The Auxiliary's View... 

by Darian Slayton Fleming

BVAA is nearly always up to something interesting and worthwhile. Doesn’t that make you want to know more about it? Well, here goes.

The Southern California Regional Group held a remarkably rare musical drama performance in April. Attendees were privileged to meet and talk with authors Tommy Dodson and Curtis W. Long about the Roaring Twenties and how that decade collided headlong with the Desperate Thirties, which was intended to be dried up by Prohibition.

Both Dodson and Long have had extensive international experience in the music world. Long’s memoir, "Manzanero, Mexico, My Dear Old San Juan, Moi," is on Amazon. His personal website is www.curtiswlong.com. Dodson has circled the world several times as the constant star attraction aboard Crystal Cruises luxury liners. His website is www.tommydodson.com.

For nearly two decades Dodson and Long have used their words and music in an extensive output of individual songs in English and other languages. They combine the classical with the "now” in a “seamless, imperceptive stream of theatrical consciousness.” They are currently producing "David and Jonathan," based upon the Old Testament Book of Samuel.

I have brought up these details about Dodson and Long, as well as their performance with the Southern California Regional Group, to demonstrate what is possible within a regional group and the way in which our veterans can often connect with entertainers, sports figures, public servants, and then just plain old friends who can add some cheer to their lives.

Another source of cheer comes from resources offered by Learning Ally, formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. Learning Ally places special emphasis on assisting our servicemen and women to achieve educational success and prepare for work.

Whatever you do, please do not miss the upcoming Convention. VIST Coordinator Valerie Duffy will once again speak to us. Her topic this year is "83 Tasks To Be Accomplished by the Surviving Family Member." This will be a discussion with handouts and time for questions and answers. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to learn and receive support from peers who have experienced caregiving.

Remember also to send dues payments to Carl Hytinen so that you will be able to vote in the upcoming BVAA elections in Reno. On behalf of your national officers, I very much look forward to seeing you there!