Fredonia Shakespeare Club
The Fredonia Shakespeare Club held its 10th meeting of the 2012-2013 year on Thursday, hosted by Mrs. Louis Richardson. The club welcomed two new members, Mary Jane Covley Walker and Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath.
The topic for the year is “Authors as Social Commentators.” Members heard a paper by Mrs. Robert Woodbury on Will Rogers which she summarizes as follows:
Rogers was born in 1879 in Native American territory. His parents both had Native American blood. As a youth, he loved to rope and began his career as a trick roper in wild west shows. From there he went into vaudeville, started adding comments and within a very few years was a lead performer in the Ziegfeld Follies.
He performed with the Follies for 10 years and in 1922 started a career that made him a national icon – writing a column for the New York Times; eventually it was published in 500 newspapers where he was read daily by 50 million people. His favorite subject was Congress and an amazing amount of what he said is pertinent, even scary, today. “We’ll show the world we are prosperous, even if we have to go broke to do it” or “Congress meets tomorrow. Let us all pray to the Lord to give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us.”
He loved to fly and that brought his early death in 1935 when he died in a crash during a trip to Alaska. The nation mourned: “A smile has disappeared from the lips of America.” President Roosevelt said “Will Rogers knew out of the fullness of a blithe heart that few things in life are to be taken seriously and that our troubles multiply if we take them tragically.”
Richardson was assisted at the tea table by Mrs. John VanScoter. The next meeting will be held today, hosted by Mrs. Homer Garretson.