This is our third day at Interlochen here in Northern Michigan. The weather is crisp and the leaves are turning. A gorgeous view of the sparkling lake is a special bonus and our stay here on the beautiful campus grounds has been marvelous. If you’re not familiar with Interlochen, let me bring you up to speed. Interlochen was founded in 1928 and is located in beautiful northwest lower Michigan. Each year, thousands of artists and arts patrons come to Interlochen to experience world-class educational and cultural opportunities. Students study music, theatre, visual arts, film, creative writing and dance, guided by an outstanding faculty and guest artists, and inspired by the scenic beauty of the campus.
We arrived Saturday afternoon and enjoyed a lovely dinner with facility members and special guests. The dinner was followed by a screening of the Floyd documentary produced and directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey. Two years have passed and people are still watching this amazing movie. Who knew this aging, trouble making cartoonist would one day have a fan following? The screening was followed by a question and answer period and naturally that was followed by marvelous interaction with all the kids. Adrienne and I couldn’t help be struck by the energy and enthusiasm of the students. These are young boys and girls with a passion for creativity. They are, in no particular order, actors, musicians, authors and filmmakers. It’s hardly a surprise the youthful students are bursting with creative energy and simply being around them is invigorating. Not yet college age, I couldn’t help but be impressed by their maturity and quest for knowledge.
As we strolled the scenic campus on a quiet Sunday afternoon, we happened onto a bearded gentleman who was also making the rounds. Initially, he mistook us for former students looking for our old dormitory. My wife and I explained we would have been delighted to have attended such a marvelous art facility when we were kids, but that opportunity never came our way. Before moving on, the friendly gentleman left us with a metaphor. “I’m like that old cart” he explained pointing to a plugged in electric vehicle. “I continually return to this marvelous campus whenever I need to recharge.”
In a few hours, we’ll be returning to the Visual Arts Building where I have an afternoon class. Sadly, it will be my final class for this October visit to Interlochen and in a day or two we’ll be on our way home. The beautiful, shimmering lake is outside my window as I sit at my computer, and light rain falls on the autumn colored trees. This fall burst of color is something you expect in this part of the country. The kids have headed to the campus cafeteria for lunch and I can hear quiet the roar of students enjoying lunch. We’ll be joining them for a bite and then I’ll be headed for my afternoon film class. It’s odd. I’ve never had an interest in being an academic and the idea of teaching never seemed appealing. However, these wonderful students and a beautiful campus makes me give that notion a second thought.