Paul’s Workshop

This was a class act, very inspiring and very unusual. Last summer Paul went on road trip across America, and on his travels came across a ‘ghost town’, in California. Bodie was once, in the 1870’s, the site of a gold rush, and for a short time was heavily populated. It gained the doubtful reputation of being the most evil town in the States, due to the behaviour and mortality rate of its inhabitants. Death due to violence seems to have been a constant, almost daily, occurrence. The town was once dubbed the place that God forgot..

The expectation of instant wealth proved to be largely erroneous and the town’s population was severely diminished within a decade. Its fortunes continued to decline until by the 1940s it was deserted and decayed, a fire having destroyed many the buildings. However, in 1962, it was declared a National Landmark and a State Historic Park, putting it firmly on the tourist trail. For more information about this, please go to:

Paul had many evocative pictures of Bodie to show us, which were passed round, and he simply asked us to be inspired by these and the story of Bodie. The usual mix of comedy, tragedy, poetry and even a philosophical meditation on greed and mass hysteria followed. There was some riveting stuff.

To give you a taste, we had an American WI heading a ‘Trump for president’ party, a mysterious reincarnation in an abandoned 1932 Dodge, a reconciliation  of childhood sweethearts, a ghost story with a twist in the tale, and a tale featuring a ‘cow-poke’ (use your imagination here!) There were also stories of revenge, sexual excess, betrayal and Mexican refugees, in fact, too much diversity to cover here. But it was a truly fascinating and stimulating evening. Thanks, Paul.

Next week is a reading week, the optional theme: They think it’s all over…

See you there. Sally.


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