Last month, I headed up to my own particular Prestigious Bastion of Prestige for a reunion. A friend of mine who grew up not far from the PBoP jokingly asked me if I could take him as a date, so he could check out this place which is practically in his backyard. After assuring him that I loved him, albeit platonically, I let him know that it would cost a few hundred dollars, and he'd be confronted by a bunch of nostalgic drunks who'd be sharing decades-old jokes. For example, all the the Bronson from Wisconsin (whose birthday is today, high five Base!) has to say to reduce me to gales of laughter is "COOT!" Of course, the proper response is, "GREBE!"
We decided that a summer road-trip would be the best way for me to introduce him to the arcana of the place... and there's a lot of weird stuff to point out. For myself, reunion was a time to hang out with friends, lectures and tourism took a back seat to joking about waterfowl and old reminiscences, I really didn't do any 'touristy' stuff, besides visiting the museum, where I worked as an assistant to the head of anthropological collections. I'll be road-tripping as Virgil leading a local Dante through the circles of, certainly not hell, but a place that probably looms larger in his imagination than mine, because I know it as an insider. What was a nearby mystery for him was home for me for four really amazing years, pretty good for the 'First Circle'.
It'll be interesting returning as a combination tourist/tour guide, playing Virgil in a setting in which I read Virgil.