Saturday, August 11, 2007

Small town, small world

Conway is a town of nearly 60,000 souls -- not exactly a bustling metropolis, but not a one-horse main street either. You'd think that I could spend a quiet afternoon in a yarn store and a cafe without running into a steady stream of students, colleagues, and friends-of-friends. But you, my beloved reader, would be wrong.

In a parade seemingly organized to make the Secret Knitter (visiting since Thursday) think that I engineered it purposefully -- to make myself look like a person with a life, presumably -- I met, in the space of four hours:

  • the mother of a former student;
  • a staffer at a nearby university with whom I have several friends in common;
  • a friend on the faculty at my institution, whose class I visited as a guest speaking last semester;
  • a favorite former student back in town to finish her degree;
  • and a current student with whom I have just a nodding acquaintance.
I could spend a whole week out and about in Conway without so much as seeing a single person I know, but this afternoon, every time I turned around there was a familiar face. The impression it gave to the SK was that I am a well-connected citizen with a wide range of friends among the beautiful people. How did this terrible lie become plausible?

Whatever the tragic misconceptions with which the SK will return to his Secret Location (SL), I've had a lot of fun squiring him around Central Arkansas. Selfishly, I made his vacation my vacation -- taking off work, going to my favorite places, running up the credit cards. He's been a very easy guest, right at home whether wandering through the Clinton Library, sitting next to Cady Gray at library story time, or holding down his end of the sectional sofa during the Braves game. I hope his trip to Arkansas has been a source of renewal first and foremost, with perhaps a little education about our fair state thrown in for free.

3 comments:

the secret knitter said...

This has been one of the best vacations I've had, and I'm ever so grateful for how you and your family have embraced me.

Of course, I could turn to my right and tell you this in person, but you deserve some public lauding too. Thanks so much.

Ali said...

Hmm... It must have been a mirage when I, a close friend, ran into you at storytime and had the pleasure of meeting The Secret Knitter, because I don't see myself on the list of meet-and-greets. :) Ali

IvyCrowned said...

you know, that was one of my favorite things about Conway, running into someone I knew everywhere I went. It also could be one of my least favorite, too, since sometimes you run into people you'd rather not. I'm waiting for Knoxville to present me with familiar faces when I'm out and about.

Thanks for your kind words on my blog, Donna. As always, they are appreciated, be even more so now, during this transitional phase. Keep me updated on the happenings of McAlister Hall, won't you?

Tim