March 11, 2007
25 years of Wednesdays by Wayne Larsen
When David and Diana Nicholson marked their 1,000th consecutive Wednesday Night salon in 2001, the formidable milestone was celebrated with a huge, happy party, the likes of which residents of Rosemount Avenue had never seen.
The unprecedented occasion was reported not only in The Examiner, but on websites and other electronic media throughout the world. From Hong Kong to Westmount, messages of congratulations flowed in. The couple had achieved the seemingly impossible; if you can imagine hosting a party in your home for anywhere from 20 to 60 people every week for a thousand weeks, you get an idea of what they accomplished.
Now, six years later, the Nicholsons have reached another milestone—an entire 25 years have passed since the first Wednesday Night salon back in 1982. During that time they have not missed a single Wednesday, despite any number of obstacles from ice storms and blizzards to 9/11.
The longevity of their weekly discussions is not only a testament to their tenacity, but by discussing important matters they are, in their own way, making a valued contribution to the intellectual level of our community and society in general.
Though many people hate to admit it, we live in an age dominated by lowbrow ‘tabloid’ values, where untalented, unaccomplished people are given celebrity status and puff pieces dominate news headlines. Nowhere has this been more obvious than the death of Anna Nicole Smith—one of those ‘famous-for-being-famous’ people whose actual resumés are best described as negligible. The deaths of former U.S. presidents Reagan and Ford received much less media attention; even CNN got caught up in all the ‘Anna’ hype—despite the ongoing war in Iraq and other infinitely more important news events. Passing off such stories as news does not make us think; it makes us question our own values.
That’s why we’re fortunate to have people like the Nicholsons and their friends in this community, for the subjects they bring to their table are always relevant and important. With one eye on the economy and the other on the political climate—and a few fingers in various other stimulating subjects—they don’t care if Britney shaves her head or where Anna is buried, and neither should we. As long as these basic values are maintained, we will never completely succumb to the mass ‘dumbing down’ of our society.
Congratulations to the Nicholsons for 25 years of Wednesday Nights. May they continue for many more.