The Seventh Anniversary Annual Gathering of the Robert Benchley Society will be Friday through Sunday, July 16-18, 2010, in Boston.

Don't Miss these Events!

Annual Award Dinner, Saturday, July 17th.

    The Boston We've Come for the Davenport Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society has planned an outstanding weekend packed full of events for this the Seventh Anniversary Annual Gathering of the Society. This is the first time back in Boston for the Society since the very successful 2005 Annual Gathering and we hope to top that event.

    This year's Annual Humor Awards Dinner will be held aboard the Secret Love. This handsome yacht has the charm and amenities that define private yachting. She features luxurious finishes and state-of-the-art electronics, a full galley, and multiple dining layouts. Secret Love has a large and airy salon. For the guests wanting to take in the ocean breezes, the large aft-deck, spacious bow and expansive fly-bridge offer ample seating -- the perfect locations for cocktails under the stars.

    We have chartered the vessel for Saturday evening, which will start with the crew passing hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. There will be a full open-bar for the entirety of the cruise. Boston organizer of this event, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull, has opted for the most luxurious of the dinner selections offered on the Secret Love, Boiled Maine Lobster Tails with drawn butter and Tenderloin of Beef with creamy horseradish sauce.

    Our daylight departure will afford stunning views of Rowes Wharf Marina, the Boston skyline as best seen -- from the water -- and historic Boston Harbor. The cruise is timed to give us a fabulous view of sunset over Boston and after dark return to spectacular Rowes Wharf and its Venice-like waterside promenade. The Secret Love, at 80 feet, can accommodate up to 65 guests. Our party is expected to be no more than half that number, so there will be ample room to enjoy the amenities of this vessel. As a private charter we will be the only guests on the yacht, so this will truly be an evening to remember with the members of the Robert Benchley Society.

    At this event Ed Tasca of Toronto, Ontario and of Mexico will be presented with the Robert Benchley Award for Humor. In addition to Mr. Tasca's first place entry,"Let’s Click Up the Old Gang Sometime", we'll be honoring our medalists in this year's competition, which was judged by Kevin Fitzpatrick. They are Brenda Pontiff of Los Angeles, Calif. for "A Teensy Weensy Renaissance", Con Chapman of Weston, Mass. for "Foundations of Western Logic", and B. Elwin Sherman of Bethlehem, N.H. for "A Woman At Home".

    Dress for the private dinner cruise on the Secret Love is optional black tie and/or 1920s-1940s period.

Other Events.

    On Friday, July 16th you'll gather for a private party at Mary and David's poolside cabana at the Clubs at Charles River Park. Bring your swimsuit or work-out clothes to enjoy the fully-equipped gym, operated by Massachusetts General Hospital, and the outdoor and indoor swimming pools with hot tub. David will be pouring the drinks at the cabana tiki bar. Please note: this event is currently scheduled for Friday but may be moved if the weather looks better on one of the other days. Food will be catered from one of Boston's restaurants.

    If there is interest we'll catch Kris Knievil and the Miss-Leading Ladies at the 10:15 p.m. show at Jacques Cabaret. This adult show was quite a hit with some RBS members back in 2005. I understand one member is still being blackmailed over a certain lap-dance photo!

    For breakfast and luncheon on Saturday we take you a little off the usual tourist route to show you where Beacon Hill locals eat at reasonable prices.

    Did Boston roar in the 'twenties? Find out on this walking tour designed to show off buildings and sites in Boston associated with Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, and other note-worthy or notorious characters of the 1920s. A couple of the sites at the beginning of the tour may be familiar to those who went on the 2005 Boston walking tour, but the rest of the route and narrative are completely new and will include things that even most Bostonians are not aware of, such as the Niles Building, out of which Charles Ponzi ran his eponymous scheme. Don't miss this Saturday event!

    Also on Saturday we have arranged for a hall to meet in where any Robert Benchley Society member with a book in print or coming out soon will be able to display, sign, and sell books. Just let us know ahead of time that you need space on the program to promote your book.

    On Sunday, July 18th beginning at 1:00 p.m. we'll be in Boston's North End, the "Little Italy" of the hub city, for the Processione San Rocco. Even if you've been to other Italian feasts, you will be in for a treat. Those of you who have never been to an outdoor Italian festival don't know what you've been missing. Boston is world-famous for our Italian feasts. Your local hosts, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull and David Trumbull, both write for the North End's Italian-American newspaper, the Post-Gazette, and can offer suggestions for things to do and see in Boston's oldest neighborhood. For a glimpse of what's in store for you at this fabulous outing, view this Youtube video of last year's procession. Dress is casual and be sure to bring dollar bills to pin on San Rocco!

    For those who are interested, brunch in an Italian cafe on the North End's Hanover Street can be arranged.

Don't miss this event, which will be the largest 2010 gathering of Robert Benchley fans. Commitments to attend have already been made by members of Robert Benchley Society Chapters in–

  • Ann Arbor, Mich.,
  • New York City,
  • Washington State, and
  • several members from the Boston and Providence area

Where to Stay.

    The suggested hotel for the event is Omni Parker House at the corner of School Street and Tremont Street. Note that as a small group we have not been able to arrange a convention rate at The Parker House. You are on your own to book a hotel room. David is also happy to suggest economy lodging within reasonable distance of the events.

    As you pass through the sculpted bronze doors of this luxury Boston hotel, you will be enveloped by the timeless beauty that has made the Omni Parker House a landmark since 1855. Experience the perfect blend of modern amenities and historic charm at America’s oldest continuously-operating hotel. Located on the Freedom Trail, guests enjoy grand views of historic downtown Boston, from the Parker House you are a short walk to Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market, the Financial District, shopping and more. Just 2.5 miles (10-15 minutes) from Logan International Airport.

    In the 19th century the hotel was home to the Saturday Club, which consisted of literary dignitaries such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. The Parker House invented American foods such as Boston cream pie and the Parker House roll, and coined the term "scrod". As the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States, the Parker House has been the employers of well-known people, including Hô Chí Minh who was a baker in the bakeshop from 1911 to 1913, Malcolm X, who was a busboy in the early 1940s, and Emeril Lagasse. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for Congress in the hotel's Press Room, proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier, as well as held his bachelor party here.


    Fly to Boston's Logan International Airport or train or bus to Boston's South Station. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST you DO NOT rent a car in Boston as all the events are in easy walking distance or on frequently serviced subway or trolley lines.

How to Sign-up

Register for the Robert Benchley Society 2010 Annual Gathering using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below and you will be taken to a page with your confirmation. The PayPal billing information will show "Mary4Nails." Once you pay you will be automatically redirected to the RBS Annual Gathering Registration Confirmation page; if it does not automatically forward, hit the PayPal button "Return to Vendor." Registration is offered only for the entire three-day package; there is no "ala carte" option.

The price for registration is–
Now through June 5$200
June 6 through 30$225
After June 30$250

Note: The registration fee covers all cost (including tax and tip) for the Saturday evening dinner cruise with open bar, the Friday afternoon/evening private cocktails and hors d’oeuvres cabana reception and use of the gym and pool, the Saturday book signing event, and the Saturday walking tour of Boston in the 1920s. For other events such as Friday late-night cabaret, Saturday breakfast and luncheon, and Sunday brunch, you will be responsible for your own bill at these moderatedly-priced (by Boston standards) venues.

Photos of recent Annual Gatherings