I think this edition of the podcast is going to be my very favorite episode for a long time to come, and you’ll see why if you get into it. Along with two guest hosts—John and Elizabeth Eastman—I sat down a few days ago for an extended conversation with William B. Allen, a teacher and thinker who defies easy description. All three of us were students of Bill’s way back in the 1980s, and when chance and/or Providence put us all together again with Bill this week in Boulder, Colorado, it was clear we needed to do a podcast.
This “origin story” conversation takes us from Bill’s youth all the way through to the present Age of Trump. We talk a lot about education, political philosophy, the influence of key thinkers such as Harry Jaffa, Martin Diamond, and many many others. We have a lot of laughs along the way in this conversation, but above all I think you will come away with a sense of the excitement of discovery in Bill’s classrooms because they were serious, and you’ll also acquire a sense of why a generation of students are so devoted to him.
For the exit bumper music for this episode I chose the old Blues Image tune “Ride, Captain, Ride,” because the refrain fits perfectly the occasional mystery ship that our great Capital Allen commanded. We’d have missed a lot if we hadn’t formed the classroom fellowship with him:
Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed. . .
“We’re callin’ everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more”