Suzan Longo
November 11, 2006
Suzan Longo -- Post Meeting Write-up

Suzan began her presentation by holding Excalibur aloft and
giving what was, in legend, the rally before battle of King
Arthur. Pretty cool touch. She then moved into the various
works out there..As mentioned, a wonderful job was done
blending historical facts with the legends. Was Arthur
Roman, Celtic? Guinevere & Lancelot - did they or didn't
they? Legends from both the U.K. and France were covered
to show how each culture affected the story. Suzan's
personal thoughts were interjected, and has us laughing.
DO NOT use flaming arrows in any Arthur/Camelot film you
may ever make and show it to Suzan - she will retaliate by
shooting you with one!! At this point, Steve S, very deadpan,
says "blame Kirk Douglas"..we lost it! Another pet-peeve of
Suzan's was the scale of the artwork of the time - she
showed us a painting, simply said "arm" and passed the
book around. Holy smokes - the arm of the figure was about
8 feet long!! Yikes! Fascinating fact we learned - members of
the royal family, even in this day and age, all use the name
Arthur somewhere in their long string of names. Why? So if
they usher in a new age, they are Arthur reborn! No kidding.
Those wacky royals! Suzan ended her presentation by
discussing the dreaded condition acute, excessive
Arthurania. Warning signs - if you excessively compare
versions, match history to legend, name your dog Cabel
(Arthur's white wolfhound), you are clearly suffering from
Arthurania. As she's giving us the signs, she's looking at her
mountain of books, movies, artwork scattered all around her
(literally, the pile got so big it toppled over during the
meeting). The cure? Suzan picks up two coconut halves,
claps them together as we all cried "RUN AWAY!" Yep, get
thee over to
Monty Python's Holy Grail for some fun. After a
lot of clapping, we let Suzan pack up her things ( I think our
grabbing her gown had her frightened..lol)..

The night continued at the diner complete with our guest
speaker. She thought we were fun and had good questions.
Conversation flowed non-stop until well after 1:00 am and
covered everything from Camelot/Arthur/Merlin, recent
movies seen, Aurelia's dinner selection and Bill W turning
into a troubador to tell Remy a tale of yore (who knew).
Nancy Denker saving the night by giving troubador Bill her
Tide Stain Stick.
The Simpson's..and the funniest of all,
Aurelia "opening her eyes" at both Remy & me (we were too
behaving!!)..this, of course, from Denzel Washington in Man
on Fire..I'm opening my eyes at you!! Good, good fun. Join
us in December  for folklorist/author
S.E. Schlosser. Her
works include the
Spooky Series of books that cover local
lore/legend:
Spooky NJ, Spooky NY, Spooky PA, Spooky New
England
, Spooky South, and more. Presentation begins at
7:00pm. Following her presentation, we will invade a nearby
restaurant for some holiday fun with friends. Be there or
receive a flaming arrow!! You know me, I mean it!!!

Our guest speaker arrived shortly after your humble
correspondent (Steve Spinosa) did to act as pinch-hit
moderator for the evening. After roughly an hour of
meet-and-greet chat, I introduced
Suzan Longo, our
"in-house" Arthurian expert who gave a wonderfully
well-prepared talk on the subject, discussing first the novels,
then the scholarly works and lastly the films related to King
Arthur. Suzan was dressed in the appropriate royal garb for
the occasion (as were Mistress Ana & Sir Wilhelm of Keveney
-aka Brian). Among the books discussed were
The Once And
Future King
, The Mists of Avalon, Le Morte De Arthur, etc, as
well as the films
Excalibur,Tristan and Isolde(which was
roundly panned),
Merlin and, of course, the one and only
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. A great evening for all
who attended!!!

I forgot to add that we also discussed the films
PRINCE
VALIANT
(1954) & KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (1953)
which featured Robert Wagner (Bill's relative!?!} and Robert
Taylor respectively. During the pre-meeting discussion it was
mentioned that an episode of the TV Show
THE TIME TUNNEL
entitled "Merlin The Magician" had Merlin appearing in the
tunnel itself,suspending everything, then yanking Doug and
Tony back to the Middle (Dark?) ages to help Arthur drive the
Vikings (er Norsemen) out of England & retain his throne.
This episode had battle footage from
PRINCE VALIANT. Also:
* We discussed
CAMELOT, the Broadway & later Movie
Musical by Lerner & Loewe. Suzan preferred the Broadway
cast recording to the actual movie on the grounds that Julie
Andrews is a better singer than Vanessa Redgrave. It should
also be mentioned that The Living Strings recorded an
instrumental version of the Broadway score in 1961/62 and
released an album
LIVING STRINGS PLAY ALL THE MUSIC
FROM CAMELOT
(which was reissued in 1999 on the
Collectors Choice Music as a CD twofer).