So what do you say to someone with whom you just pulled off a wonderful event for the local community after you’ve said “Wow!”
Professor Bell had to have been exhausted. He had signed books for ages after the Final Rounds were completed. I don’t know how we managed to have enough copies of Faces at the Bottom of the Well, but that never became an issue. Somebody else took care of it. There were lots of students who rose to administrative stature that night. And there were lots of colleagues off in the wings, quietly skirting disasters that could have loomed, but never did.
I wish now that we’d had someone keeping track and writing a final report on who was where and how things were managed. We never had resources like that. We operated pretty much on a “wing and a prayer.” All I can remember is that the last stragglers eventually headed contentedly out, and there was nothing left to do but get Professor Bell to a very late supper and his hotel.
As I went back over this in the last few days, I realized I didn’t even know where Professor Bell had stayed. Arnold (my husband) told me it was in a downtown hotel; he remembered driving him. That’s right! We had two cars: he 1964 Silver Cloud and whatever Arnold was driving that day. I had taken the Cloud to school that morning, and it was in that that that I had driven him to Campanile.
I don’t recall any of our conversation. Not even whether I actually voiced the “Wow!” or just remember the feeling. My consciousness come back into focus only with the the car phone ringing: Arnold to find out where we were, since he’d apparently gone on to the restaurant.
Arnold must have said something to Professor Bell, for Professor Bell answered him, “She drives this car like my Daddy drove the garbage truck.” That snapped me to. He was probably right, though I’m not at all sure how one drives a garbage truck. Arnold agreed, with little regard for my feelings, and the tone for the evening was set.
Campanile, housed in an old studio of Charlie Chaplin’s, was a great place to end the day. That’s the only meal I ever had in Campanile that I really don’t remember. I sat contentedly, probably ate, and let Arnold and Professor Bell exchange contented quips. And that’s THE END to my dream day.
I’m sure Arnold must have taken the Rolls to drive Professor Bell to the hotel. Hope he didn’t drive it like a garbage truck. Would have spoiled their fun.
I wrote all this because it was such a wonderful memory, it needs to be shared. Even though it stopped me from doing at least six things I should have done. Sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses. I’m glad I did.
love and peace, and I’ll try to get back on track tomorrow.
jeannie the Red Jay