September 30, 2007.
This was the best organized memorial I’ve ever attended (except for the end).
I arrived at MCC early by myself in time to get a good parking place. The first four rows of seats were roped off for speakers, so I sat in the 5th row from the front. A heavy lady sat on the right side of me, and lo and behold, Karen Quimby spotted me and moved in to sit on my left side with her partner. We had a nice little visit. Karen (who resigned from ONE a few years ago) now has a job representing people in the U.S. Congress from Santa Barbara where she and her partner live.
At least 200 people attended and took up nearly all the seats. Only 20 men attended. The rest were women, including one couple who brought their two young kids along.
People from ONE Archives boycotted the event, except for Walter Williams who spotted me and came over to shake hands. He brought his laptop computer full of a big dissertation he wanted to present. A filming crew recorded the event from the upper balcony in the rear. You may get to see a copy of the filming later on. Stuart Timmons contributed to the cost but did not attend that I know of.
Scheduled speakers were pretty well organized and had humor in their messages. The music was superb. One Hispanic lady played her guitar and sang in Spanish. This kept the audience very attentive, except when it came time for ending with audience participation, at which time those who wanted or prepared to speak were asked to stand up and move to the side of the room in a row. Twenty of us stood up and moved as directed.
Then came a drag queen, which was unexpected. Speakers were taking too darn long to read boring papers or recall uninteresting things from memory. The emcee did not limit speaker time to three minutes, instead letting them ramble on and on for seven to eight minutes each. Walter and I were near the end of the line when this problem was recognized. Half of the audience became bored, got up, and walked out at which time they stopped the speakers and ended the memorial. Neither Walter nor I got to speak. I followed others to the refreshment room, ate, and then left for home.
Good night, from Jim.