The Tarrytown Diaries of Professor Stokes



Friday evening got off to a slow start due to technical difficulties.  We were all gathered in the hallway outside the grand ballroom in the semblance of a line for about two hours, during which time I became fairly well acquainted with the people standing around me.  Originally, the doors were supposed to open at 7:00 p.m.  Time passed, and we were told to wait until 7:45 p.m. then 8:00…then 8:30…

Angelique's Coffin

Angelique Emerges from her Coffin


Sometime after 9:00 p.m., we were finally permitted inside the dimly lit, fog-filled ballroom.  An ornate coffin lay in the center of the room while the humming of the fog machine and the recorded sounds of wolves howling played in the background.  Diana Millay, Terry Crawford, and Marie Wallace took seats in the front row while Ed Lambese, the organizer, welcomed us to the eighth annual Halloween weekend.  After introductions were made, we sat quietly for a few minutes while the wolves continued to howl and the fog in the room grew even thicker.  Slowly, the coffin began to open and a white-haired woman in a long black dress climbed out.  The figure gazed darkly over the audience, then turned and attacked Ed Lambese.  Lights came on and the woman removed her wig, revealing herself to be Lara Parker, who had been waiting in the coffin all this time for a delayed cue.


DS Ladies

DS Ladies: Terry Crawford, Marie Wallace,
Diana Millay & Lara Parker


For the first few minutes, Lara was on-stage alone, speaking about her son’s recent wedding, which sounded very hectic.  Lara had been in charge of all the arrangements—the bride’s family did zip.  She had made the bridal gown herself and ordered wedding pictures (which the newlyweds hadn't even done.)  Then there were some difficulties with the “valet girls,” who were nervous about driving guests’ cars up and down the winding road to Lara’s house and simply parked the cars wherever they pleased without informing anybody else.  Nevertheless, it was still a happy event.  Lara was also asked about her next book, and she admitted that she hadn't been able to write much lately  because of the recent excitement.  She’s had two extensions so far, and hopes to have the manuscript prepared by January.

Soon, the other actresses—Marie Wallace, Terry Crawford, and Diana Millay—joined Lara for the evening panel.  Since there were no chairs immediately on-stage, the four ladies made themselves comfortable on the coffin lid.  At this point we discovered that the Q&A panel was going to be a Ladies’ Night as none of the male stars had shown up.  Christopher Pennock had a part in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” and I didn’t hear what Jim Storm’s excuse was.  Nobody seemed to know where Roger Davis was, though they expected him to turn up later in the weekend. 

First, the stars updated us on their current projects.  Terry spoke about her ministry and how every summer she participates in a workshop in Europe, mentoring children.  Diana discussed the trip to Romania that she will be hosting this May.  “Before long, the United States will be pouring money into this country, and all of the historic buildings will be torn down, so this will be our last chance to see the real Romania.”  Marie is still a photographer, mainly at public events.  Lara shared that she is working towards her Masters degree at Antioch College.  Before being accepted into the program, she’d had to submit a sample of writing, and had presented a chapter from her book.  “They turned me down, saying that they didn’t accept genre writing.  So I wrote another story about making my daughter in-law’s wedding dress, and they approved me.