Story: What do Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, director Steven Spielberg, Hall of Fame baseball star Sandy Koufax, actors Kevin Bacon and John Malkovich have in common with Yeshiva University, the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank Austria and the United Jewish Endowment Fund? Tragically, all were victims of financier and convicted felon Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme that bilked his investors out of a staggering $65 billion.
Story: Addison Peddigrew, a man of color, differs from most of his race in rural Kentucky in 1843 in that he is free. Kind of. He’s among roughly 2 percent of the black population in Kentucky at that time who were not considered slaves in the ‘border state’ that had both pro-slavery and anti-slavery constituents. Directly north, however, was the free state of Ohio, to which runaways desired to escape.
Story: In this updated version of the classic fairy tale, Ella (Cinderella) toils away as a domestic for her haughty stepmother and two stepsisters following the death of her father. She dreams of a better life, which she fantasizes about with her friends, a woman named Crazy Marie who lives near the forest, and Jean-Michel, a young man who fights for the rights of the oppressed people of the kingdom.
Story: Theo Freeman struggles to make ends meet. He’s a small businessman who owns a TV and stereo repair shop, which you might guess isn’t doing a bang-up business in the age of flat-screen televisions and iPads. Still, he perseveres with the help of his wife Georgette and their son Sunny.
Story: Henry Bingham has a tough track record as president of Quail Valley Country Club. That’s because his team has lost five consecutive times in the annual golf match with its arch-rival club, which is helmed by the insufferable Dickie Bell.
Story: Matt Drayton is a newspaper publisher in San Francisco, where his wife Christina owns an art gallery. Their domestic servant, Matilda “Tillie” Binks, keeps everything humming in their well-to-do home, which is a bit quieter since their daughter Joanna (“Joey”) has gone away to college, circa 1967.
Welcome to our 2014 Yearbook edition! In the following pages, you'll find a varying degree of notions, opinions and contemplation on the year that was.
Story: It’s the holiday season in small-town Indiana. And, while it’s cold and snowy outside, young Ralphie Parker’s heart is warm with the thought that has motivated him this particular Christmas in the 1940s: To have an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action, 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.
Before the annual stroll around The Galleria in search of holiday gifts both selective and silly, it’s time to contemplate what occurred on local stages in the past 12 months.
Story: Annie, a contestant on the reality TV series Looking for Love, is ecstatic when she outlasts the competition and receives a wedding proposal from the focal eligible bachelor Matt, taped of course for a later broadcast. Meanwhile, producer Josh informs Annie and Matt that they are legally obligated to keep quiet about the results until the show airs or they will forfeit their winnings.
Story: Dr. Ruth Westheimer is known as a sex therapist who, at age 86, is still dispensing advice to an ever-present audience interested in matters of human bondage. That is the familiar scholar-turned-celebrity Dr. Ruth.
Story: A performing troupe under the direction of a Leading Player presents the tale of a young man named Pippin for its audience. We are told that the story will unfold in a series of segments under such titles as “Home,” “Glory,” “The Flesh,” “Revolution,” “Encouragement” and “Ordinary Life,” followed by an all-stops-out grand finale in which Pippin will perform an act of derring-do.
Story: War is raging in Europe, but novelist Charles Condomine enjoys the good life at his English country estate. Wishing to include an element of the occult in his next book, he invites Madame Arcati, a local eccentric who claims she is a medium to the spirit world, to his home.
Story: The heart is a lonely hunter, said novelist Carson McCullers. So it is with Nance, a 30s-something divorcee who juggles her responsibilities as a social worker with the trials and tribulations of raising a teenage daughter. Through a dating service she comes in contact with Tom, a divorced salesman who cautiously picks an art museum for their first meeting.
Story: When last we visited the Armadillo Acres trailer park in Starke, Florida, Donna (“Pickles”) was convinced she was pregnant, even though everyone else thought she was experiencing hysterical pregnancy. Guess what? Pickles was right, much to the surprise of her friends Betty and Linoleum (“Lin”).
Story: Singer/musician J.R. “Johnny” Cash was born in Arkansas in 1932 and died in Nashville in 2003. His impoverished childhood was grounded by a hard-working, God-fearing family, values that shaped his own philosophy. He was married twice, divorced once and briefly widowed after the death of his second wife, June Carter Cash, his spouse and oft-times performing partner for 35 years.
Story: Living in an orphanage is no picnic, and the Great Depression makes it even worse. Still, 11-year-old Annie has faith that she’ll find the parents who left her as an infant on the Municipal Girls Orphanage doorstep in New York City back in 1922.
Story: Joe McCandless has lived a tortured life. Forty years ago, as a kid he witnessed the deaths of his two older brothers, Andy and Jack, at the family cabin on the shores of Lake Belle Rive, Mississippi. Jealousy over a woman named Jenna fueled the escalating tension between the brothers, which ended with all three adults dying there.
Story: Walter Lee Younger lives with his wife Ruth, son Travis, sister Beneatha and mother Lena in a rundown, cramped apartment on Chicago’s South Side. It’s 1959, and Walter spends much of his time dreaming about a better life. He had an opportunity to go into business with a friend years earlier, but Ruth talked him out of it. That business subsequently flourished, leaving Walter frustrated with his job as a chauffeur but determined to move forward with plans for a liquor store.
Story: In 1883 Alferd Packer is put on trial for the murder and cannibalism of five other miners he had led in 1873 from Provo, Utah in search of gold in the Colorado Territory. Packer returned alone from that expedition, claiming that one of the men, a minister named Shannon Wilson Bell, had murdered all of the others in a deranged state and then himself was killed by Packer in self-defense.
Story: In 1938, 8-year-old Berry Gordy Jr. witnessed the thrill his parents experienced when American boxer Joe Louis defeated German fighter Max Schmeling in a heavyweight bout. Gordy Jr. was determined to bring happiness to others in a way much like he saw in his parents’ faces at news of that epic boxing event.
Story: An original, found-text performance created entirely from postings on the website Craigslist, which runs posts varying from classified ads for buying or selling merchandise to lonely hearts entreaties and sometimes graphic sexual notes.
Story: It’s another deadly dull day for Angela and Stu. The couple, who’ve been married for some 20 years, aren’t nearly as passionate as they were when they met in high school, at least not Angela. She’s grown weary of their threadbare existence and the livelihood that depends on their moribund convenience store.
Story: Five months after the outbreak of World War I, a number of British, French and German troops positioned in trenches alongside “no man’s land” in Europe stopped their fighting for a brief but poignant period on Christmas Eve, 1914. Tentative and leery at first, they slowly emerged from their rat-infested trenches to extend holiday greetings to each other. They sang songs, exchanged simple gifts and even participated in an impromptu soccer game on the frozen terrain.
Elizabeth Marie DiLoreto & Jordan Keith Strope