Saturday, August 25, 2007
To the Happy Valley yesterday, to get CLA set up at New York's Public Honors College. She is tripled, which is vexing her, and she is living in Jones Hall, which is a source of cognitive dissonance for me. In my time there Jones was the sole all-men's dormitory, and enjoyed the sort of reputation you might think would come from that distinction. It's all about location now: Jones residents have less of Geneseo's famous hill to climb, and are right behind the library.
It was roaring hot, and there is a fair amount of construction still going on, but the campus looked beautiful, and the whole town was set up to welcome the incoming class. There were balloons on the parking meters; the bank had sandwiches and granola bars to tide over the queued students; Sundance had a big cooler full of bottles of ice water. Much has changed, but the change that I found the most interesting was Sundance. In my time it was owned by a hippie named Barry, and run by his hippie posse. They had a storefront on Main Street, papered with tattered Grateful Dead posters, and full of Carlos Castaneda books and tarot cards. There was also a school-run bookstore in the student union, and about half the faculty ran their text orders through it. It now appears that Barry has taken over the whole show, and even runs the store in the union. They've turned the old Gentleman Jims- formerly a bar with a cover charge that I therefore never went to-- into a textbook annex, and the whole process was simple and streamlined. It's still full of Dead posters, but they are framed, and it is still staffed by hippies, or at least dudes with beards and attitudes. It is still a model of capitalist efficiency. I'd be interested in the backstory. Did Barry just squeeze the school out? Did the school go to him and ask him to take over the operation? Is Barry still involved, or is he sitting in a hot tub outside his yurt by Conesus Lake, contemplating the good life?
It was not a kindness to prolong our departure, but we finally left. We have packed CLA off many times, but this time it felt more final. Camp, or a summer with the Student Conservation Association is a different thing.
Links to this post:
Links to this post: