September 2005 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum
We thank you for your continual interest and support. For newcomers to our e-mail Update list, none of the names on this list--nor the names of any Museum visitors, conference attendees or bookstore customers--are shared with any other individuals or organizations. If at any time you wish to be removed from this list, please let us know.
All previous Updates, dating from March 2004, available online.
You can access them through the Updates option at the top of this page or via the Quick Links along the left side of the page. These Updates provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.
September at Orgonon
Milestone Celebration in New York City
A New Manuscript in Progress
2006 Summer Conference
New Furnace Is Coming!
Thanks to Maine Community Foundation
Applying for Grants
SEPTEMBER AT ORGONON
It's officially autumn, and the unseasonable warmth this month
makes it feel like a welcome extension of summer. But without
the summer crowds and all the attendant activity. Here in the
Rangeley Lakes Region the last week of September is usually
characterized by peak autumn foliage, but as of today the color
has barely begun. Which means foliage season in Maine's western
mountains will undoubtedly stretch into the first week of October,
and perhaps even beyond.
This Sunday marks the final day of the year that the Orgone Energy
Observatory is open to the public on a regular schedule, although
private tours are available year-round by special appointment and our
175-acre property is open to the public every day from 9:00 to 5:00.
September has always been a time for us to take a breath after a
busy summer, and then forge ahead to the next series of projects
and activities. Which will bring us to The Williams Club in
New York City on the evening of October 21st:
JOIN US ON OCTOBER 21, 2005 FOR A
MILESTONE CELEBRATION IN NEW YORK CITY
HONORING A LIFETIME OF SERVICE TO
THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST:
MARY BOYD HIGGINS
on the occasion of her 80th Birthday
As we move optimistically forward into the future--pursuing
opportunities in America involving Reich's medical and
scientific work, and preparing the Reich Archives for access
to scholars and researchers--friends and supporters would
like to pause for an evening of reflection and gratitude.
From 1959 until 1994, Mary served as the sole Trustee of
the Trust. (In 1994 the Trust became a non-profit corporation
governed by a Board of Directors, of which Mary is one.)
In 1960 she founded the Wilhelm Reich Museum
in accordance with instructions in Reich's Last Will and Testament,
and continues to serve as the Museum Director.
It was through Mary's steadfast devotion to Reich's Last
Will and Testament that the Reich Archives--stolen from
the Orgone Energy Observatory in 1958--were recovered,
and are now at the Countway Library of Medicine at
Harvard University; and that Orgonon--abandoned and
vandalized following Reich's death--now survives as
The Wilhelm Reich Museum; and that starting in 1960,
one of the top publishing companies in New York--
Farrar Straus & Giroux--began re-publishing Reich's
books which had been banned and burned by the
United States government.
Chances are that you have benefited in some way from
the goods works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
and the Wilhelm Reich Museum, that the efforts of
Mary Boyd Higgins on behalf of the Trust and Museum
have touched you in some way.
We hope you'll join us in New York City to celebrate
Mary's 80th birthday, and express your appreciation
for a lifetime of dedication to Reich's legacy.
We ask that you R.S.V.P. by Friday, October 14th so we can
plan accordingly, at (207) 864-3443 or email@example.com
If you're unable to attend, please think about making a
donation to The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust as your personal gesture of gratitude.
The evening will include a champagne fete and refreshments,
with music provided by jazz pianist Andy Kahn.
When: Friday - October 21, 2005 - 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Williams Club, 24 East 39th St., New York City
Contribution Requested: $75.00 per person to benefit
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund.
For more information, please contact the Wilhelm Reich Museum
at (207) 864-3443 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A NEW MANUSCRIPT IN PROGRESS
Mary Higgins is currently working on a manuscript for a sequel to
American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940 – 1947 (published in
1999 by Farrar Straus & Giroux). This new autobiographical book
will pick up where American Odyssey left off, with a presentation of
Reich's letters and journals from 1948 into the 1950s. No publication
date has been announced yet.
2006 SUMMER CONFERENCE
We are putting together next summer's conference, and hope to
have an announcement in our October Update. It's scheduled
for July 17 – 21, and we've already contacted a list of prospective
presenters to confirm their commitment and topics. In keeping
with our emphasis on moving forward, the Conference will focus
on current research, scholarship, projects, and practical applications
involving different aspects of Reich's work.
THANK YOU - OUR NEW FURNACE IS COMING
We are deeply grateful and genuinely touched by your generous
response to our Furnace Fund. Thanks to your outpouring of
financial support, a new furnace for the Orgone Energy Observatory
will be installed next month in time for winter. The original furnace--
installed during construction of the Observatory in 1948--was
removed earlier this year. This procedure also required the removal
of all asbestos from the furnace room, a costly painstaking task
involving considerable health and safety precautions.
We are also deeply grateful for the kind words and expressions
of support for the Trust and the Museum which many of you
sent with your financial contributions. That the efforts of
the Trust and the Museum have affected so many of you means
a lot to us.
We'd also like to cite our friend and supporter Andy Kahn who
galvanized our Summer Conference with his significant contribution
for the furnace, and infused the participants with renewed enthusiasm
for what was, at the time, our most pressing need. But whatever
the amount of your contribution, please be assured that any donation
to any of our needs is truly a donation to everything that we do.
THANKS TO MAINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
A major contributor to the Furnace Fund was the Maine Community
Foundation, a statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and
Portland. MCF works in partnership with donors and community
groups to support worthwhile causes.
Earlier this year, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust applied for a
Foundation grant to replace the Observatory furnace. And in July
we received a letter informing us that our application had been
approved. What was intriguing was the fact that a generous but
anonymous donor was involved.
In the letter, grants manager Marcie Bowden wrote: "I am pleased
to report that the Directors of the Maine Community Foundation
have approved a grant of $7,500 to the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
to replace the museum's original heating system (circa 1948), and
to remove and dispose of asbestos-containing material surrounding
the steam furnace, boiler room and crawl spaces. This grant is
made from a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation.
MCF staff referred your proposal to a donor we thought might be
interested in providing support for your project, and this grant is
the result of that referral."
We have forwarded our thanks to MCF and this unidentified benefactor.
And we hope that at some point this anonymous contributor will
identify himself or herself so that we can express our gratitude in person.
APPLYING FOR GRANTS
Grantwriting consumes a substantial amount of our time. Grants for
infrastructure improvements, for our popular summer Nature Programs,
public lectures, and other community and cultural events. (We look
forward to some day in the future when we might apply for grants for
projects specifically focused on Reich's work.)
But back to more mundane matters, i.e. applying for a grant to build
a second restroom in our Conference Building (formerly Reich's
Student Laboratory). Each year this building is the venue for numerous
events, which can attract as many as a hundred people at one time.
Our Evenings of Music, which we began in 2004, have sold out both
times. In August, the lecture "Flagstaff: The Drowning of a Village"
brought in a capacity crowd. Our Nature Programs, as well as our
annual "Breakfast With Santa" are always well attended by adults
and children. And our Summer Conferences, devoted specifically
to Reich's work, attract dozens of participants.
Our plan is to build a second restroom in what is now the utility room,
adjacent to the restroom we now have which is currently accessed
through the kitchen. The door to the utility room in the northwest
corner of the conference hall will provide entry to both restrooms.
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
Please share this Update with colleagues, friends, and family who may be interested in the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich and the good works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Thank you again for your friendship and support.