Sunday, May 24, 2009


Friday, May 15, was Commencement Day at Washington University. Approximately 2600 students received degrees from Bachelor to Doctorate.
There were 15,000 chairs set up in the main quadrangle, most had dried out from the previous rain, 2 nights before, but, almost all of then were in the sun. The procession started exactly at 10 AM and by 10:20 we had moved inside to an air-conditioned, big screen viewing room.
The program was well run and the Commencement Address was given by Wendy Kopp, the 43 year old head of "Teach for America". Wendy started the program upon graduating from Princeton University in 1990. She had written her Senior thesis on the need for upgrading education in under served areas. She recruited 500 volunteers and since then has grown to 6200. A remarkable record.
The ceremonies ended about 11:30 and each college held their own reception. Trisha's, the largest, was held on the "main green" and people were served, buffet style from 5 separate tents. The food was Mediterranean, efficiently handled and surprisingly good. Salad, spreads,pitas, crisp potato chips and small sandwiches, mostly vegetarian. Soft drinks and Waters were also available.
The afternoon was spent pre-packing 4 years of belongings and cleaning the student quarters, in her case, a 3rd floor walk up in a University owned apartment building.
After a shower and brief rest we, the six of us remaining, were off to "Franco" 1535 South eighth, St. Louis, MO 63104-phone 314-436-2500 to meet another couple and their children. St.Louis that weekend was full of families and graduates.
"Franco" is in an old baby carriage manufacturing building which is now office suites and 2 year old restaurant. The decor is fairly modern with, of course, the sand blasted brick walls and new window treatment. Attractive and com temporary. You are greeted by a large bar and dinning is behind the "back bar". Clientele is a mix of all ages, especially on this weekend.
I had two small plates, one sweetbreads and a warm crispy chopped green, not spinach, and the other three large frogs legs served on " ground grits" and sweet red cabbage. This followed several Bombay's to celebrate the occasion. Marilyn had wonderful French onion soup and a glazed pork chop with polenta and glazed carrots and green beans. We split a mixed green salad. With her non-alcoholic drink and coffee the total cost, including gratuity was $105.
The food and service were both very good although the server could have been slightly more attentive. I was not a fair judge as I was still enamored with the meal at 1111.
It had started to rain and so we headed home to get some rest before wrestling with Trisha's belongings and the car loading, on the marrow.

No comments: