Thank you to Jacqui, Dan and everyone for welcoming me as a guest here.
On April 19, 2012, Levon Helm died. Before he left this world, he left us with much to celebrate. Today, I thread The Band through this post to introduce myself and to pay tribute to a great drummer, singer, lyricist and person.
One of my fond high school memories is driving from Cincinnati, Ohio to a Notre Dame home football game with my father, Joseph P. Tomain, Dean Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. We drove in his, later to be mine, 1984 Corolla. I don't remember who they played or if they won. I do remember that our '84 Corolla lacked a cassette player. So, we brought a boom box. We listened to the live recording, Before the Flood, by Bob Dylan and The Band.
I'll always remember that trip and that boom box playing Before the Flood from the backseat. It's amazing how music can place and hold memories in our lives. I went on to attend Notre Dame for undergrad and law school.
Speaking of Notre Dame, I enjoyed tuning into The Daily Show in March 2012 to see my Contracts professor, Cathleen Kaveny, discussing her forthcoming book, Law's Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society. My favorite line of the interview came when Stewart asked Kaveny, what's the difference between a Catholic institution providing health insurance that includes contraceptive coverage and paying an employee a salary who later spends some of that money on contraception. Kaveny's reply: "You could be a moral theologian." Nice work, Prof. Kaveny! The Band have their moments of moral theology, as well. (see e.g. When You Awake).
Speaking of teaching Contracts, when I send an email to my class, I usually quote some lyrics and provide a link to a version of the song below my signature. After Levon passed, I quoted "The Weight" and included a RIP for Levon. While a few students had commented on evaluations that they enjoyed these treats at the end of my emails, none ever brought it up in person, until this one. A twenty-something student stopped me after class to say he enjoyed the quote and had recently been watching Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz in memory of Levon. I'm happy to know that some students find a connection in this extra-legal dialogue.
Finally, I play in an Ultimate Frisbee league in Jacksonville, Florida. (A couple of law students play in the league as well. Like the vast majority of Ultimate players I know, these law students are great people.) When my team captain solicited ideas for our team name, I offered a few names in honor of Levon. Our team adopted the name, "Cripple Creek." While I'm thankful these youngsters indulged me and took a liking to Cripple Creek, my favorite team name idea was, "The Shape I'm In." (could be better, could be worse, but I digress)
Throughout May, I look forward to combining my love of law and music with various topics to share with the Lounging community. And remember, Life is a Carnival. Enjoy Being!