Sunday, October 18th, 2:00pm -- Patricia Holm, Author of "The Null Set Remembered"
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Orca Books is thrilled to welcome Patricia Holm to the store on this October afternoon. Patricia will be talking about her book "The Null Set Remembered: A Memoir of a Coffee House 1964-1967".
In the author's own words:
"From 1964 – 1967, in days of alternative life styles, political upheaval and social protest, the Null Set offered a safe haven for new ideas and a stage for Northwest musicians who were exploring sounds from the past.
"Four of us started the Null Set. Bob, Bonnie, Pete and I: two married couples with kids. We had been friends since 1957 when I first met Bob in Seattle. It was by accident that we all landed in Olympia in the summer of 1963 and became closer friends and both families became members of the Unitarian Fellowship. We were together one evening the summer of 1964 and lighted upon the idea of starting a coffee house together. It was the beginning of July and we opened the end of that August.
Our coffee house existed for three years, but it looms large in our memories. Talking about the Null Set coffeehouse with those who were part of it brings a smile to almost everyone’s face. Music accompanied everything we did. “You gotta stop kicking my dog around” and “Freight Train, freight train goin so fast” and “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic”. Each time a musician came to play, he/she brought a new song or melody for us. Often these were obscure old songs from the twenties and thirties. Songs we had never heard, played in new or old ways."
As part of the presentation, five women will read The Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht, a play performed at the Null Set in 1967.
This is a short learning play (about 30 minutes) written between 1929-30 to educate workers in schools and union halls about socialism and the necessity to change the economic system to something more just and humane. The situation Brecht places his characters in clearly shows the underbelly of unregulated capitalism.
His work was blacklisted in the US from 1945 to 1956 and testified before our House of Un-American Activity Committee (HUAC) in 1947.. We are doing this play because it is relevant now, as it was then. Also, fifty years ago, the play was performed at the Null Set in Olympia and we are remembering that event. In 1967 it was performed as a puppet play and the puppets will be on display at Orca.
The readers are: Llyn De Danaan, Susan Tuzzolino, Zena Hartung, Pat Holm and Laura Schleyer. Pope Francis recently said,"Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change." The Pope continues decrying a system that “has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature.”Francis also believes that “things can change,” as did Brecht. Naomi Klein in her book, “Everything Must Change” also says that we must change to save our planet. The play shows a situation where a murderer is acquitted, chillingly apt for issues raised in Olympia recently.