Ziggie has been here for 20 years, and is remarkably enthusiastic about the school and the students, and has been known to swoop in and surprise some student group or club with substantial aid, such as buying the sailing crew a new boat. He chats with everyone, or at sometimes more at them. At least, with me it's probably a bit more "at" me, but maybe that's because I can't bring myself to correct him as much as I would if the opinions and thoughts he was spouting were coming from a student.
You see, Ziggie's also a bit enthusiastically nuts, being one of those folks that I fear as an educator: one who takes the History Channel seriously. The History Channel does indeed sometimes play respectable documentaries. But they also play crazy ones, and movies and jumble it all together under their legitimaizing "History" banner, for those who can't tell the good from the bad, the legitimate from the farcical. So Ziggie BOOMS at me in his loud, Greek-accented English when I come in the door, "Professor! You know! You know! 2012! Twen-ty Twelve! The planets! Aligned in the sky! The End! You wait! You see! The end of everything! Nostradamus! The planets!" And this is pretty normal when I drop by, once every other week or so, for a burger. I guess it's more normal for everyone, as I now see that he has a Facebook group of student devoted to him called "Ziggie is a Crazy Greek Bastard."
I do think students are going to be a bit freaked to come back and find him gone. Like I said, he's an institution around here now, a standby, and everyone was happy just a few months back when he re-negotiated his lease with the University, who had bought the building he's in. But once his decision was made, he's out of there. He was thinking of buying a place in Nebraska as well, and proceeded to describe raising just enough animals to survive the 2012 disaster, in kind of a mildly survivalist way. I then made the mistake of mentioning all the mild earthquake in Yellowstone yesterday to him, which set him off, because, naturally, he knows the doomsday scenario of the volcano that's building under Yellowstone, which could go off anytime in the next 50,000 years as I understand it. And so we got to talking about options out of the Westerly Winds fallout of the ash from Yellowstone, like maybe in parts of Kansas. I think I'm going to miss the bizarre commentary on current events as much as or more than the food, myself.