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May 13, 2003

So, gentle reader, Laura and I are now home again after a most enjoyable stay in London for a theater tour. The affair was put together by the good folks in the drama department of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, down at Chickasha. It is still hard to talk and write about "USAO" instead of the school's former name, OCW, or Oklahoma College for Women, as it was known for many years. This time we saw wonderful theatrical performances on London's equivalent of Broadway. Of course the entire London area is a treat and a delight because of the enormous amount of history it contains. Despite many visits there, we have not yet succeeded in seeing it all, nor do we ever expect to reach that plateau. The city simply has too much to offer.

I have to admit that for a time, earlier this spring, I considered canceling our reservations and not making the trip. Primarily that was a reaction to the continuing terrorist threat so prevalent in many minds, but in the end I recognized the truth of the conclusion that if we don't go, they win. So, I reconsidered the withdrawal and we proceeded to join around 30 others on the junket. I assure you it was a very happy group, and they were not all students. Most of them, including us, were what we now call senior citizens, and the mixture of ages worked out very well. Roger Drummond, from the USAO drama staff, is an experienced leader of such trips and all the details were well arranged. This was our third trip with Roger. Our local guide in London was Karen, a comely young Swedish import who spoke perfect English and mother-henned all of us admirably.

Most of us on the trip saw three plays as part of the package. Two of them were wonderful revivals of "My Fair Lady" and "Phantom of the Opera." We had seen both of those previously but the London productions were superb. The third offering was a new hit comedy entitled "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged." It was done by three talented comedians and they made it a very entertaining show. On our own we chose to see "Mama Mia," another funny show on the order of the current movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." A most amusing presentation.

Most of us on the trip saw three plays as part of the package. Two of them were wonderful revivals of "My Fair Lady" and "Phantom of the Opera." We had seen both of those previously but the London productions were superb. The third offering was a new hit comedy entitled "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged." It was done by three talented comedians and they made it a very entertaining show. On our own we chose to see "Mama Mia," another funny show on the order of the current movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." A most amusing presentation.

The timing was bad in some respects, of course. For one thing I did not have a chance to write a few words about Lois Magee Severe, the lovely lady who has been so gracious to share her artistic talents with her church and this community. Her late husband, Clovis Severe, was an usher at our wedding and a lifelong friend. We were neighbors when growing up on Eighth Street. I remember years ago how Lois brought to life the ingenue roles in several PHS operettas. She certainly will be missed by this community. It's hard to say goodbye to someone like that.