Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tribute to Oscar Hammerstein II, concert by the Chautauqua Symphony. Downpour at the end leaves a line of old ladies waiting for an umbrella escort to the Athenaeum Hotel. I offer my huge umbrella to the woman at the head of the line, who must be 82 or 84. She thanks me on behalf of herself and a tiny woman huddled over a walker, who turns out to be her mother. This calls to mind the ancient description of Chautauqua as a place where “grandmothers take their mothers.” However, someone must be replenishing the ranks, since the only web-based reference I can find to that phrase is almost 30 years old.