It’s 1:30 p.m. on a recent Monday afternoon inside Lewis House, a building at the southern edge of the Eckerd campus in south St. Petersburg. A group of about 60 people, most of them of retirement age, have gathered for a weekly “interest group” organized by the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College, better known as ASPEC. The subject is Current Events — specifically, dissecting the Perspective section of the previous day’s Tampa Bay Times.
“So this was an interesting issue. Tell me what you guys thought about it?” asks Woody Dulin, who’s moderating. After a pause Joan McKee, sitting in the front row, asks, “Isn’t that a strange title? ‘War might be good for us?’”
She’s referring to the lead story in the section, an essay penned by a Stanford classics professor that originally ran in the Washington Post. The piece pointed out that, while 100-200 million people died in war around the world over the last century, that number represented only 1-2 percent of the population.