We have just arrived here for our third visit, having been introduced to the place we call “Learningville” by Craig and Susan Scott in 2009. Our great, long-time friends, Butch & Louise Stafford (Butch from Ardmore Jr. High, Louise from West by God Virginia) and now Raleigh and Clark, Colorado (40 miles from our son, Mike, and his Rocky Mountain home).
As we have used this blog before to explain travels, it occurred to us that it may be a good way to explain Chautauqua to our friends…it is a very difficult place to translate to folks.
So, we’ll try to give you a flavor of the week.
We flew in yesterday – Saturday the 13th – to Buffalo…the Roachs from Philadelphia and the Staffords from Denver thru Baltimore. We rented a car and made the 87 mile/90 minute drive to find our rental for this week at 30 Elm St Unit C at the “north end” of the community here – they call it the Institution, which is the first off-putting use of insider lingo. There are about 6,000 people here at full occupancy for most of the nine week season. Many of the places are spectacular Victorian architecture – the Scott’s place on Janes Street is one of the best. Our turns out to be a newly-renovated carriage house type of an old English place that is terrific. I’ll put in a photo here, if I can remember how to do that. Most of this place needs visualization, but then, much of it is cerebral as well. You’ll see.
The heart of the community is the Ampitheater, which seats 4, 500 people and it was full on Sunday for Tony Campolo’s service and again on Monday for the main speaker, Michael Sandel of Harvard, for the 10:45AM major lecture.