The last of the May/June trips began less than 24 hours after we returned from New York/Philadelphia. I had a morning flight, and fortunately it was not one of those 6 am delights. My goal in the morning is simple, be asleep by wheels up. I usually succeed. Anyway, I was off to Santa Barbara through Phoenix, and there were lunch plans with the wife of one of our alums. Sue, our development director picked me up at the Santa Barbara airport and we were off for a visit and lunch. It was back to the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, a place that we had been before, one known for very good food and even better views. The oil spill many of you have read about did not reach as far south as this part of Santa Barbara, so we saw no evidence of the nasty beach and bird invasion. In fact, beaches north of Santa Barbara had just been re-opened. All we saw were the oil platforms in the distance. Over the years, I have learned that even before there was offshore drilling near Santa Barbara, oil seeped out naturally and found its way to the beach.

oilJune Gloom is the term that is used to describe the fog that finds its way over parts of southern California almost every day in June. One can drive inland and get to clear skies and when going back to the beach encounter more fog. Or, it can be the other way around with the fog a bit more inland. The scenario changes during the day in what seems to be a most unpredictable fashion. Yet, no rain and as all of you know it is very dry out there. While I tried, I was unable to bring any of my New York, Texas, or Omaha (yes, it has been rainy here a lot as well) rain experiences to Santa Barbara, Ventura, LA and places south.

Now for the Geezer check. Many of you know that I am now an official senior, plus one, an age that I never thought about much until I was forced to. Turning 65 and then 66 has some interesting aspects. When I turned 66, I found every YouTube video ever created that recorded the song Route 66, you know, “it winds from Chicago to LA, more than 2,000 miles all the way…”Anyway, if you are 65 or more and still drawing a breathe, you are eligible for a discount with some air carriers. That’s a good thing, not turning 65, but it has a downside. If you take the discount, you have to prove your age, again and again, even if you have been flying with that carrier for more than 20 years. So, you go online and check-in. you get a boarding pass, good enough to get you through security, but not good enough to get you on the plane. Then, you have to check in at the gate to get a real ticket, after you have shown someone proof of age. I did this twice, but the second time I asked the person behind the monitor if I would have to check in each time I flew with them for the rest of my life. Then I asked why after 25 years did they not know how old I was? Keep in mind that the only other Louis Pol’s in my family have long since moved on and they were older than me to start with. She seemed to be a bit amused by my question and statement, and quickly fixed the problem. Great service, and thank you Southwest.

beautifultemeculaWhile in California, Sue and I met with seven people over a two and one-half day period. Geographically, we moved from Santa Barbara to Temecula, a small city about one hour north of San Diego in the middle of Southern California’s wine country. Every visit was interesting. I am incredibly lucky to be the dean of a college where so many alumni have enjoyed much success. At the same time, I am energized by these visits and I find myself wanting to work even harder so that I can match their high standards.

The week ended early Saturday morning, about 1:30 am in Omaha, when I got back from the airport. Getting to sleep did not come easy as my mind wandered over the experiences of the last three weeks. Tired? Yes. Energized? Yes. Ready to get back and do it again? Yes! I think that I’ll stay around a bit longer as the dean.

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