A fund-raiser will tell you there are three basic components to whether someone will make a charitable gift.

The financial ability is one of those elements, but hardly the most important.

If you've solicited funds, you know that many people who can well afford to give simply do not, while other people of more slender means do give generously. The rich who don't give often lack the charitable spirit, which is the second key ingredient.

The third element is an emotional attachment to the project in question. Hepburn's performance in Summertime mimics the choices she made in her own life.Giving is partly rational, but there is a good deal of sentiment involved in it as well.

Don Goodall, who died last week in Florida, was a grateful graduate of Astoria High School. On an Astoria visit some two years ago, Goodall and his wife Grace made a most generous gift to the Astoria High School Scholarship Fund.

The key to aging well is remaining active intellectually. I received a letter or e-mail from Don on a regular basis. In one instance, he helped us improve our newspaper Web site. I'm not related to Don, but I feel a certain kinship, because his career began here in 1940.

Cuba consumes more than its share of American political anxiety. The Bush administration has fed red meat to the Cuban refugee lobby of Florida by tightening the ban on travel to that island.

There isn't much public discussion of Cuba in Congress. Thus it is all the more surprising that Cigar Aficionado, a thick glossy magazine for cigar lovers, devoted an entire issue to Cuba. Even more forthrightly, the magazine's publisher and executive editor, Marvin R. Shanken and Gordon Mott, proclaimed their impatience with the tired debate over Cuba.

Wrote Shanken and Mott: "For nearly 45 years, U.S. policy has failed to produce the changes the government would like to see in Cuba. Isn't it about time we tried something new? And isn't it about time that the government stop spending our tax dollars to catch a few people who smoke cigars?

"... With the Castro era ending soon, the United States is in a position to influence the course of events in Cuba. Our economic might, and the basic message of our free society, can be best exposed by opening the door to Cuba, for everyone. Now is the time. Stop wasting our time and money chasing cigar smokers."

Seeing Technicolor on a big movie screen is a lot like having one's taste buds awaken to the flavor of an organic tomato. The color is much deeper and richer than what you see from a DVD.

I was reminded of that distinction Saturday when I saw Summertime, a 1955 David Lean movie starring Kathryn Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi. Lean would subsequently direct Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago.

Karen Karbo, author of How to Hepburn, spoke prior to the Northwest Film Center screening of Summertime. Karbo said Hepburn made this movie at the moment when she was becoming more serious about her acting. Prior to this production, she had been content to be famous. Karbo added that the character Hepburn plays in this movie reflects the choices she had made in her own life.

Like Hepburn, the character Jane Hudson is an independent woman, traveling in Venice on her own. Hepburn's ability to project strength of character, brashness, loneliness, fear of sentiment, sentimentality and regret is a tour de force. Venice is the movie's co-star. Lean's cityscapes of that remarkable place are the ultimate travelogue.

The Film Center shows its movies in the Whitsall Auditorium of the Portland Art Museum. With comfortable seats and good lighting and great jazz beforehand, it's hard to imagine a more civilized movie theater.

- S.A.F.

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