Wildlife Nostalgia

My favorite quote from last weekend’s totally epic alumni reunion was “…And all this time I thought the only wildlife was in the dorms.” That was during the wildlife-tracking walk with George Leoniak ’05, where alumni and future Potash Hillians age 8 to 80 were astonished to find signs of yellow-bellied sapsuckers, gray foxes, American robins and the ever-elusive white-tailed deer. I mean, I guess when they were students they had their noses in laptops or books or ancient papyrus scrolls, or whatever they had at that time, but surely they got out for bucolic strolls to ponder the significance of existential absurdism and dissect fox droppings. At least I know George was doing his part because the man really knows his way around a scat.

Of course the highlight of the weekend was all the schmoozing with old friends and new finds in the spirit of erudite intellectual stimulation, right? I thought maybe they would be all talking about Plato and Dostoyevsky and Kafka, you know, going on and on about post-modernism and conceptual art and anti-anti-art, but no-no-no. They wanted to recount lurid stories about who had a wicked crush on who, who parked a car on the dining hall stage, who snuck a basset hound into their dorm just in time to have puppies, then lowered the puppies out of the window in a basket, one-by-one, to do their business, and on and on. Oh, the stories I could tell, steamy enough to make a yellow-bellied sapsucker blush. But I won’t, to protect the innocent (puppies and cars, for example).

But there were many more dazzling diversions to keep these chinwaggers out of further mischief. There was cheese tasting with Wendy Levy ’97, learning about getting published with Deni Bechard ’97, making illustrated journals with anthropology professor Carol Hendrickson and looking for birds with biology professor Bob Engel. There was an evening of readings by alumni, faculty and staff and an open mic for the more musically inclined. There was the coolest photo booth, with hats and wigs to encourage alumni to realize their fantasy of being Michael Jackson or Bob Marley or Groucho Marx or a Vermont hick (my choice). All in all, it was a momentous 65th anniversary reunion, and one I will remember for a long time (because of the Vermont hick photos).

If you missed all the fun, it’s not too late to help with the Annual Fund

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