Testudo, Kermit, meet Bake

My good friend Bake had the occasion to visit my alma mater for a convention this month.

He asked me the day before his trip if I had any hot spots around campus that he shouldn’t miss.

It’s been more decades than I’d like to admit since I roamed the beautiful spaces of College Park, Md., but of course I threw out a landmark or two.

Bake rewarded me with Messenger photos.

Hello, my favorite turtle.

He caught the statue of Testudo that stands guard outside the library at one end of the beautiful quad.

Good fortune awaits.

Yes, it’s apparent that students and other roamers of this campus follow the legend that good luck comes from rubbing Testudo’s nose. Bake joked to me that the current crop told him that all the good fortune had been sapped from this statue in the last quarter of the former century. Yes, I did have my share. I got my Bachelor’s in journalism!

A friend and a frog.

Bake also discovered a statue that has arrived since my departure from College Park, a tribute to the man who made the Muppets a worldwide sensation, Maryland alumnus Jim Henson.

This glimpse of Bake and Kermit jarred loose in my brain a tale from my early days on campus.

It came to me a night when I was wandering around taking in the huge expanses of this place, and stumbled upon a gathering of people on steps outside an academic building. I wormed my way up and over and near a guy who … wait … appeared to have his arm up a frog puppet’s butt?

Later, other students explained to me the growing legend of the man and his Muppets. I apparently was the only person not watching “The Muppet Show” on national TV as I studied and did other college student-like things.

The things that happen at college at night, Bake relayed to me. Indeed.

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