I decided to go to the opening event of
It was a bonfire, opposite the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
are the details.
I was privileged to meet
Bob Duffy founder of the St.Louis Beacon, who organized the event:
Archaeologist Dr. Timothy Pauketat gave a presentation about "A Full Moon Over Cahokia Mounds 1000 Years Ago," explaining the relationship between the structure of Cahokia Mounds and the lunar calendar, and how it wove into Cahokia's goddess-based religion.
Here's Dr Tim Pauketat presenting:
Cahokia Archaeological President Larry Kinsella showed a collection of archaeological tools from Cahokia Mounds, and talked very interestingly about them, too!
We had local farmer Rusty Lee and his family demonstrate how to prepare popping corn using agricultural tools.
Larry Loveless, a St.Louis percussionist and musician, co-ordinated a drummers' circle.
Another percussionist had brought these Scooti drums from Kenya; he'd bought them there when his son learnt to play the drums.
Here's Scott Ragland, a percussionist who teaches at Saint Louis University, on the right:
He seems to have just had a bright idea in the photo :D
Larry said we should all drum together, and entice the Hunter's Moon (Sharad Poornima for us) out of her hiding place in the clouds, but she was veiled throughout:
Larry had a great collection of drums:
Being used to a culture of being very careful with one's musical instruments, I was amazed to see him handing them around:
Larry talked to us, and we began with a small bell signalling the start of the drummers' circle:
Along with the popcorn, we also had a great American tradition...that of toasting marshmallows:
Here's my marshmallow. This was a first for me! They are made entirely of sugar.
I met so many interesting people...Larry's fiancee Aimee, her mother Stephanie, and her friend Heidi...and there was more warmth than the fire was providing!
Here’s my hand, ready to drum (while the other hand takes the photo!)
When A came over to pick me up, afterwards, I introduced her to everyone, too, and we had a nice natter together before dispersing. I’m looking forward to the Guided Walk in (where else?) Forest Park, tomorrow…today was a (total) surprise birthday party that DnA threw for me…but more about that later!