I am back from the Chesterton conference, and it was as great an experience as the last two conferences I have attended.
This year they also had a simultaneous virtual conference where talks were broadcast live. I am glad they are doing this for those unable to attend. The talks are diverse and informative.
Yet it is not the talks that primarily draw me.
I want to take notes from conversations of people I met and the extended ones into the wee hours during the Afterglow. While Chesterton comes up, you never know what else will come up. Sometimes I am just willing to be the fly-on-the-wall listening to conservations where I would have nothing to contribute intelligently. So much is interesting to me, more so the people that attend the conference.
“The best way that man could test his readiness to encounter the common variety of mankind would be to climb down a chimney into any house at random, and get on as well as possible with the people inside. And that is essentially what each one of us did on the day that he was born.” – GKC “Heretics
If you climb down a chimney into a Chesterton conference, you will also “encounter the common variety of mankind.”, just with a lot less friction.
We also had a relatively large contingent of people from the Central Florida G.K. Chesterton Society I attend. It was great spending time with them.
A highlight is always Dale Ahlquist. I so appreciate his drive to promote Chesterton. However, what amuses me the most is his superb comic timing and comic body language.
I am already anticipating next year’s conference in Milwaukee.
Plus I am so glad I took the time to visit the Marion E. Wade Center. It was not far from the convention, and the people who work there were great in accommodating us. They had many of GKC’s books and some of his personal books laid out. It was fun to see his doodling in not just the margin of his books.
Another highlight was seeing C.S. Lewis’s copy of GKC’s Orthodoxy with marginalia.
The Marion E. Wade Center museum features memorabilia and rotating displays with selections from our collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and artifacts. Through these exhibits we invite our visitors to explore more deeply the seven authors’ lives, writings, and the historical context in which they lived. Permanent pieces on display in the museum include: a wardrobe owned by C.S. Lewis, desks and pens belonging to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, bookshelves from Charles Williams, the eyeglasses of Dorothy L. Sayers, and Owen Barfield’s chess set and pipe.