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ElephantHouse

This is obviously a play on words for the phrase of “elegant sufficiency,” which probably originates from another Scotish poet, James Thomson. [Are you getting my drift here?] The photo is of the Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland, whose current notoriety is that it was the place where J.K.Rowling wrote a lot of her Harry Potter series.

 

As the story goes, Ms. Rowling used to see this boarding school across the way from where she sat at the Elephant House. As the inspiration would have it, this boarding school became Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in her novels.. This tea room or coffee shop, as one would have it, is nearly impossible to get a seating, simply due to the popularity of the Potter stories. After visiting Scotland I can see where Ms. Rowlings had a wealth of imagery to draw from in writing her tales. I will post more of the imagery in upcoming posts.

 

In closing, though, I must say that Edinburgh itself could easily have supplied material for many a fantastic story or tale. Would that I had been born in Ediburgh or the Highlands. Alas, laddie, that would be a wee bit much to ask!

 

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Bridgeofdoon

My absence of entries in this blog can be excused (I think)  based on the fact that I had revisited the inspiration for this web site, namely, Brigadoon (the Americanization based on Lerner & Loewe’s musical; also, see my original entry regarding this in the introduction to the PaduaPrep.com website). As you may have figured out, this inspiration has a somewhat complex mythological history. There is  a cross-cultural myth in Germany where it is known as Germelshausen. This is further intertwined by the fact that  William E. Leffingwell chose the name American Nauheim alluding to the country of his inspiration (Germany) for the Glen Springs at Watkins Glen.

 

Be that as it may,  this whole blog entry really wants to state the obvious, or maybe not so obvious, that the real inspiration for PaduaPrep.com lay in the subconscious minds of the Scotch. This last statement may be a bit much to swallow, so I will have a series of blog entries relating to this.

 

To begin with,  my disclaimer is that I have become enamored with the  spirit and strength of the Scottish people. I never realized they were as oppressed as any other minority in Europe. It took a trip to Edinburgh and the Highlands to discover this fact. What I also discovered was the mystery of the land. The geography and climate of that countryside create an atmosphere of wild imaginings and mystery I have not experienced anywhere else. If a people and the land are united in creating a culture, then that explains why there have been so many literary greats that have called their homeland Scotland.

 

The photo is of Brig o’ Doon, the subject of which is from Robert Burn’s poem Tam o’ Shanter. In honesty, I must say I did not  actually visit this site, but I must say I did experience that soul of the countryside that hints at why the Scots so love their land and heritage. By the way, it seems this very bridge also inspired Lerner & Loewe in writing their musical.

 

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Gym

During my years at Padua ’62-66, I recall stories of the gym being haunted.  Noises from the heating or rodent issues could have contributed to some of these stories. One story has a student hearing a dribbled basketball on the upper floor basketball court.  Upon inspection of the upper floor it was found dark and vacant. This particular story probably had it’s roots from the death of Coach Franzese in the mid 50’s. During my final year at Padua I kept score for the basketball games and one of my responsibilities was to phone in the score and stats to the local newspaper.  Needless to say I always had the haunted gym in the back of my mind but fortunately never observed anything out of the ordinary.  During a visit to the property for the  2009 reunion the gym was accessible, however in 2012  the gym was borded up.  What a shame to let this building deteriorate and take on this eerie aura of being haunted.

 

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images

Eric von Däniken published “Chariots of the Gods” in 1968. You may remember seeing  tv commercials advertising his book back then. The book has been translated into at least 32 languages and together has sold more than 63 million copies.

Von Däniken was born in Zofingen, Aargau, Switzerland in 1934. Brought up a strict Catholic, he attended the international Catholic school Saint-Michel in Fribourg, Switzerland. During his time at the school he rejected the church’s interpretations of the Bible, and developed an interest in astronomy and the phenomenon of flying saucers.  He subsequently dropped out of school and lived a rather corrupt life prior to publication of the book.  He was accused and convicted of embezzlement, fraud and forgery to fund and his research and book.  He is by far considered a leading authority on the subject with an extensive research library. Continue reading Ancient Aliens in the Bible and a Padua Religion Class?