My final report - sheer exhaustion kept me from hearing the last three speeches, though I was hearing good reports on all of them.
The banquet was tremendous! It was a combination banquet and 50th Birthday Party for Dale. A child prodigy Guitar Playing Latin Language Rapper was featured as was a wonderful poem by Shakespeare and David Zach which summarized the conference, and a surprise reading by Sean Dailey and Yours Truly of Clerihews from Dale's friends in honor of his birthday, including from many who could not make it to the conference. David has promised to send me or Nancy his poem for blog posting; meanwhile here's one I discovered - a lost poem by Belloc - which thrilled both Dale and the revellers in attendence when read aloud.
About a Don I told a tale,
Yet now I write about a Dale,
For as I trod my path to Rome
To seek some friends and find a home
O’er hill and dale I trod until
I found a Dale, now o'er the hill.
Dale good, Dale true, Dale fair and fine,
Dale bigger than life, Dale elephantine
Dale smart, Dale sure, Dale kind and keen
Dale gigantesque, Dale elephantine
Amazing Dale, Dale really nifty
Dale old and spotted, Dale now fifty
Eternal Dale, not of this gross age
Ancient Dale, Dale in his dotage
Dale lover of our GKC
And member of AARP
Dale by the works of Gilbert tutored
Dale decrepit, spayed and neutered
Dale faithful, firm; Dale brave and bold
Dale getting younger – scratch that - old
Dale different than that hill and dale
Encountered on our life’s travail
That spreads itself beneath our feet
As we in faith advance, retreat
That dale is a vale of shadows and fear
Depressed, a hollow, bleak and blear
A place without fraternity
A place we call modernity
But this Dale is the way I wend
For this Dale is a man, a friend
Who selflessly in love anon
Leads us to our Chesterton.
Thank God for this conference! And may we all be blessed with safe travel home.
As for Tom Leith, Colin O'Brien and I, we will be braving the floodwaters of Iowa on our way back to Missouri. And also braving the floodwaters of the suicide of thought in the modern world, now that we won't be on the high and dry island of Chestertonian sanity.