History; I'm Doomed to Repeat It (Four Mile ride report)

Jul 10, 2009

Will Durant, the man who knew everything, shortly before he forgot everything

I remember reading Will and Ariel Durant's Story of Civilization as a somewhat precocious two-year-old and thinking that I would like very much to be a historian when I grew up. Unhappily, due to a series of botched medical experiments (my parents needed the money), I never achieved that dream and I became a designer instead... a profession that requires the ability to discern squares from circles and little else. It's been a good fit.

You can understand, then, my glee at riding Four Mile yesterday with CU's own Dr. Tom Zeiler, whose Ambassadors in Pinstripes has been critically acclaimed worldwide for its heartbreakingly beautiful maps. (Gee, I wonder who drew them?)

Since I didn't want to squander precious handlebar time with an eminent historian, I got straight to the point. I asked Tom what he thought of my theory that the Marshall Plan was indirectly responsible for the Jonas Brothers. He replied that if I ever did have a legitimate thought, it would be roughly analogous to a BB in a coffee can. I thanked him, and as we chugged on past the Black Swan Mine, I pondered the metaphor. I could tell he really liked me.

Back in Boulder, before we parted ways, I told Tom that I had a bunch of other ideas about history that I'd like to bounce off him on future rides. It was hard to make out what he said, what with his sprinting away and all, but it sounded like "When Nell sneezes clover."

Boy... those historians are hard to figure sometimes.

No me today - hoofin' it. Call Sean.