Steve Charles—Yesterday, after college physician Dr. Scott Douglas ’84 told me I might have a malady usually reserved for babies (the result of having taken antibiotics for two months), I casually asked, “So, have you got any hobbies?

Then, “What have you been up to this summer?”

I know; it’s a weird pairing of questions. Probably a reaction to being
diagnosed with thrush and being told I’ll be swilling Nystatin for the next two weeks. But I got an equally surprising answer.

“Sailing,” Scott said. Not cruises. Or even sailing little board boats on a lake. Big boats. On big water.

“Sailing is my passion,” Scott said. As a kid, he’d spent summers in New England and learned to sail in the Atlantic. Once he rented a boat in the Caribbean and sailed his family island to island. Can imagine being those kids? (My favorite tv show as a kid was James Michener’s “Adventures in Paradise,” so I sure can.) This summer, if I remember correctly, they sailed off the New England coast. I’ve asked for photos.

Our conversation reminded me how little I know about some of the people I work with, and how often these summer vacations are the chance they get to really enjoy not only their families, but doing the things they love. Sometime both together.

Jack Spurway ’69 put the kayak he’d built on top of his car, left Crawfordsville for three weeks for Maine, and learned to make wooden boats and to sail. Professor Melissa Butler is getting certified in sailing; she has taken lessons around the world. Frank Amidon ’92 built a dock this summer, and he and his son Aaron hand-fed dolphins from their boat in the middle of a Florida Bay last week.

Among our landlubbers, there’s Andy Davis ’00, who rode his bike with his fiancee across the United States. Tom Runge ’71 drove his grandkids to Colorado, constantly taking imaginary cell phone calls from his granddaughter from the backseat. Jim Amidon ’87 and his family discovered a national champion orchid grower a few miles south of Greencastle. Sports Information Director Brent Harris went to his annual Jimmy Buffet concert and took care of a friend’s dogs (and you thought Brent didn’t have a life outside of sports!). Wabash Marketing Specialist Kim Johnson is having a baby girl (my money is on August 16), and I babysat my grandson (aka The Potamus) every Wednesday and found Jules, a Golden retriever mix (a Golden Whatever) that can actually catch a Frisbee (though he won’t give it back.)

What did you do this summer? I’d like to know, be it marvelous or mundane. Coaching Little League or visiting your own Field of Dreams. Send me a line and a photo at

Photos: Frank Amidon’s son, Aaron, feeds a dolphin; an orchid grows near Greencastle; the Potamus and his Golden whatever, Jules.