Us Juicy Mothers In Cambridge

‘Twas a week-and-a-half ago that Jennifer Camper, Diane DiMassa, and I held forth before a courteous audience who gathered in Cambridge to watch us promote Juicy Mother #2. The panel was sponsored by the Center for New Words.

As was true when JM#1 hit bookstore shelves a couple of years ago and CNW brought together a panel to celebrate the occasion, WGBH Forum Network was on hand to videotape the proceedings. The newest recording will ultimately be posted on the WGBH web site (keep your eye on this spot for that); meanwhile, if you’d like to see the video of Jen, me, and Joan Hilty doing similar panel duty back in 2005, here’s where to find that little archival gem.

Typically, thanks to the usual crush of professional tasks that persist in preventing me from making blogging the core of my existence, it’s taken me a full ten days to post photos taken during this most recent Cambridge gabfest. But better later than never; here are a couple of the many images snapped by Jen’s beloved lovergirl and occasional photographic documentarian Emmalee Aliquo. (Not being a media whore like the rest of us, Emmalee has no web presence that Google or I could find; hence her name bears no hyperlink. But take my word for it, Emmalee is one cool chick and you should get to know her sometime.)

Tucked in among our audience, by the way, were two distinguished theatrical personages from the Boston area, Ed and Charlotte Peed, who just happen to be old college-era friends of mine on whom I hadn’t laid eyes in many a long year. Much fun was had as we lunched and caught up on our lives for a couple of hours before the panel began.

Separately and together, Ed and Charlotte have been contributing their acting chops to numerous productions in Boston and elsewhere over the years since we were blundering our ways through our respective starry-eyed youths. Like, here’s a photo of the two of them as they appeared in the 2005 Wellesley Summer Theatre production of Laura Harrington’s Book of Hours. Charlotte also enjoyed a turn before the cameras playing "Mimi Giggs"in a recent episode of Showtime’s Brotherhood series.
I don’t think I ever shared a stage with Charlotte back when she was active in the College Theatre at our alma mater Birmingham-Southern College, since she was in Don Higdon‘s generation of BSC students, not mine. But thanks to my relationship with Don, Charlotte and I ran in the same Birmingham theatre-geek circles for a time, so it feels like I was in school with her; thus do I choose to claim "I-knew-her-when" status.

I got to observe Ed’s skills at close range in a play or two, though. Especially memorable was listening to him and occasionally viewing him in action from the vantage point of the garbage can I occupied throughout BSC’s 1967 production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Since I only popped into view a time or two during the play, otherwise snuggling in darkness amid mentholated cough syrup fumes (I got sick during the show’s run), I mostly experienced the auditory rather than visual aspects of Ed’s performance as Hamm. But I could tell, even from the odoriferous blackness of my trash container, that his performance was holding the audience rapt throughout the evening.

My dramatic high point in the show was getting to fearlessly eat a Milkbone dog biscuit as onlookers gasped. It comes with the territory if you’re going to play poor, legless, garbage-can-dwelling Nagg in Beckett’s black comedy of desolation, hiring a stunt eater being frowned upon in the world of serious theatre. Ed, who was cast in a more prominent role than mine, ruled the stage as a magnificently throne-bound Hamm. And in case you’ve never tried them yourself, I’ll spare you the trouble: Milkbones, while not actually tasting "good," aren’t quite as unpleasant to the taste buds of a non-dog as one might expect.

I don’t seem to have a photo of Ed in his Hamm role, unfortunately, but I do harbor a yellowing photo (see below) of him portraying one of the four somewhat spooky young men who spent two hours giving a fellow named Manchester Wintergrey the jitters in my 1967 Playwright’s Lab play The Sixth Story.

Above: The youthful Ed Peed is the leftmost guy in the back row. The other actors, moving clockwise from Ed, are Bill Roberts, Ed Ashworth, and Bo Walker. In the foreground is the fondly remembered Lyn Spotswood.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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2 Responses to Us Juicy Mothers In Cambridge

  1. John David says:

    Somehow I’ve know that Lynn Spotswood passed, but I hadn’t known. What a sad, talented and vibrant person. I loved her.

  2. I’ll look forward to that footage! I met Jennifer Camper at MoCCA when the first Juicy Mothers came out & she was very cool; hopefully someday I’ll get to meet Diane DiMassa…