Sometimes, the end is the best place to begin


I HAVE AN acquaintance who always reads the end of a novel first, a practice I find horrifying. Where's the suspense? The tension?

How can you spend hours and hours with a character, allowing yourself to be drawn into his charismatic web as the author intended, knowing all the while that he turns out in the end to be utterly smarmy?

But I broke my own rule of doing things in order last week, when a box of six videotapes arrived from Washington state, promising a long evening with my granddaughter, whom I haven't seen since before Thanksgiving.

The tapes are labeled by date, and logic should have had me starting with the Oct. 25 tape and watching her grow through Jan. 28. I didn't have a minute of that kind of patience. I popped in the January tape and found myself grinning and laughing along with everyone on the screen. What a difference a day makes in the life of a newborn, indeed.

Video cameras have been around long enough that maybe some of you have an answer: Do kids who grow up with a video camera as a major presence in their lives become comfortable with it and act more natural than my generation did with the clickety-clack of a movie camera?

For that matter, when your children, 20 years later, see some of the shots that seemed so funny then do they ever speak to you again?

Winter of Illness

It looks as if we won't have many shoveling stories at the end of this winter. The tales this season may be about the Winter of Illness. Three weeks into my second bout I finally went to a doctor, and I got two prescriptions that are supposed to stop my barking and allow me to breathe. Taking them seemed like a fine idea, until I made the mistake of reading IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MEDICATION.

Hamlet sprang to mind, musing on what makes us "rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of."

To have any one of the possible side effects threatened by my prescriptions would be unhappy; to have any or several of the major ones would be hell.

Passionate music

A cure for what ails you, and a treat in any season, is the music of Voices of the Golden Age, which will perform at St. John's College at 7 p.m. Sunday. Passion is on the menu, with music that expresses affection, ardor, yearning, love and plain old lust. Selections include works by Bach, Buxtehude, Sweelinck, Torelli and Handel.

The concert in the Great Hall at St. John's costs $15 general admission and $12 for students and seniors; reserved tickets may be purchased by calling 267-0908. Tickets will be available at the door. A candlelight reception with wine and desserts follows.

St. John's Mitchell Gallery also is in the arts news this week, with the opening Thursday of "The Figure in 20th-Century Sculpture." Forty-nine sculptures of the human figure by 34 artists will be on display through April 13.

Rummage sale

If it's almost spring, it must be Carousel time, a one-day season for which bargain hunters come out of hibernation. The 17th annual Junior League Carousel rummage sale is March 1 at Medford Armory on Hudson Street.

Doors open at 9 a.m. That means serious shoppers start lining up hours before to get the best selection of new and used toys, baby equipment, furniture, collectibles, attic treasures and select men's and women's clothing.

Proceeds from Carousel benefit programs, projects and services in the community. Last year's event raised more than $15,000.

Donations of items for Carousel are welcome; Junior League membership is not necessary either to donate or to attend the sale. For more information, call the Junior League office at 224-8984.

Pub Date: 2/17/97

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