A utopian community where bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation, arts and intellectual conversation flourish in every corner, and Average Joes mingle with big name celebrities. Not Burning Man, but rather Chautauqua, NY. Strange.
The theme of the week at Chautauqua was “Comedy and the Human Condition”. Originally it was timed to coordinate with the opening of the National Comedy Center, but the latter is way behind schedule. Still, I got to hear Lewis Black, the Capitol Steps, and few others. I can’t say I have any new material, but I have some things to think about. Strange.
I went with my friend Jim Peck, a UCC minister from Chico, CA, and a Chautauqua veteran. We each flew to Buffalo, rented a car, and spent the week in the UCC house next to the historic amphitheater. On one hand, I felt young because most of the people in the house were older than me; on the other hand, I felt outclassed because most of them had multiple college degrees. Strange.
I also took a day to go to the Jell-O museum; Jim & I took a day to go to the Lucy museum. Yeah, I’m strange.
We stopped at a Frank Lloyd Wright house on our way back to Buffalo, where we met a friend who I hadn’t seen in several years. He took us on a tour of Buffalo. It’s a much more interesting place than I thought. Strange.
Jim & I took the train together to Chicago, then he boarded the California Zephyr bound for his northern CA home and I boarded the Southwest Chief bound for LA. “Wait – you took the train across the country? That’s strange”.
The train was a lot of fun. Met some very interesting people, Who rides the train? Retirees, Hikers, Teachers on summer break, South Asian immigrants, people who live off grid, and adventurous couples from Flagstaff. Sleeping was tough (I was in coach), but the scenery was great.
10 days, not long. Very strange. I love it. That’s me.