Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Wanderers 2014.4.8: WW1

Gordon Hoffman did a stupendous job synergizing with Wanderers, letting other old timers chime in with fascinating facts and factoids, adding texture and nuance to an already-tasteful presentation.

Gordon is qualified to call himself a truly vested individual when in comes to WW1, and right away we should point out that, at this point in history, extremely few people with USA passports, with USA citizenship, are seen to frequent the monuments to its war dead in Europe.  This is rightly seen by many as anomalous.  But then the USA stands out in many ways that leave Europeans somewhat perplexed, if not dismayed.

I'm truly not so-qualified, i.e. my insights into WW1 are still in early Big Bang inflationary stage, where I double my understanding every thirty minutes.  I've been reading a lot of history recently, lets say "of the Vienna Circle" to stay brief about it, along with that compendium, Human Smoke (on my Kindle).

Having Gordon's slide presentation plunk down in the middle of these studies really helped things crystallize for me.  Following the changing map of Europe is as hard as inverting a matrix or finding its eigenvalues.  Historians take in hyper-dimensional spaces for breakfast.  That being said, I have a lot more learning ahead of me (duh).  Thank you Gordon, for accelerating my process.

He handed around some small items from his collection.  Dick Pugh was there, another master of the show and tell, sorry to miss Mastin, and Glenn.  Terry, you should come to more of these.  But then it's such a small venue.  Anyway, it was what it was, which was fantastic and educational.

Gordon was and is a major galvanizer of the Saturday Academy subculture in which I've participated and blogged about at some length.  He's blessed with a surplus of attention, one could say, whereas a deficit of same has become the norm.  He shares his scholarship with the rest of us, and he enjoys the opportunities his life affords.  Search elsewhere in these chronicles for more.