Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Professor Fred Lansbury

Back in 1977, I attended the Ohio State Summer Program at New College, Oxford, England. New College was founded in 1379—the Brits have some very interesting ideas about what’s new and old (as I have previously mentioned in the blog, the lovely Kate Beckinsale studied at New College as well). Part of the program was a history course in Elizabethan England, and I prevailed upon our instructor, a Professor Fred Lansbury, to let me teach the class on the Spanish Armada. He was amiable enough to let me save him a day’s work teaching, and now I can truly say I have lectured on Elizabethan history at Oxford.

I had noticed that when Professor Lansbury was in the New College dining hall, he was always drinking port. However, at the farewell banquet, he was drinking scotch. When I asked him about the change in drink, he informed me that he had developed gout and didn’t want to aggravate the situation any further. I made a mental note of that, and four months later sent Prof Lansbury a fruit basket along with a bottle of Scotch and a note which read:

There was a prof with a gout of a sort
That kept him from drinking his port
He had a student named Kent
With a poetic bent
Who said, "Here’s some scotch, take a snort!"

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