JAFFREY — The Jaffrey Civic Center “Stories to Share” speaker series continues Friday with tales from a Peterborough man who served more than 30 years in United States embassies and experienced a terrorist attack at one in Damascus in 2006.
Robert “Bob” Beck moved to the Monadnock Region in 2020 after three decades working in U.S. embassies around the world from Europe to the Middle East and Asia.
Rebecca Fredrickson, executive director of the Jaffrey Civic Center, said Beck plans to tell stories both “harrowing” and “humorous” during his talk, including one about a violent terrorist attack he survived while working in his office on the third floor of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
Beck teaches foreign policy at Keene State College and lives in Peterborough with his wife of 36 years, Meg.
Fredrickson said the first Friday speaker series, which started in October and continues through May, is a new way for the community to share and connect.
“This series has been an opportunity for people in the Monadnock Region to share their stories,” she said. “It’s a new series; it’s sort of evolving as we go.”
The driving force behind the series is Joe Steinfield of Jaffrey, Fredrickson said.
“Joe Steinfield has been very involved and a great support to the Civic Center. He suggested the speaker series. He helped with the lineup and some of the planning of the events,” she said. “He’s also the moderator.”
Next month the series will feature Jaffrey attorneys Jeff and Martha Crocker on Feb. 4, with Martha sharing her experiences as Cheshire County’s first woman lawyer and Jeff sharing his family’s experiences as Jaffrey’s first Jewish family.
Upcoming speakers also include actress Lisa Bostnar on March 4, artist Jeanne Duval on April 1, and Executive Director of the Historical Society of Cheshire County Alan Rumrill on May 6.
“I’m very pleased with the variety of people that we have participating,” Fredrickson said. “There’s something for everybody for sure.”
“Stories to Share with Bob Beck: Was That a Grenade or a Mortar? Stories from a Terrorist Attack” is set for Friday, Jan. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Jaffrey Civic Center Auditorium Gallery as well as via Zoom.
Due to the recent surge in COVID, Fredrickson said, the center is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination and will require masks at the event.
“We’ve always been careful, but things are spreading a bit more so we are just making sure we are being safe,” Fredrickson said of January’s safety precautions.
Registration is required to attend the event in person at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stories-to-share-with-bob-beck-tickets-226018496407.
To attend the event virtually email the Civic Center for the Zoom link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event is free. Donations to support the event and others like it will be accepted.
For more information go to www.jaffreyciviccenter.com.