Bangladesh doesn’t seem so very remote and far away now that Dr. Rahman Bhuiyam brought his presentation to the Dietrich last Saturday.
A Fulbright Scholar at Keystone College,Bhuiyam spoke of the dense population of 160,000,000 people in a country the size of Wisconsin. Probably many in the audience were wearing garments made in Bangladesh, perhaps feeling a little guilty for purchasing clothing made by minimally paid workers. Bhuiyan explained that, to the contrary, for these garment workers, their jobs are a way to improve their lives.
I am always amazed that once you learn something new, it doesn’t take long to read or learn of something connected to it. That happened to me when I listened to Bhuiyan’s talk. He spoke of the hopeless plight of the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who pour into tiny Bangladesh. The very next day I read the headline of a newspaper article, “Unwanted in Two Countries, Rohingya Have Nowhere Left to Turn.”
Suddenly, Bangladesh didn’t seem so remote. That’s the beauty of meeting new people, learning first hand about a new land.
A person who helped those in need, someone we at the Dietrich knew and miss so much, was Barbara Jones. She served for many years at her church and for the local food pantry to provide for those who needed help. Last Christmas in Our Home Town in Tunkhannock, we collected over 300 non-perishable items to give to the Wyoming County Food Pantry, donations to honor Barbara.
This year we hope to double that amount.
Kick-off days to bring your donations to the Dietrich to honor Jones and at the same time help our friends in need are Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2. The food drive will continue through the showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 12.
The halls of the Dietrich will be beautifully decked by Thanksgiving. Jim Rosengrant, volunteer extraordinaire, is already at work on the displays. His team will soon be assembled to install holiday exhibits that have become legendary in Tunkhannock. These exhibits will greet everyone who walks in the doors and the “oohs” and “ahs” will soon be heard.
Are you a cookie baker? Can you help us reach our goal of providing 700 dozen cookies for our Cookie Walk? Our Fundraising Committee implores you to bring your homemade cookies to the Dietrich Theater from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30 and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. All proceeds from cookie sales support children’s programming at the Dietrich.
I will end with a personal story about “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” and why we show it each year at the Dietrich, this year at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2.
First of all, my sister Calista Hendrickson helped make the movie by creating all the clothes for the puppets. Emmet’s mother in the movie wears my mother’s brooch. Emmet wears my father’s baby shoes. So a little bit of the history of Alice and Alva Tompkins comes to our movie screen every year.
A few years ago, I asked Erica Rogler if we should show another movie for Christmas in Our Home Town.
“Absolutely not,” she said. “This movie is so special. It is real puppets. No animation. And the story, based on the classic children’s storybook, is what Christmas is all about. Just as we show ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for adults because it is all about the spirit of giving, we need to continue to show ‘Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas’ for the same reason.”
These movies are true treasures indeed.
Ace-Robbins, Inc. is the sponsor of both free showings. We are most grateful.
More about holiday offerings next week. In the meantime, just remember to check us out in a week or so. Remember – we do it all for you. Will we see you soon – and often? We hope so.