THE WEDNESDAY NIGHTS (revised), Sam Totah

Written by  //  July 23, 2008  //  The Salon, Wednesday Nights Meta  //  No comments

July 23
Dear Diana and David and their faithful readers!
It has been over a decade–more than 13 years in fact since I last wrote the
article re-printed below…describing the Wednesday nights of Westmount,Quebec. It is time for a quick review and certainly time to reflect how years pass by and…”plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose” at the Nicholsons’ home.
Mr. and Mrs. David & Diana, as most Montrealers should know by now, hold a Wednesday evening soirée at their residence in Westmount. This they have been doing [for] over a quarter of a century and they keep doing it without stop. Why? people ask me –and my quick answer is “I do not know!” and honestly I don’t and sincerely, I do not care why –I just enjoy going there –when the moon and the mood and the right timing strikes me … I am not what you call a “regular” … and there are some of that nature. It is the small circle of friends of David or Diana or both — as this couple moves mostly in unison.
Back to the soirées — It is mostly in English — but free translation is available on the premises … sometimes up to 10 languages! Of course French is included in that long list.
What happens in those soirées is and is not a mystery. The mystery part is who will show up and who is the principal guest/s that will do “most” of the talking. Voilà. People are at times reluctant … in case they have to speak or speak up in front of some 20-30 ‘distinguished guests’. Fear not, you will not have a chance with the slight hammer noise of David. While we do mention David — let me qualify him. He is the host and the Chairman and President or Presiding Member however you want to call him — as he most often calls his own guests by the most distinguished titles they deserve — Judge, President, Mayor, Chairman, Your Honor and a host of other titles, true or not true, but always pleasant to hear. As for Diana — she is just Diana for most guests and is the silent moderator who feels the mood of the assembly around that rectangular table. Voilà.
Now what happens during the soirée is a bit hard to describe in words — you have to be there to experience both the feeling and the mood of who is who — and hear the economic predictions, market movements or short and long term political outlooks. One speaker at a time is the rule of the game and that speaker is usually given the floor by his eminence David Nicholson.
The salon where all the verbal gambling takes place is quite a pleasant place — it has not changed its nature during the past 13 years — lit by a number of candles or soft lights. The overflow crowd sits on the second row of chairs surrounding the rectangular table and super-flow crowds have ample place in the pink salon next door – without a door! The most important part of the soirées transpires both before and right after the discussions take place. Calculate half an hour each way – And that part is called ‘socializing’ while holding a glass of wine, half empty, half full for any eventuality. It is a pleasant way to greet known and unknown guests. Fear not, Diana is mostly there to facilitate the intro and remembering umpteen first and last names of her old and new guests!
Now, what has changed during those 13 years. Hard to say. Certainly “aging” for regulars and special guests. But the physical premises remain the same. Thus an encouraging sign to show up in familiar spaces. Yes, there has been tremendous progress in technology and such devices abound in the elegant saloon, as David is a very close fan of audio and news and similar gadgets! The T.V. screens are all modern, there is a full camera action and video going around … but fear not, most if not all, is “off the record” -unless you want to share the latest stock advice with your neighbor. No need to do that. Predictions of that magnitude do not exist in the current market conditions. We are in the year of 2008 — and bad news supersede the good news. Despite that — the mood in the salon is jovial and the intent is to be with friends or to befriend as time permits before or after the discussion periods.
Thus, my comments …. before I review them again; hopefully for the next review I will not wait for years to pass by, but … nice sunny weather will help.
Respectfully submitted to my friends David and Diana … and always grateful for their open door policy to welcome strangers and friends in their “Home sweet Home”
Sam Totah

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