College. The way it was!

Published 7:49 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

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Daddy reached deep down in his pants’ pocket and pulled out the key to a used Rambler station wagon.

I was 17 years old and I was going to Troy State College.

If memory serves me right, my tuition for the first quarter was $36.

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I stood in line for three days getting my schedule approved, which was no easy task as many classes were filled and second and third choices had to be made.

That summer, I took 18 hours of classes of one, two and three hour credits. I had a heavy load.

In music class, we played flute-a-phones and a xylophone and listened to music by the masters.

Mr. Ed Walter’s art class was in the barracks (brought from Fort Rucker or Rooker, as it was better known. Acres of arracks were behind Bibb Graves Hall. Barracks were also married students housing. The tall brick wall behind Bibb Graves was were where we exhibited our artwork. Bibb Graves Hall was the center of intelligence. The classrooms had raise-up windows for ventilation. We could hear the outside chatter of strolling students and the birds singing. Two-faced clocks were mounted on the ceilings in the hallways so we could know the time.

The library was crowded with book shelves and smelled of aging words of wisdom. The lady as the desk spoke in Library jargon. “Go, look in the card catalogue!”

Wright Hall housed the indoor swimming pool. The Student Center had lunch snacks and bottled Cokes. You could return the bottles and get your nickel deposit back.

I rounded it out my schedule with two one-hour physical education classes — badminton and paddle tennis. I should have taken French horn.

Pecan trees shaded the quad, which was the gathering place for students between classes.  Quilts and a few benches provided seating. Guitar and banjo pickers played music for singing. Just off the quad, Kilby Hall had a big open courtyard for hanging out and a wood dance floor that squeaked in time with the boppin’ and twistin,’

A little too soon for me and not soon enough for Daddy, my college days ended. I got a job teaching girls’ physical education in the Florida Panhandle at an annual salary of $3,200.

I reached way down my pocket and gave Daddy the key to HIS used Rambler station wagon. Then, I went and signed my name on the dotted line for a new, low maintenance car at Troy Ray Chevrolet. The cost?  $3,100.

I was college educated, one hundred dollars to the good and ready for the world!

Go Trojans!