His name is Dr. Trevor Stack, and, as a referral from Museum Director, Andrea Blachman of the Martinez History Museum, I was to meet him at the Rosie the Riveter Memorial on Thursday afternoon ... .
The only thing I'd learned from our brief phone conversation was that he was giving lectures on citizenship. And just where do you suppose I fit into that topic? I wasn't sure; and that his return to Europe is only a few days away (on Sunday, I believe) and this would be a first and last conversation, so there would be no time for re-thinking positions, or self-editing.
Looked him up on the Internet after the call and learned that he holds a B.A. from Oxford University in Britain; a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania; that his subject is Hispanic Studies and that he is on a sabbatical from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
During his visit to Martinez on his speaking tour, he'd been given a copy of the cover article I'd written for the California Historian in the June, 2009 edition (online), and wanted to meet and speak with me. Could it be that he had assumed me to be a credentialed legitimate "historian"? Would he be disappointed upon discovering that this was not true? Would I feel like a fraud passing myself off as a scholar? The answer is "no," on all counts, and that this unassuming professor simply wanted to discuss the ideas I'd presented, and that his extensive travels and times spent in Mexico made him sensitive to racial issues and those of citizenship in relation to people of color, particularly relationships between Latinos and African Americans. A legitimate interest, and my article had spoken to that, though not substantively.
Yet, just before our hour-long conversation while basking in the warm sun in Marina Bay Park ended -- I felt my toes curl up in my sensible brown government regulation oxfords as he told me that he will be using my lengthy article with his students at Aberdeen University upon his return to Scotland.
Can you ever imagine in your wildest dreams ... ?