JONESTOWN SURVIVOR TRIFECTA

Trifecta – Three Grand Events
Saturday, November 14 was a special day. It was very full, but touched a lot of points. My day began with an interview at the San Diego State University Special Collections Room. I was interviewed by filmmaker John Borowski for one segment of his upcoming television series. He interviewed me and taped the conversation for over two hours. The setting was an extensive Peoples Temple Collection that Dr. Rob Ray, the SDSU Archivist, has set up. The collection has all types of media productions and other memorabilia from Jonestown survivors and other diverse sources. In the large room of shelving, tables, and class cabinets, Rob has set up Peoples Temple paintings, rugs, photos, tapes, movies, pamphlets, books, documents, Jonestown artifacts, Jonestown cottage industry products, magazines, and much, much more.

From there, I went to an afternoon party of Quakers for a celebration. We were at a lovely home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in Encinitas. That was a lively group with amazingly diverse points of view on current world events. We discussed everything from the Paris bombings, to immigration, to prejudice that we need to address more here at home. We have a lot of work. It is wonderful spending time with people who take such an avid interest in our world. I am so happy that Quakers have been part of my life for the past twenty-five years.

And, finally, I joined Ron (my husband) after he had participated in a Men’s Group event, with so many of our Synanon friends, here in Solano Beach. After the men spent time together, wives joined for a superb dinner. I saw my great fellow communitarians from Synanon. We laughed at our old, stupid issues that we held on to way too long. It was great adding these friends back into our lives. We had some of the same topics of discussion – intolerance, travel, giving and getting updates. But, we also included conversations about our children and our close friends. Ron lived in Synanon for twenty years, and I lived there for ten. That was a big chunk of my life. Even though most of the time, I was too traumatized to raise my head (since I moved in a year after I returned from Guyana), I have wonderful memories of Synanon. I give the Synanon Game a lot of credit for nurturing me through those exceedingly difficult times.

So, all-in-all, it was a great day.

That day came at the end of a week where I taught 6th grade Language Arts as a long-term substitute, after a long interview with a Texas History student who was writing an article on Peoples Temple, after writing an article for our local Alianza North County about the wage disparity between salaries at California State Universities and other national universities where faculty are paid for the important jobs that they do. I also spent the night in Tijuana, with my sister, just off of Avenida de la Revoluccion, on Veterans’ Day, and had a few Immigration conference calls and other conversations.

And, next week, on November 18, I am flying up to Oakland to meet with the documentary crew who is taking about 15 survivors back to Guyana next March, then on to Evergreen Cemetery to gather for the 37th anniversary of the deaths in Jonestown, and to dinner with my fellow survivors. Then, I will come home to teach 6th grade for two more days of the work, to do a radio interview after the work the next day, and a Book Fair booth at the Encinitas Street Fair on Sunday. I am ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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