We were the first class in the new Stratten Hall dorm in 1958. In the spring of 1959, my roommate and I went to a house on 3rd Street which had been posted on the Dean’s list as having rooms for boys to rent.
When we arrived at the house, a nice little white-haired lady met us and the first question she asked was, “Do you boys drink?”
We replied, “Oh no!”
“Alright, come on in,” she said.
She was 93 years old and a member of the WCTU (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union). She explained that Lowell-a junior-was the house father and all questions should go to him since he was in charge.
When we arrived in the fall to move in, all was in order. We had to go through the living room to get upstairs. One Thursday night, Lowell-our house father-said, “Clean out your briefcase. We need to go to the library.”
We found out that the library was Johnnie’s Bar on Main Street. Each of us put a six-pack in our briefcases and paraded back up the stairs to study. When we finished ‘studying’ Lowell said, “Joe, you’re the new kid on the block. Go up on the railing and open the crawl-access door to the attic. We need to throw these beer cans up there.”
When I pushed the crawl door up and looked in the attic, I saw thousands of beer cans glistening back at me. This tradition had obviously been handed down from class to class for many years!
I still wonder what happened when that house was torn down to make room for a new one to be built. I hope the little lady didn’t see what secret her attic had been keeping.