Thinking about Sweet Briar College on my Brooklyn run this morning. Amherst, Virginia, where I spent the better part of my childhood, was just down the road from Sweet Briar. The college was where I learned to play soccer, where I took piano lessons, where I saw Jesus Christ Superstar & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band & my first chamber music concert.
Sweet Briar was the reason our tiny Episcopal church had beautiful music. I learned about the value of a local dairy from Sweet Briar, because the college dairy provided our yogurt and milk. I learned my first lesson about oligarchy from Sweet Briar, because George Steinbrenner’s daughter was a student there in those days. I learned how to jimmy a vending machine in the Sweet Briar laundry room. The memories I have of that place are too numerous to count, I’m sure, and I’m willing to bet I’m the saddest man in Brooklyn over the news of their closing.