Maryanne DiPalma Buchele
Event: Latte Lecture — Erased Women of the Catskills
Maryanne was one of the first Americans to vote at 18 years old in 1972, after the voting age dropped from 21 to 18. She voted for the progressive Senator George McGovern who unfortunately lost against then incumbent Richard Nixon in 1973. She was delegate to the Bucks County, PA Miss World pageant, where she discovered firsthand real oppression of women. She walked out of the pageant when she learned that it was fixed for her to win by a sleazy modeling agent who was already calling her “his girl”. Years of struggle against gender discrimination followed for Maryanne in both the business and academic worlds. She frequently spoke out against inequality, despite dire personal consequences such as losing her job and suffering serious physical abuse. She also witnessed the oppression of people she worked with in the performing arts due to race or gender identities and helped fight beside them for their equal rights. In 1991, Maryanne was the first woman ever to run for Mayor of her hometown. As the votes were being counted and her male opposition saw that she was winning, the inactive, non-voters were rounded up and fed drinks in the town bar in exchange for their votes against her. She then lost by a mere 48 votes. Most closely held to her heart are her experiences of living among and working with the Navajo and Hopi communities in Arizona, the “Mission Indians” in California and the Seminole in Florida. While studying and researching the role of her character Matilda Joselyn Gage in The Halloween Journey 2018, Maryanne’s deep resonance with the spirituality and philosophies of Native American cultures reemerged. She feels a deep kinship with Gage and her work with the Iroquois Confederacy and is honored to help give a voice to this important woman who has been written out of history.