I am so far behind in my Not A Blogging. This post should have been posted back in June, but… better late than never, right?
ANYWAY… I was on the road for ten days back in June, to Evanston (where I went to school, 1966-1971), Chicago (where I lived after school, 1971-1976), and Dubuque (where I taught school, 1976-1979). It was the first time I’d left home and/or cabin in a year and a half, since the start of the pandemic and the quarantine. I have to say, it was great to get away from my office chair, even if it was only for a few days.
First stop was Northwestern, and the convocation for the graduates of the Medill School of Journalism, where I was given an honorary doctorate. Professor Emeritus Roger Boye gave me a very kind introduction, and presented me with my new hood as Doctor of Humane Letters. And then it was my turn.
The Northwestern campus has changed a great deal since my days as a student, half a century ago. So has the city of Evanston. Old landmarks gone, new buildings everywhere… but still, enough remained to give me some vivid flashes of memory of years gone by and friends and lovers and teachers who changed my life and… for good or ill… helped make me the person I am today.
Thomas Wolfe said that you can’t go home again. Maybe so, but you can visit. Thank you, Northwestern. It was nice to be back, however briefly.
After Evanston, I spent a few days in Chicago, accompanied by my loyal minion, Sid. That was great as well. Of course, we had to visit Greektown for some saganaki at the Greek Islands, where I first learned to love flaming cheese while still a student at Northwestern. OPAA! OPAA! I also got to enjoy dinners with Mary Anne Mohanraj, one of my wonderful Wild Card writers, and Eve Ewing, who presented me with the Carl Sandburg Award on my last visit to Chicago, both of them amazing writers. That was fun too.
While I was in Chicago, I did an interview with the local PBS station.
Next we took to the road, across Illinois and through the scenic and historic town of Galena (Abner Marsh’s home town) to Dubuque, where I once taught journalism at Clarke College and acted as advisor to the student newspaper, the COURIER. The reason for my visit was… ah, well, no, can’t tell you that, not yet… but I got to see a few old friends, eat chili at Mulgrew’s in East Dubuque and pizza in Dubuque proper, and… take a ride on the riverboat TWILIGHT. Okay, it’s not a real steamboat, not even a paddlewheeler, but it’s a cool boat all the same, and I loved sailing down the Mississippi for a few hours. I even got to visit the pilot house and blow the whistle.
We got back home on June 23rd. It’s always nice to be back in Santa Fe and the Land of Enchantment, but I have to admit, it was great to get away for a few days.
Of course, during my ten days on the road and away from the internet, the email piled up, and I found some eight hundred letters waiting for me on my return. Which may help explain why I am weeks late in making this post, but…
That’s all for now. The woods were lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and books to write before I sleep.
Current Mood: contemplative