Feb 24

College Room-Mates, Part II

The post card image shown herein is part of shared Flicker collection, Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos, by the Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

Fiske Hall as depicted in the postcard at the right is from the era when the school was called Keene Normal School, by the time we entered her hallowed halls the building was adorned with ivy.

Jane Page Hawkins (now Jane Goland) and I resided on the second floor of Fiske Hall, second room from the left. Our neighbors, Joan Roberts and Phyllis Woodward (no relation) became good friends. Joan and Phyllis resided in the first room from the left.

The small room contained a bureau, 2 twin beds, two very small open faced closets, desk and 2 chairs. We adorned the beds with bright red-corded Bates bedspreads (similar in appearance to the plissé bedspread offered by the Vermont County Store today. We purchased some bright red tightly woven cotton fabric at the Mill End Store located in an old mill building off West Street not far from the Ashuelot River (probably currently part of the Cotton Mill Marketplace Shopping Center) for a curtain to cover the front or our closets.

We also had a portable record player. Yesterday we reminisced about some of the music we liked—the Kingston Trio, the Platters, and similar faire. How we laughed at Tom Lehr’s satire. You remember, don’t you? “Be Prepared [The Boy Scout Marching Song],” “I Hold Your Hand In Mine, Dear,” and “The Hunting Song.” I was a secondary science and math major so particularly enjoyed Lehr’s “Lobachevsky.”

Speaking of majors, Jane began her matriculation at Keene State as an elementary teacher. However after tackling Dr. Peter’s elementary math course and Etta Merrill’s art class (today Ms. Merrill would be so proud of Jane’s great drawings and paintings), she changed her major as a second semester freshman to English. She adored Professor Malcolm Keddy. Although I managed to stick with it, I nearly succumbed to Professor Kinney’s total mean and hateful bias towards women in his mathematics and/or science classes.

Keene State was a very small school. If memory serves us correctly there were only 777 students (including graduate students) when we were there. By second semester we lost several who were not able to adjust to being weaned from their families.

Keene State has come a long way, baby!

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.