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Sunday, June 2, 2013
I was saddened to read of the recent passing of C. Homer Bast.
Everyone seems to remember him, and properly so, mainly for his work with Roanoke College’s athletes and growing its track and cross-country programs to national levels.
But my favorite memory of Bast is as a history professor during my freshman year, when he taught a world history course. He was a dynamic lecturer, supplementing the textbook material in spirited fashion in ways I remember vividly to this day.
Some of my classmates relied more on those vivid lectures than reading the 600-plus-page textbook each semester. Bast was not fooled. I remember him stopping a student leaving at the end of one class and asking why the student hadn’t been keeping up with his reading.
Oh, he had, the student said. No, he hadn’t, Bast said. He pointed to the pristine whiteness of the outside of the pages in the student’s closed book.
I looked at my own book and, sure enough, its thin pages showed a grayish hue as far as the pages had been turned and thumbed. It was as clear as day and night.
In today’s parlance: Busted!
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