|That's my dorm, Emmet, on the left in this oil by Charlottesville artist Edward Thomas, who, interestingly enough, also lived in Emmet.|
|It gives me great pleasure to say that, although the vivacity of these blooded colts at the University frequently leads them into all sorts of deviltries and excesses, they have almost invariably the manners of gentlemen. P.C., 1853|
Invariably I’d look at a person’s face, and then my eyes would dart down to their lanyard to see what year they were before looking up to again to see how kind Father Time had been. Occasionally I'd have a little flashback to the days towards the end of my mother’s life when I’d take her to the supermarket.
Every now and then, we'd run into an old acquaintance of hers. They’d chatter away like best friends and then we’d go on our merry way. On occasion, when we were an aisle or two away, my mother would say, “Who was that?”, even though two minutes previously you’d have sworn she was shooting the breeze with her long-lost twin cousin Raoul. I’d say, “That was Marge Smith” and my mother would invariably reply “She looks terrible!” I chuckled every time. Still do, as a matter of fact.
So at my reunion, I’d check out the year on the lanyard, look at the face, and then go (non verbally, this time) straightaway to the Betty Bryant/Pavlov’s dog reaction of “She looks terrible” just as my mother used to say in Weis Market. Sometimes I even chuckled to myself.
#uvareunions. Yes, lured by the promise of fleeting fame and a gift certificate for an intimate waxing, I uploaded my share. There was a reason I didn’t win, since I took a rather more “artistic” tack and ended up competing with 163 different Instagrams of people with Katie Couric. She either knows more Wahoos than anyone in Christendom or is just about as gracious as you can get when it comes to being photographed with strangers. Probably both.
Big surprise, the first person I ran into was that guy who brings a different woman to every reunion. I'm sure you know who I mean. He goes to every reunion you've ever been to. Last time he brought a woman who was into NASCAR, before that it was the woman who owns a chain of laundromats in Arkansas, and before that it was someone who wore a dirndl and looked as if she was in a community theater production of The Sound of Music. Seriously. That's not something you forget. This year his date was a little more nondescript. He looks the same as he always does, only now with dyed hair.
|Curiously, the commemorative plaque omits any mention of Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts.|
Teresa Sullivan. As you may recall, it wasn’t that long ago that she was caught in a management kerfuffle orchestrated by former UVa Rector Cruella de Vil, I mean Helen Dragas. President Sullivan conducted herself with dignity and grace through several difficult weeks, earning the respect, and perhaps even love, of much of the University community. Helen Dragas, well, not so much. So it wasn’t a huge surprise that when the President of the Alumni Association introduced President Sullivan, the alumni and friends filling the Old Cabell Hall auditorium gave her a standing ovation.
Her speech proved her to be filled with charm, humor, and a firm command of the managerial and financial issues inherent in managing a large university and medical center. After her remarks, she was joined by faculty member in the engineering school and someone from career services both of whom gave short presentations on their work and research, and then all three took questions from the audience. It was one of those proud to be a Wahoo moments.
|I'm the one in madras.|
|I could hear the ghost of Bobby Mincer saying "May I hep yew?"|
I don’t know why I was asked to be on the Reunions Weekend LGLBT panel, I’m not in the news, and I haven’t done anything particularly special, but seemingly by Virginia standards I'm Out and Proud. Once I confirmed that they hadn’t mistaken me for someone else I said sure, I’d do it. I agreed to be on the panel without looking at my schedule, which meant that I had to miss my class’s TOM (as in TED’s cousin) Talks. Oh well, stuff happens.
There were about 30 people at the LGBT discussion in addition to a panel of five and a moderator.
The panelists were an interesting bunch. One of my fellow panelists, Brendan Wynn, provided the perspective of the recent UVa grad/activist. Interestingly enough, he caught one of the three passes thrown by Peyton Manning at Valedictory Exercises a couple of weeks earlier. I told him he could dine out on that story for the rest of his life. Yeah, he probably knew that already.
The discussion was mostly about the path toward LGBT equality in Virginia and the twists and turns along the way. Domestic partner benefits are apparently against the state’s constitution in Virginia and that makes it tough for employers to attract people who would like to provide health insurance to a spousal unit and kids through employer sponsored insurance. When the mic came around to me, I didn’t have much to add to that conversation since I live in Pennsylvania. Instead, I told the story of working at a polling place for my friend Mike Fleck where I got to get up close and personal with a wet-behind-the-ears home-schooled second coming of Greg Marmalard who was proselytizing on behalf of Mike's opponent, a socially conservative as in and I quote "conservative family values" write-in candidate. The audience was suitably appalled, but in retrospect, I think I should have mentioned that I asked Greg M 2.0 if he wanted to nail the MILF (yes, that's what I said) we saw in the parking lot getting ready to go on a bike ride. Judging by his reaction, I’d say Greg M 2.0 has a thing for Mrs. Robinson in black yoga pants. It’s one thing to spend hours with a teenage troglodyte, but quite another to spend that much time with a horny teenage troglodyte.
There was good food, and lots of drink, though I did have to walk to The Corner to get a post dinner cup of coffee. No coffee after dinner? What were they thinking?! On my way back to the party with my cup of Joe, I got an up close and personal rendition of We Are….Penn State! from a nice but high-mileage group of partyers who took time out from crashing another event to offer me a beer, ask me where I was from, and tell me how much they liked my pink trousers. (It takes balls to wear those, man!)
I did a lot of shilling that night for blog readers, so if I lured you in here thanks for sticking with me.
Gusburger but the line was too long. Even after a few drinks I still have the patience of a Southern California wildfire. Instead we walked across the street to the Grounds and canoodled a bit and in the process applied some grass stains to my white oxford cloth shirt. Then we, well, spent quality time at the appropriately named Budget Inn, where, even later in the evening (or earlier in the morning if you prefer), a can of soda exploded in the refrigerator. Real life tends to intrude on the search for, well, whatever it was I was looking for.