Honorific – Blackfriars Conference 2013

Hello, my name is Clare, and I will be blogging for the Honorific session of the ASC Blackfriars Conference 2013.

Honorific is an event in honor of George Walton Williams IV.

Ralph Alan Cohen opened with anecdotes about being a student of George Walton Williams. He states that Dr. Williams was an intimidating teacher because he could look into the eyes of a glad student and see into his soul. He is also a guide to students, and steered them towards areas where they would most flourish. He gave complete support to Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, including hosting the troupe as they passed through the area on tour, and they shared academic and life stories.

Today, the “academic children” and “grandchildren” of George Walton Williams read one of his children’s books entitled The Best Friend. The ASC residential troupe accompanied the reading with acoustic music and sound effects. The Best Friend is about a locomotive laid from Charleston to Augusta. In 1830, on Christmas morning, the train (the best friend) made its first run. One morning in June, the boiler burst and the train had to be reassembled, but the train was reassembled as the Phoenix. The workers made the biggest railway in the world, beginning the railroad age. The reading ended with the musical number “Love Train.”

Dr. Williams is very passionate about music, especially Gilbert and Sullivan. In his honor, the ASC residence members performed a re-write of the lyrics of “Modern Major General” as “A Scholar Bibliagraphal.”

Dr. Williams followed the session by thanking the presenters, and saying a word about each of the readers of The Best Friend. He stated that the ASC is among the happiest of his grandchildren, and his biological grandchildren are enjoying the camps and events at the ASC. He ended with thanks to all gathered.