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Feb 23

College Room-Mates, Part I

I’m writing this as I wait for my hostess to waken. I’m spending a couple of days in Venice, Florida, with my college room-mate and her hubby, Jane (Hawkins) & David Goland. As usual, I’m up early (4:30 am) and am trying to be a thoughtful guest. It may be hard to believe, but there are not many folks who enjoy the early morning hours as I do.

When my Mom left me off at Fisk Hall on the Keene State campus in early September 1959, I was petrified. You see, I’d stayed with the family of Eleanor and Elmer Lewis while working at the Knotty Pine Grill in the Weirs between my high school graduation from Walpole High School and entrance into Keene State as a freshman.

Eleanor and the Lewis children, Robert and Debbie, lived in their lovely cottage at the Weirs during the summer and Elmer would join them on the weekends. Elmer and his Dad owned a drug store in Westborough, Massachusetts. One weekend he arrived with exciting news. Jane Hawkins of Westborough would be attending Keene State as a freshman and had just learned that her roommate would be Linda Woodward – Hey, that would be me!  Can you imagine the excitement. Eleanor and Elmer related all kinds of details of the beautiful, gregarious, popular high school senior who would be my room-mate. I was pretty much, the opposite, shy, and sort of “book-wormish.” I settled in while dreading the moment Miss Home-Coming Queen would arrive.

She arrived in mid-afternoon, but was rather sedate. While the Lewis’ had been telling me all about Jane, they had also told Jane something of me—quite, studious, and industrious. Jane was quaking in her boots! We were very reserved for about the first 30 minutes or so. I don’t recall, but I expect it was Jane who broke the ice. It wasn’t long before we realized that we would not only get along, but that we would really like each other.

Ah, what memories… I’m sure that more memories will be forthcoming during the next couple of days.