Tuesday, September 8, 2009


(click on any photo for a larger view)

As my readers already know, I spent the first week of August at a Mark Twain Conference at Elmira College in NY. The conference was wonderful and the campus beautiful, but Elmira College has one strange quirk.

The school colors are gold and purple. There must be a full-time staff to paint everything in the college's particular shade of purple. At first it makes the place rather unique, but as you scroll through my photos, you may begin to think, as I did, that the school may be taking purple just a little too far.
The bathroom stalls are purple, and even the tiles on the floor and the lockers in the locker room. The soap dispensers are purple, and, yep, even the hand soap that is dispensed is ---you guessed it ---purple.

There are purple water fountains. Bottled water is labeled with Elmira College purple labels. One walks on purple carpeting. One eats on purple table cloths and uses purple napkins. Chairs are upholstered in purple. Even ashcans beside fireplaces are purple.

On campus buildings, doors, vents, flues, and other trim are purple.

Commemorative plaques on sidewalks are purple.

In the rooms where Twain scholars made their presentations, the AV carts are purple, the screens on which power-point presentations were made are purple (note actor Hal Holbrook in front of the screen), and even the foam pieces covering the microphones are purple. The lens on a slide projector is gold and purple, making even a black and white presentation rather colorful.

The flora around campus is gold and purple. The grounds crew drives purple carts, wears purple hats, and cuts grass with purple mowers.

Outside of the bookstore, there is a purple phone booth beside a purple waste basket. Inside, one can buy all manner of purple paraphernalia with the Elmira Logo, even bags of purple M&Ms.

We took a purple bus to a picnic at Quarry Farm (where Mark Twain spent his summers writing.) The tents set up for an evening reception near the auditorium and at Quarry Farm were gold and purple. The marker with information about Twain's study which now rests on the Elmira campus is ---as expected ---purple.

I asked one of the student helpers if she were sick of purple. She said after a while, one doesn't notice it much. She went on to mention that in the winter, the salt spread on sidewalks to melt ice is ---of course ---tinted purple.
The point at which I thought perhaps someone had gone overboard with the purple was at the site of the construction of a new dorm. The chain-link fence around the site is purple. The scaffolding is purple, and even the port-a-johns are ---yep ---purple.

I guess if a student survives four years of purple at every turn, s/he should be awarded a Purple Heart.


Dulçe ♥ said...

How lovely! It seems all re-painted. Purple> my favourite colour!
Thanks for such beautiful post.
Smiles :)

One Prayer Girl said...

I love purple, but I think after a week on this campus, the color purple might make me want to get sick.

Great pictures.

My Life in Purple said...

Love the purple! Thanks for sending me your way :)