Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Beaver Pond in Spring (Spring Landscape), 1953; watercolor and pencil on paper, 15¼ x 19 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, Volume 54, July 13-24, 1953
Saturday, July 13, 2019
July 13 – 24 – The session –
One of the nicest and most satisfying episodes of our lives – a fine group of students (43 in all) – with a wonderful comrade-like spirit pervading all our activities – the cliché “work-hard & play-hard” certainly applied to them. – At mealtime and in the evenings, there were always gay banter & cutting up – we acted like children on a picnic – and that’s what it was really for most of us, – a vacation with enough work thru in to make it vital. Our meals at Lindley Hall, about a 2 or 3 blocks walk. —and excellent meals they were – (morning cafeteria style, but the other two meals served to us by college boys.)
The huge wasp-like creatures that built their nests in the ground about the campus – we would observe them at noon on our way to lunch – flying close to the ground. We learned they were called cicada-killers – At class one day I saw one with a cicada which it was trying in vain to lift off the ground – (The cicadas here were unlike any I had ever heard – a sort of an “up & down” irregular song – not the crescendo song of the old days around Salem.
We found some beautiful moths – a large hawkmoth – (Satellite) just emerged – in the breeze-way outside our apt. It clung to my hand. An American Silkworm – and one of the students found a Royal Walnut Moth – & other smaller kinds. Zebra Swallow-tails in great numbers – I caught one out at the mine for Bertha.
¶ Evenings at Esquire Gull having beer or soft-drinks with small groups of students – usually impromptu & unplanned. The boy (one of “our” waiters at Lindley) who could imitate the whistle of an old-fashioned passenger train, that was very baffling to us; that is, how he could effortlessly utter two different notes at the same time. The effect was very realistic.
¶ The picnic on Saturday at Old Man’s Cove — (Katherine King, who had had to forego the class on account of her sister’s illness, came up from Cincinnati for this occasion, & rode with us to the spot. Torrents of rain on the way – a regular cloud burst. Stopped at Ash-Cave on the way. The rain let up just enough to permit us to take a walk to visit the Cave (K. King, Mr. & Mrs. Healy & Mrs. Coler.) altho a fine drizzle came down all the while.
Just before our supper, the rain increased, and fell in torrents all the time we were eating. No lights, so we ate practically in the dark – A good picnic lunch – fried chicken etc., but rather depressing. We all left immediately after our lunch – K. King, the Healys & we invited to stop a short while at the home of Miss McCombs & her brother.
A blazing fire & high-ball raised our spirits....
—Charles E. Burchfield, July 13-24, 1953 on teaching at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio