So I hurry to the Wofford post office after lunch, all excited because I know my cover for my new iphone (yes, I have finally joined the modern world!) has arrived. But along with the amazon box and a couple of freebie textbooks was a very strange bag.
Now why, I wondered, would Florida’s Marco Rubio send me a Hardee’s bag? And why would it be covered on both sides with images of Sherlock Holmes? This was most puzzling to me. Surely Senator Rubio would know that I couldn’t vote for him, considering my deeply Democratic roots (and especially considering that I am no longer a Florida resident!).
This was very strange indeed. And the mystery deepened when I opened the bag and saw what was inside! It was not, as one might expect, a double thickburger or a super-sized serving of fries. Instead it was a coffee mug, one with a logo that I could really appreciate, considering my research interests and my most recent historical publication!
How very odd! Who would have sent me such a thing? Immediately, I decided I would put on my Sherlockian deerstalker at do my best to deduce the ‘culprit’!
One suspect was very easy to eliminate because he was standing beside me when I got the package. My boyfriend Dr. Moeller instantly claimed innocence.
What about a student? It did seem like the kind of joke a student might pull, especially if he or she knew about my love of Sherlock (and quite frankly I doubt there is anyone at Wofford who doesn’t know my love of Sherlock! I am a bit obnoxious about it, I’ll confess…) But would a student be this organized? Especially at this time of year, when they’re all starting to finally get serious about writing papers and doing their work? Hmmm. The more I mused on it, the more I thought it unlikely that a student would be responsible.
When I got back to the office, I looked more closely at my gift. I noted a few scratches on the bottom of the cup—barely noticeable to the naked eye, but they showed up under my lens. (Yes, I have one. Doesn’t everyone?) That made me think the cup was not brand new, but perhaps was something that could have been purchased in an almost new condition from a yard sale.
So who did I know who (1) frequented yard sales (2)knew that I liked Sherlock Holmes (3) knew I was from Florida (4) knew I wrote a book on tourism (5) is playful enough to make this a game for me and (6) likes me enough to give me a present?
Aha, I had the answer! Or at least, I had a sound deduction, so I dashed off an e-mail and got a confession!!!!
It was Mr. Bill Grice, the head of Wofford’s Physical Plant, who has been my friend for many years now. He is a super gentleman who always answers my pleas for help when the AC doesn’t work or when my office windows go to rattling. We have a long-running conversation about history, and he sends me lots of fun e-mails. He keeps me on my toes, always asking me trivia questions and making sure that I’m up to date on current events!
It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to know that one of the things that makes Wofford a very special place to work is that we have friendships with all kinds of interesting people. I doubt that professors at huge universities get to know the people who keep their institutions functioning on the brick and mortar level. But at Wofford we have that opportunity, to learn about each other, to have pals across not only the disciplines, but at all levels of service in the college. And ultimately, the people who keep the campus beautiful, who fix things and tidy up and keep us fed, have great stories to tell and lives to share and wonderful things to offer, to students and faculty alike. They make this school a rich place indeed.
So thank you Mr. Grice, for both the mug and the mystery! I had fun unravelling the secret—and you have collected yet another MOB (Mention in Blog!)