Almost all available chairs were taken by the time I reached the Carolina Meadows lecture hall for a World Affairs program in early October. Judith Pulley had attracted an enthusiastic audience for her talk on “Russia’s Winter of Discontent: The Aftermath.” Engaging and thought provoking as usual, she provided video clips and lively commentary in a well-researched multi-media presentation on Vladimir Putin’s election and style of governing.
Russian scholar Sam Baron was in the audience, and he was among the first to dive into the discussion that followed the presentation. Other neighbors pitched in. Some had been in Moscow not long ago; some had traveled in Russia earlier. Some, like me, participated as interested listeners. I left feeling fortunate to be a Carolina Meadows resident. The following week, World Affairs met in a larger venue—the Carolina Meadows auditorium—in order to accommodate the crowd that attended Gerhard Weinberg’s presentation on “Postwar Aims of the Eight World War II Leaders.” Weinberg, an invited speaker, is a retired Kenan Professor of History and widely recognized authority on Nazi Germany and the origins of World War II. Beginning with Hitler and continuing through, Mussolini, Tojo, Chiang Kai Shek, Stalin, Churchill, DeGaulle, and Roosevelt, he gave us thoughtful and compelling—sometimes chilling—glimpses of the aims and hopes of each leader. As always, there was plenty to chat about afterwards over lunch. No wonder Paul Hardin, former UNC Chancellor, says, “I always advise new residents to keep the 10:30 – 11:30 Friday morning slot open for the World Affairs programs that Judith and Raymond Pulley organize.” A passionate supporter of continuing education, he was quick to add that this is only one of the many great programs that benefit Carolina Meadows residents.
By Beverly Patterson