Yes, it happened. Yes, it was awesome.
After our anti-clamactic pinup on Monday, John took us all out for some French pinot noir. The wine bar he initially chose was closed, but he managed to find another just around the corner. (Obviously. The French drink wine like Americans drink water.) The space was quiet yet roomy, so all ten of us were all able to sit comfortably and chat. We talked with our dean emeritus about his current life at Rice, and once he had downed a couple glasses of wine, he was not afraid to divulge. He shared plenty of juicy gossip, none of which I can repeat in this blog. I am sure last semester’s RSAP students got an earful while they were here, so if you would really like to know what goes on behind closed doors, you should ask them! More interesting than his penchant for gossip, though, was John’s effortless art of trashtalking and shaming. Not only is he the hippest, most tech-savvy person over sixty that I have ever met, but he also has superb taste in music. He cackled at those of us who didn’t have iPhones. (He has two: one for Houston contacts, one for French.) He scoffed at those of us who hadn’t heard of (or didn’t properly appreciate) The National. If I know half as much about popular and underground culture as he does when I turn sixty, I will consider myself a success.