this week of salons





The next morning the salon performance and experience was on our mind.  Shelly O’Donin performed an imaginative, fluid, and beautiful solo flute performance that reached beyond and stretched standard interpretations of compositions such as Debussy’s Syrinx.  Shelly mentioned she had dreamed of performing in a salon setting when practicing in earlier years in her bedroom.   Her salon performance brought this idea to reality, as Shelly was able to perform at the edge of her bedroom in her contemporary indoor / outdoor home.   Afterward Shelly, who once attended cooking school, shared her baked treats and celebrated the October evening.




Ben Cutler, Steve Hollingworth, Rebecca Ordway

A question for Steve Hollingworth was how was he so cheerful with a charismatic personality, after spending a lifetime of service to suffering people all over the World. Steve replied that he found hope and a positive attitude by finding solutions and helping the people who were suffering.  Steve has worked abroad for 27 years in Bangladesh, India, Bolivia, Hati, Cambodia, and Africa.

Steve Hollingsworth, President of Freedom From Hunger, spoke about his international organization that focuses to  eliminate chronic hunger in areas of poverty around the World.   He spoke about how the women of a community are best able to solve their situations, and then discussed how his organization works with these people to stabilize their situations.

Some Upcoming Salons:

September 30th Wednesday 7PM   Postcards from Mars

October 2nd Friday 7PM   Return From North Korea




Bill Wyman


Bill Wyman, a journalist of rock music and movies, engaged members with insights into the world of Hollywood and the motion picture industry.  In a fun and interactive evening on the patio of a very contemporary home, Bill compared the movies asking members to speculate on the highest grossing films and the movies that sold the most box office tickets in U. S. history.   Bill also shared some very interesting statistics of the percentage of movie goers and ticket prices in the first half of the Twentieth Century compared with the percentage and ticket prices of today’s cinema in theaters.  It was  revealing how much had changed from 1937 when ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ were released.  Bill then revealed the biggest movie of all time, ‘Birth of a Nation’, and how this politically charged movie impacted the country, and brought new dynamics to making and watching movies.

Upcoming Salons:

September 22nd Tuesday 7PM  Freedom From Hunger

September 24th Thursday 7PM   The Confederacy

September 26th Saturday 7PM The Library of Alexandria




Martin Schuring playing oboe, with Gail Novak playing piano


Martin Schuring has performed his oboe accompanied by pianist Gail Novak through the years at the salons.  Both are very talented musicians, and their salons bring special musical memories.   Martin is also a storyteller and educator, and helps the listener to understand and marvel at the mystery of sound from wind instruments.

This year’s salon performance was hosted at the historical David and Gladys Wright House that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son David.


Upcoming Salons:

September 16th Wednesday 7PM  Cancer as Cheater in Multicellular Cooperation

September 18th Friday 7PM   Is AI Really the end of the Human Race?

September 19th Saturday 7PM   Secrets of Hollywood Box Office

Grant Woods with Thomas Houlon

Grant Woods holding his new CD ‘The Project’ with Thomas Houlon

Grant Woods, former Arizona Attorney General from 1991 to 1999, and a prominent civic leader, gave a personal look at his life and insights on politics in Arizona and the nation at a recent salon.    Grant then discussed the new CD recording of his original songs called ‘The Project’.  Grant has composed all the songs on the album that features prominent Arizona musicians, including Alice Tatum, Walt Richardson, Hans Olson, and Francine Reed, among others.  Grant, who has diverse artistic talents will also debut a play he has written next year.

Songs from ‘The Project’ and the entire album can be found on iTunes:

The Project Benefit Concert to benefit the Arizona School for the Arts:

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Upcoming Salons:

September 9th Wednesday 7PM    Dietary Fats and Oils

September 12th Saturday 7PM    Music for Oboe and Piano


Chris Dorsey in gardens of Rancho Joaquina

Chris Dorsey in gardens of historic 1920’s adobe mansion

Chris Dorsey, first was introduced to Spirit of the Senses by guitar master Frank Koonce.  Since that time through the years Chris has performed wonderful guitar performances at the salons.  The last few years Chris has introduced some of his own guitar compositions to compliment his performances of the music of Argentina and South America, including the music of Marcelo Coronel.   His performance this summer was enhanced by the setting of an enchanting historic adobe mansion.


Upcoming Salons

September 1st Tuesday 7PM     When Robots Take Our Jobs

September 2nd Wednesday 7PM    Conversation with Grant Woods

Sarah Bolmercich, PhD with Thomas Houlon looking at Greek translation of The Iliad

Sarah Bolmercich, PhD with Thomas Houlon looking at Greek translation of The Iliad


Some have said that the first story in Western literature is the best.  This story ‘The Iliad’ by Homer is said to have been written in the 8th century BCE in Ancient Greece.  The story describes a period in The Trojan War circa 1200 BCE.   We asked Sarah Bolmercich, PhD, a classics lecturer at Arizona State University to discuss Homer, The Iliad, and the modern notion of character in relation to the ancient story’s hero Achilles.

Sarah, who has presented many engaging salons in the past on the Ancient World, began by discussing the speculation and historical inquiry into who was Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey.  Was Homer one or many persons?  Was Homer a woman?  Where and when did Homer live?  When was The Iliad and The Odyssey written and first told?  Were parts of The Iliad and The Odyssey written at different times?  Was The Iliad and The Odyssey written by the same author?   Did the hero Achilles change?  Did Achilles posses the personality trait of character?

At the salon our hosts had a copy of The Iliad written in Greek.  Sarah read from this book to offer members attending the chance to hear the spoken Greek language and have some idea what the Iliad might have sounded as when told three thousand years ago, when the story was sung by bards.

Upcoming Salons:

August 22nd Saturday 7PM                  Guitar of Chris Dorsey

August 24th Monday 7PM                    Noir in Phoenix

August 26th Wednesday 6:30PM          American Modernism at Phoenix Art Museum

August 28th Friday 7PM                        Happiness

August 27th Thursday 5PM   Special Event: FineMark Art Party for Artists Ellen and Bill Leibow

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