When I was in my freshman year of college, I opted for a college 3 hours away from home. I had two room mates…Kac and Weezie…a trio of ill suited girls couldn’t have been more determined. I was an Education Major(Elementary), Kac was a Music Major(Piano) and Weezie was a Home Economics Major. My taste in music was Englebert Humperdinck at the time(yeah, I know, what can I say?), Kac’s was synthetic music and Weezie’s was “The Beach Boys”!
We were in room 410 of North Hall….the oldest building on campus… An opposing building built of brick and creaky wooden floors. The room had the three single beds, three dressers, a walk in closet…let me rephrase that…a SMALL walk in closet, one desk and chair, and ONE…let me repeat…ONE electrical socket! (This was the age before computers and cellphones). This meant that you could have two items plugged in at any one time…the record player and a lamp were the usual two for us.
One bathroom per floor and that was in the center of the floor…we were at the far end close to one of the staircases. There were two showers, the toilet stalls and sinks(six of each). Outside of this area was where the phone booth was, the mini kitchen and television room(stove and refrigerator…this was before the microwaves).
Telephone calls to home were usually once a week because of long distance charges. We would sit on the floor along the wall waiting for our turn. The reception was poor and I was frustrated every week and usually in tears. We each had a mailbox and in those days, we communicated best by snailmail. My parents would send me a “goody package” every once in a while with baked goods. I would get a letter from Mom once a week with a little postscript from Dad :).
Having two room mates was a challenge. Now, don’t get me wrong, we never out and out fought with each other, we just never became close. We “tolerated” each other.
Weezie had a routine every night…she’d take her shower, put curlers in her hair and wear this bouffant cap, put some wart remover on her warts, take her nail polish off and put a different one on, and then reach into her drawer for her peanut butter and spoon while studying.
Kac was studying piano and would spend a lot of time in the piano rooms on the top floor of our dorm. I kid you not, there were bats up there(when you would come back from an evening class etc., you would see them circling the dorm) and sometimes there would be a dead bat on the piano. She was also into fitness and on weekends when Weezie would go home(she lived fairly close by), she would wake me up at the crack of dawn and insist we go on long walks and hikes. Her hobby was decorating her underwear…she would sit on her bed adding lace, beads, and flowers on her underwear. I would embroider and knit. I belongs to the Newspaper staff and the Radio staff and spent much of my spare time there. I also belonged to the German club because that was my minor.
The cafeteria food was awful…especially on the weekends(mystery meat). So, we’d go to the local pizza/sub shop in town.(oh yes, the college was out in the boonies…the town consisted of 1 grocery store(A and P), bus stop, a 5 and 10, a Dutch Pantry restaurant, and the pizza/sub shop). I always got a turkey sub with extra mayo. (I read the year after I left, that the shop had been closed by the health inspector…). I ate a lot of oatmeal that year…it was easy to cook in the kitchen..thinking I was helping myself…it didn’t matter, I gained the amount of weight anyway. There was a candy and soda vending machine that was my downfall many times during test time…especially the Reeses peanut butter cups…
So, to get to the title of “Goldenrod”…well, I took my walk today and saw the goldenrod was blooming everywhere…and it triggered the memory of my freshman year…thus this post. I had gone walking on a Saturday in the autumn and had picked a bouquet of goldenrod because of the vibrant color. I put it in a vase and set it in the room. While I was at dinner, Weezie had come back from her weekend and unknown to me, she was highly allergic to goldenrod. As she came into the room, she sneezed and saw the goldenrod, pinched her nose, opened the window and dumped the contents of the vase. I came back to both windows wide open and the empty vase with a short terse note from Weezie! Amazing what can trigger the memory…just to see the goldenrod blooming!
til next time…Eva