In ruminating on my college days, I had a flash of thought about people I barely and briefly encountered during the drunken haze at UT. They were charismatic enough to remember after all these years.
1. Paul Begala. Yes, “I knew him when.” Meaning, I met him. Back then there was no student government. The reason is a complicated story not worth repeating. Paul Begala worked tirelessly to get student government renewed on campus, a campaign that I worked on by collecting signatures. Big whoop. Then, of course, he ran for president. Wikipedia succinctly explains. Here’s the lazy, cut and paste version:
While at the University of Texas, Begala was a candidate for student government president. However, he finished second to a write-in campaign for Hank the Hallucination, an invisible monster character from the campus comic strip “Eyebeam“. Following his loss, Begala wrote a tongue-in-cheek complaint for the Daily Texan, arguing “I cannot help but feel Hank’s platform is illusory at best …. I must say that the candidate himself lacks substance.” Begala was declared the human winner, following a ruling that imaginary characters could not hold the position.
I own a signed copy of Sam Hurt‘s Eyebeam book. I voted for Eyebeam.
2. Haresh (Harry). He was from Malaysia. He was pretty and intelligent. I can’t remember what class I had him in, probably English or History. He would round up people after class for coffee (that’s always the best part of college, unless it’s beer). He said he was going to have a party for his 40th birthday and we were all invited.
3. Tony. He was buff, pretty, dark-skinned, and very, very gay. He was an opera student, and he spoke many languages. He was in my German class, which was my very first class at UT. He was the best student in class, bright and eager.
4. Meg. She was a campus politico who was such a politics junky that she joined both the Democratic and Republican parties so she could vote in both primaries. I didn’t know you could do that. Can you? She was also a sorority girl, which defied all stereotypes about sorority girls. Except for the stuckup part. Maybe she’s famous today. Is she?
People from UT generally came from all walks of life, and attending that school was an amazing experience.
That Begalia’s experience at Texas seems prescient of the Bush administration and his appropriation as a FOX(faux)News Liberal ‘straw man’ makes me wonder about predestination.