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Memories of Powell
What Price Glory?

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Spring 1997
Memories of Powell
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The audience (a full house, of course) filed in and was seated. The moment arrived for the concert to begin. Weiss stepped to the front of the stage, bowed to enthusiastic applause and raised his arms. The hall fell into silence. Weiss gave the downbeat, cuing the accompanist. No sound issued from the synthesizer.

I was horrified. What had gone wrong? Weiss would be furious! I would be cast out of my beloved Powell and stripped of my status as a Bruin. I looked in terror at the conductor, but he was calm, smiling. He raised his arms and gave the downbeat once more.

Again, nothing.

I was preparing to resign in disgrace on the spot when the photographer identified the problem: While moving his stepladder, he had inadvertently pulled the synthesizer's cord out of the wall. We plugged it back in, and the concert proceeded without a hitch. I understand there are plans to resume the "Music in the Rotunda" series now that the library has reopened. It's a wonderful idea, but please, don't ask me to help. I couldn't survive another near-disaster.

Nor would I care to relive the time one of my coworkers came into my office in the library and said, "Wendy, could you call the campus police? Some female students are complaining about a weird guy in the stacks."

"What's he doing?" I asked, reaching for the phone.

"He's crawling around on his hands and knees, blowing air up women's skirts with a rolled-up magazine." It was my somber duty that afternoon to report to the police that not only was the Stalker in the Stacks so brazen as to be practicing his peculiar peccadillo during the busiest time of the day, but also that he was using a magazine taken from the library's periodicals collection.

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