Playing with Fire: Please Respond!
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," purveyors of perfect pantheons! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. It's a wonderful name, and I'm proud to bear it.
There's a faerie living in my computer who will not allow me to post YouTube videos on this blog. That's okay. I'm more or less a word person.
But just yesterday, my awesome friend, the computer Yoda, handed me a DVD that had been rendered from an old VHS that had in turn been rendered from reel-to-reel footage from the early 1960s.
That footage shows my beloved father setting stuff on fire.
Dad taught high school chemistry in Appalachia. He was a hands-on kind of guy, someone who taught science with dramatic flair. His students remember him fondly as someone who expected them to maintain flawless lab books, but who in turn allowed them to do many more experiments (and much more dangerous ones) than would ever be allowed in these ergonomically correct times.
At some point it occurred to the Powers That Be in my hometown that they could put Dad on closed-circuit t.v., and he could set stuff on fire while being watched all over the county. And thus to me has been bequeathed two of my most precious possessions: video of Dad, and the black mortar-and-pestle that he uses in his videos.
If someone were to ask me, "What exactly is a Druid?" I would give them my father as an exemplar. He was college-educated. Fascinated by nature. A believer in -- and teacher of -- science. He loved to sing. And he was extremely skeptical of much religious teaching, being at heart a scientific rationalist.
Remember that Druids were the educated class of people in Celtic society, not just religious leaders.
At the end of his life, Dad told me he saw Peter Pan standing in the doorway of his hospital room. So I know the faeries claimed one of their own. His daughter says, "Pish tosh on that scientific rationalism!"
So, readers, please do me a favor. Go on over to YouTube, search "Principles of Combustion," and watch "Principles of Combustion 3." It's only three minutes long. Then give me your honest opinion of my dad, the Wizard of Western Maryland.
PS: I'm not sure how long the federal government will allow this footage to be on YouTube, so time is of the essence!