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Friday, April 27, 2007

The Fifth Column

In the fall of '64, I was hitch-hiking to Yellow Springs, Ohio, to visit someone at Antioch College, known far and wide as a Mecca of subversion. [ Actually, the Antioch I knew turned out be more of an apolitical home for humanist dropouts, but that is a another tale to tell]. An old farmer let me climb into his Farmall truck and, detecting I was a college student, said "I sure hope you ain't one of them Fifth Columnists. They got them a whole buncha those at that there Anty Yawk! You ain't one of them, is you?"

I laughed and said I was from a small, Lutheran college in Springfield (Wittenberg) so he need not worry about my soul one little bit. Only a few weeks before I was offered the chance to write a column in the Witenberg TORCH newspaper, and so I was in dire need of a title for my column. That old farmer gave me the title and I became the fifth columnist. The person I was hiking to see at Antioch was nowhere to be found, so I struck up a conversation with somebody in the bookstore and he brought me along to visit one of his classes.

I was impressed by the multimedia facilities there, plus the fact that students were allowed to tinker with an EEG machine smack dab in the middle of a small Psych class. Wittenberg was still significantly more "in loco parentis" than Antioch, but not enough to tempt me to transfer South. I suspect this is my fifth entry on've been away since April 15th--so this is my fifth column in a funny, non-subersive sense of that term.

Yr. obdt. svt.,


davebuehler said...

Nota Bene: This is a renamed transfer from another site named "Mallorca Doctor" this space foran explanation of sorts. (db)

davebuehler said...

'Mallorca Doctor' refers to the patron saint of Catalan, and the first great missionary to Muslims, namely Ramon Llull. If you google his name, you'll find he was the Shakespeare of Spain, no holds barred, and one of the most prolific authors who wrote in their old age.

'Yr. Obdt. svt.' is a trade- mark of, inter alia, the US Marines (most of the better educated Marines still use the abbreviation, and aformer classmate of mine at Harvard, Wm. C. McCahill, Jr. Bill became an Asian linguist and joined the State Department where he served you and me with high fidelity until recently.


davebuehler said...

Lexegete was born of Tischrede Software in 1987, mid-wived by the Rev. Conrad J. Buehler (R.i.P.) and the Science-savvy Rev. Dr. George Koch. GK and I cooked up the idea at a Synod Convo one September back in 1985. My Dad had suggested it while he was dying in a Hospice near Toledo,O.