Thursday, April 12, 2007

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

I never met him, but I always felt a connection to my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut. When I was growing up I was so grateful for his novels. He spoke at my high school my sophomore year. I remember he spoke about his fear of nuclear war and blasted Indianapolis for no longer being the progressive, creative city it once was (he was talking about a looong time ago). For a 15 year old kid that was really cool stuff. After I saw him speak I quickly read every novel he wrote. Cat's Cradle was the first. Slaughterhouse-Five is still my favorite. His work did more to help me through my teen angst phase than any chick lit novel ever could. Just knowing that someone like him could come from my conservative hometown was comforting.

His entire family had a very indirect influence on my life (but an influence nonetheless). My two favorite buildings in Indianapolis were designed by his grandfather. Every time I go home I visit them. The strong connection I have to them is the reason why I became such a historic preservation nerd. (To know me in person is to know that I'm always upset about an old building being demolished - I can go on and on about the sense of place and people's connections to buildings and spaces. Warning: never get me drunk because that is my number one tipsy topic)

I went to college here.

When I was a kid, I took theater classes here.

It is the Atheneaum, orginally named Das Deutsche Haus. Every Saturday after class my friends and I would explore every inch of this building. There are three stages in the building. I can get from the Rathskeller stage to the rafters above the main stage (four floors) via the hidden stairs.

Do you have a special connection to a building, place, or even a person you've never met?

I'll always be grateful to Kurt Vonnegut. He gave so many gifts to the world. He will be missed.


pamela wynne said...

this is a really lovely post -- thanks.

Laura said...

Very nice and thoughtful. I think we all have these connections to people and places we have never met or been. Look at the internet community, we are connected and yet we don't meet. Humans innately strive to connect. I am glad he helped you with teenage angst, we all have those that got us through.

Phoebe said...

What a thought-provoking post. You are probably never going to speak to me again but I have never read any of his books...but I will remedy that shortly.

Susie Homemaker said...

Great post - and thanks for my first ever comment! I thought blogger was broken when I saw it!

Ann K. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It hurts and tugs at the heart so much when you lose someone - even when it's someone from afar.