I spent a very enlightening part of my life between the years 1965 and 1970. Those were the years I was at Purdue University supposedly learning how to be an engineer. It was there that I was first exposed to the diversity of life. I met people who were very different from me. For the most part those experiences made me a better person. On this post I want to concentrate on a few of those I encountered during those years.
My first dormitory room-mate was a high school classmate. He got married at the end of the first semester and was replaced by Knute. Knute was a Norwegian and spoke broken english. He worked his way over to the U.S. from Oslo Norway on a freighter and that was impressive to me. I later learned that his father owned the freight lines but that only slightly stained the story. 🙂 Knute loved to party, I never actually saw him study much. He came over with a half-dozen or so buddies. They exposed me to people from other countries for the first time. After that final semester of 1965 Knute went over to live with his friends in a rented house. I don’t know if he ever graduated or just partied his way through college. Six of one half-dozen of the other I imagine.
Bob was my room-mate for the final four years. We got along very well. That was very important when you understand that unlike today we shared a 10 x 12 foot room so getting along with your room-mate was critical to your sanity. When we graduated a group of us vowed to get together five-year later on our graduation date but I didn’t make it there for whatever reason. I don’t know if any of them did or not? I lost track of Bob and have been unable to find him in the forty years since. I wished I had done a better job of keeping track of folks from those years. I would be interesting to discover what Bob made of his life and to just reminisce about the good old days at Fowler Courts residence hall and dorm kitchen where we both worked throughout those years.
Another very memorable person during those years was Ginny. I admired her on several different levels. She was the secret love of my life. I did date Ginny once, we went to a campfire/cookout with several friends. One of the main regrets of my life is that I never told her how I felt about her. I was just too shy around women and the emotions I felt for her were very new to me. Ginny also worked in the dormitory cafeteria where I became the head waiter. Ginny was a year or two behind me and when in my senior year it came time to recommend my replacement I chose her. But… there had never been a female head waiter there before and the management just didn’t see that as being the time for one. I often wonder how my life would have changed if I expressed my feelings towards her. Don’t tell my wife but I still think about her now and then.
These three were just a small sampling of the friends I made at Purdue. I will likely talk about others in future posts.