"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Booth is a verb...chapter 11--The office, redux

From September, 2009

A gospel of friendship

Chapter 11

"Abandon all hope, Ye who enter here."

Sign above the door of the office of The Illidge.

(Since 2009, the office area has been appropriated and transformed with university money into part of the new offices of a new department in the building)
"That sign was taken down, when The Illidge retired. But not so the letters he had attached to the window of his office behind The Vista in 107 C2, long before the uniform signage was adopted around campus. They may be little noticed, but he is oft mentioned in the department and always toasted in The Booth, as one who was bigger than life. He still inhabits this department.

Forsooth, you can tell more about a person from their office and bulletin board than their resume, The Clark believes. and The Illidge posted annual calendars of the University of Missouri, usually featuring the historic columns which are the second most photographed scene in the state.

There were notes from students, prank messages from The Clark, photos of the family, and all kind of whatnot The Clark wishes he had a photograph of.

His computer was right underneath the bulletin board, and it surely did vex him mightily. Either The Farsooth or the Queen Bee kept having to help him with email. When talk turned too technical for him, he'd hold up a pencil, finely sharpened, and exclaim, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face:

"'Here's my computer. It never crashes.'

his office was a sanctuary for faculty
"Verily, his office was also a sanctuary for faculty...you could go in there and he would listen, and most of all, most people never knew where you'd disappeared to.

"After he retired The Razorback Prof inherited his domain, and has been there ever since...until this week. She will move upstairs to where The Clark had temporarily pitched his tent this summer and fall. Yeah, verily, we are all sojourners in strange lands.

"So it is written. As the eldest and most wizened of the old Journalism department, in the various vagaries and vicissitudes of life, The Clark will ironically, or appropriately, as he is writing the story of The Booth, move into the former office of the Illidge.

"He has no plans to take the yellow lettering off the glass, unless the ghosts are too strong."

To be continued

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