Saturday, June 9, 2012


Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days.

Egyptian Proverb

          During my travels across Second Life (SL), as I’ve written a few times, I’ve been struck by the communities which have grown up inworld and have developed lives of their own.  Many times these complement the Real Life (RL) lives of their members. Other times they exist apart.  Either way they are vibrant and diverse groups of people celebrating some facets of their lives together.

          Today, I will write about celebrations inworld.  In particular the anniversary celebrations of two communities that I’ve become close to over the past year and to whose members I find myself returning to from time to time. (You’ll have to ask them yourself how they feel about me dropping in.) 

          The two sims are 1920’s Berlin and Book Island, places I’ve visited several times and written about previously.  Their members were gracious in making themselves available for interviews with me and guiding me to other locations inworld for other stories.  (Or, maybe they just wanted to get me out of town?)

          1920’s Berlin recently celebrated their third anniversary and Book Island their fifth anniversary.  Each had a full program of events celebrating their successes and partying to enjoy their company.  I was invited to both.  I attended both (although in one case, due to the vicissitudes of RL, I arrived in the middle of the night and had to celebrate all by my lonesome). 

          The community behind 1920’s Berlin is led by Frau Jo Yardley and is dedicated to role playing the city of Berlin as it was during the Weimar Republic. The spirit and physical look and feel of the sim is exceptional as I’ve written before and I encourage people to visit. 

          But 1920’s Berlin is not just a static sim which gathers virtual dust and bots mechanically greet visitors.  Anyone who got caught up in the recent recreation of the May Day riots would probably agree.  Likewise anyone dropping by the monthly naturists’ social in the public baths would probably have a similar opinion.   And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Eldorado Club on Saturday nights. 

          The third anniversary celebrations did not disappoint.  Parties, bands, parades, a treasure hunt, a car rally through the streets of Berlin, and museum exhibits were but a few of the events scheduled.  Even the strict period dress rules were relaxed for a period of time.  Don’t let me forget to mention the new zeppelin which flew overhead?  (Now, some may ask how, with all this going on, did I manage to miss all of it and wind up as a one man parade? Well, let’s just say it’s complicated.) In a word, these folks know how to throw a party.

          Book Island had similar celebrations for their fifth anniversary (without the road rally and zeppelin though).  Actually, probably a bit more sedate given the nature of this sim.  Selina Greene established Book Island as sanctuary for writers in SL.  I visited with her and her friends and came away thinking that SL could be the new salon for the twenty-first century. 

          Group events, dances, music, speeches, and poetry readings were the stables of this anniversary.  As with 1920’s Berlin, the community came out to participate and enjoy themselves.

          One dance I attended had Brendan Shoreland providing the live musical entertainment and there was also a period costume party for the guests.  (I didn’t win.)  The festivities were not disappointing.  Here, I can say from personal experience that everyone had a great time. 

          I came away from both these celebrations impressed by the organizational skills to produce these events which went over several days in each case and their content.  These were not just cookie cutter images of each other.  Each was different and had its own theme.  Each responded to its community in its own way.  What they had in common was that everyone had a wonderful time. 

          As I started this post by talking about the communities inworld and how they are developing, I’d like to end by taking about each one’s traditions and shared memories and how they are remembered and handed down.  Are we really any different from our ancestors who sat around fires in the night thousands of years ago and shared stories from our common past with those who continue on after us?  Think about it.

I would like to thank Frau Jo Yardley and Selina Greene for their kind invitations to join them and their friends in their celebrations.  I also wish them and their communities continued success and many more anniversaries! 

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

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Photo No. 1 Frau Jo Yardley  

Photo No. 3 Selina Greene

Photo No. 6 Book Island Fireworks  

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