I have lived more than nine months of my life in Boulder, Colorado, one week at a time. Here I am again. Here more than anywhere else I have heard for the first time about more new things, met more fascinating people who have nothing to do with the movies, learned more about debate, and trained under fire to think on my feet. So please don't zone out on me because I use the zzzzz-inducing term "Conference on World Affairs."
For 61 years, this annual meeting at the University of Colorado has persuaded a very mixed bag of people to travel to Boulder at their own expense, appear with each other on panels not of their choosing, live with local hosts who volunteer their homes, speak spontaneously on topics they learn about only after they arrive, are driven around town by volunteers, fed at lunch by the university, and in the evening by such as CWA chairman Jane Butcher in her own home. For years the conference founder Howard Higman personally cooked on Tuesday night. The hundreds of panels, demonstrations, concerts, polemics, poetry, politics and performances are and always have been free and open to the public.