09 April 2008

Nigel Strudwick...another side to our recent speaker

The Blog master asked me to comment a bit on the experience of hosting our last speaker, Nigel Strudwick. We have hosted him and his wife, Helen, a number of times over the years, and have had the great pleasure of being guests at their home in England.

Having the speaker in your home for a few days can be a very rewarding experience.

Nigel is, first and foremost a wealth of Egyptological information and we talked a great deal about such things, but he has another side. As a few discovered at the meeting, he never travels anywhere without a teddy bear…or two…or more. The same can be said about his wife. Their home in England has a drift of teddy bears in a corner of the living room and they include their bears prominently in photos around the world. Most recently a pair vacationed with Nigel in Hawaii. One of the bears was even sent to them by us, so he has a Texan bear as well.

Nigel is a Morris dancer…a folk dance format uncommon even in England, and one that dates back into distant antiquity. Morris dancing is hard to describe, but it involves white costumes, cross-belts, staves and a lot of energy. Helen is one of the musicians, playing the melodeon, a miniature accordion-like instrument. Check this website for some photos of Nigel and Helen at a Morris Dance event: http://www.devilsdykemm.org.uk/nigel/index.html

If you look carefully at Nigel’s belt in the first photo, you can see that he is wearing an oval Texas Lone Star belt buckle. Definitely non-proper Morris Man attire…but evidence of his affection for North Texas and for our Chapter.

So you can see that our speakers are often all they appear to be as specialists…and sometimes they have a very different and equally enjoyable side as well.

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