Friday morning was damp and dismal, and Charles Addams would have been pleased. A beaming President Sheldon Hackney, after casually accepting a glass of water from a disembodied hand, proclaimed November 22 Charles Addams Day, much to the delight of the local media. Continuing to make the most of the dubious connection between campus Victorian architecture and the Addams Family mansion, Hackney commemorated the ghoulish New Yorker cartoonist's brief stint at the University, lauding Addams' "off-beat humor [which] has delighted millions." The small-time media event at College Hall, sponsored by promoters of the new Addams Family movie, was attended by reporters from the Associated Press and local TV stations, but it only gained the attention of about 30 groggy-eyed students as they walked to class. Adding to the spectacle of the occasion, Hackney was flanked by actors dressed as members of the Addams Family. Professional actor Carlos Sanchez donned a striped three-piece suit as family father Gomez, young Jazmin Santos wore pigtails as daughter Wednesday, and College senior Bonnie Grisan bore a funeral-black evening dress and a rose as Morticia. A man under a table performed a handy role as the low-budget version of Thing. The promoters also screened clips from the film on a TV monitor and gave out free Addams Family posters to student attendees. In his light-hearted five-minute speech, Hackney alluded to the classic Addams cartoon in which the ghoulish family sits atop a gothic mansion slightly resembling College Hall, and prepares to pour a cauldron of boiling oil on joyous Christmas carolers below. He joked that the family is still atop College Hall, waiting to pour the oil, which the Philomathean Society now uses as hors d'ouevres. "[Addams' humor] tweaks the nose of uptight people who don't know how to have fun," Hackney said. "Addams puts a bizarre spin on everyday life." Although Charles Addams attended the University's Fine Arts School from September 1930 to December 1931, he is frequently referred to by the administration as having graduated in 1934. Addams was perhaps inspired by the now-demolished Blanchard Hall or College Hall in creating the now-famous mansion.Comments powered by Disqus
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