By Christine

One of the things I like best about living at Mountain Meadows (MM) is the great variety of viewpoints my co-residents and I can offer each other. This 55+ Active community living makes it possible to celebrate the life of the mind with all the freedom of college and none of the angst.

One of my favorite traditions here is the Friday Forum. This goes back to MM’s earliest days when the first residents started the “Back Door Club” for information and discussions. After the Clubhouse and condos were built and the population increased this became the Friday Forum, organized by my neighbor Bob, a retired professor. “The idea for the Forum came to me,” he says, “when I realized we have a couple here (Gerry & Julia) who made major movies in Hollywood. I decided that ‘We’ve GOT to hear from them!’” This talk led to arranging monthly speakers, mostly from Mountain Meadows but also from the larger community.

By now, Bob has brought some 190 speakers to the Clubhouse for these very popular presentations. “I get plenty of undeserved strokes for doing the Friday Forum, but it’s really a piece of cake.  The talent is there, all around us, and I have only to ask … and bingo!  It’s self-perpetuating, because our immediate and greater communities are laden with richly experienced and willing people.”

Here’s a very small sampling of past Friday Forum topics: How to construct a building out of sand, balsa wood and peanut butter; The future of nuclear energy (lots of heated discussion); The first College World Series (winning pitcher: resident V. Butler, who struck out Yalie George Bush); Gypsy Flamenco (history, method and practicum); Economic Hitmen; The Aurora Borealis; Backyard astronomy; American folklore; Working for peace in East Africa; Modern art and Outsider art; Life in Nazi Europe; Making stained glass; The Zen of photography; The art of weaving; Playwrighting; Parents of gay children; Cloud computing; The future of society without money.

The Friday Forum only happens once a month, but it’s expanded to a Friday tradition where other residents present Friday programs too. I’ve organized a few speakers myself, including programs on local issues, communication with animals, the status of the war in Afghanistan, and climate change in our valley. It’s great to have a podium (or a soapbox) and interesting, open minded neighbors.

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