Ron Medley ’73

I just got back from the First Annual Edgar Beckham Helping Hands Awards ceremony, my second trip to Middletown in a month.  I'm afraid if President  Roth spots me at one more of these events (cough, Reunion), he'll be tempted to charge me tuition.  Nevertheless, it was worth the trip. 

I know I often take the SOC (students of color) population for granted under the mistaken notion that if we aren't taking over a building that things must be all right.  But, that's not necessarily the case; people who are first generation college goers, people from marginal economic backgrounds, still struggle. All of which means, that when they finally are within sight of graduation, everyone's emotions run high - including their professors and deans.  As Majora Carter, the keynote speaker, remarked in what could have been a preview of her Commencement address, "All of you look so good!"

I spotted Hope Hill (wasn't that you, Hope?) Professors Scheibe and Jerome Long.  Mrs. Beckham was on hand and she remembered when Dwight Green, Cliff Thornton, Fred Moore and all of us were in and out of her house constantly. I think former Dean of Students Janina Montero, co-winner along with Professor Krishna Winston, of the Legendary Achievement Award, spoke for a lot of us when she said, "As I grow older, I cry easily." (except, that I'm not sure age had anything to do with it.)   

It was also a very chill time downtown. I stayed at the Inn and I have to say, what a difference a month makes in the vibe of a town!  I spent an hour Sunday afternoon before the dinner, sunning myself in the window of Javapalooza, watching just about every representative constiuency of Middletown pass by, everyone from Iraq war veterans to mothers pushing baby strollers. Inside, a group of Wesleyan students held court while nearby another group of slightly older women talked about "data points" and other esoterica. The banana and strawberry crepe is out of this world. 
Props also to the crew at O'Rourke's, keeping it real over on the North End. Funny, how that walk from Washington seems so much longer today than when I was nineteen! The Eggs Brian I sampled Monday morning, however, was well worth the exercise and a welcome alternative to the more traditional Eggs Benedict.  And, that's just one item on a remarkably imaginative menu. The only bad news here for all you Old Cards is that they close at 4:00 in the afternoon. And, I didn't spot a steamer machine anywhere.