LARRY LYNCH: A SALUTE TO A GREAT HUMAN

This is the obituary sent to Larry’s friends. Please read it and try to imagine the heart and mind of this man: a true artist, a true friend, one of the few ever who embodied the true spirit of dance.

Larry Lynch  …he “believed in life before death. He loved Shaina beyond measure.”

June 12, 1941 – October 29, 2021

(80 years old)

FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO BRAZIL

Larry Lynch, whose father was from Caherciveen, Co. Kerry and maternal grandparents from Eyeries, Co. Cork was born in San Francisco. He loved the city and literally walked nearly every street, marking each one off on a carefully preserved map. He often drove by his childhood home on 22nd Avenue sharing details of the bygone ice cream shop, the houses where his neighborhood pals lived, the store front where he got his first hair cut, St Monica’s and Saturdays spent at the Bal Theatre.

DANCE CHAMPION

Larry spent his tween and teen years in the East Bay. He began dance lessons at the age of 5 and at age 10 he began to study with the late Annie Tully. In his step dance competition career, Larry won over fifty first prize medals and trophies. He was undefeated in California, winning the state championship five years in a row. He also won the Chicago Mid-West championship five years in a row and in Philadelphia he won the championship of the United Sates for Irish Step Dancing.

The dominant influence in LL’s love of dancing was his grandfather John D. O’Sullivan, “Johnny Uochirre”, a step dancer from Ireland who had migrated to Butte, Montana in the 1890s and then moved to San Francisco in 1935. His grandfather played the fiddle and taught step dancing. His mother played Irish dance music on the piano. LL often spoke of his enjoyment watching and participating in the dances that took place in his home when he was young.

PEACE CORPS

Larry graduated from Bishop O’Dowd High School and went off to South Bend, Indiana to attend The University of Notre Dame. After graduating from Notre Dame, Larry joined the Peace Corps. He often mused at the fact that he asked to be sent to any Spanish speaking country, yet he was assigned to Brazil. He never, ever regretted that oversight. He went first as a volunteer, then came home for two years to pursue a graduate degree in Latin American studies. He returned to Brazil as an Area Director to lead the Peace Corps Program in the State of Mato Grosso where he had been a volunteer. For many years, he managed Peace Corps volunteers assigned to roles in Brazilian agencies in the areas of health care and agricultural extension. His experience of Brazilian people, their music, food and culture, made him a fan for life.

When he left Brazil, Larry returned to San Francisco. For four years he read books, ran in Golden Gate Park and along Ocean Beach and made a life changing decision to make Irish music and dance part of his life.

IRISH DANCE & MUSIC

Larry taught set dancing and ceili dancing for many years at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco and at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Berkeley. Over the years, hundreds of students delighted in learning the steps, style and figures of Irish country dances. Each series of dance lessons ended with a pot luck ceili with live music, followed by a night cap at Mulcrevy’s Irish Pub in the Marina, often punctuated with songs from Arhie, a Scottish accordion player who often topped off the night with “Roamin in the Gloamin”. (If you missed LL’s imitation of Archie, you missed something special.)

Larry also taught dance workshops in cities across the US as well as in Canada, England and Ireland. He taught set dancing for many years at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. In addition, every summer for 20 years, Larry took small groups of dancers on tour to towns, villages and rural communities throughout Ireland, meeting local people, dancing with them and sharing their music and song. Needless to say, everyone who joined in had fun. Fourteen marriages (including his own to Shaina) are attributed to Larry Lynch’s dance classes, workshops, ceilis and tours.

Larry’s extensive research, appreciation of and respect for local tradition and the old style set dances are apparent in his book, Set Dances of Ireland, Tradition and Evolution, along with the companion music recordings that feature some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. So many people over the years got to know Larry’s humor, joyful spirit and personal love of dance as well as his knowledge, love, and preservation of Irish history, music, song and dance. Every chance he got, LL delighted in telling stories of the old timers he met over the years and the life long friendships he made.

MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION

In addition to what Larry referred to as his “Performing Arts Business”, he was involved in the non-emergency medical transportation industry for many years. He co-owned a company that provided wheel chair van services to people with disabilities. He served as the Executive director of both the California Medical Transportation Association, and the National Medical Transportation Association, whose members were business owners providing similar services.

In his later years, Larry — quite by accident and thanks to his brother-in-law Bill — began an all-encompassing interest in Bourbon. Over time, LL and his bourbon buddy, Mikey, collected over 200 bourbons. In true Larry fashion, Larry generously shared his collection in his very own “local” basement bourbon bar. Quoting Johnny Uochirre, shot glasses clinking, he’d toast, “Drink up, you’ll be a long time dead.” Or just as often, “Many more together!”

LL loved family. He embraced and created family traditions. He nurtured a loving connection to his and Shaina’s family here in America as well as his family in Ireland. Holidays, weekly Friday or Sunday night dinners, monthly get-togethers, Christmas outings, annual picnics, tailgates, Russian River trips, Yosemite weekends, family reunions, birthdays, baptisms, graduations, weddings and funerals — he was there, always there…bourbon in one hand, a bag of Lay’s potato chips in the other.

Larry had a multitude of fine friends, who are probably thinking by the end of this long summary, “What am I, chopped liver?” Not at all! He treasured a long list of friends with whom he shared many and various aspects of his life. Friendships characterized with reciprocated affection, respect, trust and good times. Some were based on books, music, dancing, shared experiences or patronage of a favorite local. Some were his godchildren. Some were members of the coveted FUNClub.

Larry was a lovely dancer. He was a story teller. He was uncommonly interesting. His combination of intellect, curiosity and experience was rare. He loved bright colors, loved to have his elbows up on the bar, loved to dance, teach life lessons, loved to read and share books and believed in life before death. He loved Shaina beyond measure. He lives in our hearts always.

 

To honor Larry’s memory, please consider making a difference in the life of a person in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: CELEBRATE!

Beginning in 1996, The Lively Foundation presented annual concerts honoring Women’s History Month. Through many years, Lively’s concerts, HEROIC, BELOVED, were the only concerts honoring Women’s History Month. Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman, noticed that she had choreographed dances about women, about specific, historical figures, and dances set to texts written by women and music composed by women. That work became the first repertory of dances and music. Each year new works would be added often featuring guest artists. Subjects of the dances included Harriet Tubman, with a text by her and a song created about her by Higher Ground, a singing group from Oakland,; the Bronte sisters, using texts from Charlotte Bronte and music by Chopin; Clara Schumann, composer and pianist, with music by her life long friend, Johannes Brahms; Willa Cather, American author, using text from her book, My, Antonia, and premiering music by Jon Deak, music by African-American composer, Undine Smith Moore.

Opera singer Pamela Dillard was one of our first guest artists. She performed classical music songs and others One of her songs was Come Down, Angels, music by Undine Smith Moore. Ms Friedman accompanied Come Down, Angels with a premiere dance.

Pictures from two Heroic, Beloved performances: L-R:Leslie Friedman, Opera singer Marnie Breckinridge, SF Supervisor Reverend Amos Brown; on right side: Pamela Herndon (L) and Sarah Moss (R) dance in the SF Civic Center Garden before their premiere performance of Muse News, music by Bach; choreograhpy by Leslie Friedman.

FESTIVAL ARTISTS CONCERT: HUGE SUCCESS

HOORAY! The January 30 performance by the artists-teachers of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley was a tremendous success.

Annie Wilson                                         Etta Walton

Megan Ivey Rohrbacher                                     Audreyanne Covarrubias

Thank you to each of the performers: Annie Wilson performed Broadway jazz and Rumba, inviting the audience to join in the Rumba in their own spaces; Etta Walton performed and led Line Dances; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubia performed classical Korean dance and played Korean drum music; Megan Ivey Rohrbacher performed classical mimes and tap danced; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias performed tap dance and performed a tap duet with Megan. Audreyanne was in North Carolina and Megan was in Hawaii. They split the Zoom screen and muted one sound source so they would dance to the same sound. They danced a shim sham that ended the astonishing concert  Each of these artists just “knocked our socks off,” “blew us away,” moved our hearts and excited us. Here are comments from the audience:

“OH, WOW!”  “Amazing!” ” I LOVE Etta!” “Thanks, Annie. You’re Fabulous!” “Thanks for presenting this. It is so very cool.” “Wonderful. Lovely mix of styles guaranteed to hold attention. The line up of personalities and demeanors was perfect. Thank you, Leslie!” “This is delightful.” “I really could see the relationship between mime and tap.” “I so enjoyed the dancing. Thank you for hosting and organizing a wonderful event.” “Great show!!!Thanks so much!!!” Audreyanne’s Korean dance was elegant and emotionally touching.” “”Whimsical!” Megan’s mime was delicate and funny at the same time.” when Megan started to tap, I could feel a smile across my face.” “I’m sitting in a chair and suddenly, I’m dancing! Rumba, Line Dances – I’m having so much fun!” “Audreyanne’s tapping is sensational.” “THAT WAS FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for hosting such a lovely afternoon. It was so much fun! The variety of dance styles made it an incredible and enlightening experience. You are always so inclusive in everything you do. You are just amazing. I thank heaven that I was put on this earth at the same time as you.”

Saluting Krystyna Chciuk

The Lively Foundation is very sad that Mrs. Krystyna Maria Chciuk passed away in September. She was a lovely person and a friend to so many. Lively and its Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman know how fortunate we are to have known her. At the age of 15, she was sworn in to the Polish Resistance. It was something of an accident because she was really too young.  However, she stayed and became a Laczniczka, a courier. She took guns and messages from one side of Warsaw to another and also led soldiers across the occupied city. She participated in the Warsaw Uprising, 1944, and was captured by the Nazis. She was forced into Prisoner of War camps.

Mrs. Krystyna Chciuk

In 1945 she was freed from the camps and joined the Polish Army in Exile, in London. She met Mr. Wladyslaw Chciuk, a pilot. He had been a Captain in the Polish Air Force and flew with the RAF in the Polish Squadron. He was a Prisoner of War in Germany, 1943-45. They were married in 1951. In 1952, they came to the US, first living in Milwaukee and then moving to San Francisco. While working full time and caring for her family of three daughters and Mr. Chciuk, she devoted herself to preserving the Polish language and culture in her new home. She was the founder of the Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble, teaching and directing the dances. She also was energetic in support of Polish Scouting and Polish Saturday language schools. As her daughters stated in her obituary, “we shared our mother with all of you more so than many people share a family member.” Pani Krystyna Chciuk contributed to the whole Bay Area through her integrity and kindness. She was always a shining light in our multi-cultural culture. She is greatly missed.

International Festival@Silicon Valley’s 10th Anniversary!

              The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley
                            Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
The Lively Foundation is proud to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. This season the Festival’s Full Day of Dance© will take place on Saturday, November 13. All Full Day of Dance© classes will be offered over Zoom and will be free. See list of classes and schedules below. To register go to: https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
 
In addition to the Full Day of Dance© there will be classes offered during the preceding week days. For example, 30 minute Pilates mat classes will be led by Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, 9 a.m. Pacific time, Monday – Friday. Weekday classes will be offered on a Pay-What-You-Can basis, suggested amount is $5 – $15 per 30 minute class.
(L to R) Etta Walton, Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias,
Starting in 2012, the Festival has offered classes in an amazingly wide variety: African, Afro-Haitian, Ballet, Bharatanatyam, Classical Chinese, Contemporary, Kathak, Korean, Line Dances, Manipuri, Mexican Folclorico, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Tap, Waltz, and even more styles. Participants learn from accomplished professionals and also see them perform. Winners
of the Choreography Competition present premiere works on Festival Concerts.
Artistic Director and Founder of the Festival, Dr. Leslie Friedman says, “Do what you love and try something new! A ballerina might discover she loves Tap. A ballroom dancer will find the Pilates mat to be just what he needs. Beginners get to fall in love with dance. Professionals in one style get to be beginners in something new to them. It helps to remember that dance can be fun.”

Lively Foundation Artistic Director Leslie Friedman

 The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley’s innovations were ground breaking and have been adopted by other companies: presenting learning experiences in multiple forms, for participants of mixed levels of dance training (or no training), chances for participants to perform, and the exciting opportunity for the whole community to gain understanding and appreciation of dance by watching fine artists in concert.
Artist-teachers will include Etta Walton, Line Dances; Annie Wilson, Jazz; Megan Ivey Rohrbacher, Physical Comedy; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, Tap, Pilates mat. These artists have performed and taught in previous Festivals and all have devoted followers.
Full Day of Dance©
Pilates mat,              9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Jazz                          10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Physical Comedy  12:30 p.m.-  1:30 p.m.
Tap                           1:45 p.m.-   2:45 p.m.
Line Dances             3:00 p.m.-  4:00 p.m.
Full Week of Dance© mini-classes
Pilates mat    MTWThF    9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8-12
Line Dances  MWF           2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 10, 12
Repertory:     TThF           4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Nov. 9, 11, 12
“Dances for Small Spaces
All Full Day of Dance classes are free, but we do request that you register.
All Full Week of Dance classes request registration and are on a pay-what-you-can basis. Suggested amount is $5 -$15.
TO REGISTER PLEASE GO TO:   https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
For further details please watch http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3586

Stanford’s Company of Authors: Butterflies Talk!

On April 24, 2021, Leslie Friedman presented a talk about her latest book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, on Stanford’s program, Company of Authors.

The speakers for the program were in groups of 3 or 4 speakers. The recording of the talks shows all 3 speakers in Leslie’s group.  Professor Paul Robinson introduces the first speaker; she speaks for about 4 min. 8 seconds. Then Prof. Robinson introduces Leslie. Her talk is about 8 minutes long (each speaker was allowed 10 minutes). After Leslie’s talk, Prof. Robinson makes a few comments praising her talk. Then, he introduces the final speaker, Professor Peter Stansky who talks about his most recent book, Twenty Years On, on modern British History. Prof. Stansky is the founder of Company of Authors.

Here is the link:     https://vimeo.com/546631058

Thank you for your interest!

 

BOOKS FOR THE BEACH! Butterflies & Gardens & 1967

Vacation time returns! Vaccinated and raring to go? Pick up beautiful books from The Lively Foundation to read and enjoy while out in the sun at home or farther afield. Lively books now on offer include The Dancer’s Garden and The Story of Our Butterflies, by Leslie Friedman with photos by Jonathan Clark & Leslie Friedman and OTTAWA: 1967, a collection of photographs by Jonathan Clark of the small town in Northern Illinois where he grew up.

OTTAWA: 1967 is an outstanding collection of photographs taken by Jonathan Clark, internationally renown, award winning photographer. Together these images capture the essence of lives in a time that is gone. The place is still there, but so much has changed. Published by Nazraeli Press, these images will light up your imagination and memory giving you an entry to what could be a foreign country though it is not so far away.

THE DANCER’S GARDEN, by Leslie Friedman with photographs by Jonathan Clark and Leslie Friedman. Comments on this book are full of praise: “I love it. It is a perfect book, in conception and execution. You are a marvelous writer, as I expected, and I am particularly fond of short essays. The scale and layout are just right…”Diana Ketcham, HOUSE & GARDEN, EDITOR (ret.), Books Editor, THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE (ret.) “There is so much delight and poetry and wisdom to be found in the garden and in your book!” S. Abe, CA Academy of Sciences (ret.)

THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, “This is a wonderful book and I look forward to sharing it with the rest of the staff here.” Joe Melisi, Center for Biological Diversity, national conservation organization, Tucson, AZ; “Leslie Friedman is an historian, a dancer and choreographer, and now a perceptive writer about nature….in a second splendid work she takes wing into the world of butterflies….One is grateful for this delightful book, so well written and illustrated.” Peter Stansky, Author, Historian, Professor Stanford University.

I WANT THEM! HOW DO I GET THEM?

OTTAWA: 1967 is available from The Lively Foundation. These books are from the artist’s own collection. Cost: $50 plus $6 for mailing. Please mail your check made out to The Lively Foundation to The Lively Foundation, 550 Mountain View Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041-1941. If you need to use a credit card, please see instructions for PayPal below.

THE DANCER’S GARDEN is available from Bird & Beckett Books & Records, San Francisco, and from The Lively Foundation. Stanford Bookstore currently sold out of it. You can contact the Stanford Bookstore and request it. Cost is $42; $45 which includes mailing.

THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: MOURNING CLOAKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW is available from Bird & Beckett Books & Records, The Lively Foundation, and Stanford Bookstore. Cost is $29.95 plus $5 for mailing.

Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 415/586-3733; 653 Chenery St., SF 94131; eric@birdbeckett.com; Hours: Tues-Sun Noon-6 p.m.

Stanford Bookstore, 650/329-1217; Lasuen Mall/White Plaza, Stanford Univ. CA 94305; stanford@bkstr.com; Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri & Sat 10 a.m.- 7 p.m; Sun 11 a.m.- 6 a.m.

The Lively Foundation, livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net, 650/969-4110, 550 Mountain View Ave, Mountain View, CA 94041- to buy with a ccard from Lively, please go to the landing page of this blog, scroll down to see the PayPal logo, click on that to pay with ccard. Please add $1.15 to credit card purchases. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Book at Bird & Beckett & Stanford Bookstore

It’s spring! The flowers are blooming and the butterflies are flying. Weather is now warm enough to facilitate their flight. You did not know that butterflies require a particular warmth to be able to fly? Time for you to read THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: MOURNING CLOAKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, the wonderful new book by Leslie Friedman. It is available at the Bird & Beckett Bookstore in San Francisco, the Stanford University Bookstore at Stanford, and through The Lively Foundation.  The story begins when Jonathan Clark, award winning photographer and husband of Leslie Friedman, sees a butterfly laying eggs on a pussy willow tree. Jonathan and Leslie clip the twig, keep it inside in a container with willow leaves, and then a bigger container, and then in an outdoor butterfly house. They feed the always hungry caterpillars, wait for the chrysalises to open, and then release more than 125 butterflies in nature preserves.

Book cover: front is close up of Mourning Cloak wing and back shows caterpillars on willow leaves. Photos by Jonathan Clark. The book has many full color pictures by Jonathan Clark & Leslie Friedman.

The book also explores the deep cultural ties between butterflies and humans as seen in Chinese legends, Italian operas, Shakespeare, American pop music, collectors, and artists. The amazing Appendices include the story of the caterpillar which is the insect equivalent of the Groundhog for predicting winter, the plight of the Western Monarch Butterfly, the murders of men protecting the Butterfly Biosphere in Mexico, and the destruction of private property and the National Butterfly Refuge, sacrificed for a border wall, in Texas.

Butterflies, though endangered, symbolize HOPE to many individuals and cultures from survivors of genocide to families in San Jose, CA, who supported a mural showing butterflies flying out of books on the wall of an elementary school.

Visit these bookstores! Stanford is open for browsing from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily and also takes orders over the web or phone. You can pick up your book anytime or have it shipped. Bird & Beckett is open noon- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, at 653 Chenery St., SF 94131, 415/586-3733. It is located in the wonderful San Francisco Glen Park area.

Please see http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3477 for Butterflies Released! and how to buy from The Lively Foundation.

 

Stanford’s Company of Authors: Saturday, 4/24

Lively is proud to announce that Stanford’s Company of Authors program will feature Leslie Friedman to talk about her new book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View. In 2020, Company of Authors presented Leslie talking about her book, The Dancer’s Garden. She was immediately invited to return.

The program runs from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time with a short break in the middle. There is no charge. Leslie’s 10 minutes is scheduled 4:55-5:05 p.m. The Stanford Bookstore will offer a 10% discount on all of the books discussed on the program. Speakers all have a relationship to Stanford as professors or alums.

The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, cover: close up of a Mourning Cloak wing front, caterpillars eating on back

Shown below is the link to registration and the Zoom link for the program and other delights. A flyer displays the schedule for all the presenters and their books.

AUDIENCE ZOOM LINK (to share)

Friends and family can sign up for the event online. They’ll receive all pre- and post-event emails, including when the recordings are available to view.

Event Zoom Link: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/98719373201?pwd=NmE5UWVZN0YrMGE5WW5qWEZFSXVsUT09

Passcode: 813691

Encore! The Exhibitionist Returns

The Lively Foundation is delighted to announce that The Exhibitionist, the one-act play by Lively’s artistic director, Leslie Friedman, will be presented in another online reading. This encore performance will be on Thursday, Feb. 11, 11:15 a.m. Pacific time. Once again Jonathan Clark will read the role of Danny, and Leslie Friedman, will read the role of Lily. This will be the third reading/performance of The Exhibitionist in a week and a half. The first encore presentation was Wednesday evening, Feb. 3. This time the program was only The Exhibitionist. Reactions to the play were so enthusiastic that Leslie’s undergraduate classmates decided to present it so that more of their class and others could see it. To watch The Exhibitionist, please email The Lively Foundation to receive the Zoom link.

JJonathan Clark, better known as a photographer and fine art printer, will read the role of Danny. Leslie Friedman, better known as a dancer/choreographer, will read the role of Lily.