I jumped at the chance to go back to Athens Saturday with Steve. He's writing an article for The Columbus Examiner about Ohio Unitarian Universalists' reactions to the recent death of Art Gish, so I recommended he speak to Bob Whealey, professor emeritus of history at O.U., and my longtime friend and mentor. (I knew him for three or four years before I ever took a class from him.) Steve and I met Bob at Perks, a coffee shop diagonally across from College Gate, early Saturday evening. (It had been a jewelry store, and later a Kinko's, during my years in Athens.) The conversation was quite free-flowing, and we spoke about much more than Art Gish and his legacy. I think it could have gone on for hours, except that Steve was worried his parking meter at Scott Quad would expire, and, since his wife had gone to Kentucky for the weekend, that if he didn't get home soon, their dogs would be going berserk.
Speaking of berserk, that describes the rest of Saturday night for me. I stopped in at Dude Locker Fest II, a marathon metal concert at the Tompkins Warehouse on E. Hudson St. Several metal bands played, and there was an impromptu skate park set up on the asphalt in front of the building. I've never learned to ride a skateboard, and I was awed by some of the feats these guys performed. One wooden ramp stood next to a small bonfire (fueled mostly by trash and old pizza boxes), and I winced every time I thought someone would get to the top of the ramp, spill, and land in the fire. They spilled, but thankfully each one managed to fall away from the flames.
On the other side of the parking lot, someone rigged up a ramp which included an old dryer, which made the drop-off that much higher and steeper. Several people wiped out attempting it, but just as many landed with all skateboard wheels on the asphalt, and the rider balanced perfectly atop it. It amazed me how much the excessive alcohol could dampen inhibitions, and make the body more relaxed and able to absorb falls and blows, but at the same time they did not sacrifice the coordination and dexterity necessary to perform skateboard stunts and not end up crippled as a result.
Since I got home from Dude Locker Fest II, all I've wanted to do was sleep. I skipped church, but I did make it to work this morning and the library afterwards.
Mostly, I'm counting down the days until Friday. The Garden of LRY (a reunion for those of us who were in Liberal Religious Youth from the '60s through the '90s) takes place at a 4-H camp near Newton, N.J. this weekend, and yours truly will be going. Susie will be coming along too--she can make new friends among the teenagers there. The teenagers can sit back and watch their parents act like teenagers. I am moved by the generosity of Marc and Julie, a couple at church, who have offered to drive Susie and me to and from. (Julie is driving me to New Jersey, since Marc will be in Seattle and will be flying to Newark on Friday. All four of us will head back to Columbus Sunday.) I had planned on going Greyhound both ways, but when I mentioned this to Marc during coffee hour at church the Sunday before last, that was when he suggested we come with them. Since not buying bus tickets freed up some money, that was when I began to think Susie would enjoy coming. It'll add a new state (New Jersey) to her list.
Julie, Susie, and I are departing around 9 a.m. Friday morning. According to Google Maps, it's a 9½-hour journey, but I'm sure it'll be longer when we add stops for bathroom breaks, refilling, eating, etc. Travelling with someone else will make it a less grueling trip. I was upfront about not being able to drive. That started off as a choice, long before narcolepsy made it a matter of necessity.
The camp itself (the G. Lindley Cook 4-H Camp) is way out in the boondocks and beyond the reach of Wi-Fi. True to my calling as Notebook Addict of the Month (normally the Webmaster chooses Notebook Addict of the Week), I'll be blogging with paper and ink. Once I'm back in Columbus, I'll backdate entries and scan the pages into the blog, so you'll read my thoughts and impressions upon my return.
Here is the entry with my "award." I am no photographer, but they did publish my pictures of the work notebooks and rough drafts of William Vollmann's gigantic novel Europe Central, which was on display at the OSU Library last month.
A very small tip of the iceberg that would become Europe