Friday, March 04, 2005


I took my "Spring Break" early and left it short this year. Anyway. I drove down to Fairhope, AL on Monday and stayed through Thursday AM. For more on Fairhope, see 11/29/2004 entry "Down on the bayou" on this blog. Mainly I was in the Mobile Bay area to see The Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition. I also caught an IMAX film about the Mystery of the Maya and a lecture. The first two events took place at the Gulf Coast Exploreum, part of the museum complex in Mobile at the Old City Hall, not far from historica Fort Condé, the site of the firs capital of French Louisiana. The lecture sounded nice on paper bu Sanders is retired and spoke without notes, so he never really got to the issue of canon formation or the concept of the First Testament, instead taking us through a chatty anecdotal version of his life as a scholar and how he managed to unroll his scroll, etc. Plus the one moment he did talk about canon stuff it was clear he's 30+ years out-of-date on current thinking re: ms editing, as he spoke of making "reponsible" choices about the "correct" variant. Jerome McGann is seething about now!

As a kid I visited Mobile annually for swim meets every March at the Chandler Branch YMCA and fell in love with its Coastal French charm; think New Orleans without the stench. Plus a nicer array of Live Oak-lined boulevards, although obviously less in the way of nightlife; however, Mobile does have the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. Back then we took I-10 to the edge of the Bay headed north to Spanish Fort and US 90 and crossed the bay on Battleship causeway. No trip to Mobile was complete without a visit to the original Wintzell's Oyster House, famed for its "oysters—fried, stewed, or nude" and the colorful signs on its walls.

On this trip, I was able to meet up with my friend and colleague David Sauer, who teaches at Spring Hill College, the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast, perched atop Spring Hill, an imposing ridge on the western edge of Mobile. We taught together in CCSA's London summer program in 2002.

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