the second in my series of my dear college friends, now my dear retirement type friends.
All students at Concordia College were required to eat in the large dining hall at just about the same hours. There were no snack machines, soda machines, Starbucks. The storage or cooking in any manner of foodstuffs inside the dorms was strictly prohibited.
An amazing invention called a hot pot was allowed to make tea and we learned to cook almost anything except bacon and eggs in them. As for a fridge, well, ya ever been to Nebraska in the winter? Long thick window ledges along all the dorms served perfectly, and a big heavy coat could smuggle a good lot of apples.
Jan had lived in Hawaii and was a sun worshipper. She loved the bright sunlit rooms of West Jesse Hall. However, she was never able to gain assignment of a room with its giant 12 foot floor to ceiling windows. So she played her guitar outside, slack key and dreamy eyed. She adjusted to the abrupt change in climate without difficulty and she was always searching for that next cloud. Jan was born to wander and it would take her around the world and away from us.
The following steps were utilized when we wished to hear music. Grab someone with a guitar and find the nearest tree stump. For Kay and Jan this was a giant tree stump, impossibly shoved into their basement room, with one of those prison- like see through windows.
We had each other, paper, pencils and 3 guitars. We were together constantly. We ate, studied, cried, wrote, sang, dreamed, hoped, loved, melted, and stood back up again. And we laughed. We could scarcely get enough of each other’s musical laughter and provoked by torture when necessary.
I returned to the dormitory after a weekend pass to discover the first and probably the Oscar winning prize prank of Jesse Hall West Wing. My entire bedroom set, complete with books, Bambi bed spread, and clothing neatly deposited on the open first floor landing. I turned to see nearly 20 women, who loved me so dearly, I must be punished, stifling laugher. Feigning exhaustion by the late hour, they turned in, leaving my bed on the open stairwell.
Locking each other out of our rooms while we showered was a common pastime, essential in this prank was the removal of all towels and clothing from the open common shower. Hysterical unless it was you standing in the hall soaking wet in the middle of a Nebraska winter.
Rules were strict for the freshman girl, our hours strictly controlled and doors locked at 10 pm. No males were allowed at any time in the freshman women’s dormitory. The freshman boys had no rules placed on them what so ever, so that counter balanced the problem somewhat. Curfews were an issue, but this old red brick dormitory had the most gorgeous fire escapes used for such events as a late night rendezvous.