Friday, August 22, 2014

Olney Book Club Undeterred by Summer Storms

summer thunderstorm with lightning flashing
Olney's summer storms were almost as intense as this one! 
Photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Although thunderstorms had been predicted, it was not raining at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, when the Olney Evening Book Discussion Group gathered to discuss the book Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff.  But no more than a few minutes had passed, when thunder roared and lightning cracked.  We had just begun to skim the surface of Cleopatra’s fantastic life when all but the auxiliary lighting went out in the library. 

Sitting in almost darkness, none of the seven members was willing to leave the discussion of Cleopatra, the woman whose “palace shimmered with onyx and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue.”  As the room turned to total darkness, several of the members took out their smart phones and turned on their Flashlight Apps.  The meeting continued, illuminated by 21st century technology, until the library closed. 

Cleopatra, who died in 30 BC, and had a traditional Greek education that included Herodotus and Thucydides, instruction in the art of speech-making, and spoke nine languages, would have been, nonetheless, impressed. 

-- Contributed by Joan Stricker, Olney Evening Book Club Member

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