Saturday, May 7, 2016


Commencement weekend: parents, distinguished guests, seniors in gowns, loud parties and some drinking, cool nights and warm days, ends and beginnings.

I remember my commencement, on the mall facing the Vanderbilt library, late afternoon in June, sun shining directly in our eyes, and the heat, the heat, the heat. We waited our turn. Five hundred and twenty-nine (I think) graduates of the College, wearing stifling black gowns, twitching and waiting.

After I crossed the stage and walked into the aisle to my seat, the fellow behind me leaned forward and asked, "Do you have anything on under that gown?" I was thrilled to part the gown and show him my bright chartreuse cut-offs and striped tee. 

Ah youth.

(At least I didn't sweat as much as everyone else.)

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