What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog looks back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening, and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “at three o’clock, there will be a musicale arranged by Mrs. Appleton, at the Women’s University Club” and, “Easter Week opened with the brilliant masquerade given by the Junior Club and closed with the gay Tennis Ball.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Easter has come and gone, finding Seattlites quarantined in their homes. But this isn’t the first time Seattle’s had a slow April. “The Lenten season seems to be having less effect on social affairs than usual this year,” read the April 5, 1919 issue of the Town Crier. “Bridge is on the increase and dancing carries on quite as usual. As a matter of fact, there has been no such social revival here, following the war, as has taken place in other cities.” 

Not everyone in 1919 was affected by these doldrums, however. “But one may be sure that even though there are no large social events drawing the many groups into one, yet youth will be served and many small circles are continually forming for social life, regardless of decrees.” Here’s hoping that people today take the opposite model. Suspend forming for social life! Respect decrees!

The people of Seattle were optimistic back then that the summer would give everyone a chance to get out of their homes once more. “Possibly next season will find a realignment of forces, but at present there is no indication of a renewal of social activity after Lent, save for the ever-present benefits that know neither time nor season.” 

Right now Town Hall is striving to be that ever-present benefit by presenting our events virtually, with new weekly podcast episodes and upcoming livestreams practically every day. 

In lieu of another game of bridge, tune in during quarantine for jazz concerts, civic conversations, podcast episodes about the search for alien life, and so much more. And keep your social life healthy by tuning in together with friends!

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