Out of body
The previous post about my honorary doctorate was the “news” story. But, as the sports writer asked the pitcher who just threw a no-hitter, how did it feel? I can only say that Monday’s ceremony was truly an out of body experience. I’ve never had such a sensation before, but as I sat on the platform and heard the citation, everything sounded familiar – ?yes I’d written that book, won that award, or lived in that country – but it couldn’t have been me. It seemed like me watching someone who had lived my life. But, it must have been me, right?
As the day progressed through the Chancellor’s lunch at Somerville House on campus and then dinner at the president’s house, Gibbons Lodge, with its beautiful views of the city, I had to keep reminding myself that these were events held in my honor, these people were on hand to celebrate my accomplishments.
Such occasions, when you get to swim in a warm bath of public recognition, don’t occur very often in life. You might as well revel in the moment, as I did, but was it really me they were congratulating? Apparently, it was.
UWO Chancellor Arthur Labatt and President Paul Davenport were both delightful hosts and raconteurs. I heard about the 1934 kidnapping of Labatt’s father, the first business leader ever held for ransom in Canada. Paul Davenport talked about his love for biking in the Loire Valley and a night school course he teaches on Impressionist painters. Both men are engaging and passionate, two traits we should all emulate.
Kathy Rumleski of The London Free Press interviewed me in advance of the great day for a story that ran in Monday’s paper. Among the questions she asked, “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?” My answer: “I’d like to think it hasn’t happened yet.” Meanwhile, Monday’s out of body experience ranks right up there.