11 June

Reading At The Mansion

by Jon Katz

It was warm in the activity room at the Mansion today, there is a stillness to the place when the weather warms up. I think the residents feel the heat acutely, several of the people in the room fell asleep.

I’m pleased at the number of people who are eager to be read too.

I read a short piece (non -fiction) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez about a barber shaving the beard and throat of Latin American dictator, and the residents are intrigued by the symbols and images Marquez uses in his fantastical writing.

“What a good idea!” said Madeline, who seems to love Marquez’s writing, “I would never have thought about a presidential barber.” I read a Native American tale about a mouse who heads out to find the Faraway Land, an important final destination for Native-Americans.

I don’t think the residents are really following the story as well as Madeline, but they are intrigued with his language and mysticism.

I read the story of the “Lomax: by Dr, Seuss and we had a brief discussion about the environment and climate change. I asked the residents if they believed climate change real, several said yes, the others said they weren’t sure. They all agreed that builders and developers can be too greedy sometimes and should not be allowed to gobble up all the farmland and forests.

I’m mixing up my reading – Marquez, Robert Frost poems, my own writing, and some children’s books with striking images. The residents love beautiful photos of animals more than anything else. They still want me to read the Wonky Donky.

Red goes from one person to another and says hello, gets petted, then comes and lies down next to me.

Thursday, I’m going back for my meditation class. When I am not at the Mansion for a couple of days, I miss them all.

If you wish to send letters to the Mansion residents, here is a list of those who wish to accept them. Please know that many of the residents are not able to respond or acknowledge the letters, they do love getting them.

The names, all at The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, are Ellen, Matt, Mary, Sylvie, Jean, Madeline, Helen, Alanna, Annette, Peggie, Dotty, Timothy, Art, Wayne, Ruth, Burt, Carol.

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