My journey to The Mythopoeic Society's Mythcon XXXIV began at about 6:30 A.M. on the morning of July 25th 2003. I trucked down the road in my big white Expedition (the Great White Egg) and picked up Lois Westerlund at Exit 222 on Route 81 just outside of Staunton, Virginia. Then it was about a nine hour drive to the oasis of the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville where the conference was held. Mary Stolzenbach had invited me to submit a paper and because I was such a C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G. K. Chesterton fan I couldn't resist writing a paper that synthesized their views about both Myth itself and the prevailing Myth of our times, the Myth of Inevitable Progress.
The location could hardly be better.. It has the feeling of old comfortable scholarship, stone buildings with shields in the facades of the buildings and comfortable echoing archways and a sense of abidingness that could hardly be improved upon for a site where Myth and Mystery, Metaphor and Magic would be contemplated. The dining room reminded me of Hogwarts, all parallel oaken tables under chandeliers. The accommodations were comfortable and I met for the first time many of the MereLewisians that I had corresponded with for some years.
Don Williams, Ruby Dunlap, Ray Schneider, and Lois Westerlund, four MereLewisians
Revenge of the DWEMS — A One-Act Play/Socratic Tetralog
Cast: David Armstrong as Socrates, Ruby Dunlap as Post Modernica, David Bratman as Novus Criticus, Don Williams as Erasmus of Rotterdam. (Go here for David Bratman's Introduction to the Inklings)
The Nashville Parthenon, housing the statue of Pallas Athena, and Ray with his Dragon Tee-Shirt. Ray is the list dragon of SpareOom a list devoted to C.S. Lewis, although a lot of other chaos and confusion goes on there too.
There are many people that I met at Mythcon that enriched my time there who I don't know by name (Dragons are notoriously absentminded.) or don't have pictures of. The picture below is of the crowd jammed into the lounge in Gibson Hall to watch (although loud comments seemed the order of the day) the first LOTRs movie which all no doubt had memorized.
These knowledgeable critics were more fun to listen to than the movie!
Then there was the delightful masquerade in which all who wished to donned garb reflecting their enthusiasms and held forth briefly. Here they are seen all gathered after parading on individually. The imaginings ranged from Arthur's Camelot to Narnia and Middle-earth not to mention Hogwarts. Had I the costume I might have come as Donal Graeme of the Dorsai although my girth does not fit the part.