I was walking through the back room at the People’s Defender office and I spotted one of the bound volumes that are often laying out. I remember thinking, “Oh, I remember when people dressed like that,” so I stopped to look at the page to see what the date was. It was April 29, 1976. I would have been finishing up my junior year in high school.
Thinking to myself … I wondered if any of my old college friends from West Union are in here.
I flipped exactly one page and there was a Buckeye Girls State photo with Diane Smith, Nancy Cole and Donna Rothwell in it. Wow! How strange was that?
When I went to Morehead State University in 1977, I knew absolutely no one. When you are a freshman it can be tough to make friends among thousands of students. Down the hall in the dorm were roommates Randy Grooms and Phil Sandlin of West Union. Apparently there was a large contingent from West Union/Adams County at college. So often they would eat dinner together and they would invite me to tag along. That’s where I met Diane, Nancy, Donna and Becky Fields.
Finding dinner was a big deal, so we would walk down to the cafeteria together. So, I got to know the West Union group.
Later that winter I started working at the radio station and had less and less time, so we saw less of each other. The next year I moved off campus and lost track of them.
Now Diane and Randy that was a different story… I got back together with them when I started dating my future wife Margaret my senior year. She and Diane were in classes together so we had mutual friendship.
Margaret and I even babysat for the Grooms boys. The youngest was a baby and I had the pleasure of having him spit up all over me. Of course Margaret thought that was funny and still laughs about it to this day. I am not sure, but that one might be a teacher now?
But you know how it is when you are trying to impress a girl … you try to be cool and collected. I didn’t know what to do. It had been years since I had held one of my baby cousins.
Margaret, of course, was very good with kids and enjoyed it very much. Even today she is very good with little ones teaching Sunday school to 3-5 year olds. Our adult class is across the hallway at church and we can hear them occasionally. It’s funny to listen how they learn about Jesus.
I guess where I am going with this is, those of you having young adults going off the college in the future. Think about what I have said. It is much easier for them if they know someone. The camaraderie of that group was a good thing and I am sure that made being away from home that much bearable for them, and for me. It was nice to hang out with people I had something in common with.
That particular winter 1977-78 was extremely harsh. The worst I can remember, even worse than this year. So it was good to make friends but tough to do when you had to stay in the dorm all the time.
What I remember the most about that winter was the fierceness of the wind. They actually called off classes, which is extremely rare for that school. They urged us to stay inside and not venture much outside our dorm.
There was a board game I enjoyed playing and I remember some guys in an adjacent dorm liked to play. So I would slip out the back door of the dorm and the tall buildings would block the wind until I had to cross the street to get there. It was not far at all, but boy it was cold.
It’s funny the older you get the more you think about the past and less about the future. Strange, isn’t it, that page was turned to that particular day?
Steve Triplett is the content manager for this newspaper.