At Manbites Dog Theater a couple of weekends ago, I met with Ed Hunt (the Managing Director of Manbites) and his partner Jeff Storer (the Artistic Director of Manbites Dog and a drama professor at Duke). Jeff was home for the weekend from leading the "Duke in New York" program. Ed and Jeff are the two other authors of our play A Tune for Tommy, and we were working on revisions of the script. Before getting to work, Jeff filled me in on his news. Jeff's apartment in the Village is not far from where the WTC towers once stood. Jeff and Ed were in the apartment when the terrorist planes hit the WTC. Jeff said that they could see a plane sticking out of one of the towers before it collapsed. Jeff was telling me how people line up on the street to cheer for the rescue and clean up workers at shift changes.
Then we started to work on the play. There is one line in our play when the daughter's mother says "I wanted certainty..." As we were working, gaining understanding of the mother's character, Ed pointed out that certainty is not a realistic expectation. It hit me in a new way that day.
Certainty...gone the way of Newtonian Physics. Ed is usually a quiet person, authoritative, and sometimes scary, but I think he must be utterly amazing. He lives with this knowledge, this understanding that there is no certainty, and yet he lives a full and extremely busy life. He lives without excuses, and without bowing to fear. It's hard to live that way. It's so natural, so human to want an earthly perfect assurance. So easy it is to turn away from life's adventure with the excuse that I want certainty, and to deny my fear rather than live with it unbowed.
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Besides Tommy's section of the site, the following pages are also related to Jesse and Tommy:
Blurred Time "The Sleeper": the aftermath of Jesse and Bobbie's car accident
Mike Craver's "Visiting Tommy"
Roots of the Red Clay Ramblers:
Fuzzy Mountain String Band: Jesse's mom, Bobbie, recorded with Rambler Bill Hicks and others
Hollow Rock String Band: Tommy and Bobbie Thompson named this band for their community
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October 25, 2001