Saturday, July 23, 2016


 I had a lot of encounters with famous people at PC.  Most were brought in as lecturers, but some were artists.  The artists included the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Lester Flatt, Mac Wiseman, and Uncle John's Band.  The lecturers included Alex Haley, Reg Murphy, Edna Rostow, and James Dickey. 
 Alex Haley had just published "Roots".  He was a little stuck-up but interesting to talk to.  Reg Murphy was the publisher of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper and had been kidnapped at one point.  He was easy to talk to.  I guess he liked talking with anybody after his ordeal.  Edna Rostow was a trip.  She and her husband were influential in American foreign policy during the 60's.  She came to one of our convocations, and was supposed to only speak 30 minutes.  Apparently, she had forgotten her watch, because 30 minutes went to an hour, and an hour went to 90 minutes.  During her rambling, some of the students in the audience developed coughing fits to try and get her to stop speaking.  Then, there was a contest by some students to see who could win in drink can races by rolling the cans down the auditorium and through the seats.  She kept on talking.  Some students pulled out books and started to read them.  After about 90 minutes, she stopped and said "Well, I guess I've talked long enough."  She got a rousing cheer and a standing ovation.  She thought it was for her.  We were just glad it was over. 
 James Dickey came to our Modern Poetry class for a lecture.  He was pretty famous for "Deliverance", as well as for all of his poetry.  I got to sit next to him at lunch, because I had known him from when I was in high school, and my senior English teacher was a good friend of his, and she introduced me to him.  He knew I wrote poetry, and he gave me some great advice on the subject.  Jim had been drinking that morning, which he did a lot of in those days, and his breath knocked me over at lunch.  I ran into him again, when I lived in Ft. Worth, as he spoke at TCU.  We caught up on old times.  I later went to his memorial at USC after he died.  I miss Jim.

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