I remember reading James Michener’s “The Fires of Spring” when I was quite young. I wrote about this before and inserted a paragraph from the book then that stayed with me for so many decades. (See 2015-100). In the book, a young lad experienced life in Eastern Penna around the early 1900’s. In the story, a group of people came to town and “Did a Chautauqua”, which in essence was a troupe of people doing orations, minstrel acts, etc. from town to town, under a tent. There is a place, Chautauqua. NY (corrected), that has retreats and other happenings and my friend Dorothy goes there from time to time…..
The soliloquy of a Chautauqua
so supreme, told in a manner
to enlighten those surrounding
the orator speaking loudly
Thoughts and opinions thrown
out to Americana to contemplate,
think out, and perhaps if agreed
with, then acted upon.
Listeners with cocked heads trying
to ascertain meaning from all the
spoken words, ears straining to
decipher words sometimes said
Chautauqua days gone by, supplanted
by a box blaring out words and then
later pictures that replace the minds
magic of imagination.