Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Docent Diaries: The Case of the Missing Docent

American Ambassadors
In past posts, I've written about being a docent for the Glessner and Clarke house museums. One of the best things about being a volunteer is you get to meet people from all over the United States and the world. We try to make visitors to Chicago feel welcome; we're not just ambassadors for the city and the state, but the United States as well. For many foreign travelers, Chicago may be their first trip to America.

A Fortuitous Visit
This past Sunday, I stopped by the visitor center/gift shop to say hello to another volunteer docent who was working there. While I was visiting, one of the docents scheduled to give afternoon tours of the two historic homes didn't show up.

Volunteer docent, Jackie Walker, checks the tour schedule in the visitor's center.

Docents to the Rescue
A docent, on duty earlier in the afternoon, filled in for the missing volunteer and took a couple from Maryland on a tour of the Clarke House. As it got closer to  3 p.m., I stepped in and took a group of about seven guests on a tour of the Glessner House. Included in this group was a couple from Bologna, Italy. Not as famous as Venice, Rome, or Florence, Bologna is a beautiful city with edifices from the 11th and 12th centuries that are not only still standing, but still in use. Bologna is also home to the oldest university in the Western world. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088.

Two visitors from Bologna

These twin towers are a popular tourist attraction in Bologna.


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