Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 1965

I’m not the only one who’s been going through boxes of family stuff lately.

Eileen Lawlor, who was my sophomore year roommate at RPI (Richmond Professional Institute, now VCU), was going through a box of her recently deceased mother’s things and found this picture from January 1965:

Yes, I am the thin person in the RPI nightshirt. Yes, that is a head-full of curlers I’m sporting under the frilly curler cap. Nancy Lewis, who I remember was an occupational therapy major, also has curlers. At night in Founders Hall dorm, almost every girl wore curlers.

You see, 1965 was still the dark ages—before hot curlers or electric curling irons. Our hair dryers were hat-boxed sized. We pounded manual typewriters that made a such racket people in nearby rooms couldn’t sleep. Our radios were the size of a shoebox. We listened to records that we played on a turntable. There was one phone at the end of the hall for a dozen or more girls to use. There was one black and white TV in the dorm parlor for a hundred of us to watch. The dorm wasn’t air-conditioned, but it had steam heat in winter. When the heat cut on, the racket drowned out the typewriters.

The school computer, used to make student schedules, was the size of a large room. I know, because I once worked during advance registration and had to carry punch cards from the registrar’s office to the computer people. Punch cards? Well, they were—aw, heck! They’re so out-dated no one needs to know.

Back in 1965, we didn’t dream that one day we’d have our own computers, cell phones, tiny devices that stored hours of music, curling irons, hair dryers that were the size of our hand, etc. E-mail didn't exist; we hand wrote letters. Life was simple then.

I'm glad personal computers were invented. Thanks to the Internet, I found two of my previous RPI roommates—Eileen who lives in Massachusets and Polly, my junior year roommate, who now lives in Newport News (Hi, Polly! I know you’re reading this blog!). I'd lost track of them for decades.

Eileen didn’t scan the picture and send it via email. She snail-mailed the actual picture inside a hand-written card.

Kind of like old times.

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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

How sweet and very retro! I am glad to not be the only person appreciating a good piece of snail mail not asking for payment.

We were ALL thin in the olden days, weren't we?

4:42 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

What a great picture!

Oh, and I love the noise from steam heat. Radiators spitting and screaming means warmth to me!

10:31 PM  

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