Dr. Pav

One of my college professors died last week; Dr. John Pav was my art history teacher. I don’t particularly remember much about most of my college mentors, but his presence has remained with me for more than 30 years. He was a nice guy but took no prisoners when it came to correctly spelling artist’s names. For the course final exam, I got up at 4am and began cramming; if we misspelled three names, all from the the Renaissance up to the modern period, we failed the entire course. I naturally made sure Carolyn didn’t sleep if I couldn’t sleep, so she got up and made coffee and then helped me study. When classes began at eight o’clock, I felt reasonably confident. Art History was my last class of the day; by the time it began at eleven, I was mortified. I knew the history ok, but names like Botticelli, Valazquez, Van Eyck, Masaccio, and Caravaggio were screaming through my head and seemed to be one long and impossible to spell word. Dr. Pav flashed art photos on a screen and we had to write the names of the various artists. Anyway, I passed.
Mornings are now nippy, cooler than they should normally be for late August. I haven’t seen a robin in more than a week; most are now on the way to Tammy’s gentle care for the next six months. I dread the gloom of winter; Rio is very appealing as the northern days shorten and the skies darken to seemingly perpetual gray.
I am definitely now living in the country; a John Deere tractor just putt-putt-putted by on the road. I love it!
The video is of Ed Snodderly, an excellent musician and all around good guy who lives in Johnson City. If you saw the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, he played the part of a town dofuss in the scene where Baby Face Nelson is being escorted to jail; he is playing a fiddle. The amateur video is not the best in the world, but it gives a glimpse of the real man.
Have a Tuesday, dear children.

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 10:09 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. good thing you learned how to spell all those names – so you could educate me at least. who knew? I think it is always a good thing when you can move further out in the country. I didn’t realize you were further out. Hope it is working out for you and the family. Haven’t seen the robins yet. It is the absolute hottest week in the entire year right now. I dont think any critter wants to be here right now. but, when they get here I’ll watch over them and enjoy their singing! What I wouldn’t give for a cool dry morning. O’ Brother is one of my all-time favorite movies and I watch it quite regularly. I’ll look for Ed the next time I watch it. As a matter of fact I love to steal the phrase from the movie – “I’ve said my peace and counted to three.” Mike knows what comes next. Be well dear friend.

    • Heh-heh! I had to google the artists names; the only one of those I remembered for sure was Botticelli. We have gone bucolic; out where I live now I can spit without worrying that I will hit someone’s barbecue. I know you will rejoice in the robin’s song; I miss their morning trills. It is daytime hot here, but nights are too cool to wear shorts outside. O Brother reminds me of so many people I knew in my youth and the rural area where i lived was much like the flick, except we have hills. When Everett was trying to buy Dapper Dan pomade and a transmission belt, the Bristol where the stuff had to be ordered from is the same Bristol where the NASCAR race is now and is about 20 miles from me. Bristol is where country music got its popular beginnings. If I were Mike and by the time you were half way through your “I’ve said my piece …” quote, I would be out the door and in a safer place!
      Thanks, my friend.

  2. He was from Prague. Czech language is so soft; typically Slavic language. I wonder how Mr. John Pav pronounced English words, and I wonder when he left Europe; maybe in 1945, or 1968 ( I hope you heard about Prague Spring in 1968). Oh, we love our Czech brothers; they are so good people. Do you know their literature? The books by Bugumil Hrabal? Oh, sweet novels, and v. often so funny.

    I know O Brother, Where Art Thou? It’s magical movie.
    Love your ‘dear children’.

    • Dr. Pav was fluent in English but he did have an accent. I had no trouble understanding him with my country-boy ears. This was 1980 and he and his wife had probably been in the U.S. for a long time. Yes, I suppose most Americans my age remember the Czech Spring and also the Hungarian Uprising of ’56 and the Polish Solidarity movement of 1980. These were all huge television news events over here back when reporters dared report the news as it was. I remember the films of Soviet tanks entering Budapest in 1956 and the efforts of Dubcek to make reforms in Czechoslovakia in 1968.
      Hrabal seems like my kind of writer; a bit of non-conformist. Thanks for the link; I will see what I can find of his to read.
      Thanks, my friend. 🙂

  3. I wish I had some good/great professors. I needed them and they were not there.

    The mornings have been great. Love walking the dog when it is in the 60’s instead of the upper 80’s.

    Gotta run. Slept late this morning.

    • I had a few good ones, but for most the students were just a part of the job description. One thing that helped me maybe is that I was a non-traditional student; I was 36 when I began school and older than many of my teachers.
      I like the cool mornings, even on into early November.
      God slept late on the 7th day … 🙂
      Thanks, my friend.

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