I had Professor Donald for two classes. He was a soft-spoken, gentle Mississippian — no marshmallow, though. I’ll tell you something he told us once, kind of touching. He said he wanted to be a schoolteacher and a band director. Wanted to teach history and direct the band. “That was to be my life,” he said. He became a teacher, all right, on an exalted level. But that original dream, or ambition? He would have been good at that, too.
P.S. Tell you something else. He once said, “You want to write better? See a ballet, listen to a symphony — get some art in you. Get some artistry in your prose.”
P.P.S. I remember his smiling, wearily, at being confused so often with Donald Herbert Davidson (the philosopher). You can understand the confusion: David Herbert Donald, Donald Herbert Davidson. Good gravy.
Anyway, I’m glad I encountered him — Professor Donald.