Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal: Farewell Cookout for Crip and Lisa; Summerfest

Blew off the John Mayer/Ben Folds concert tonight to go to a cookout over at Dan and Amy's to say farewell to Crip and Lisa Stephenson, who will be moving to Tennessee in a few weeks. They're still both dissertating, but Lisa already got a tenure-track position at their alma mater, Lee University, and Crip has a possible foot in the door by being down there adjuncting right away. So we grilled chicken kebobs and ate pasta salads and just talked for hours, taking time out here and there to play with the kids. Lee is an institution with its roots in Pentecostalism, and we've already produced at Marquette another of their next generation of theologians in Barnes' old protégé Skip Jenkins, so the Stephensons are more of the upcoming, Catholic-educated theological cornerstone of the denomination's future. That had us talking some about the charismatic aspects of my dissertation research, and I had made a bit of a breakthrough on the bus on the way down to the party, so I ran some of that new idea by the crowd and got some immediate feedback on what I was thinking.

I'll make up some of the Summerfest loss with a Thursday night sweep of "jam band" night, where I can take in Umphrey's McGee, Rusted Root, and (non-jam band) B.B. King. It'll be weird, as ever, to see Umphrey's, and to see how far they've come from the days when they were just "the other band," and Umphrey's and the Freeks were the only geeky guys hanging around catching the opening-day noon showing of The Phantom Menace after having taken in the midnight showing several hours earlier. Their songwriting clearly seemed second-rate compared to the Freeks', but they've worked hard and gone the distance. I know it's a bittersweet feeling for Mark when he hangs with them when they pass through Pittburgh and such. But it should be a good night for some great sounds and dancing. If I'd made it to Summerfest tonight, I was hoping that the great songwriter double-whammy of John Mayer and Ben Folds was going to finish in time that I could hit AFI's show: some of their stuff has really grabbed me. I don't know if they did the big fireworks show tonight: there was enough rain now and again at the Lloyd's that maybe they cancelled it if it was the same out by the Lake. The Summerfest opening fireworks the other night went for a jaw-dropping half hour. I think it might have been the best show I've seen here, of the dozens I've caught in this festival- and fireworks-saturated city....
Tags: dissertation, food, friends-marquette era, friends-notre dame era, george and the freeks, milwaukee, musical, mysticism/spirituality, personal

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