Winter Wisdom 2018

at the Morrell Room of the Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Wednesdays, 12:15 – 1:45 pm

Free and Open to the Public

The Winter Wisdom lecture series is sponsored by:


January 3 – High Winds Flute Choir

The High Winds Flute Choir consists of retired educators and serious amateurs hailing from coastal  and inland towns from Yarmouth to Damariscotta.  The present group, playing piccolo, concert, alto, and bass flutes, came together for the joy of sharing and the opportunity to experience firsthand the exciting emerging repertoire of pieces being written or adapted for flute choir, from Baroque to contemporary.  The High Winds have performed at libraries, retirement communities, and for civic organizations, and love sharing the history of their music and their instruments. Nan White earned her B.A. in Music from Smith College with an emphasis on flute and conducting.  She spent one semester as a special student with Rene LeRoy at the Paris Conservatory. She also earned two M.Ed. degrees and had a career in Special Education returning to music full time after retirement.  She has conducted many vocal choirs and High Winds is her first return to instrumental conducting.

January 10 –The United States and the Persian Gulf: What Has Changed and What Hasn’t?

   Washington and Riyadh are under new management, but the core interests of each country, which are far from being identical, remain largely the same, the warm and fuzzy optics to the contrary notwithstanding. This presentation will examine the continuing dynamic between these two countries as well as implications for relationships and actions in the Gulf region. Charles Dunbar served the United States as a career diplomat and ambassador for over 31 years and ran the Cleveland Council on World Affairs and a U.N. peace mission for a subsequent eight years. He taught U.S. foreign policy at five American colleges and universities and is a faculty member of MSC.

January 17 – Solar Eclipses, Past, Present and Future (2024) Rescheduled for February 21 because of snow closing.

The recent total solar eclipse across the U.S. sparked much interest and hype.  In antiquity, such events were viewed as omens; more recently, as opportunities for research into the sun’s outermost atmosphere, the corona.  This presentation will examine the causes of eclipses, some past ones, why it’s so rare for us to see one, and the prospects for the next U.S. event in 2024, which will be visible in northern Maine. Kate Bracher received her A.B. cum laude in 1960 from Mount Holyoke College; A.M. 1962, and Ph.D. 1966 from Indiana University. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society and its Historical Astronomy Division. Her teaching career includes two years at the University of California and 21 years as Professor of Astronomy at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington (1967-98). She was secretary-treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter there for many years as well.

January 24 – The Art of Acadia

     A historical survey of the arts and artists of the Acadia region. This talk will include the role of the visual arts in the American Conservation movement and connecting threads to both the art and conservation of the Katahdin region as well.  David Little received his B.A. degree summa cum laude from Southampton College in 1974; his M.A. degree in 1975 and M.F.A. degree in 1976 from the University of Iowa. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1981 and 1982. He has received fellowships at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (1989, 1990), Carina House on Monhegan Island (1998), and Great Spruce Head Island Art Week (2007). He is the author of several books and articles as well as exhibitor of his own works.

January 31 – Venice – Where Did the Stones Come From?

Travelers to Venice, Italy usually think about water and light, but what about the stone? Here in Maine we have land-based quarries and also quarry islands, producing large amounts of granite, as well as feldspar, slate, limestone, and more. Unlike Maine, Venice seems to be a city of islands and lagoons, wood and mud, without quarries or good sources of stone. Thus begins a search for the sources of stone for Venice, and discovery of many side trails and stories of this unique location. From an initial interest in relics, and how they  came to Venice, the presenter recounts their origins and the stories connected to them. Gary Lawless has a B.A. degree from Colby College in East Asian Studies, and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Southern Maine in Humane Letters. In 2017, the Maine Humanities Council awarded him their Constance Carlson Prize. He recently returned from Venice and an arts residency from the Emily Harvey Foundation.

February 7 – IONA: The Sacred Isle of Scotland Rescheduled for February 28 because of snow storm.

A historical overview of the island and rebuilding of the 10th century abbey there, as well as current day life in that community. Our presenters are experienced visitors to the island and well acquainted with that community as well as progress toward the restoration of the abbey. The Rev Robert Ives received his B.A. degree from Bowdoin (1969), and his M.Div. from the University of Edinburgh – Scotland in 1973. In 1993-1994 he did post graduate work at the University of St. Andrews. After a brief period in the Bowdoin Admissions office, Bob became the teacher and minister on Monhegan Island. For 33 years he was Director of the Carpenter’s Boat Shop, an apprenticeship school in Pemaquid committed to building boats, nurturing lives and serving others. He recently retired as Bowdoin College’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life.  Bob and Phyllis were married in 2010 and currently reside in Pemaquid Harbor. They spent several weeks at Iona this past summer renewing their involvement with that community. Phyllis Ives grew up spending summers in Pemaquid and received her B.A. degree from the University of New Jersey in 1971 in psychology.  Her professional life includes extensive activity in public relations, marketing, and advertising in the private sector, as well as marketing and strategic planning for Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Returning to Maine in 1999, she worked with non-profit organizations helping them to strategize for, then conduct, major capital campaigns. After retiring in 2012, she and Bob spent two months at the Iona Abbey as residential volunteers. She has continued her capital campaign work as a volunteer with an emphasis on the Iona Community.

February 14 – Longfellow Days: The Charm of Reading & Rereading

Perhaps you’ve been fortunate to hear Bowdoin professor Tricia Welsch speak eloquently about film. This time, as part of Longfellow Days’ 2018 season on nostalgiashe will share a preview of her upcoming book, Loose Leaves, on a lifetime of reading, with today’s talk focusing on adult rereading of childhood favorites.

February 21 – January 17 Session rescheduled to this date.

February 28 – February 7 Session rescheduled to this date.

A scene from the 2016 Winter Wisdom series

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