I saw A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The sets were a combination of realistic, suburban mid-fifties neighborhoods and the Mr. Rogers’ set. They are the best part of the movie. The plot follows the old publishing adage, write what’s been done with something new. In this case the old stuff was the father and son conflict. The new was Mr. Rogers. A young man and his father harbor feelings of rage and shame over the death of theson’s mother. Mr. Rogers steps in. Surprise! Every problem is solved, including a death scene with the great charactor actor Cris Cooper. I admit Tom Hanks is a good actor but he gives me the creeps.
On Sunday, Judson Memorial Church was packed with activity. A beautifully planned and delicious Thanksgiving dinner followed the service. I was pitching in by eating a great deal and doing a few minor chores. In the late afternoon a book launch for a beloved and respected long time congregant was scheduled. I had two hours before it began so I went to Dismantling Whiteness. I stepped into an alternate universe. It was a black and white youngish group. The moderator introduced themself with specific pronouns. I was confused so I followed them’s example.
The book launch was for Keen Berger’s Grandmothering. Keen is the grandmother of three children and a long time presense in the New York Democratic party. Name dropping alert! Her full name is Kathleen Stassen Berger. Keen’s father was Harold Stassen, the governor of Minnesota who also ran for president.
On Thanksgiving I went to a great party given by a dear friend in Brooklyn who fed and entertained ten guests and still kept her sense of humor.
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college.