Of Waifs and Wizards: A Tale of WO
Once upon a time there was a WO, |
a Learned Wizard who lived near a Tiny Town with a Lovely College in the Far Off Land of Youth and Knowledge. Because the Wizard was so Learned and so Wiz, The Elders of the Lovely College in the Tiny Town had decided it would be a great coup to persuade the WO to teach the Youthees and Youthettes who had gathered at the College hoping to party and pretending to learn.
After some thought and much chortling, the great and powerful WO (not to be confused with the Wizard of Oz, despite similarity of initials and bluster) asked, "And what would you do for ME if I come?" "We will give you a Big Organ!" the Elders said. The Wizard shrugged. "And a Great Choir!" they added. He shrugged again and began to walk away. "And you may choose the finest of the lot to do your bidding," they called after.
The Wizard stopped, and slowly turned. "And may I use my magic to make them sing like Sirens and behave like Humans, and take them to foreign lands to seduce hearts and steal souls of countless thousands -- and get Sitziglassed?" The Elders conferred. "You may," they exclaimed, "as long as you teach Music History and crack the whip." So the Learned Wizard donned his pith helmet, climbed The Hill upon which the Lovely College stood, and faced the music.
For more than 40 years, the WO worked his magic, teaching the Denison Singers to sing remarkably and behave marginally, and drink Whiskey Sours until the Wee Hours at his castle. And everywhere they went, souls were stolen and hearts seduced, even unto Germany where, as one of his most dubious pupils Sitziglassed at the time informed him, "they haff no Lopsters -- because they haff no Akvariums."
And though he cracked his whip and pounded his staff for many years, he never shot himself in the foot, or smashed it, though tempted many times to pull down the books of the Talmud upon himself, or throw the book at the baritones.
For despite all his efforts to the contrary, the Great Wizard WO had become greatly loved by his charges. And when he announced his leaving, there was a Great Quiet and a Sadness. For something there is that doesn't love a WO, but it will never be a Denison Singer.
And as the years go by in the Tiny Town with the Lovely College in the Land of Youth and Knowledge, there will never be a happier time than the years of the WO and the Singers. And there will never be another Wizard so great, nor Man nor Wizard so loved by his flock, as the Great and Wizardly WO.
Godspeed, WO. Long may you wave your talented arms,
though we could still do without the humming.
Bob Palmer '73, Rochester NY