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Family Album USA - Episode 23 - The Community Center


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Family Album USA - Episode 23 - The Community Center



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Family Album USA: Episode 23 - The Community Center

Act I

In Act One, Grandpa reads some bad news. A little later, Grandpa's friend comes to visit. Nat is very upset about something. Why is Nat so upset?

RobbieMorning, Grandpa. Is something the matter, Grandpa?
GrandpaThe editorial in this paper has my friend Nat Baker real upset. Ah! I'll read it to you. "The old library building on Chestnut Street, which has been vacant for over a year now, was supposed to be made into a community center to serve the senior citizens as well as the younger people of Riverdale.Due to lack of funds for the repainting of the interior of the building and for the furniture needed, the plans for the community center have been postponed indefinitely." He's coming over to talk about it.
RobbieIs it tat serious a problem, Grandpa?
GrandpaIt is. Nat's not as lucky as I am, Robbie. He doesn't have any family with hime. He lives alone and depends on places like a community center to be with people- pelple hi own age.
RobbieBut there's the old community center on Elm Street.
GrandpaIt's small, and the problem is that it's set up primarily for kids to play. Ping-Pong tables, soda machines, and lots of music. It's too noisy for some older people like Nat.
RobbieI never realized that.
GrandpaIt's hard for some older people to take all that noise. That's why the new community center is a good idea. Part of the building for older people, part of the building for younger people.
RobbieI see what you mean.
GrandpaThat must be Nat.
RobbieIt could be Alexandra. She's coming over this morning to help me with my math.
AlexandraHi, Robbie.
RobbieHi, Alexandra. Come on in. Do you want something cold to drink?
AxexandraI'd love some cola, please.
RobbieCola coming up. I really appreciate you coming over to help with my math. My final exam is next Tuesday.
AlexandraYou're so good in all your other subjects. I just can't understand why you have so many problems with math.
GrandpaHi, Alexandra.
AlexandraHi, Mr. Stewart.
GrandpaI thought that was Nat Baker who rang the front doorbell. Don't let me interrupt you.
RobbieNo problem, Grandpa. We're just having some cola before getting to tough stuff- math.
AlexandraHe'll do anything to avoid getting down to math lessons, Mr.Stewart.
GrandpaI was the same way.
RobbieReally, Grandpa?
GrandpaReall. I didn't like math, I wasn't good at it, and I didn't like studying it.
RobbieBut you had to be good at math. You graduated from engineering school.
GrandpaI was. But not in high school. For some reason, I couldn't get a handle on it. Then, in college. I became good at it.
AlexandraThen there's hope for Robbie.
RobbieI can't wait. You think I can just skip it now and get to it at college?
AlexandraYou'll never get to college to find out, Robbie, if you skip it now.
GrandpaThat must be Nat.
AlexandraSit down, Robbie. Let's get to work.
GrandpaI'd like you to meet my friend Nat Baker. This is Alexandra Pappas, and this is my grandson Robbie, whom I think you've met once twice before.
AlexandraNice to meet you, Mr. Baker.
RobbieHi, Mr.Baker. We met before.
NatWhere?
RobbieIn town. At the hardware store.
NatI remember now. Right. Hi. Hello, Alexandra.
GrandpaDon't let us keep you from your math tutoring. Robbie. I know you want to get to it.
RobbieStay...stay.
AlexandraI told you. He'll use any excuse to avoid math.
NatDid you read the story in the paper, Malcolm?
GrandpaI did.
NatIt's a serious matter for a lot of us. A serious matter.
GrandpaIt is. Come on out to the patio. We'll talk about it out there.
NatThanks. Nice to meet you...again.
AlexandraWhat's the problem?
RobbieCome on? You'll hear about it.

Act II

In Act Two, Nat and Grandpa talk about fixing up the old library. And Robbie and Alexandra offer to help too. So they agree to meet the next day. But the next day ... Where could they be?

NatThere is a way, Malcolm. We get our friends to roll their sleeves up and get to work.
GrandpaIt's certainly a good idea. If I could take a look at the place, I could probably tell what it requires to fix it up. How much paint, how many hours of work...
NatThat's what I came to ask you to do, Malcolm.If you would wupervise the refurbishing, I'll find the people to help do it.
RobbieI'll help too, Mr.Baker. I can get some of my friends to go around the neighbrhood and collect the furniture we need.
AlexandraI'll help.
GrandpaTomorrow. Yes. We'll meet tomorrow morning, right here.
RobbieCan we help?
AlexandraI'd really like to.
GrandpaSure.
NatWe might need you to come through with your friends, Robbie. Not just to go around the neighborhood asking for furniture, but to help with the paint job. That's backbreaking work and may be too much for us.
RobbieI'll do it. I'll talk to them.
AlexandraAnd tomorrow morning we'll all meet here to discuss the plan?
GrandpaCome in, come in. Please, come in.
NatI'd like you to meet my friend Malcolm Stewart. Malcolm, this Joanne Thompson
GrandpaHello, Joanne. Nice to meet you.
JoanneMy pleasure, Malcolm.
NatAnd this is Abe Lucas. You must remember Abe. He ran the drugstore and used to play drums with the jazz band on weekends.
GrandpaOh, sure I do. Hi, Abe.
AbeHello, Mr. Stewart.
GrandpaMalcolm, please.
AbeHello, Malcolm.
GrandpaSit down, sit down. Have some coffee. And I've got some delicious Danish pastry for you.
NatWhere's your grandson Robbie and his friend Alexandra? Weren't they going to be here this morning?
GrandpaI thought so, too. I'm surprised they're not here. Robbie left early this morning to meet Alexandra. Frankly, I thought they'd be here, but...
NatIt's OK. I'm sure they meant well, but they probably had other things on their minds.
JoanneI understand you used to be in the construction business, Malcolm.
GrandpaI was, indees.
JoanneI wonder if you would take a look at the old library and make sure that it is in good condition so that we don't have to worry about any structural problems.
GrandpaWhen can I do that? I'd be happy to.
AbeWe've got permission to go inside the old building during the week-Tuesday or Wednesday.
GrandpaThat's fine with me. I can do it either day.
JoanneThat would be very helpful.
NatI think the building just needs a good cleaning.
AbeAnd a good paint job.
JoanneThen we have to furnish it.
GrandpaI wish Robbie and Alexandra had come to this meeting. They had some ideas about getting the place fixed up.
JoannePerhaps they'll show up. In the meantime, let me give you some additional thoughts and ideas I have.
GrandpaOK.
NatGo ahead, Janne.
JanneAs I said, mostly the building just needs a good cleaning.
NatThis place can be developed with one real intergenerational program.
GrandpaThat's an idea I like. A community center with the kinds of programs that fit everyone.
NatAnd programs that don't leave anyone out.
JoanneIt's asking a lot. But we can't do it without talking to the young people. Finding out what they want.
GrandpaIf only Robbie and Alexandra were here.
NatDon't be upset, Malcolm. We'll have a chance to talk to them later.
GrandpaIt's not like Robbie. If he says he's going to be here, he's here. I wonder what the problem is.

Act III

In Act Three, Robbie and Alexandra finally arrive. And they brought someone to help work on the community center project. Maxwell listens to the others and understands what they need to do. But how can he help?

RobbieHi, everyone. Sorry I'm late. But Alexandra and I have been busy at work this morning on the community-center project.And we brought someone along who can help. You remember Charles Maxwell, Grandpa? He's the editor of the Riverdale paper. He wrote some nice articles on Mom when she was running for the school board.
GrandpaYes, I remember. You were a great help.
MaxwellHi, Mr. Stewart. Hope to be a bigger help on the new community-center project. From what Robbie and Alexandra have told me, you people are making one big story.
GrandpaLet me introduce you, Mr. Maxwell. This is Nat Baker, who's responsible for this meeting, and this is Joanne Thompson-and Abe Lucas, who used to run the drugstore in town.
MaxwellRobbie and Alexandra told me what you need to fix up the old library. I am planning to write an editorial that I think will help you.
GrandpaLet's go. What are your questions?
MaxwellOK. Now, I have...first...a couple of questions here. Have you talked to the community council? And have you had an engineer come in to do an inspection?
MaxwellOK, what do you need most of all?
GrandpaPeople power. Mem and women, young and old, to give us their time.
MaxwellTo do what?
JoanneTo help scrub the building interior clean.
NatSo that we can repaint it.
MaxwellAnd you also need bodies to do repainting?
GrandpaThat's right. And we'll also need some ladders and some brushes and some paint.
MaxwellWhen do you need the volunteers, and where do they report?
GrandpaI've got the council to agree to open the building for us on the next four weekends.
MaxwellHow about furnshings? Are there any special requirements that I should list in the paper?
JoanneYes. Here is a copy of all the things we need to start with.
MaxwellLet's see. Four desks. Eight straight-back chairs. Thirty folding chairs. Six table lamps. Three end tables .One piano. This is a good start. These items shouldn't be difficult to come by once I print the article in the paper. This community has always been very generous.
GrandpaI agree, Mr. Maxwell.
MaxwellWhat you're saying is, in order for this center to succeed, we need to put together volunteers from the various generations of future users.
GrandpaThat's right.
NatAnd without their energy and stamina, there's no way we can complete this project.
MaxwellI've got it. Now give m some information about how you see the building being used.
JoanneOh, here. On the ground floor we have the reception area...
GrandpaIt's here, Robbie. Charles Maxwell lived up to his word. "At the Stewart family home on Linden street yesterday, a group of caring Riverdale citizens gathered to plan the refurbishing of the old library to transform it into a new community center. The original plan by the council was tabled because of lack fo funds.The new plan needs you . You could call it a community unity plan. It needs your time, and it needs your energy. And it needs your contributions of fumiture, paint, brushes, ladders, lamps, et cetera. A list of these items and a volunteer form can be picked up at the Riverdale Press offices. By working together, this community can do anything to benefit its citizens, and we know you will all work together towards refurbishing the old library and making it a new community center. Charles Maxwell, Editor."


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