Scott Cawelti

About Scott Cawelti -

Scott Cawelti was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He taught writing, film, and literature at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) from 1968-2008, and has written regular opinion columns and reviews for the Waterloo / Cedar Falls Courier since the late 1970s.  He played for years in a folk duo with Robert James Waller and still regularly performs as a singer/guitarist/songwriter. Scott continues to teach as an adjunct instructor at UNI.

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  • Day 24: I.O.W.A. Tourist in London

    • Posted on Oct 27, 2013 by Scott Cawelti
    Day 24:  Saturday, 10-26
    I.O.W.A in London--Packing Up  

    Packing Sunday, flying to Iowa on Monday, so this will be my last blog from London.   Will offer a final reflection on Tuesday for Day 25.  Terrible storm 
    coming to England tomorrow--90mph winds, heavy rains.  So we may be delayed, but hoping for the best.  

    Yesterday we spent a good part of the afternoon and evening with Wibb and Michie Bennett, starting at the Borough Market to eat and off to various sights of London we hadn't seen.  

    Here's the Borough Market--a Saturday food fare that harks back to medieval England.





    Food venders from everywhere descend to offer an unbelievable array of eating options.  Here's Angeleita ordering a bucket of tandoori chicken which she loved:  



    Just outside sits "The Shard," an aptly named glass high-rise just completed last year. It's the tallest building in Western Europe, rising 1,016 feet above street level. It's a shocking departure from everything around it and provides a viewing platform 72 stories high.   Wish we had had  time to get up there.  



    A little old and much lower to the ground, Shakespeare's Globe, and there's Angeleita directing people inside: 



    And nearby sits a pretty convincing replca of Sir Francis Drake's "The Golden Hinde,"  the legendary galleon that circumnavigated the globe in 1577-1580.  
    This particular replica was used in several movies, and now sits docked as a tourist attraction.  It has a propeller, by the way.  



    We drove by "Cross Bones" known hereabouts as "The Prostitute's Graveyard," where woman (and all manner of paupers) which closed in 1853 because it was presenting a public health hazard.   Some 15,000 bodies are buried there in unmarked graves, and since the 1990s a few Londoners have honored the poor buried there with ribbons, beads, notes, and a monthy ceremony.  A sad, haunted space. 



    If you enlarge this photo, you can see the "Cross Bones" sign.  

    On the opposite end of tne class spectrum,here's the "Royal Albert Hall," site of major performances since Queen Victoria opened it in 1871, and where the 1956 Jimmy Steward/Doris Day Hitchcock film "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was partallly shot, 



    Finally, we Wibb Bennet drove us to the flat where Geoffrey Gilbert lived and worked when he taught at the Guildhall from 1946-1969.  166 Glouster Terrace: 




    Finally, we had to return my beliked blue guitar to Wunjo's to retrieve half of what I paid for it--25 pounds, to be exact. Here's a memorial picture, and I did play it enough to justify the cost. 




    Day 25 from Iowa.   


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  • DAY 23: PDM, Imperial War Museum, and GREAT Flautist Dinner

    • Posted on Oct 26, 2013 by Scott Cawelti
    I.O.W.A. in London 
    Day 23:  Friday, October 25 

    Except for a memorable dinner with great flautists, yesterday was a bust.  
    Angeleita was out for an audio interview and reserarching archives, and I was left 
    to my own devices.     

    Read a very positive review of the Imperial War Museum in Rick Steves' LONDON: 2014 and decided to visit, especially since the venerable museum is only three tube stops away from Pimlico, itself only five minutes from our place.   

    Yet I hesitated.  Feeling vaguely headachy (Thursday night's wine) and fatigued, did I really want to visit a museum dedicated to humans killing humans in massive numbers?  

    I consulted my PDM:  Pocket Decision Machine.  It's a little metal slab I carry at all times.  One side says YES, the other NO:  





    Before you object that I shouldn't let a coin toss make my decisions, here's how I use it.  I flip, grab, slam it on the back of my hand, and ask myself:  What do I want it to say?  That's my decision, no matter what the PDM says.  It works--an all but infallible way to discover what I really want to do in times of indecision.

    And I slammed it, held it, and thought  NO.  I did not want to go to a war museum.  When the PDM said NO too, I should have stayed in our apartment.

    But by then I  was on my way and didn't want to turn around.  So I forged ahead. MISTAKE.  

    My head was pounding by the time I arrived, and much of the museum was closed for renovation--not reopened until summer 2014.  

     Only the downstairs 'Family in Wartime" exhibit was open, which was interesting, but I had studied this before, and the large holocaust museum on the 3rd floor was crowded, being one of the few available exhibits.  

    But having visited both  Dachau and Mauthausen in Germany, I had been thoroughly horrified and depressed before.  

    Then I discovered I had no working camera other than the iPad, I realized that I should always use my Pocket Decision Machine  properly.  

    The massive WWI Naval Cannons outside the museum deserved a shot, but that was enough.   



    Went from there up to the Guildhall, where Angeleita was speaking to 15 or 20 flute students and faculty in the Geoffrey Gilbert room, and sat in on her two-hour talk.  It was actually fascinating to see future flautists discover Gilbert's legacy and hear their observations and questions.  Plus Angeleita's always interesting and articulate.   

    We ended the day with a wonderful Italian dinner at ALVA, a fine restaurant just down from the Guildhall.  That's Phillippa Davies, Ian Clarke, Angeleita, Jan Willem (Phillippa's husband), Averil Williams. Phillippa, Ian, and Averil teach flute at the Guildhall.  



    Since we leave London Monday morning, this was our goodbye to our lovely 
    British friends/flautists/musicians.  They've been gracious and hospitable far above and beyond.   
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