In the Year 1620: Religious misfits from Holland and England board a ship called the Mayflower, cross the Atlantic in 66 days, land at a place called Plymouth Rock, meet some friendly natives and celebrate Thanksgiving with them, presumably on the last Thursday in November.
1886: The song of Ellis Island, the song of the Statue of Liberty.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
– Emma Lazarus
1904: The song of a Century of Progress.
I’m a Yankee Doodle dandy, a Yankee Doodle, do or die.
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July.
I’ve got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart, she’s my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London just to ride the ponies, I am the Yankee Doodle boy.
– George M. Cohan
1968: The song of our Wandering Years.
“Kathy, I’m lost”, I said, though I knew she was sleeping,
“I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,
They’ve all come to look for America…”
– Paul Simon
Everywhere around the world, they’re coming to America.
Every time that flag’s unfurled, they’re coming to America.
Got a dream they’ve come to share. They’re coming to America.
They’re coming to America. They’re coming to America.
Today… today… today… today… today!
– Neil Diamond
2010: Lady Liberty no longer lifts a torch, but a toast to the newcomers.
“So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs! We will never be, never be anything but loud and nitty gritty, dirty little freaks. Won’t you come-on and come-on and raise your glass? Just come-on and come-on and raise your glass!”
Sitting in the back corner of the classroom, a silver-haired gentleman was the last to stand and introduce himself. He cast his gaze about the room for a long moment before he spoke.
“As I sat and listened to you people introduce yourselves, I thought, ‘Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many weirdos, wackos, mavericks and misfits. It’s as if this wizard fellow sent out the mating call of the albino monkey, and we are the strange people who answered.” Then he sat down and smiled as he concluded, “And I just can’t tell you what an honor it is to be counted here among you!”
That man was Keith Miller, the bestselling author of The Taste of New Wine, a book that sold several million copies as it rocked the foundations of Religious America back in 1965. (Christian booksellers kept Keith’s book under the counter because it had the word “wine” in the title.)
Keith’s assessment of Wizard Academy was correct. For 21 years, it has been the home of people who are not afraid to fly their own flag and chart their own course as they journey toward the star that beckons them in the night. Wizard Academy is a waystation where travelers meet to learn new things and laugh and talk for a while about where they are headed and what they hope to find.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Indy has a video of the late Keith Miller for you in the rabbit hole.