Lisen Stromberg hosted author Carol Edgarian in her Palo Alto home Tuesday. As her series grows, and her influential blog postings (which dwarf mine) expand, she might play the pivotal role in the rekindling of culture at 456 University.
When I clicked on Carol’s press page to check out the review Janet Maslin wrote of “Three Stages of Amazement” which has to do with family and careers in Silicon Valley, I noticed that the MacArthur Grants were announced. As I do every year, I excitedly clicked through to scan the article for anyone I have even the slightest connection with (and I apologize to Lisen and Carol for this digression away from their works — they are geniuses — and hotties – in my book). In previous years I was happy for Steve Lacy, although he won well before I knew him, and Corey Harris, for example, I toured with, and mentioned in my previous post about Josh Roseman’s study of the relationship between jazz and ska. Although I don’t know well Dafnis Prieto, the 37 year old Cuban jazz drummer living in New York, I had met him at the Painted Bride a couple years back, playing with Peter Apfelbaum, and rang some congratulatory greetings to the Berkeley office of Hans Wendl, his manager and one of my mentors and inspirations in that realm. (I had done shows with his clients such as Faun Fables, Tin Hat Trio, Bill Frisell publishing, and we both work with Beth Custer, usually me riffing off the melody lines he establishes for her, so to speak).
As I heard Carol read, and Lisen either ask or moderate questions from the group, for Carol, I also flipped through Carol’s Narrative.com anthology, and read a few pages from an Ann Packer story, about a teenager meeting new friends in a new school. It took place in Palo Alto — Terman I presume is the model — and reminded me of my first days here, in fall of 1974, although I was a fifth grader not an eighth grader. Lisen and I discussed our mutual admiration for Ann Packer – for all the Packers, actually — and about trying to get Ann Packer — who has a new book of short stories — to the salon, or parlour.
Carol Edgarian is a Stanford grad who prepped at Andover; she and her husband Tom Jenks live in San Francisco where they also produce Narrative Magazine an online literary journal.
I posted elsewhere that if Lisen’s project grows it could someday fill The Varsity Theatre, which is 900 capacity. Now I am saying she has the power — especially coupled with her network, including a marcom whiz I met last night — to get the thing named for her.
Actually, Dafnis Prieto’s show at the Painted Bride, from October, 2005, is archived here and I conjure it to say that if Philly can have the Painted Bride we can have The Varsity: