Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


My parents drove me to college in September of 1967. From Winston-Salem to Bethany, W.Va. Like everything else, I took it for granted at the time but now, of course, realize how nice it was for them to do.

I think I had corresponded with my roommate or at least had basic info. She was from New Jersey.

The school was way bigger than my 130+ student high school but tiny by most standards. I think maybe 1,000 students tops. About half were from the area nearby - Northern West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and the other half were from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

And then there was me. The chick from the South. They called me Sugar. A name that stuck with me immediately. If I were to see anyone from those days today, they would call me Sugar. Most did not know that was not name.

Bethany College was a tiny college in a tiny town that was isolated from the rest of the world by narrow winding roads. It took about 45 minutes to get to Wheeling which was the nearest town of any size. I just checked Google maps and see there have been exactly zero changes made to that situation. Wild.

There were tons of rules. Especially for girls. We were not allowed to wear pants except on weekends. And no jeans any time. There was a tiny little foyer by the front door of our dorm and that was the only place boys were allowed in the building. There was not even anywhere for them to sit.

No drinking was allowed on campus. At all. And, of course, no drugs. The closest beer was 3 miles away at the dive-iest bar on the planet. We would walk. And, once there, buy beers in pints and pass the bottles around to share. State law limited the alcohol to 3.2% so it was kind of hard to get drunk but we tried.

I took to the place pretty quickly. I made some newby errors like joining a sorority before I figured out that I really did not want to be involved in anything like that. There were 2 boys to every girl and I maximized that situation pretty pretty well.

I played a lot of bridge the first couple of years with guys. There weren't many girl bridge players. The guys liked to play for money. I was good and I made a lot of money.

The war in Vietnam was cranking up and draft boards were getting obnoxious about honoring the student deferment. They were yanking boys out of school if their grades dropped.

Things were changing... And, of course, there actually was an academic side even for me...

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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