You’d think that old saying “Third time is charm” might hold true. Not so!
Poltergeists continued to haunt me in my quest to see famous authors. Fast forward a few years: Maya Angelou is to appear at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri! Granted, this trip will take some doing, but the opportunity is simply too great to pass up.
Again, I invite students, and two fine young ladies, both interested in women writers, eagerly accept. Blessed by a gorgeous spring day, we make excellent time on the five-hour road trip and arrive extra early. Foregoing lunch, though we are starving, we drive to the college, locate the auditorium, and make sure we are confident of finding parking. No obstacles will interfere with our plans!
After our meal we return to the school, excited to see Dr. Angelou in person. We park and climb the long set of concrete steps to the auditorium, only to find the doors locked, not too surprising since we are still quite early. Trudging back down the many steps, we circle the building to find another entrance. Same story. Undaunted, we eventually find an entrance where others are congregating.
But–and, of course, there’s a “but” involved!–we are told that Dr. Angelou is unable to get to the school because there was a snow storm in St. Louis!
How absurd! It is a glorious spring day, and we aren’t that far from St. Louis. What’s more, my husband had driven there with friends that very day to attend a Cardinals’ game. I blurt all of that out to the gal in the ticket booth. She just rolls her eyes at me. My students and I stand there in disbelief. All we can do is climb into the car and make the long drive home.
Are you starting to see my point?
But there’s still more. . . .