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by Inlander Staff

Blind Chance -- Remember being a kid and experimenting with what it must feel like to be blind? For most of us, our experience with blindness is limited to The Miracle Worker or Little House on the Prairie, or maybe closing our eyes and stumbling around the perimeter of the living room. This Monday (President's Day), kids will have a rare chance not only to experience what it feels like to be sight-impaired but also to learn that vision means far more than just the ability to see. The Gallery at JOEL, currently showing the "Art of the Eye II" exhibit, will have a free educational event for kids on Monday, Feb. 21, from 1-3 pm. Children can meet guide dogs, see adaptive equipment and even try on goggles that simulate the effects of various vision impairments. While there, be sure to check out the "Art of the Eye" exhibit, which is a 42-piece collection by blind or partially sighted artists. For more information, call 326-5854.

Dramatic Departures -- New artistic director Yvonne Johnson regrets that she will have to forge ahead with plans to reinvigorate the Civic Theatre without the help of a couple of their stalwart contributors.

Jean Hardie, citing her commitments as theater director at St. George's School, will be retiring in June as leader of the Box 'n' Hat children's theater group. The theater's longtime scenic artist, Nik Adams, will be retiring in November (though not until -- subject to board approval -- he paints a mural for the theater's new-look exterior).

Hardie's performances as Mother Superior in Nunsense, along with the many sets Adams designed and built, will live on in the memories of local theatergoers.

Is The Natural Unnatural? -- "From above her hips she looked like a girl, but the lower half of her looked like a woman." "She offered herself in a white dress and bare feet and was considerably surprised when he pounced like a tiger."

These and other distastefully erotic quotations have been the subject of an intense battle by parents of Central Valley and University high school students to strike Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel, The Natural from 10th grade required-reading lists recently. Although the Central Valley school board received more than 60 perfectly rational letters complaining about the blue prose -- along with one putting a Jesus hex on them -- the board voted 3-1 Monday to stick with the book, which tells the story of an aging baseball player trying to make it to the major leagues. Now let's see where were we? Oh yes, Ezekiel 23:20 (New International Version): "There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses." Ah, that's the stuff.

Publication date: 02/17/05

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