Soundings: Orientation Time

Kerry Temple '74 | August 18, 2018 

So this is how it worked back then.

I took a cab from the airport after flying from Shreveport to South Bend. I asked for a ride to Notre Dame, to Farley Hall. I was a freshman from Louisiana, knowing no one on campus and expecting no welcome.

I was on my own, stepping into the independence that was college life in 1970.

Somebody handed me a key near the entrance to Farley, told me I was in room 204. It was a quad; I would have three roommates.

I found the stairs and found the room and saw clothes and personal belongings, but no roommates. I had a duffel bag, but most of my stuff had been shipped ahead in a footlocker.

My mother – God bless her – had spent the summer sewing little cotton strips into every towel and washcloth, every article of clothing, even each sock and pair of underwear. 01582. My laundry number. She hated doing that. But it was required. That’s how the laundry workers kept track of the dirty clothes we bundled and threw down the chute each week, before retrieving them clean, folded and shrunken smaller each Friday.  

Feeling awkward there alone in the three-room quad, I went off to find my footlocker. It was with dozens, hundreds of others stored in the old fieldhouse, an airplane hangar with dirt floors and crumbling bricks, awaiting retrieval by students whose worldly goods were reduced to those box containers with metal clasps and leather straps.

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine