High School Reunion: The Experience

Fall                                                   Waning Back to School Moon

Ancientrails hits the road again tomorrow morning at 7:30 am via Amtrak to Chicago and points south.  I spend two days in Chicago at the Silversmith Hotel near the Chicago Art Institute.  A few hours wandering the halls of the Art Institute will help me with my Baroque knowledge so I can do two Friends of the MIA tours of our Baroque collection.


On Wednesday morning I plan to head out to Hyde Park and the Oriental Museum at the University of Chicago.  Not on many lists to visit in Chicago this museum showcases the phenomenal involvement of the Oriental Institute in near eastern archaeology. “The Oriental Institute Museum is a world-renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The museum displays objects recovered by Oriental Institute excavations in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo.”  Docents will recognize the winged genius on the right hand wall here.

Hyde Park has attracted me for a long time. My first wife’s brother Bob was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, a rare creature at this primarily graduate university.  When I saw Hyde Park with Bob I did it under the influence, spending a memorable night holed up in the aluminum statue celebrating the splitting of the atom under Alonzo Stagg stadium.  That was back when the University of Chicago still played football.  Enrico Fermi was the scientist.

Later on I visited Hyde Park for several ministry related events and then earned my Doctor of Ministry through McCormick Seminary located in Hyde Park on the periphery of the University of Chicago.  Following that I commuted to Chicago once a month for two years as a student representative on the Seminary’s D.Min. committee.  While there I found and frequented the legendary Jimmy’s, a dark wood, three roomed bar noted for its highbrow clientele.  It’s a great place for a hot dog.

Some jazz, a nice evening meal and I’ll catch the Cardinal to Lafayette.  I’m skipping Indy this time around and renting a car in Lafayette.  This will let me drive through the Indiana countryside in the fall, something I’ve always enjoyed.  While in Alexandria seeing old friends from the class of 1965, I’ll be staying in an unusual location, Camp Chesterfield.  Camp Chesterfield, founded in 1886 as a Spiritualist Church, and now center for Indiana Spiritualists, has an international reputation in the Spiritualist community.

I find it a fascinating sub-culture, an almost straight dose of late 19th century Spiritualism.  They have a hotel on the grounds and I’m booked there for three nights.  I want to take in the flavor of the place from a residential perspective.  I may get a reading or two.

Ancientrails will get updated on the road, but I’m not sure about internet connections, especially at Camp Chesterfield.  They specialize in ethereal connections, ectoplasm.  So, it will be episodic, but look for new entries.  I’ll be back home on October 5th.