Day Six. Today, we visited the homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in Ft. Myers. The land was two neighboring estates, and Edison’s estate was bigger. Ford was only there two weeks out of the year. Edison lived there the entire year, so it made sense.
Our tour guide was a friendly senior who made jokes the entire tour. As I yawned, he came over and tapped me on the shoulder.
“Hey, wake up!” the tour guide said.
“I’m trying” I said with a grin.
Each building contained original furniture from the early twentieth century, and they were kept as authentic as possible. I was astounded at how modern it looked in comparison to what I would expect. For example, some of the wicker chairs looked like I could have found them at a garage sale today. Also, the light switches were bizarre. They were iron rods that one would either push up or down. They were clearly prototypes when they were created all those years ago.
As we finished the tour, a woman walked up to the group.
“Are you singers? You must sing something!” she pleaded.
We all looked around, shrugged, and sang Brothers, Sing on! She was impressed with our performance, and she gave us some words of approval.
“I run this place, and this is the kind of thing that makes working here worthwhile” she declared with a look of excitement on her face.
Next, we continue on to Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church for a very special concert. President Hodge and his wife were in attendance. They sat in the front row, and everyone wanted to make a good impression.
President Hodge sat with a majestic look upon his face in one of the pews closer to the altar. His wife also looked on the group with eloquence, and they both had wide smiles as we sang our concert set. By the time the concert was over, everyone was clapping vigorously. We put on an excellent show.
After the concert, I shook as many hands as possible; I ended up meeting a Swiss couple that had some very kind words.
“I just wanted to say how wonderful I thought this concert was. I loved the variety of pieces you guys played.” Milan said.
“We really enjoyed the drinking songs, because we speak German!” Erika mentioned.
After our short conversation, I met with the man of the hour: President Hodge. I had a quick question for him. I felt it would be best to keep an impromptu interview short.
“Hello President Hodge! It’s great to meet you. I’m Andrew Kondik, and I’m doing daily blog posts for the Glee Club. I have a quick question for you. What’s your favorite part about the glee club?” I said with curiosity.
They looked at each other for a second. They pondered, and then they gave me an answer with certainty.
“I love the joy, energy, tradition, brotherhood, and the music of course.” President Hodge proclaimed. We all had a chuckle.
“When David and I came to this school, we had a moment where we saw someone walking down the street with a tuxedo hanging over their shoulder, and we knew that this group was special ever since.” Mrs. Hodge explained. “Everyone of you is part of Miami history. This group is for life”
Wise words from some great people. Later on, we ate dinner at the Beer Garden, and the group parted ways to go to their individual home-stays. I felt confident knowing the the Glee Club did everything in their power to make today an awesome day for all involved.
My home-stay was with Mike and Sue Dewine, and they both used to teach in higher education before they retired. They gave me some great advice on tackling graduate school, and we had a blast spending time with each other. I stayed with Nick Shirley, and we all stayed up late into the night swapping stories and laughing.