November 3, 2005
It just seems like yesterday.....
The 75th Anniversary Season or our diamond celebration is a time for me to reflect on three decades of wonderful students. I was here for the 50th and still see in my faded memory Bob Moulton leading us in happy birthday from the landing of the grand staircase. He established Scholarship 50 that has grown through the generosity of so many and now supports theatre and dance students annually. It was an occasion and now that I have 25 years of time and perhaps experience (still dumber than a stump)--the event means that much more to me.
As I go through the history of the department that is posted on this website, my life flashes before my eyes and the memory of some of the antics that various students have pulled during the Rarig years just makes me smile. I will never forget the "Lowering the Dome Party" thrown by my staff two weeks after the official celebration of the inflation of the Metrodome--it was a downtown event. It seems an early snowstorm overloaded the fabric roof tearing a sizeable hole while the press gave us a live, blow-by-blow description of the deflating of the dome. The next day on my way to the shop for top of the hour, I passed all of the caution and warning signs that a "lowering of the dome party" was taking place. Well, of course when I went in the shop the staff had draped plastic from all of the sprinkler pipes, loaded the plastic with snow, had buckets collecting the water as they threw snow balls at each other--they did have on safety helmets. Not the glorious celebration of two weeks previous but certainly a fitting conclusion for the first inflation/deflation of the dome.
I also remember those wonderful times on Saturday mornings (we don't do that any more) with donuts and cranky crew kids--I still remember the student that called in and could not come to work because his parakeet died--a mantra that still lives. On a Saturday before Easter, Scott Letendresse dressed up as an Easter bunny and greeted the stunned students as they entered. He wouldn't let them have a donut until they found a dyed Easter egg that he had hidden in the shop. Or the time that Janet Ryger was crossing the bridge during "Safe Sex" week and after repeated passes, she had pockets full of condums. She then inflated as many as she could and filled my locker. Of course, the best part was the staff waiting until I came in for work, opened my locker, and then to see my reaction as the "balloons" bounced across the floor.
I have celebrated three decades of birthdays with students and one of the main reasons that I go to USITT every year is to reconnect, laugh, and to pinch myself as a reminder of the wonderful and caring students that have graced my path. To be able to share so much of this with my valued colleague Jean Montgomery (afterall, we were hired at the same time and were told that they took Doc's salary on his retirement and split it between us--we also knew there must have been a lot of money left over) has made the memories that much richer. Come back and see us. April 29th and 30th needs to be on your calendar--you are missed and it will be great to venture down memory lane together. Best to all of you, 'See' Lance Brockman