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To Julie - Florence!

Posted by Barbara TX on 9/09/01 at 22:09 (059669)

I have been thinking about your 'story' and lost the thread! I thought that my husband and I met in a very romantic way (in a Dante seminar), but Klaus finding you in Florence is really amazing. Florence is my favorite city in the world. I remember staying at a little pensione with a great view of the Duomo in college, and spending hours and hours in the churches, especially Santa Croce. I was there in the winter, and so I froze myself, but that was a little romantic also. I got a terrific cough in the damps, and was mystified that John Keats thought Rome in winter might be good for his lungs.

Have you ever seen the film 'A Room with a View?' Some wonderful views of Florence and surrounds, and a wonderful, romantic story and superb soundtrack.

What kinds of books did you work on at OU Press? Have you been back to Italy, or have any favorite places there? B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/10/01 at 03:05 (059691)

I think meeting in a Dante seminar is pretty romantic too! Was that when you were both in college? Doing post-graduate work? Where?

Yes, it was amazing our finding each other in Florence. How wonderful that you know it and love it. Of course I do too. We met in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, in the Brancacci Chapel, where the Masaccio frescoes are. I'd been there before, earlier in the week, so I knew that if you gave the verger 50 lire he'd switch on the lights (a couple of 10-watt bulbs). This was a good 25 years before the frescoes were cleaned and became one of the city's top attractions - I'm sure they're better lit now. Anyway, Klaus was already there, and when the lights went on he looked over at me gratefully. I think that was why he came over half an hour or so later to offer me his opera glasses.(Of course it could have been because he was intrigued by the American nut.)

The really amazing thing is that I was there at all - I'd only intended to spend a few days in Florence, but, reaching Rome (I agree with you about Keats) after a few weeks in Greece, I couldn't handle what felt like its 'heaviness'; it overwhelmed me, so I fled to Florence and spent ten days there. If I'd stuck to my plan I'd have led some different life. It's terrifying to think of it.

I worked on all the academic and general books at OUP. A few of them were singled out for special treatment if they were thought to have sales potential, but every single one - about 1200 a year including the American UP imports - got thought about: review copies were sent out, they were included in specialist catalogues, and most got advertised. I started there as assistant to the promotion manager (the cadaverous socialist I mentioned). Then for a number of years I was publicity manager, and oversaw it all, but eventually moved myself sideways to be advertising manager because I wanted to be more hands on - I hated running a big department and delegating and never doing what felt like 'work'. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I was happier heading a smaller group - just me, a designer, and an administrator. I wrote all the copy for the ads, which satisfied my need for 'real work'.

But I am a million times happier doing what I'm doing now, which satisfies my need to be of use.I'm definitely a late developer.

Now your turn. I thought I remembered your saying you were a scientist. Then what were you doing in a Dante seminar? Did you/do you teach science (or Italian literature)? I know you are a writer and you are absolutely splendid with words. Are you working on something now?

Re: To Barb - Florence!

JudyS on 9/10/01 at 10:01 (059712)

Julie, we have a parallel. My degree is in broadcasting and with it I became a promotions director for local broadcast facilities - and wrote my fair share of copy, too! And like you, I eventually switched from the commercial world to the non-profit world where I became media consultant to several Missing-Children agencies.......and even got to write legislation! It was far more rewarding than what seemed like high-school-like shallowness in the commercial broadcast world.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 10:23 (059717)

I am not a scientist, but I admire them. My husband and I met in graduate school - he working on his Ph.D. in ancient political philosopy and me working on one in literature. I specialized in WWI, and once did some special research for a college up North about T.S. Eliot. But, my previous degrees were in philosophy, so you could say that Scott and I set outselves up for a life of menial labor. It is nearly impossible to get work teaching ancient western philosophy or politics - very passe' here in the States. I was a professor for awhile at a small college and I didn't like teaching grammar when I had been trained for something else. I am remembering that line in Pygmalion : 'what have you left me fit for?'

So, Scott works in telecom and I am a mama, and very happy at home if I can write on the side. I write for a small magazine, published out of Rome, called Canticle, which threatens to fold on a daily basis. I used to write for the Texas Republic before it went belly-up. Small stuff, but it gave me something to think about.

I have been a little blue lately because I have the chance to Italy again in January but feet are too sick. Our priest is leading a tour, and he is quite an extrordinary person. He is actually an English Anglican man, with a wife and family, who converted to Catholicism under Cardinal Law, and so I get homilies from this lovely C.S. Lewis person in the dead center of Texas hickville, in the lovely Anglican rite. It is almost like he's dropped down from space. Well, he is going to Italy with his wife, and he knows every inch of it, and has invited us to go. Boy, it makes me despise my stupid feet.

Aside from Florence, I also liked Assisi, but I was too young to really absorb the spirit and aceticism of Francis and Clare. I went about buying shoes and gorging myself on pastries. Pilgrimages are wasted on the young. I really wish I had the chance now. B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

John h on 9/10/01 at 11:52 (059728)

Barb: I thought you met Scott at a bar in Laredo. After reading all these romantic meetings i am sure not going to post on this subject. you guys seem to all have jumped out of a romance novel.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 14:39 (059739)

The meeting was romantic, but the decision-making process was very rational with eyes wide open. You give me a chance to speak my mind to my second Scott - bars are not nice places to meet prospecive mates. You gather in an essentially uninteresting place that has nothing to do with your interests and avocations, become besotted with alcohol, and focus only on bodies. Yuck! Sounds like a recipe for ruin to me. Scott R essentially wants a bohemian, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, person who is a Christian at least three days of the week. That's a tall order for your average bar-fly. Babs has spoken! B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Scott R on 9/10/01 at 16:07 (059753)

No, i prefer anti-christians. I also prefer no make-up and non-smokers. Bars are at least as good as the internet which is the only place I have other than work (which is mostly tapped out). Besides, any place that i can see 50 attractive single white women in one night is a very good place here in gumpville. My newest internet friend is going well. I emailed 20 women 2 weeks ago, got 4 meetings, and one's compatible.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/10/01 at 16:43 (059765)

John, now tell us how you and Mary met.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Nancy N on 9/10/01 at 16:49 (059766)

Never been to Florence, but I have seen Room with a View several times and just love it. I'd probably love the real place, too. My brother was thinking of doing his master's in Architecture there, once upon a time.

But I am compelled to jump in as one of those who as found a home in the non-profit (or not-for-profit, not sure what the difference is) world. I thought I had found it when I landed my last job 5 years ago and started working for a university, but when it got right down to it, the only non-corporate thing about it was that I never had to hear the word 'revenue'--and many were the times I reminded myself of that in an attempt to soothe my unhappiness. University politics can be at least as bad as corporate politics, especially if the faculty are treated like they walk on water several times a day.

Now that I've made the switch to a private secondary school, I really feel like I have come home. Less money, to be sure, but the wonderful people and the way I am feeling in general, and even about myself, in the past few weeks are well worth the pay cut. I see people at 8am, smile, say Good Morning--and I mean it! Before, it was all I could do to acknowledge that it was morning, and there certainly was nothing good about it. I know some of this is just because it's a new job and has the new-job enthusiasm associated with it, but these people have been so welcoming, supportive, and friendly that I am sure it's not just the 'new job' phenomenon.

There is definitely something to be said for following your heart. I'm glad I did.

And Barb, your priest sounds fantastic. I am not much of a church-goer, but I have a feeling I would like this guy. I am sure he will go to Italy again, and that you'll be able to go. Fear not! :)

Re: To Barb - Florence!

john h on 9/10/01 at 18:44 (059778)

Julie: after reading your and Barb's romantic meetings with your husbands no way am i going to try and top that. How about this: i was shot down over France while flying a Spitfire for the RAF. I had already destroyed 8 of the deadly enemy aircraft. I bailed out and landed in a small French village just outside Paris. The French resistance picked me up and i was nursed backed to health by a 21 year old French nurse named Brigette. I was secretly evacuated back to England at the risk of the young nurse's life. After the war i returned to the tiny village in France where Brigette was still a nurse in the tiny village hospital. We shared a bottle of Merlot were married and lived happily ever after. Well! anyway you and Barb have these meetings that i read about in novels so you will just have to accept my dream story.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

john h on 9/10/01 at 19:02 (059783)

Julie: oh yes! i forgot to mention that Brigette changed her name to Mary when we returned from England after the war.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 20:33 (059798)

Good save, John. B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

wendyn on 9/10/01 at 22:50 (059811)

Barbara - you sure that there's NO way to make the trip with your feet? What if you had to do it in a wheel chair - could you do it then? I really hate to see people have to give up on things because of their feet, it's just not fair.

Re: What a nice thread!

Julie on 9/11/01 at 02:59 (059825)

It's good to learn more about each other. Barb, your priest sounds as though he'd be a wonderful companion on an Italian journey. Can't you, as Wendy suggests, do the trip with the help of a wheelchair? I hate to hear you say you despise your feet, too. Do see if you can't find a way. And then you'd be in a good frame of mind to tackle Tamil Nadu....I'm remembering our conversation ages ago about the little girl you sponsor there, and your wanting to meet her.

I forgot to say, yes, I have seen Room With a View. Yes, wonderful shots of Florence. I believe they've now made the Piazza della Signoria a pedestrian zone, which must be an improvement. I would love to go again, but it would have to be in the winter: I don't think I could face the tourist crowds at any other time. (January sounds perfect....)

Re: To Nancy

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:01 (059826)

Yes, what a difference to have work that feels worthwhile and makes you happy. It's good to hear you sounding so upbeat, Nancy.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

K on 9/11/01 at 03:02 (059827)

Love it, John! Regards to Brigitte.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:03 (059828)

That was me, hiding under my new alias (typing error)

Re: To Judy

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:10 (059829)

Judy, please tell more about the Missing Children agencies. That sounds interesting!

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/10/01 at 03:05 (059691)

I think meeting in a Dante seminar is pretty romantic too! Was that when you were both in college? Doing post-graduate work? Where?

Yes, it was amazing our finding each other in Florence. How wonderful that you know it and love it. Of course I do too. We met in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, in the Brancacci Chapel, where the Masaccio frescoes are. I'd been there before, earlier in the week, so I knew that if you gave the verger 50 lire he'd switch on the lights (a couple of 10-watt bulbs). This was a good 25 years before the frescoes were cleaned and became one of the city's top attractions - I'm sure they're better lit now. Anyway, Klaus was already there, and when the lights went on he looked over at me gratefully. I think that was why he came over half an hour or so later to offer me his opera glasses.(Of course it could have been because he was intrigued by the American nut.)

The really amazing thing is that I was there at all - I'd only intended to spend a few days in Florence, but, reaching Rome (I agree with you about Keats) after a few weeks in Greece, I couldn't handle what felt like its 'heaviness'; it overwhelmed me, so I fled to Florence and spent ten days there. If I'd stuck to my plan I'd have led some different life. It's terrifying to think of it.

I worked on all the academic and general books at OUP. A few of them were singled out for special treatment if they were thought to have sales potential, but every single one - about 1200 a year including the American UP imports - got thought about: review copies were sent out, they were included in specialist catalogues, and most got advertised. I started there as assistant to the promotion manager (the cadaverous socialist I mentioned). Then for a number of years I was publicity manager, and oversaw it all, but eventually moved myself sideways to be advertising manager because I wanted to be more hands on - I hated running a big department and delegating and never doing what felt like 'work'. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I was happier heading a smaller group - just me, a designer, and an administrator. I wrote all the copy for the ads, which satisfied my need for 'real work'.

But I am a million times happier doing what I'm doing now, which satisfies my need to be of use.I'm definitely a late developer.

Now your turn. I thought I remembered your saying you were a scientist. Then what were you doing in a Dante seminar? Did you/do you teach science (or Italian literature)? I know you are a writer and you are absolutely splendid with words. Are you working on something now?

Re: To Barb - Florence!

JudyS on 9/10/01 at 10:01 (059712)

Julie, we have a parallel. My degree is in broadcasting and with it I became a promotions director for local broadcast facilities - and wrote my fair share of copy, too! And like you, I eventually switched from the commercial world to the non-profit world where I became media consultant to several Missing-Children agencies.......and even got to write legislation! It was far more rewarding than what seemed like high-school-like shallowness in the commercial broadcast world.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 10:23 (059717)

I am not a scientist, but I admire them. My husband and I met in graduate school - he working on his Ph.D. in ancient political philosopy and me working on one in literature. I specialized in WWI, and once did some special research for a college up North about T.S. Eliot. But, my previous degrees were in philosophy, so you could say that Scott and I set outselves up for a life of menial labor. It is nearly impossible to get work teaching ancient western philosophy or politics - very passe' here in the States. I was a professor for awhile at a small college and I didn't like teaching grammar when I had been trained for something else. I am remembering that line in Pygmalion : 'what have you left me fit for?'

So, Scott works in telecom and I am a mama, and very happy at home if I can write on the side. I write for a small magazine, published out of Rome, called Canticle, which threatens to fold on a daily basis. I used to write for the Texas Republic before it went belly-up. Small stuff, but it gave me something to think about.

I have been a little blue lately because I have the chance to Italy again in January but feet are too sick. Our priest is leading a tour, and he is quite an extrordinary person. He is actually an English Anglican man, with a wife and family, who converted to Catholicism under Cardinal Law, and so I get homilies from this lovely C.S. Lewis person in the dead center of Texas hickville, in the lovely Anglican rite. It is almost like he's dropped down from space. Well, he is going to Italy with his wife, and he knows every inch of it, and has invited us to go. Boy, it makes me despise my stupid feet.

Aside from Florence, I also liked Assisi, but I was too young to really absorb the spirit and aceticism of Francis and Clare. I went about buying shoes and gorging myself on pastries. Pilgrimages are wasted on the young. I really wish I had the chance now. B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

John h on 9/10/01 at 11:52 (059728)

Barb: I thought you met Scott at a bar in Laredo. After reading all these romantic meetings i am sure not going to post on this subject. you guys seem to all have jumped out of a romance novel.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 14:39 (059739)

The meeting was romantic, but the decision-making process was very rational with eyes wide open. You give me a chance to speak my mind to my second Scott - bars are not nice places to meet prospecive mates. You gather in an essentially uninteresting place that has nothing to do with your interests and avocations, become besotted with alcohol, and focus only on bodies. Yuck! Sounds like a recipe for ruin to me. Scott R essentially wants a bohemian, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, person who is a Christian at least three days of the week. That's a tall order for your average bar-fly. Babs has spoken! B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Scott R on 9/10/01 at 16:07 (059753)

No, i prefer anti-christians. I also prefer no make-up and non-smokers. Bars are at least as good as the internet which is the only place I have other than work (which is mostly tapped out). Besides, any place that i can see 50 attractive single white women in one night is a very good place here in gumpville. My newest internet friend is going well. I emailed 20 women 2 weeks ago, got 4 meetings, and one's compatible.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/10/01 at 16:43 (059765)

John, now tell us how you and Mary met.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Nancy N on 9/10/01 at 16:49 (059766)

Never been to Florence, but I have seen Room with a View several times and just love it. I'd probably love the real place, too. My brother was thinking of doing his master's in Architecture there, once upon a time.

But I am compelled to jump in as one of those who as found a home in the non-profit (or not-for-profit, not sure what the difference is) world. I thought I had found it when I landed my last job 5 years ago and started working for a university, but when it got right down to it, the only non-corporate thing about it was that I never had to hear the word 'revenue'--and many were the times I reminded myself of that in an attempt to soothe my unhappiness. University politics can be at least as bad as corporate politics, especially if the faculty are treated like they walk on water several times a day.

Now that I've made the switch to a private secondary school, I really feel like I have come home. Less money, to be sure, but the wonderful people and the way I am feeling in general, and even about myself, in the past few weeks are well worth the pay cut. I see people at 8am, smile, say Good Morning--and I mean it! Before, it was all I could do to acknowledge that it was morning, and there certainly was nothing good about it. I know some of this is just because it's a new job and has the new-job enthusiasm associated with it, but these people have been so welcoming, supportive, and friendly that I am sure it's not just the 'new job' phenomenon.

There is definitely something to be said for following your heart. I'm glad I did.

And Barb, your priest sounds fantastic. I am not much of a church-goer, but I have a feeling I would like this guy. I am sure he will go to Italy again, and that you'll be able to go. Fear not! :)

Re: To Barb - Florence!

john h on 9/10/01 at 18:44 (059778)

Julie: after reading your and Barb's romantic meetings with your husbands no way am i going to try and top that. How about this: i was shot down over France while flying a Spitfire for the RAF. I had already destroyed 8 of the deadly enemy aircraft. I bailed out and landed in a small French village just outside Paris. The French resistance picked me up and i was nursed backed to health by a 21 year old French nurse named Brigette. I was secretly evacuated back to England at the risk of the young nurse's life. After the war i returned to the tiny village in France where Brigette was still a nurse in the tiny village hospital. We shared a bottle of Merlot were married and lived happily ever after. Well! anyway you and Barb have these meetings that i read about in novels so you will just have to accept my dream story.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

john h on 9/10/01 at 19:02 (059783)

Julie: oh yes! i forgot to mention that Brigette changed her name to Mary when we returned from England after the war.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Barbara TX on 9/10/01 at 20:33 (059798)

Good save, John. B.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

wendyn on 9/10/01 at 22:50 (059811)

Barbara - you sure that there's NO way to make the trip with your feet? What if you had to do it in a wheel chair - could you do it then? I really hate to see people have to give up on things because of their feet, it's just not fair.

Re: What a nice thread!

Julie on 9/11/01 at 02:59 (059825)

It's good to learn more about each other. Barb, your priest sounds as though he'd be a wonderful companion on an Italian journey. Can't you, as Wendy suggests, do the trip with the help of a wheelchair? I hate to hear you say you despise your feet, too. Do see if you can't find a way. And then you'd be in a good frame of mind to tackle Tamil Nadu....I'm remembering our conversation ages ago about the little girl you sponsor there, and your wanting to meet her.

I forgot to say, yes, I have seen Room With a View. Yes, wonderful shots of Florence. I believe they've now made the Piazza della Signoria a pedestrian zone, which must be an improvement. I would love to go again, but it would have to be in the winter: I don't think I could face the tourist crowds at any other time. (January sounds perfect....)

Re: To Nancy

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:01 (059826)

Yes, what a difference to have work that feels worthwhile and makes you happy. It's good to hear you sounding so upbeat, Nancy.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

K on 9/11/01 at 03:02 (059827)

Love it, John! Regards to Brigitte.

Re: To Barb - Florence!

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:03 (059828)

That was me, hiding under my new alias (typing error)

Re: To Judy

Julie on 9/11/01 at 03:10 (059829)

Judy, please tell more about the Missing Children agencies. That sounds interesting!