I'm off again on Monday for Chicago where I hook up with dear friend Larry for a visit, business talk (we've got several joint projects in the works), and then a trip to Springfield and some immersion in Lincoln lore. From there it's a drive down to St. Louis where the annual convention of the Southern Historical Association is happening. All the up-and-coming and not so up-and-coming historians meeting and greeting, snuggling up to department chairs, doing the career-shmoozing thing.
But not us old farts from LSU, thanks be to God. I doubt that many of our clan--usually at least half a dozen are there, unless detained at home by illness or some other good reason--will attend any actual sessions, where they read papers and engage in learned discussion with the panel, unless they have to. And there won't be many of us in that category. Who wants to listen to all that academic bullshit anyway? Journal articles and convention papers are for those still playing the game. The only enlightening ones I ever heard or read were by me or one of my friends . . . and the occasional few that poked their heads out of the general grunge. Yes, this is a cynical attitude. But it's also one that's earned.
No, what we're going to do is sit around and drink, laugh, and generally engage in the banter that old men engage in. We'll bemoan the state of the country and dissect what wrong with the football team this year, talk some baseball--most historians are baseball fans for some reason--do quick checks on the state of everybody's family, order more drinks, and laugh some more. Once more confirming that the best things, the only truly necessary things in life, are old friends and family.
The point is, I'm not going to be posting for about a week. Please try to soldier on without me for a few days.