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Facebook is Our “Commons”

April 7, 2020

Most colleges and universities that are older and private, have areas called “the Commons,” usually an area of lawn that students traverse when going from one class to another.

I wouldn’t know that from experience, as a “townie” at the University of Pittsburgh who traveled to class each day by “street car,” my “Commons” was in a building designed to emulate the design of a Gothic cathedral.  Called “the Cathedral of Learning,” at its center was a space called “the Commons.

On the  circumference  of that space were “Nationality Rooms,” contributed to the University by the various ethnic groups found in the city of Pittsburgh’s population. My life’s purpose was discovered in two common spaces at University, the “Tuck Shop,” a coffee shop in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning and the meeting place of the William Pitt Debate Union, a room modeled on the English “House of Commons.”

Like the City University of New York (CUNY) where a group of youthful  Liberal Democrats and supporters of Leon Trotsky met in a coffee shop similar to Pitt’s Tuck Shop, the future “Neoconservative” movement convened its founding members in these common spaces.

We were poor, but alive to political ideas then being affirmed by “Conservative” intellectuals. In my case, we associate those ideas with Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Frederich Hayek. Indeed, I belonged to a club that brought these incredibly gifted intellectuals to speak at Pitt, and I had the privilege of taking lunch with Bill Buckley and Frederich Hayek and listening to  Frank Meyer, William Rusher, and other spokesmen for what came to be known as “the Conservative Movement.” Later, I wrote about that “movement” which I called “The Conservative Rebellion.”

That was then and today I reach out to like-minded colleagues in a digital “Commons.”  That common ground or space is something called “Facebook” and you’ll find me at my Facebook page in discussions much like those at the William Pitt Debate Union and the Tuck Shop.

This Easter, Inspired by a talented musician who is the wife of a conservative jurist whose path I crossed decades ago, I posted musical performances that celebrate the feast of Easter and our commonly shared love of American music and dance. As new seasons occur, I may post other celebrations of life in music and shall enjoy listening to music that inspires you.

I’ve admitted only s small number of “Friends” with whom I share a common traditional, “conservative,” view of life, but you’re welcome to visit and see what’s on our minds.


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