The 9/16/10 showing of "Uncommon Vision" at the Clifton Center was special on many levels. It was the first large public screening. I was doing it in association with Interfaith Paths to Peace. This is a group whose work I've long admired. I'm always hesitant to speak for someone else but I think John Howard Griffin would've approved of the choice. Being on 9/16 had special meaning as that is the birth date of Arthur Sievert, father of my wife and one of the finest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of knowing.
The night seemed to go well and the audience (I'm guessing 150) responded in a positive fashion. The post-show discussion had great energy as well. The panelists (Markham French, Fr. James Conner and Fred Gross) brought great insight. Input from the audience was also good, including that from my old friend Gregory Chaney who scolded us at length for not being a more diverse audience. His general point was well-taken. The tone could use some fine-tuning.
For me the highlight of the panel discussion was hearing Fr. James relate how Griffin had been nearly electrocuted while working in Merton's hermitage. What saved him was the rubber wheels on his wheelchair. I may have heard that story before but I had forgotten.
The highlight of the evening was talking with people afterwards. The good wishes from friends were gratifying as was hearing from new acquaintances that they were moved and inspired by Griffin's life.