Friday, April 14, 2017

Fools on the Hill

T S Elliot claimed April to be the cruelest month, but, according to a quote attributed (as many, often erroneously, are) to Twain, "The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year". Of course the two are not mutually exclusive; some April Fools' pranks have been cruel, but the best are just funny, or preferably, plain wacky.

Definitely in the wacky camp was the April 7, 1977 edition of the Ridgerunner, which devoted several pages to April foolishness. Either that, or 1977 saw some very strange happenings.

The lead story about Rupert Murdoch buying control of the Ridgerunner, was, given the rate at which Rupert was buying up media outlets back then, improbable rather than impossible. But after that, things just got weird.
The Murdoch story mentioned a big hairy bat, and this theme is taken further in, "Short People Face Perils" which describes how big hairy bats (which are "very big indeed") do not like being hunted or stalked (Who does?), and can seize anything under five feet seven inches in height, and weighing less than 130 pounds.
A particularly zany story on pages 3 and 4 has a definite Pythonesque quality about it, as the sad fate of Dr. Ernest Leigh Schlitzuntpretzel (Great name!) is revealed.
The image of the poor doctor being trapped alive in the molecular structure of a wall, and a "In Memorium" plaque extolling him to "hang on in there", are goofy, but the part about the Feds only paying half the grant, because Schlitzuntpretzel only got halfway through the wall, seems especially brilliant. And we'll leave it to better minds than ours to calculate when the good doctor will finally emerge from the wall.
We'd like to go on and report of other Aprils when craziness and/or artificial stimulants, got to the writers of the student newspaper, but unfortunately (although some might say fortunately), it does not seem to have happened, and 1977 was a one-off. Or April Fools stories were written, and we just missed them amongst the nuttiness of normal life.
And talking of nuttiness.....
A story from the Blue Banner of April 25, 1985, told how hacky sack was invading campus. For the most part, this seems a genuine, albeit slight odd, report, but the comment about someone starting to play hacky sack at a Grateful Dead concert, does make us wonder.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Thomas Rain Crowe: A Writer’s Life: An Interview and Reading

Thomas Rain Crowe: A Writer’s Life - An Interview and Reading

Thursday, April 20, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall
UNC Asheville

Thomas Rain Crowe
Thomas Rain Crowe, internationally known poet, essayist, and critic, will talk about his life as a writer on Thursday, April 20 on the UNC Asheville campus.  Crowe will be interviewed by Renee Ambroso, a UNC Asheville English Major and intern in UNCA’s Special Collections. In addition to discussing his life as a writer, Crowe will also read several selections from his work. The interview and reading will take place in Laurel Forum in Karpen Hall on the UNC Asheville Campus from 5-6:30. The reading is free and open to the public.

Interviewer Renee Ambroso has been working with a collection of Crowe’s writings as part of her internship in UNCA’s Special Collections this semester, cataloging over 200 articles and reviews by and about Crowe that in appeared in Western North Carolina newspapers and journals over the last several decades. The resulting “Thomas Rain Crowe Regional Publications Collection” will provide access to these hard-to-find articles and reviews by this acclaimed writer, and will be available later this spring on the UNCA Special Collections website. The collection also includes a number of works published by New Native Press, Crowe’s Cullowhee-based publishing company.  The collection was donated to UNCA’s Special Collections by Crowe earlier this year.

Thomas Rain Crowe has published over thirty books of original works, translations, anthologies, and recordings. He is a critically acclaimed poet and his award-winning 2005 book Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods, has been favorably compared to works by Henry David Thoreau and Wendell Berry.

The reading is sponsored by the UNC Asheville Department of English and Special Collections at Ramsey Library. The interview will be moderated by Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections at UNCA. For questions about the reading, please contact Gene Hyde at 251-6645 or