Once upon a time Frank Gilbreth, writing as Lord Ashley Cooper, joked about how many Charlestonians it takes to change a lightbulb: "five: one to unscrew the bulb, two to mix drinks, and two to weep bitter tears because the beautiful old bulb is being replaced by something new."
So if the following news prompts any lamentations, let your loyal blogger know- I'm willing to make the G&T's...
Tomorrow is the first day of renovations to the Main Building's lavatories. After a near-century of use, the "cloakroom where nothing has changed save towels" (yes, someone once wrote a poem about our loo) will be updated and upgraded. Side-float commodes that use twenty gallons per flush, Coolidge-era faucets that either scald or freeze, and those tiny seats that are little more than a pair of thigh pads are all on their way out. New flooring, new cabinets, and new fixtures will soon be here.
Charleston might "guard her buildings, customs, and laws", but I doubt many will protest our small concession to modernity. And if they do, let them be stuck with the thigh-pad toilet seats for the next century.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Wide Angle Lunches start next Thursday with Julie Flavell's When London Was Capital of America. Lunches from the Black Bean Co. are served at 12:15, the talk starts at 12:30, and is over by 1:30. Schedule yourself an intellectual break in the middle of your workday! Get your tickets now at www.wideanglelunches.com or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS.
ALSO: The Unedited concert series continues with Unedited: Prologue and Politics - The Civil War Volume I. 7PM, Wednesday, April 6th. Get your tickets here.
LATER NEXT MONTH: More Wide Angle Lunches- like Jack McCray, Ron Atkinson, and Jonathan Green... Jazz! African politics! Gullah art! Lunches from Black Bean Co.! Also, Poetry Society on the 8th, Rod Heller talking Civil War history on the 14th, Independent Lens Film Series, LiNK film screening, and Spring Book Sale are all next month... it's going to get busy, so make sure to check our Upcoming Events page frequently.
AND ONE FINAL THING: Happy birthday to poet Billy Collins (who you might have seen here at the Library this winter for the PSSC's 90th Anniversary gala). Collins, our national Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, is a very spry 70 today. I'll leave you with links to two of his poems- "On Turning Ten", where he reflects on a slightly earlier birthday, and "Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes", which is beautifully, brilliantly, about deciphering (and disrobing) the belle of Amherst.