Lifestyle Issue 07

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by Carol Bignell of Club 3109

The opportunity to broaden ones knowledge and skills in language and communication: that’s Toastmasters in a nutshell.

I believe using what you are learning is the key to keeping it. Toastmasters is a joyful way to do just that. The support of fellow learners all working at their own level and pace help each of us do our very best without embarrassment. Laughter abounds as we work out how to use new words, how to introduce people, how to manage a meeting using parliamentary procedure.

If you approach life with a sense of responsibility and with the expectation of positive results, you are more likely to have a life in which possibilities are realized and results are positive, according to writer Lisa Funderburg in June 13, 2002 issue of Bits and Pieces, . Toastmasters is possibility in action with proven positive results. Just ask any one of our members.

Use of skill in speaking includes talking to my neighbor about gardening, talking to kids about skate boarding and to my congressman about a new skate board park built at the north end of wherever. Skills in speaking with various groups of people I come in contact with help me communicate clearly my thoughts and needs. Listening and understanding are also useful skills developed in Toastmasters. This two-way street is what makes the world go ’round. I want to be part of the communication exchange: to hear and be heard and to be part of the growth of my neighborhood, my town, my state and my country.

In Toastmasters, I practice listening, hearing, speaking and communicating. I can learn with others who are challenged by communication skills. Every day provides opportunities; let me pick up this challenge and grow. Learning how to choose my words skillfully when speaking helps me communicate what I am really thinking. I learn new facts and points of view; we tell stories, we tell jokes; I enjoy my Toastmaster friends in my neighborhood and also those I have the opportunity to meet from other neighborhoods and clubs.

“There’s a difference between what you do and what you can do” wrote Mark H. McCormack, business executive, in the June 13, 2002 issue of Bits and Pieces. Be challenged today.

You are invited to come and join the fun. Roswell Noonday, Club 3109, meets at Kwan Den, 1000 Second Street, Roswell, NM — at noon, of course. Come experience a meeting; visitors are always welcome. Join Toastmasters, which is an equal opportunity for everyone. Call (505)347-2539 for further information.

For those of you who live in other areas of the state or country, or even abroad, there could be a Toastmasters International club near you.





(The following information is from Carol Bignell and from the RCLT Program newsletter. Photos are courtesy of Carol Bignell)

The Roswell Community Little Theater wrapped up its 2001-2002 season with two different types of productions, casts and stages.

Scene from Music Man; left to right: Mary Marley (Marian Paroo); Tyler Raney (Winthrop); Xanthia Cheney (Gracie); Elizabeth Marley (Zaneeta Shinn); Ray Whitman (Mayor Shinn); Jo Whitman (Mrs. Shinn).

The Music Man was held, with rave reviews, at the Roswell Amphitheater, off East College near the Roswell Wool Bowl Complex, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the following weekends: July 19-21, July 26-28, August 9-11 and August 16-18.

A scene from Small Talk

Small Talk, a youth production, was held in the RCLT theater at 1101 N. Virginia weekend of August 2,3,4. The production opened Friday to a full house.

The next season (2002-2003) opens October 11 with a three-act mystery thriller, Something to Hide, by Leslie Sands and directed by Roswell’s Frank Schlatter. The RCLT held auditions for this, the first play of their 45th season, on Monday and Tuesday, August 19 and 20 August.

A total of five regular season plays are scheduled, plus a Halloween-time fund-raiser for the Roswell Public Library, a spring-time fundraiser for the Roswell Museum and RCLT, and a summer youth production. Please call Frank Schlatter at 622-6898 or the theatre at 622-1982 for more information.

The RCLT is working towards the design and construction of a new community-oriented facility that will house a modern theater and enhance the area on North Virginia Avenue.

The New Building Design Committee, chaired by Terry Barnes Rhodes, has completed preliminary drawings and a working model of the projected facility. He has begun to interview local architects.

Their plans for this project include a stage with an orchestra pit, an auditorium to seat 200 people, a lobby to accommodate 150 people at a sit-down dinner, a kitchen that can handle catered events, a black box rehearsal hall, office space, meeting rooms, a shop to hold scene props and costume storage, and an outdoor theater to face the Spring River Corridor. The estimated amount needed for construction is $1 to $2 million. Once the RCLT Executive Board selects the architect and the design is finalized, RCLT will launch a major fund-raising campaign to raise the money required for the project.



During a recent workshop, leader Eva McCollaum challenged her Joy Writers Group to write, applying all possible sensations, about a task or job they’d had at some time in their lives. The following essay, written by Hazel Ninnemann, resulted from that assignment. Hazel wrote this essay, from her mother’s point of view, of a time and place in the mid-1940s.



Hazel Ruth Ninnemann

It is fall in the panhandle of Texas. Hot and dry; the cotton is ready to pick. As far as the eye can see, lush dark green cotton grows, promising several days’ labor for a hundred or more workers.

Willard is an energetic worker and has gained permission to strip the stalks. He puts his hands to the base of the stalk, interlocks his fingers and forcefully pulls upward, stripping the stalk of cotton bolls and leaves. the 150-pound cotton sack lays open between his knees. In one fluid movement, he bends forward, strips the stalk and dumps the remains in the sack. He stops often to compress the contents of the long, slim sack in several ground-shaking thuds. The bag must be packed down tight and full before his trip to the scales.

I glance around, keeping an eye out for my babies. Leaving them by the car at the other end of the field leaves me feeling anxious. My fingers feel clumsy in the brown cotton gloves. I stifle a gasp as I prick my finger on the stiff, sharp point of the cotton boll.

Dust devils swirl around the trailer at the end of the field, then the air grows still. The foreman sits beside the trailer, country music drifting across the field from his radio.

It is late October and the sun climbs higher in the sky, the stifling heat waves mocking the autumn season. My body protests as I remove the strap from my shoulder and stand up straight, stretching to ease my aching muscles. Some workers stop for lunch and to tend to their children.

Walking toward the car, I hear Hazel Ruth scolding 10-month-old Chris. She takes her mothering way too seriously to be only three years old. Chris smiles up at her and continues pitching dirt into the air and laughing as it rains down on him. I scoop him into my arms and use my shirt-tail to wipe the sandy dirt from his laughing face.

I feed the kids and fix Willard a couple sandwiches. I wolf down my lunch as the smell of warm lunch-meat permeates the air. Willard strolls over to the car, sits down in the front seat and wipes his brow. He seems to swallow his food whole and is ready to return to the field. He has the energy of 10 men and I am always amazed at his stamina. Impatient, he grabs our cotton sacks and growls over his shoulder at me. I hug Hazel Ruth, prompting her to keep a close watch on Chris.

We have finished four more rows, now I can check on my babies. My back feels like it will break as I lay my sack aside. Willard weighs in our cotton, stopping at the water barrel for a drink. Chris is playing cars with a small wooden block, pushing it along the ground. He peeks at me, lifting his tiny arms skyward. With Chris in my lap, I sit in the shade of a trailer full of cotton. No air stirs and the heat wraps itself around me, stifling hot, sapping what little energy I have. Hazel Ruth carries Chris’ glass milk bottle to the water barrel for a refill. She is bad about talking to strangers so I send her when I am close by. Smiling, she clamps her hand over the top of the bottle, rushing to my side. A bird circles overhead, drifting on the mile-high current, his shadow glides across my face. Oh, to be carefree, if only for a moment. Willard rounds the trailer and demands food and drink. I stand, dust myself off and lay the sleeping Chris on the pallet in the shade.

The stifling heat and dusty cotton chokes me as I pack the cotton down. Dust swirls, filling the hot dry air. Squinting, I pluck the fluffy white cotton from the boll, savoring the softness before dropping it into my sack. The sandy dust pelts my face and I pull the bandana from my pocket, tying it across my nose and mouth.

Finally, it is time to weigh-in, the welcoming end of the workday. The pay is five cents a pound, better than most fields we’ve worked. We are making enough money to keep us for a few days. Willard can pick ten sacks a day in a field like this one, so they ask us to come back.

My babies made it all right. We’ll park under that tree over there tomorrow. Everything went well, so all in all, it was a good day.