I just drove 450 miles to bring Cameron here to one of the colleges where he was accepted so he could see if his future lay there.
It was Tuesday morning when I pointed the nose of my old red car west and fetched him off the train from the other school he was also looking at.
It was just a quick three-and-a half hours and there he was, right on the platform.
We loaded up on bottled water and sandwiches at the station and coasted south to this second college – where he was immediately welcomed by current students and absorbed into campus life.
I, meanwhile, spent a fantastic evening with these two and their baby, all three of whom have come to feel to me as much like my own kids as those with whom I share genetic material.
That little family and I ate in a made-over church, now a restaurant called Terrapin. Talk about wonderful food! Even their baby got into the spirit of fun, though you can’t tell by this shot:
(But what is that where the wackier the parent acts the more the child looks out at the world with that Jack Benny deadpan? ((No I don’t mean that. This little girl was just playing the straight man here; as far as I can tell she normally smiles unstoppably. She could be the Hair Club President with all the happy smiling she does in a day. (Remember that Hair Club For Men ad where smiling Sy Sperling with the gorgeous waves reveals at the end that really he’s bald as an egg? I loved that ad.))
Anyway then yesterday Cameron did various other things finding-out-about-the-place things while I took turns observing the creative ferment in the Campus Center and sitting in the car – which I well know how to do as a diehard Vacationer in Her Driveway. These are my feet sticking out the window.
Finally Cam got to where he felt he had seen all he needed to see he said and sensed all he needed to sense; and so, at 4:00 pm, with a fresh wind out of the west tossing the new leaves, we made one last stop in the College Book Store and bought a T-shirt with the name of the school emblazoned on the front.
“This is the place!” Joseph Smith said when he first saw that old Salt Lake in Utah. If I helped Cam get any closer to feeling that about the school he will go to in the fall then I’m more than happy.
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot