Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ole Miss to honor professor who once was shunned

    My dad has told me for as long as I can remember that his favorite professor at Ole Miss was a man by the name of Jim Silver.
    I think my Dad said Silver assigned a book entitled Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy to one of his classes. He had Silver for several. It was a Utopian novel that made an impression on him. "All I know is he made us think," said my Dad.
    Silver later got himself into peck of political trouble by not only supporting the integration of Ole Miss, but by writing a book entitled, Mississippi: The Closed Society. About the time this book was published Dad and his good friend, the late Holly Springs attorney John Kennedy, were on campus one day and decided to eat lunch at the Paul B. Johnson cafeteria. When they entered they soon saw their favorite professor, sitting at a table alone.
    They quickly joined him and heard his tales of woe. There was a time when he would have been surrounded with students. He had been a popular professor. But those days were gone. He had become a pariah, and soon left Ole Miss for Notre Dame.
    Ole Miss is going to honor this once-and-again-popular professor with the dedication of Silver Pond, a new, man-made pond on campus. This dedication will be from 4 to 4:40 p.m. this Friday, September 28. I don't know where this pond is, but I dare say wherever it is that is where the dedication will be. Following this will be a program called "Opening the Closed Society" in the Overby Center, which is connected to the journalism school, next to the old Law School (or in the old law school, depending on how you view these things).
    Although my Dad's health is okay, he is weak, and getting him to do things is a trial. But I am trying my best to convince him to come down and connect with a few of his old classmates and pay tribute to his favorite prof. He's 88, and there aren't that many of of his crew left, but a few are still kicking. So here's hoping he comes, and if not, I'll likely come in his stead.
    One of my goals with this blog is to publicize things to do. Okay, here's something to do!

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