BRISCOE 1968::: ____________ SEPTEMBER 1968:::_ In either late August or Early September 1968 I was walking along in Lower Manhattan waiting for school to start and I happened upon the place where they sold Pan-Am tickets. Being 18 and having no idea that Pan-Am did not do domestic flights but only International ones I went in to ask about a flight to Weir Cook airport in Indianapolis. Inside were a bunch of model-looking girls in their 20s in the middle of round counters. I say, "Excuse me. I have to get to Bloomington, Indiana and..... " Right then, she interrupted me haughtily and started talking to the other girls inside their weird disc-counters. "Where? I never heard of it" and so on. Extremely haughty and rude. I had no idea what was going on. So I left. I had ridden on EASTERN and TWA so I went to one of them and got a flight,,,,,,, On the day I was to return in early September 1968 I had my bags packed the night before. I got up and my parents had both already left for work. I had to get to Kennedy International Airport (always named Idlewild when I was a kid) all the way on the far side of NYC. I lived in the very northwest corner of Queens and it was all the way down in the southeast corner of Queens, south of Brooklyn (Queens, the largest borough, wraps around Brooklyn). I left very early just in case. I carried my bags out of my empty home and locked the door behind me. I had no idea that it was the very last time I would ever see my home at 21-11 24th Road, Astoria. I was there from age 9 in Feb 1959 until age 18 in Sept 1968. I think I then lugged my bags all the way to the elevated train station over Grand Central Parkway overlooking the Triboro Bridge. I then had to go all the way south into Manhattan and change somewhere to go all the way through Brooklyn and into lower Queens. A very long, tedious subway ride for many miles. I finally got out of the subway onto a very wide street I had never seen before. There were buses stopping there but I had no idea which one was mine and it all took far longer than I imagined. I still recall like yesterday my standing there. I was getting dangerously close to missing my flight and losing the ticket money and having to go all the way home. I saw a taxicab speeding towards me from the right, across the wide street. I took a gamble and raised my hand high. Adults were around me. The cab, while passing me, suddenly made a speeding U-turn thru traffic and flipped around right up to me. I hopped in the back with my bags. I said, "I have to get to Idlewild right away. Get me to my plane in time and Ill give you five bucks more." Mister Bigshot!- But it was worth it to me to not lose my $25 half-fare ticket and go home in disgrace. So off he went. He commented on how I still said 'Idlewild' and said he did the same. It was still a LONG ride. He got me there and he got his tip. I dont recall the plane ride. I vaguely recall waiting for it. I recall bits and pieces from many plane rides but dont know which was which. We probably had to change planes in Pittsburgh. I was there many times and I recall the red CALDER mobile, the different levels, the mens room, and the movies being shown. We got to Weir Cook in Naptown. I dont know if I shared a cab to Bloomington with a bunch of other students, took the shuttle bus down, or went into town and took the Greyhound down. Over the years I did them all depending on the connections. But I did get to Briscoe which I had not slept in since August 1967. I think I vaguely recall my first day pulling up in Sept 67 and I KNOW I remember seeing guys throwing Frisbees on the round lawn in the center of the traffic circle leading to Briscoe. I had no idea they were called Frisbees and thought they were just plates or something. I dont recall seeing any of them in NYC during the Summer of 68. Perhaps they started on college campuses. I then went into the front of the center building and around to the desk I went to in Aug 67. They then gave me my room assignment. I then went out and to the right (In 67 I went to the other bldg). Up the elevator for the very first time and to the 10th floor which I thought was the top floor. I then searched for, and eventually found, my room 1017 in the 'privates' hall. (Which was like the bar on the letter 'A'). Now I was in the same position I was in Sept 1967. After dropping my bags on my bed I was tired from the trip but didnt know anyone and was self-conscious and wasnt sure what to do. So I went out. I have no idea where I went on that first day. Did I re-visit Parks-Wright immediately? Did I just wander campus? Into town? To the mall? I dont remember. __________ ___________ I had to go through the regular Registration procedure this time as I didnt go to Early Registration during the Summer. I do recall phoning some girl that was in line with me during Registration for one of my classes. This year I couldnt take any Astro courses, just Physics ones. I took a P221 course (5 credit hours) with all the stupid labs and crap. Another German G202 (5 hours) with their labs and recitation classes. And, I think Calculus for 5 credits. Ill have to look it up. I real boring, nasty schedule with nothing I thought Id enjoy._______________ I didnt meet anyone on my hall right away. I cant even recall whom I met first. In the beginning I recall going over to Parks Wright and talking to them back there. I came back with Frank, quasi-hippie and showed him my room. Somehow I ran into my old roommate, but it may not have been for a while, and he came up to my room. He was now at Connecticut-Wesleyan. I had no idea what it was. I never heard of it until he mentioned it. I thought it was some sort of Catholic College. He bragged how his private room was so much bigger than mine,,,,, Somehow I wound up hanging for a week or so with some weird guys from another floor at Briscoe and even eating with them at their table with some weird girls. But they were too snotty and obnoxious. I also learned at Parks-Wright that Bill T. and Steve Z. from NYC had transferred over to McNutt right next to Briscoe. I found them in that weird dungeon dorm with the thin claustrophobic maze hallways on the bottom floor. They were right around the corner from each other. Steve was still shocked that studying caused good grades. Bill had a country boy roomie who liked to really booze it. One night, Bill left a quart of rum or vodka in his desk and I snuck a drink out of it. The countryboy then sweallowed about a third! Bill came back and laughed about its being gone. I then took another gulp and the country boy swigged the remaining 2/3 quart in one swallow right in front of me. Unbelievable. Bill didnt even get angry. ,, Some weird guy at McNutt was also always trying to start a fight with me with occasional sarcastic remarks but he never touched me when I told him to try so nothing ever happened. Growing up in NYC, words never got me angry, just touch,,, I recall being in their bathroom a lot for some reason. Maybe the booze,,, I also recall Bills room was always dark and the halls were always empty. And noone seemed to hang with anyone else,,, Once I went into the bathroom in Briscoe and it overflowed and I ran out and down the hall with noone seeing me. I still did not know anyone on my hall yet. At Parks I met everyone the first couple of days and everyone did well with girls. At Briscoe I met noone so far and noone ever really bothered with girls. At McNutt they didnt seem to like either girls or each other. ________ I dont know who I first met at Briscoe but I do recall that I was standing outside the lounge and there were a bunch of guys inside betting one guy that he couldnt memorize a bunch of Chinese characters but he did. Turned out he had a great memory and he was studying to be a Nuclear Physicist and a Freshman. I went out of my way to meet him but dont recall the moment I did although Ken became one of the best friends I ever had later on. Turned out later that he knew a bunch of people because he came to Iu from South Bend with a few other guys he knew from there. They lived on either side of the big lounge entrance during that semester. ,,,,, I met Val by insulting him and getting him angry. I was in his room which was located where the privates hall ran into the regular hall. I was across the room by the window and he was lying on his back strumming his guitar (He played CLASSICAL GAS every day that semester) on his bed by the door. I insulted him, he threatened me, and everything blew over and we became great friends for many years after that. He was one of IUs shot-putters but wanted to be a Geophysicist and not a dumb jock. ,,,,, Sometime around the time I was meeting everyone I left my door open like in Parks House to go talk to one of them near the lounge and when I returned my pillow was gone. I then spent that semester with my pillowcase filled with clothes to sleep on.,,, To phone home we still couldnt do it from our rooms so Id go to the first floor, get out of the elevator and turn right. Built into the wall were a row of phonebooths. I'd phone home every Sunday night collect. One parent would stay on the kitchen phone and they other would go upstairs to their bedroom phone,,,, I noted the great view I had from my window but that I wasnt on the top floor after all. It was 11 stories tall, not 10. And I think the guys I first made friends with were from 10. But one could see to the western horizon from my room. Something I sure could never do in NYC or York. Below was a huge parking lot that went for blocks that didnt fill up until football games at the stadium to the right-front below. To the left-front was the campus and the smokestacks of the physical plant. The smoke would come right at my window many nights. One couldnt see much of the campus behind it though as the ground dipped suddenly behind it. There were the Monon tracks right along the top of that rill. To look straight out though was to the southeast where the twisters would try to reach from the clouds to the ground. And there were trees all the way to the horizon covering most of the city which was in that direction. Beyond the parking lot and between front and right-front were many old trailers right across from the lot for married couples that were there from before Eigenmann was built. I dont know if Eigenmann was finished yet. Beyond the trailers was a no-mans land: a weird area where all the houses had been torn down for some reason and overgrown by foliage. Beyind it was the northernmost part of Bloomington where the trains went over Walnut and College Avenues.________ In the beginning, before I knew anyone, I would eat alone in the lunchroom. And for quite a while I walked to my classes via Fee Lane which was the main avenue to all the dorms. I'd go with the crowd of other college teenagers in Sept 1968 down Fee Lane and under the MONON railroad bridge which always had 'LIONEL' painted on it. In the newspaper some RR exec was asked about it and he was actually angry! But that was the first 'graffiti' that was in paint that I think I ever saw and it was there for years and I walked under it many times. But at some point, I started going to the main campus with someone else and I was shown the back way along the parking lot and then through it diagonally, OVER the tracks, down the steep hill, around the Geology Bldg to the right, along the right/west side of the fenced field and straight down to the Student Union Bldg. Then thru it and out the back. I rarely went down Fee Lane any more after that. It was a real 'loners' walk but detracted from the college experience. ________ I now had my Tery Cloth bathrobe and my (cheap version) toiletry carrier. In the 'lunch line' quite often I recall there was talk about Denny McLain going for 30 wins. The last was in 1934 by Dizzy Dean and 34 years was eternity to 18 year olds. 1968+34= 2002! I know I certainly had been following it all year and still thought of it daily as I thought of it being Mickey Mantles probable last year. ,,,, I was in the IU BOOKSTORE a lot in Fall 1968 and all I saw was Dune, Dune, Dune; the sci-fi book all that semester. It read boringly to me. I didnt consider it to be real sci-fi and it worried me how idiots who were too stupid to understand sci-fi were now starting to take it over to push their propaganda. ,,,Someone pinned some bloddy frogs legs from a Bio class on the Bulletin Board in 9/68,,, I had actually started eating in the lunchroom nearer Briscoe North when I first returned as that was where the 10th floor people I was hanging with went. I recall speaking to them there,,, Over the years I ate on that side whenever I got back too late for my side and if I wanted to be left alone.,,, I still sat at Swain Cicles bench below the Swain Library,,,
GENERAL FALL 1968 at BRISCOE TEN-B::::: Sept68, Oct68, Nov68, Dec68, Jan69, Early Feb69:::: Ken,Val and I formed a Triumvirate with Bob, Bucky, Rick and a couple others as sort of an outer ring who did their own thing and went in and out. ,,, _________THE LOUNGE: It had a big framed picture of a matador on the right that we'd make jokes about as his rear end faced outwards. Someone put coldcuts behind his butt once and it made a stain thru it. Someone also put coldcuts once in the radiator right before they closed it for the weekend, as they always did, and then the lounge stunk when it was reopened. Once someone tried to push the locked lounge door via its rectangular window and put his hand thru it. He went to the Health Center and the floor fund had to pay for it. There were 'mandatory' monthly floor meetings in the lounge. Our lounge faced the girls tenth floor lounge and sometimes either side would give 'free shows' to the other,,In the lounge were some couches, tables, chairs, lamps, waste basket, a refrigerator and a sink.________. BATHROOM: Had a row of sinks across from the door, urinals to the left of the door, stalls past the urinals, a bathtub room across from the stalls and next to the sinks, a long mirror over the sinks, a separate room of shower stalls beyond the toilets. Each shower was very private with two little rooms, the first had facing built-in metal benches to undress and hooks, the second was for the shower itself. (The 1972 world record shower was made in a Briscoe shower stall). On the other side of the 'hall' was a mirror-image bathroom like ours. _______ IRONONG ROOM: Just off the singles hall, almost across from my room but a short way to the right, was the ironing room which was using its use as more people turned to perma-press. I used it in September but thats about it. I mostly wore perma-press or covered up with a 'vest'. Someone also brought in a stationary bike but I dont know if that was in 68 or 70,,,,,, _________ HALL CLOSETS: On the other side of our singles rooms were a row of closets for the maids and janitors in those days when college was 'elite'. Theyd store their stuff in there including their carts. They were sealed in the 90s and the kids were shocked at what they had been in the 60s,,,,______ DRINKING FOUNTAIN: Was also on my privates hall. Also down to the right from me and across. ________ MAIN HALLS: Starting form the lounge. When one left the lounge one went into the two elevators. Between them was a glass mailchute. (Years later it was metal due to vandalization. Then they closed it completely.) To either side of the lounge entrance were tall mirrors so one could see down the halls from the elevator and vice-versa. In front of them were trash cans. The two main halls formed a 'V' with the point at the lounge doors. To the right was 'my' hall where most of my friends were. The rooms up to the crossing singles hall were all on the right. On the left was nothing but the entrance halfway down to the bathroom. And the door to the trash chute down ten stories was just past the bathroom entrance. Jim Ms room was right across from the bathroom. Vals was right across from the end of the singles hall. After that were double rooms on BOTH sides of the hall until one reached the big metal fire door at the end. On the right at the end was the singles room for the Resident Assistant or a big private for a student. Beyond the fire door was the stairwell. On the left from the lounge was first the Bulletin Board on the left wall. Then a bit down was, I believe, a small study room that one could barely squeeze into but it had a chair and permanent dexk with pipes behind. (I THINK it was down this hall, it may have been down the other). On this side the double rooms were all on the left until the thin privates hall crossed. On the right was just the entrance to their bathroom. Beyond the singles hall were double rooms on both sides until the very end which had a private on the left to balance the one on the other hall. Then came their stairwell.