My Ebenezer Church experience in Atlanta last weekend which I blogged about a few days ago was nicely balanced by a wonderful Passover celebration with the family of my friend Seth Samuel, an Atlanta native who now lives in the Bay Area and produces VoiceBox, the following day.
Seth is one of nine siblings. With his parents (Melissa and Don), eight of the nine Samuel children, half of Seth’s sister Lily’s ultimate frisbee team, and me, it was a large and lively table.
Seth’s mother, the formidable Melissa Fay Greene (a well-respected non-fiction author and National Book Award finalist) led the seder. There was a “plague” of rubber frogs all over the ceiling, the food was delicious, we each got a prize for hunting down the matzoh, and it was all very jolly. Above is a picture of various members of Lily’s frisbee team playing with the puppet cicadas that they’d won in the matzoh hunt. The cicadas are a reference to the team’s name, but I can’t quite remember the details there.
Best of all was the music. Everyone sang. It didn’t matter that half of us were hazy on the tunes and lyrics and couldn’t understand Hebrew. It was raucous and delightful. Seth improvised accompaniments on the piano and one of his brother’s provided beatbox percussion to a few of the songs.
When the seder disbanded, we continued singing show tunes and then some of us gathered in the living room to hear a witty piece of audio that Seth had created by manipulating Ira Glass’s voice. I urged Seth to send his piece to the host of This American Life. I think the guy would get a kick out of it.
I didn’t want to go home.