlie Gries precede him into the building. Where were they? It was time for the May 18 monthly board of supervisors meeting to start. He muttered something made unintelligible by the jungle camouflage mask covering his full beard.

“Back here,” called out Hunt. Mahon and a newspaper reporter walked toward the rear of the community center.

“Gries barred the way into a large room. “That will be $10, please,” said Gries, holding out his palm. “There’s a cover charge.”

Inside, the room was set up cabaret-style. Tables just large enough for one or two people dotted the room at six-foot intervals. On each was two packets. One was an agenda for that evening’s meeting, complete with minutes from last month’s board meeting and statement of township expenditures for the month past. The other was an agenda from last month’s board meeting, complete with minutes from the March meeting and statement of March township expenditures.

Last month’s meeting was attended only by the three supervisors and one newspaper reporter. Held one hour earlier than usual (to accommodate the county’s 8 p.m. coronavirus pandemic curfew), Hunt worried that the public may not have gotten word about the time change. So she provided all information at the May 18 meeting that was available at the April 20 meeting.

“Does anyone want water?” asked Hunt, addressing the three people in the gallery. “This disposable mask really makes me hot. My fabric masks are more breathable. They’re homemade by a friend from materials found at the Honesdale Dollar General.”

The ambiance was relaxing, but the sparse gallery gave the room the look of a comedy club hosting a comic who couldn’t cut it. Tea lights on the tables, beverages stronger than water, and snacks might, in better days, draw a larger gallery.

But there was little for this one to see. During the brief meeting that followed, the only action taken by supervisors was a selection of road material suppliers. So, after observing a moment of silence for those who have perished of the virus, and medical and frontline workers serving us all, the meeting was adjourned. As everyone exited the building, face masks came off.

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