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22 Milligan College, TN, USA (October 18, 2012)

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There’s a sentence in Wendell Berry’s book Hannah Coulter that includes the phrase “part of a story begun long ago and going on”. He’s talking about marriage and the larger story that a couple’s marriage fits into.

But one could also use it to describe a place like Milligan College, my alma mater. Each student develops a story here, but it’s part of the college’s larger story which predates the person’s time at Milligan and which will continue after the person leaves.

My favorite view of the college is from across the street at Emmanuel. Sometimes I’ll stand on the hill a while and look back into the past, at different conversations and events around the campus. Lots of friendship, learning, and fun — and even a few tears — reside down there.

I remember how at the end of my first semester we all took off for Christmas break, except that my car was problematic and only got as far as Erwin before it started acting up pretty bad. I turned around and brought it limping back to campus. Sitting that night in an empty dorm, when I so wanted to be home, didn’t feel good.

The next morning I took the car down the road to Mr. B’s, the nearest mechanic. Some of the events that day are now fuzzy, but I remember that Basil had a lot of work already scheduled as well as a Christmas party that night to attend, but that, after the party, he returned to the shop to work on the car so that I could get on the road for home. Sometime well after midnight Basil finished his work and gave me a call, driving the car to an empty campus where a young student waited in the night with much thankfulness. That student had his car back. But even more, perhaps, he had a lesson in what it means to be a neighbor, a lesson that would last well beyond the holidays, and the car.
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Joel Carillet
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And Who Is My Neighbor?
There’s a sentence in Wendell Berry’s book Hannah Coulter that includes the phrase “part of a story begun long ago and going on”. He’s talking about marriage and the larger story that a couple’s marriage fits into.<br />
<br />
But one could also use it to describe a place like Milligan College, my alma mater. Each student develops a story here, but it’s part of the college’s larger story which predates the person’s time at Milligan and which will continue after the person leaves.<br />
<br />
My favorite view of the college is from across the street at Emmanuel. Sometimes I’ll stand on the hill a while and look back into the past, at different conversations and events around the campus. Lots of friendship, learning, and fun — and even a few tears — reside down there. <br />
<br />
I remember how at the end of my first semester we all took off for Christmas break, except that my car was problematic and only got as far as Erwin before it started acting up pretty bad. I turned around and brought it limping back to campus. Sitting that night in an empty dorm, when I so wanted to be home, didn’t feel good.<br />
<br />
The next morning I took the car down the road to Mr. B’s, the nearest mechanic. Some of the events that day are now fuzzy, but I remember that Basil had a lot of work already scheduled as well as a Christmas party that night to attend, but that, after the party, he returned to the shop to work on the car so that I could get on the road for home. Sometime well after midnight Basil finished his work and gave me a call, driving the car to an empty campus where a young student waited in the night with much thankfulness. That student had his car back. But even more, perhaps, he had a lesson in what it means to be a neighbor, a lesson that would last well beyond the holidays, and the car.