1999: It was a hot day in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho at Camp Sawtooth. It was my first summer on staff and I was excited about working with students and making a difference in their lives. A pastor from the Boise-area was coming up to be the Dean (speaker) for the 4th Grade Camp, and I had heard that she was “liberal” (uh-oh!). On the first day of camp, we were hanging out in the staff cabin when all of a sudden, Bo ran upstairs (we all had camp nicknames, that summer we were Mutt, Jeff, Nej, Bo and Beanie: I was Mutt) and started yelling something about the game she was playing with the kids. And, once she calmed down, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…
The liberal was playing Quidditch with the fourth-graders.
Now, not real Quidditch mind you – that would have been difficult. But her own variation of Quidditch. This was a big deal for Bo, as well as for the rest of us, as we all thought Harry Potter was basically the devil. So, imagine our dismay when at the evening campfire, she began to use Harry Potter as one of her evening analogies (gasp!) – we couldn’t believe it. I still remember sitting on the back row of benches, just being utterly repulsed.
2001: I was standing in Costco in Spokane, WA looking at a table full of Harry Potter books. An older woman standing next to me began throwing copies of the books into her cart. I figured I should at least try one. Over the next few weeks, after reading theology and doctrine all day for classes, I would get into bed with Harry Potter and just couldn’t put the books down. I was hooked. All memories of thinking Potter was the devil were immediately gone. I became a huge fan overnight.
July 19, 2007: Sarah and I went to see the newest Harry Potter movie tonight, and I thought it was great. Sarah read through all of the books prior to this movie and the new book coming out this weekend, so throughout the movie, I’d hear, “That’s not in the book” or “It didn’t happen that way…” She had some different thoughts about it, which you can read here. She’s a bit critical, but I still liked it.
July 20, 2007: Sarah and I will be heading down to downtown Princeton as they turn Hulfish Street into Diagon Alley. We’ll be able to check out Snape’s Potions Class, Herbology with Professor Sprout, Ollivander’s Wand Making and get our fortune read in Dumbledore’s Office. We’re really looking forward to it.
July 21, 2007: We get the final Harry Potter book. Sarah will be reading it first – but I hope to be able to get around to it soon as well.
So as you can see, Harry and I have had quite the history. I’m glad I don’t still think Harry Potter is the devil – it probably would have made my marriage a little bit difficult. And I know I would have missed out on some great books and movies. Anyone else out there have a “conversion” in their thoughts about Harry Potter?