As a writer I’m always looking for different ways to say things. I’m also always doing research. You think it’s easy just letting every thought in your head flow unfiltered from brain to page? Well I can tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks.
For some reason I had it in mind that Louisville, Kentucky was nicknamed “The Queen City” and I suppose that moniker could be true. See? Moniker? It’s nicer than saying name repeatedely. Louisville is a “queen” of sorts. She’s the “northern most Southern city” and the “southern most Northern city”. She’s the gem of the Ohio River, the Blue Grass State’s largest municipality.
In doing my research, however, I discovered that both Plainfield, NJ and Elmira, NY had already laid claim to “Queen”.
C’est la vie.
Event #2 – Louisville, KY
This morning your hosts dragged themselves (and their kids) out of bed a few hours before dawn. We packed and hit the road. Then I realized about ten miles out that I had consumed zero coffee. That couldn’t stand. An hour later I had been sufficiently caffeinated. So that couldn’t have explained the following. Cruising along I-40 into the rising sun I noticed an armadillo ambling across the road. “Funny,” I said to my wife, “I’ve never seen one alive before.” She interjected, “I didn’t know they lived this far north or anywhere outside of Texas for that matter.” Karla had told me once never to slow down for small creatures crossing a road. “It just spooks them and they make rash decisions and get hit,” she said at the time. I’m pretty sure they make absolutely NO decisions. Ever. Being the diligent husband I continued on my course at 85 MPH in the Flex. Lot of muscle, that Flex. Heavy, too. I’m sure that’s what the ‘dillo thought in that millisecond before he went toward the light. Do you know what that leather-plated rodent did not do before eating my tires? He didn’t fill out a survey. Just sayin’. As for us, we barely felt a thing. “Ewww,” we both said to each other. Our children noticed nothing as they were watching The Brady Bunch on DVD in the back seat. It was the episode with the house of cards.
Driving a little further, my wife, now behind the wheel, asked: “We’re close to Nashville. Where are those Nashville Dominicans located?” I typed it into Google on my phone and said “Huh… Next exit.” She cut across four lanes and left the interstate. And there was the convent. I teach in a Dominican school and we all love these ladies, right? We parked and rang the bell but got no answer. I posted a pic on Instagram (follow us!) suggesting that the first person to identify the site would get a prize. Who but Fr. Bjorn Lundberg, ’97, chimed in with “Word… to the Motherhouse!” Thing is, Father, they must be so flush with vocations that they feel no need to answer their door. Hehe. Still we prayed in their cemetery for the departed sisters.
Derbies, and Julips, and Steamboats, oh my!
Today’s event was held on the grounds of Holy Angels Academy. Our gracious hosts, Ted and Emily (Foushee) Eidem, class of 2000, were so excited to be a part of this and truly this was their event, their day. Karla, the kids, and I were mere party-goers and happily so. What was especially nice for me was getting to meet the Eidem’s. These are people who, though they were guests at my wedding, I had only really known through Facebook. One of the goals of this Council was to connect alumni around the country in new ways. Today was the day for that.
We were treated to beautiful weather if not a little on the warm side. The cool thing was that so many people came out for this. To write about each of them would take several pages. Let me just “introduce” you to a few. Laura (O’Herron) Ebelhar (’95) arrived with her kids. If you’re reading this blog, you know Ray O’Herron, her dad and longtime Christendom doctrine professor. “Does your dad still give True/Fale exams?” I asked her. I may have only gone for one semester but those tests had an impact on me. I explained to her that I only ever give my own students the same kind of tests. “It’s objective truth and that demands an objective test,” I said. “Plus, I don’t have the heart to read through the subjective ramblings of 125+ teenagers.)
Patrick Vander Woude, ’05, and his lovely wife Jill (Menke), ’04, arrived with their family. I am not personally familiar with the Vander Woude’s although I understand the family are scions of the Front Royal campus. But I certainly recognized the DNA. I didn’t think it appropriate to mention but I wanted to tell him “Hey, I recognize you. Every year I show a video about your dad to my students and we all cry. It’s the moment when I KNOW they get what the sacrifice of the cross means.” That was a special treat, meeting them.
Addy (Buckley) McDonald, ’05 was there as was Rick Koch and wife Lisa (Heuser) Koch, ’95 and ’93 respectively, and Joe and Melia Ghering ’95 . And to round out the “spanning the years” nature of this get-together we greeted Miss Julie Wells, ’15. This was particularly inspiring to me. As members of the Alumni Advisory Council, we really want these events to be a way for all alumni to come together. Today it may be a new grad. Next year it might be an outreach to outgoing seniors. Hey, you have to start somewhere, right?
The festivities and merriment lasted for several hours and no one seemed to want to be the first to leave. The blue grass (and yes, it has a blue-ish hue) under our feet, the blue-er sky overhead, the Kentucky sun shining brightly upon us – this was a perfect day. Mindful of Memorial Day, we remembered all our fallen military in our prayer before eating and gave thanks for their sacrifice that we might enjoy a day like this.
If you’ve read this far and haven’t thought “You know, I was going to shampoo my rugs but maybe I should do that Grill/Chill thing instead,” then I’m not doing my job.
We’re off the next few days. I will still post and we’ll still go live from the car on Facebook in the hopes that you might still want to see our “downtime” as we head to North Carolina. I hope you enjoy reading and following along with us. We are having tremendous fun bringing it all to you. Your comments are invaluable. I mean that. Might I make a personal request? If you have a comment that you’d rather I not publicize, simply email it to me or private message me on Facebook. I take every comment to heart and strive to make this the best blog it can be. The tips have all been very helpful. 😉
We’ll see you from our next stop if we don’t see you before then. Got a last minute request for another event.
And for those who missed it live, here’s our Louisville interview.