Living Legacies

“If Osama Bin Laden, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama were all stranded on the same desert island who would survive?”

Pause for dramatic effect.

“We would” i quip

Of the dozen people in the room, only Janel laughs in this McDonogh HS history class room.  Not a lot of anarchists here apparently.

Janel and i  have been invited to talk about the community and the questions are mostly fairly standard.  “Where do the kids go to school?” “How do you throw people out?”  ” Are their religious people there ?”  But one student breaks the mold, “How do you deal with break ups since you have to see each other every day?”  A questions so important we actually ask it in our membership interview.

John McDonogh was once the largest land holder in the county.  Like Alfred Nobel, McDonogh was concerned his legacy would not be favorable.   Having lost in love and lost in politics, he became a reclusive workaholic.  His last will and testament surprised many by giving all his money for the creation of schools.  One current incarnation of this is the McDonogh school outside Baltimore where we are speaking today. It is a college prep school with 1300 students from K thru 12, who slightly mysteriously partially embrace the idea of wearing uniforms.

The entire TOAST program was the result of a disagreement between Kate and i when she lived at Twin Oaks.  She contended that she could get sociology and other college professors to pay us to come and give presentations at their schools.  I thought she was out of he mind and said so.  Today, i live with the legacy of being wrong.