Hail To Thee Our Alma Mater…

At Johnson Shut-Ins State Park in the eighties.  A group of revelers dived from cliffs to churning waters below.  A familiar refrain rang out. “In the midst of rolling prairies, ‘neath fair skies of blue, stood our noble alma mater…”

It seemed out of place.  A product of my errant imagination.  College days, all school hikes, college pranks, relegated to yesteryear.  Other than the same alma mater, there was little in common with the celebrants.  I’d married, had family responsibilities.  Served a hitch in the Air Force, had my first real job.

At that time, I was torn.  Should I introduce myself as an alum?  Would they respect that?  Or, should I leave them alone to enjoy their moment?  I chose the latter. 

I visited college on leave, in uniform, in the early seventies. Was hesitant to do so, because of the Vietnam era.  It was late afternoon, not much activity at the student union.  One of my favorite college professors was there.  We had a pleasant conversation and coffee.   

From the perspective of a seventy-plus year old, it hadn’t been that long.  Not much more than a decade later.  So many life-changing events happened during that decade.      



Sunday Cultivation

It’s Sunday night and I’ve done little blog activity today. That was not how relationships were supposed to work. Relationships needed cultivation–just like gardens. Maybe that’s why my gardens ended up as patches of weeds.

What “they” didn’t want you to know. Why was this still a popular headline? Maybe there were more conspiracy theorists than I realized?

Sonic drive-in restaurant franchises are offering dill pickle slushies. For those tired of the usual sweet-syrupy offerings. I happened to like Kosher dills–the crunchier the better. I’ve heard that drinking dill pickle juice, after perspiring from heavy exercise, replaced lost body salts.

Recurring dreams: Last night, I experienced a varied version of a recurring dream. I was back at college–in Marston Hall. I looked for a seat, most were filled. None of the students were familiar to me. I found a seat, left my books. Went up front to talk to the professor. When I returned, my things were gone. Nobody fessed up to anything. Just like that–in a finger snap, the dream ended.

Recurring dream #2:  My car was left parallel parked on a city street.  It was a small town with lots of free parking spots.  I returned later, from some non-specific activity, and couldn’t find my car.  I doubted myself.  Where had I parked?  Had it been two blocks in the other direction?  Cars owned in the past were also featured.  My black 4 door Ford sedan, or the blue, two-door sporty, compact sedan, with mag wheels.



Bedwetting–Primary Nocturnal Enuresis or (PNE) is a recognized medical condition.  One of my childhood friends was troubled by PNE.  It had to be embarrassing for him.  Perhaps, the worst incident occurred at summer camp.  The shame couldn’t be hidden.  He was allowed to stay–which didn’t always happen.

There were several devices advertised in the back of magazines to stop bedwetting.  One was an alarm, triggered by electronic circuits, in a pad placed over the mattress under the sheets.  The idea was to teach the offender to get up before the damage was done.

Of course there were rubber sheets and rubber pants.  Older boys didn’t want to wear rubber pants.  Rubber pants were for babies and toddlers.  One thing was for sure–then the same as now; shaming a person over bedwetting never worked.

Some fathers threatened to put their sons back in diapers as punishment–the cloth ones, because that was all there was.  That did absolutely no good.  Some kids took longer to gain control of urinary functions at night–especially boys.

The real name was Ledbetter Hall, twisted by college boy smart-alecks to Bedwetter Hall in the late sixties.  A crazy college boy dorm prank was to immerse the hand of a sound sleeper in warm water.  It was supposed to relax muscles and induce bedwetting; the unsuspecting would be embarrassed, and jocularity would ensue.

It never worked, and subsequently the victim was doused with remaining warm water.  “Hey, what are you guys doing here?” was one of the nicer responses.  That was just one of many college pranks done for cheap laughs.

The worst part–the prank played to shaming surrounding a serious medical condition.  Incontinence is not a popular discussion topic.  Those affected should not be subjected to ridicule.  There are better, more sensitive ways to deal with such issues.

Image, http://www.mac.edu (Not Ledbetter Hall)