Got back last night from a quick trip to my alma mater, Beloit College. It was homecoming weekend and the occasion of my 25th class reunion. It's a long way to go -- about 5 to 5 1/2 hours, depending on traffic and the attentiveness of the Wisconsin State Patrol, but after a few early hiccups, it turned out to be a great time.
Beloit is a small school -- they have an enrollment of about 1300 now, but it was around 1000 when I was a student. Our class was small even by those standards -- less than 250. And for reasons that were never quite clear, our class never had much cohesiveness. And it was disheartening to see that only about 15 people from the class registered in advance for homecoming weekend, including almost none of my friends. After a lot of vacillating on the matter, I decided to go anyway.
I brought the family down there -- Mrs. D is also a Beloit alumna and the kids enjoy the chance to hang around campus. In the morning we met my one good friend who had registered, then went over to Middle College for the class picture, which seemingly confirmed my fears -- about a dozen people bothered to show up for the photo opportunity. We went down the campus bookstore and decided that $55 polo shirts with the college logo weren't a very sound investment, then grabbed a quick lunch at Domenico's, the one reliable restaurant within walking distance of the campus.
From there Benster, my friend Terry and I went down to the football stadium, where our beloved Bucs were laying waste to an inept squad from Knox College. Beloit has had a long reputation as an also-ran in Division III football, but somehow Knox was worse and the game was somewhat like watching a cat play with a dead mouse. By the time the score reached 35-0 in the third quarter, we decided to head back to campus, which is about a half mile from the stadium. As we approached the World Affairs Center, we saw a group of men chatting on the sidewalk. And I did a triple take: it was most of my best friends from those college days, along with the English professor who was my advisor and mentor. And from there, the weekend really began.