Day 683: On Being an Alumnus, and the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass

Shabbos in Appleton was made tolerable by fans that kept the worst of the heat and humidity at bay.  Late Friday night we were visited by our friend Jessamyn and her father.  Jessamyn and I co-led the Jewish student group at the college and were a quarter of the membership.  We talked about old times, Jessamyn’s newly released debut novel Safekeeping which has received many glowing reviews, and her father’s experiences travelling by RV.  On Shabbos, our friend Chuck stopped by to say hello.  I had the chance to speak to a couple of my professors as well, which was fun.

This morning M broke out his rollerblades:

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…And then mocking figure skating.  Or something:

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We went for a drive and stopped at Skate City, where I was a member of the speed skating team during my college years:

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We continued on to High Cliff State Park:

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We walked up to the observation tower where I proposed to Trish many years ago:

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M and B did a reasonably convincing reenactment for us:

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After making googly eyes at each other for a couple minutes, we came down from the tower and walked down to the shore of Lake Winnebago, where there’s a marina:

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On our way back to the RV, we stopped at the private school that we used to skate to from the college:

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While Trish made lunch, I walked to campus one last time with my camera.  We both found the reunion to be depressing, as we found ourselves thinking of all the things we wish we’d done but didn’t, and all the dreams we had that have so far gone unrealized.  I found walking the campus alone after the reunion was over to be even more sad.  The empty, locked buildings seemed to be telling us to leave. 

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The dorm where we met:

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Main Hall, built in 1853:

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Shaking off our malaise, we drove south to the town of Neenah to visit the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.  The museum is currently hosting a temporary exhibition, titled Native Species:

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The Mahler collection is composed primarily of European glassware from the past 500 years:

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The museum is most well known for its extensive collection of paperweights:

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My favorite paperweights were made using millefiori:

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Each petal of each flower is made of glass and assembled into a bouquet:

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We visited the research library upstairs:

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We stayed at the museum until it closed, then walked across the street where the kids played on this great structure:

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We drove south to overnight at the Walmart of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 681: Morning Flight, College Reunion Weekend
Day 684: From Beaver Dam to the Dells

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