Dennis Maust | Recent Events
Learn to make the most of life,
Lose no happy day,
Time will never bring thee back
Chances swept away!
Recent becomes a relative concept as this list grows. Ita vero.
2014 may well be called my Parsonsfield year. Folk Alley introduced them in the early morning hours of 30 January, with "Got Right Now", a hand-clapping, heartfelt tune, lyrics of which were inspired by a West Virginia grandmother. Their concerts introduced me to Purple Fiddle and Tip Top Coffee in Thomas, WV; Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, PA; Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival in PA; Paper City Music Festival in Chillicothe, OH; Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH, where they opened for Lake Street Dive; Weinberg Center in Frederick, MD; and a very special house concert in Farmington, CT, where Graydon James and Laura Spink opened. They inspired me home on an over-ambitious cross-country skiing adventure in February, and they drew me to Toronto in December for a (purely coincidental) birthday performance as roving minstrels in the theatrical production, The Heart of Robin Hood. Thank you, Parsonsfield, for a very fun year!
Montani Semper Liberi Redux and On the Road from Morgantown to La Hermandad: two writings quickly published in three days in April 2014. The former, a Dominion Post guest commentary, was published as "Joining union again". The latter, "On the Road from Morgantown to La Hermandad", was a blog post for Firsthand Coop, a labor of love for good friends and good coffee. October 2014 saw me writing an unexpectedly quick follow-up opinion letter to Montani when civil marriage equality arrived in West Virginia.
Returned to my roots in 2013 -- the roots being family and Morgantown. The ship set sail, actually, in late summer 2012, with casual interest in Morgantown homes. By Thanksgiving, I closed on one. All details except signing the papers were conducted from Dallas. Maybe there's something about getting a realtor involved? Returned to Dallas two days after Thanksgiving, not knowing what to do. Put the condo on the market in late January 2013 and soon felt as if the Phaeakians were whisking me home! Under contract in three days. Closed in thirty. So. Not. Ready. To. Move. But it happened. Now, somewhat like Odysseus, who was gone for twenty years (for me, nearly 38 years), the long-lost journeyman must reacquaint, reconnoiter, and rebalance.
St. John's College Santa Fe continued to be a summer destination. After my initial two year's of Summer Classics, the next four years consisted of eight-week summer semesters enroute to a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (2005-2008). Four required segments. Four summer semesters. Great Books. Literature. History. Math and Science. Politics and Society. Summer of 2009 for the optional fifth segment (Philosophy and Theology) was sadly cut short. Summer of 2010 found me reading Cervantes and working on a master's essay (completed the oral in April 2011). Summer of 2011 marked a return engagement with Philosophy and Theology. Summer of 2012: Husserl. Summer of 2013: Greek Institute.
Dallas White Rock Marathon (2004). Marathon number three. Probably the last. Training is time consuming -- and the knees and feet do not enjoy lengthy runs anymore. Time to cut back and balance life a little more.
Colorado backpacking (2004). Colorado in July, once again. Solo. Nine "fourteeners." Six days. Tiring. Exhilarating. Shavano, Tabeguache, Missouri, Oxford, Belford, Quandary, Grays, Torreys, Bierstadt.
St. John's College Santa Fe Summer Classics (2004). Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching, tutors, seminars, dialogue. A week with interesting wayfarers, mountains, and thunderstorms. The other 51 weeks almost pale in comparison.
Colorado backpacking (2003). Colorado in July. Two friends. One tent. Six fourteeners. Five days. One canyon. One narrow-gauge railroad. Incredible. "For everything else, there's MasterCard." Redcloud, Sunshine, Handies, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Chicago Basin, Eolus, Sunlight, Windom.
St. John's College Santa Fe Summer Classics (2003). An intense, exhilarating, incredible way to study the classics. For SMU Master of Liberal Arts students, it is also a great way to earn a one-hour credit. I chose seminars on (1) Emerson essays and (2) Tolstoy short stories. Taken together, the two seminars resulted in a lot of connections between them -- and with other fountains of wisdom.