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Epi-blog October 31, 2006

Posted by Bill Carroll in Extreme Farewell Tour.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006
The comfort of my own home
7 PM

What a great week we had.  Thank heaven I wrote the blog—I’d probably forget most of it in the whirlwind.

Was there a best day?  One kind of stands out for me—in Oglesby, Illinois.  The look on LaTrease’s face when a Sloppy Joe showed up as a “Bar-B-Que” and discovering that the Principal of Holy Family Elementary liked stale Peeps as much as I do.

Marshmallow PeepsI guess I forgot to mention this.  Peeps are these marshmallow candies that are customized for every holiday.  If you let them sit out in the air (or for that matter, condition them in a microwave) they get stale and chewy.  This is my favorite way to enjoy the subtle taste and texture of Peeps.  I let them sit for about a year before eating them.  Mary finds old boxes and asks if they’ve reached their peak of flavor yet.

Anyway, the Carus Company demonstrators used one to show the effects of vacuum by making a marshmallow Peeps ghost expand to three times its size.  Discussing this beforehand, I discovered that the Principal, Jyll Jasiek, also liked stale Peeps.  It was like finding a lost sister.

So now I’m back home.  I’m playing the online McDonalds Monopoly game now, since we couldn’t easily access it on the road.  It involves one roll of the dice on a Monopoly board for each game piece you have.  I still hope to hit something for Project SEED, but I think the dice are rigged.  I’ve hit Electric Company 15 times.  And while I like McDonald’s, I have to tell you, it sure was nice to have a Whataburger chicken sandwich with jalapenos today.

Over the course of the week I gave away most of the tour t-shirts, but I kept one, and I will treasure it.  I can start working on the list of people who should get thank you notes—and it’s huge—but in this space I need to thank my co-conspirators in the Office of Community Activities: Judith, Dennis, LaTrease, Sal and Marisa who took a crazy idea and not only made it real, but made it run like clockwork by dint of huge effort while making it look easy.  And the Local Section ACS activists who arranged for me to participate in their activities.  And back at ACS Intergalactic Headquarters in DC, Frank Walworth, my long-suffering assistant, who kept me from being two places at once.

As my term comes to an end, I have a greater recognition of the potential and the reality of our assets: our members, our staff, and the transforming power of chemistry itself.  There will be more National Chemistry Weeks.  There will be more Presidents who will do a better job of energizing volunteers and educating the public.  And there will be more benefits to the world as a result of those who practice chemistry.  But there will never be anyone who had more fun than I did.

Let’s take this ride together again some time.  Happy National Chemistry Week!

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