One of our readers was a college president and started at Wabash College an eccentric holiday dubbed Elmore Day.
Although the faculty at Wabash had failed to see the fun of disrupting their academic calendar, Thad Seymour, the President believed a disruption—or at least a pleasant distraction—was exactly what was called for when he created Elmore Day in 1972. It was named for James Buchanan Elmore, whom he termed “a wonderfully awful poet.”
Born in 1857, the so-called the Bard of Alamo, Indiana, was known for his reflections on nature, including an ode to the sassafras plant, which celebrates its restorative powers with these lines:
In the spring of the year, when the blood is too thick,
there’s nothing so rare as a sassafras stick.
It strengthens the liver and cleans up the heart,
and to the whole system new life doth impart.
Sassafras, oh sassafras, thou art the stuff for me!
And in the spring I love to sing, sweet sassafras, of thee.
Well when Thad left Wabash they eliminated Elmore Day but a recent article about him stated that he still sends an annual email to Wabash with two words “Elmore Lives!”