Notes From Joe

photo of Coltrane Home Volunteers at the 2019 Coltrane Day

One great thing about getting involved in something you care about is finding friends who share that passion. I really appreciate how another ardent Coltrane volunteer, Joe Natter, often shares articles that help us better understand the legacy we seek to steward. Here are some of his “clippings:”

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Spring Cleaning at the Coltrane Home

Friends of the Coltrane Home

We continue to maintain that there is no deeper, more fulfilling fun than working on something bigger than ourselves with others who care, too.

One of our favorite bands of volunteers is the folks involved in transforming the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills into a multi-faceted museum and education center that advances these incredible musical and spiritual legacies, and fulfills John & Alice’s vision of good-will and connection.

It was sooooo much fun to come together with a few of the volunteers to help spring clean the home, catch up with each other, and learn a little bit about the deeply thoughtful, community-sensitive, and legacy mindful plans they’ve been working on.

We hope to get to see more of these folks soon!!!

Follow them on Facebook and check our our own page where we’ll be sharing more images from that day soon!

Spencer’s Picks: Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue; Art, Science & Suggested Solutions; The Happiness of a Dog

Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy

Photo of Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Photo by Katheryn Laible

 

As usual, when he’s not scrying into the mysteries of metals at the atomic level, or pondering puzzles of more efficient means of tapping energy, Dr. Thomas is bringing some light into our life. Here are a few of the things he’s brought to our attention:

Now that we’re about a month into the college semester with social distancing and remote learning, a lot of people I know are feeling a bit of a drag. You are not alone: Lonliness at Pandemic U: 14 tips for college students and their parents

Along similar themes, but more for everyone:: Your Surge Capacity is Depleted. This is Why You Feel Awful (and a couple good things you can do about it)

One thing that’s helpful is — to help! Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story from one of my very favorite professors from back in my undergrad time at Stony Brook. Bente Videbaek is an amazing person who has been working hard to make sure people have masks Facebook Page: “Humans of Mather Hospital”

When you feel a bit grounded and ready to stare some of the bigger challenges facing humanity in the face: Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. One of the speakers, Dr. Rose Mutiso, is a friend of mine – we were graduate students together. She’s the incredible CEO of the Mawazo Institute, which supports women scientists and leaders throughout East Africa. She has also spoken at TED and written in Scientific American about the challenges that people in Africa face building digital and clean-energy infrastructure.

One for the Coltrane fans out there: The most feared song in jazz, explained. It’s not too hard for a layman to follow this breakdown of “Giant Steps,” even as it’s still among the most challenging things a musician may face

Finally, no big point here, but a bit of joy for you since we could all use it: The happiness of this dog after they put prostheses on

Spencer Thomas received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After some time at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, we are DELIGHTED to welcome him back to Long Island as a researcher at Stony Brook University. He also happens to be Katie’s brother. For a time, Spencer studied metals at the atomic level; the way atoms are arranged in a material can change its properties; one can take ordinary metals make them stronger, more flexible, corrosion resistant, even radiation resistant. We’re still endeavoring to understand what he’s doing now well enough to explain it so simply.

Spencer believes that no matter who you are, good communication can put scientific concepts within reach. The modern world demands scientific literacy and it is the responsibility of scientists to make that possible.

The Coltrane Home – A Story in Pictures

Photo of Elvis Costello and Yushiro “Fuji” Fujioka by Katheryn Laible

We were really interested in Steve Fulgoni’s story about discovering the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, and his journey since. We’ll tell you more about that soon. First, though, we’ve started tracing our own journey volunteering with the wonderful Friends of the Coltrane Home.

For Katie, it all started when Trudy and Tawaun Weber, normally in church on a Sunday morn, showed up at her door and said, “Get in the car. Bring your camera. Now.”

She went, soon finding herself in the Greenwich Village restaurant of one of the world’s greatest collectors of all things Coltrane, Yushiro “Fuji” Fujioka. There, musical greats, local community members and others joined in a very special event to celebrate the purchase of the home and to passionately advance an endeavor to transform it into a museum and education center worthy of its former owners’ extraordinary, multifaceted legacies.

Here is the story of that day in pictures.

Proceeds from any purchases beyond production costs benefit the Friends of the Coltrane Home. Please contact Katie to inquire about pieces.

 

Speaking of Appreciation for Art and Great Teachers…

Dudley Music at Coltrane Day 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible

Part of that article with Roger Tilles talks about the power of dedicated teachers. This reminded us of a discussion we had with two incredible local artists, Diego Garcia and Dudley Salmon, who are among those featured in the Huntington Arts Council ” DEC the Walls Exhibition”

Check it out. It’s amazing.

We met Dudley through the local endeavor to advance the legacy of John & Alice Coltrane, and then he and Diego together when he was performing at another volunteer’s gallery opening. It was a deep and meaningful conversation. We will be following up!

One interesting note: While the musician is deeply grateful for his art teachers, the inspiration Dudley really wanted to talk about was his biology teacher…

Second — An Irish Blessing

A Long Island Four-Leaf Clover. Photo by Katheryn Laible

While the Irish shutting down their pubs on the Eve of St. Paddy’s day is a sure sign that this stuff is serious, locally we’ve seen more than a few Suffolk folks find a silver lining in that they can now get cocktails to go.

For our part, we are choosing to celebrate that The Dropkick Murphys have decided, since they can’t play to a crowd in Boston tonight, they’re going to live stream it the world instead, 7PM EST.

It’s a lovely addition to these amazing videos of balcony performances in Italy.

Play on…

Leonardo the Fabulous at Treme in Islip

We stopped in at “Long Island’s Premier Blues and Jazz Club” Treme in Islip because we appreciate fellow Coltrane volunteer Leonardo the Fabulous and wanted to support his Art Opening. We ended up reworking our schedule to stay all night because the work is incredible, the musicians were meaningful, and the company well worth spending the time with.

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Foundations for the Common Good: A Call to Action

A conversation with David Okorn of the Long Island Community Foundation on making philanthropy easy, fun and effective, and why it’s so important.

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