Photos by Matt Hembree (C’20)
By Julia Harrison
The Greenhouse hosted their 107th annual talent show, Arm & Trout, on November 12. Exactly as Barbara Banks had promised in one of the 13 emails she sent, the event had “a hundred people in a room that can only comfortably fit twenty.” Sweat and body heat aside, the show created an atmosphere both physically and metaphorically warm. 100 students cuddled each other and their bottles of wine under colored lights, tapestries, and the shadow of earth’s imminent annihilation due to climate change.
Claire Brickson (C’18) and Grayson Ruhl (C’17) emceed the event with jokes that went far over the heads of all the freshmen, the punchlines often related to some eccentricity of a Greenhouse member, their cuteness, their GPA, or their recreational passions. All raised their craft beers to toast alumni names lost on the newbies who huddled in the back, watching in amazement as students said things like “ass” in front of a professor.
Dr. Bran Potter entered the room to his usual greeting of whoops and hollers and sat down to sing the Sewanee favorite, “Across the Great Divide” with Katie Sutton (C’18) on vocals and Isaac Sligh (C’18) on guitar. After applause and the appropriate amount of silence for everyone to wonder, “How can school be so much like summer camp?”, several acts of quiet acoustics and gals harmonizing to folk favorites followed the beginning act.
Sara Balte (C’17) and Kailey Bissell (C’18) sang Dixie Chicks, and the girls following brought out a plastic cup to accompany their cover of Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.” Molly Mansfield (C’17) read a poem written by a Greenhouse alum that showed she was definitely one of the stars of her high school’s theatre department. David Provost (C’17) wrote a response to the election in the form of band imitations and expressed disappointment in the election results through uncannily excellent impressions of Morrissey and Jeff Mangum.
Faces peered in from all of the windows, the back porch swarming with enthusiasts, tapping their feet to Thomas Chapman’s (C’19) saxophone and Zack Loehle’s (C’19) harmonica, and supporting their friends. Music soothed everyone into cuddling more comfortably, and at least two of the people on the bunk bed in the corner drifted off until the harmonica came back full throttle and screeched away all thoughts of sleep.
The night ended with heads on shoulders and nostalgic applause, before one and all picked up their Kavus, walked out into Tennessee’s November air, and listened for the rumbling sound of the Chainsmokers coming from Sigma Nu.