My friend Jim gave me this poster when he escaped from the Masters in English program at ISU. It hung on my office door there for several years, and it’s been a mainstay of my office. Now that I am moving offices, Mr. Rogers is coming with me.

So is the Tick (also pictured), which my brother bought for me.

31 thoughts on “Won’t you be my neighbor?

  1. HOLY SHIT!!!

    I remember that poster and the sweaty little office to which it was affixed. I also remember Paddock conjugating Spanish in that same office—sure was a lot of cussing in English for some reason. And Jim was a cool customer. Him and his Blue Meanies shirt.

    Oh man, this totally made my day. Fucking sweet.

  2. Sweet Marie, that’s my Mr. Rogers poster! What did you get out of that deal, Paddock? Wasn’t it my tie-dyed tapestry? You guys ought to see the swag lamp I’ve got hanging in my high school classroom. That’s right, suckers, I’m shaping the minds of America’s goddamn youth!
    Oh yeah, Hi C.K., Trevor, Fat Tony.

  3. Holy CRAP! It’s a bona-fide reunion of the sit around and complain about “Why does everyone at ISU answer our questions with more questions and rhetoric buzzwords?” group!

  4. Yeah, that’s cool and all, but is anybody else reading this? And if not, why don’t you all just come to my house? We’ll do this thing with less technology and more beer!

  5. Well, I don’t know if anyone is reading all these comments, but I get over 1000 readers a day here. As for beer… *takes a sip* … what were you saying?

  6. Jim! It’s so great to hear from you after all these years. “Fat Tony” Paddock told me you were teaching high school a while back. That’s good news—please come to Oregon. We need you here. Pretty please.

    Where are you living these days anyway?

  7. Fuck oh dear—-I distinctly remember thinking that if Todd Travaille name-dropped James Berlin one more time during our orientation, I was going to lose my goddamn mind. (I’m not entirely sure, by the way, that didn’t happen anyway…)

    Where in the hell is Felumber?? Matt! Get in here and drop some smack already. Show us all about the internets.

  8. Mr. Dodge,

    I’m firmly rooted (fortunately? unfortunately?) right here in Charleston, IL. I just starting teaching (in Mattoon) this year, so I’ve been at it now for about a week. Things are going well. I don’t really forsee moving to Oregon anytime really soon. I’ve got to split right now, but I’ll post again later. What are you up to these days? C.K.–just realized that I acquired that poster approximately 20 years ago from a neighbor, and that it was pretty old then. That thing has got to be worth some money…iPod money, maybe?
    much love,

  9. Was Todd Travaille the “nerdy” guy with the bushy “flavor saver” (or soul patch, if you prefer)? Who were all of those ladies in his little harem? I think one’s name was Christine, and there was another one that we used to make fun of ALL THE TIME. She was the one that ran the meeting in the computer lab when we started saying “C…C…C…C…CONFERENCE” (This must be said slowly and in a very deep voice.) Wow, my mind is a aflood with memories of dissatisfaction and uneasiness. I always regretted not keeping in touch with folks from that program, though. Paddock’s the only one I have sort of kept contact with, and how sad is that? (Just kidding, Paddock, you hound dog.) It’s really nice to reconnect with ya’all.

  10. C.K.,

    Your blog is flagging me as spam. Have I been filtered? What have I..What have I…What have I done to deserve this?


  11. Quit your whining. I unblocked you. Something about your posting hit my spam filter. Anyway, you should be good to go now.

  12. Thanks man! I was a little worried, because what I’ve really been lacking in my life is one more forum in which I can go on and on. (Though my students would certainly tell you otherwise.)

  13. Jim: I seem to recall Paddock telling me you were still in Illinois somewhere, which is impressive because I forget/filter/ignore about 75% of what he tells me. Sounds like things are going well for you there. It’s a long story connecting my present-tense adventures to when I last saw you in 1996, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say, though, I’m living somewhere I’ve always wanted to live, and I’m doing something I really want to be doing. After I got my degree, I adjuncted and bounced around for about five years, and now I’m teaching creative writing, lit and some comp full-time at a community college out here in the Portland area. We have a small army of children now, too: three at last count. I invited Curt White out here last year to do a reading. When I told him how many kids I had, he offered a priceless Curt-ism: “What the hell are you? An optimist?”

  14. No, Todd was not the “nerdy” guy. You’re probably thinking of Scott Herstad, whose Minnesota accent still rings in my ears after all this time. I don’t recall him having a harem. He did seem to know his shit, though. Todd was the guy with the well-quaffed dark hair and glasses. Matt told me once that the dude took incompletes in every class he had in grad school. Guy’s still probably writing a paper for one of Charlie Harris’ treasure hunt-style essay assignments; you remember, the kind where he’d ask you to go find out what Kris Kristofferson wrote for his PhD dissertation, and then document what you found with a simply smashing MLA works cited page?

  15. Charlie Harris, what a crazy old fart! I think I failed that first library scavenger hunt. (And I think you mean shimply shmashing, if I remember his voice correctly.) I don’t remember Todd; I was probably thinking about getting laid when he was talking. Hell, I’m probably thinking about getting laid right now. I’m sure Paddock will remember the other girl’s name that I can’t think of, we’ve made fun of her in the last five years, anyway.
    Herstad is the guy I was thinking of, and I, too, remember him being very well-informed. I don’t remember him giving us much guidance during our teacher “training” for the comp course, though.

  16. I am branded. Why have I been outcast. I’ve been unfairly accused of Spamming. p.s. Have I told you guys about the great business opportunity I can let you in on…

  17. I’m going to try this from my other computer C.K. Why are you trying to hide me? You can’t keep me swept under the rug forever, C.K.! I demand that my meaningless, unintelligble rants be heard!!! ok?

  18. OK, Trevor–IF I decide to login here & complete the grad school reunion thing with some pithy little comment, do I get an IPOD too? If so, I’ll post. If not, no way.

  19. C.K.!!!!!!

    Found you at last! I’m in the midst of another new orientation at ISU (my dissertation year for sure–woo hoo!) and have been awash with memories of your brilliance. Orientations are a lot better than they used to be back in ’96, by the way.

    Who else is on this blog? Where is the secret party that I haven’t been invited to??

  20. WHoa what’s up, Val! You joined a thread that’s like 2 years old. I’m not sure if Jim and Paddock are reading anymore, but Trevor still reads my blog. How are things?

  21. It’s the wonders of Google. I”ll be over at the more updated pages in 2 shakes. :)

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