They had a small but not very sucky theater department. I spend lots of time there helping to make costumes. We had a tiny sewing room in the basement where we'd hole up and sew for hours. The room had a tiny television. I remember watching All in the Family. We were so shocked at what they were saying on TV. It was clearly a reflection of our times BUT we were also way more used to shows like Bonanza and The Flying Nun. All in the Family was an awakening all its own.
My sophomore year, we got a new student who was really pretty decent on stage. He was in everything so I made costumes for him. My line has always been that I spent a lot of time with my hands in William H. Macy's crotch. Only semi true. It wasn't a lot of time. He was a nice, fun guy.
The January after my Eastern Airlines adventure, I spent at school. They offered special four week courses and my friend, Heather and I, decided to hang out and take one of them. It was Contemporary American Literature. It met Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the professor's home for four hours in the afternoon. There were about 10 of us in the class. The deal way, we were assigned a book and had to read it before the next class so we could discuss it. It was intense. But fun.
I remember reading the Naked and the Dead. It was a big book and we only had the weekend on that one. So we just read and read and read and read. We put the books down only to grab a quick meal and then read some more. There was lots of dialogue and it was all swear words. Motherfucking this and asshole that. Now, those words are prolific around me and through me but back then, not so much. But, when we'd open our mouths to chat over lunch or dinner, out would fly all the expletives we were reading. It was pretty funny. Also throughout the story all the guys were always telling the other guys to 'keep a tight asshole'. That turned into our catch phrase for a long time.
Another book we read was Rabbit Run. In that one there is a fairly graphic blow job. Heather and I were both virgins and idiots. We'd never heard of a blow job. The depiction in the book were not of the Insert Tab A into Slot B variety but almost and we were just flat out puzzled. Seriously???? Really??? So at lunch that day, a really sweet guy from our class came to sit with us and we asked him what was going on in that passage. We were so innocent. I remember he had red hair and when it dawned on him what we were asking and that we were serious, his face and neck turned exactly the same shade as his hair. We laughed about that lunch for years afterward.
For the January term of my Junior year, I got a job at the Wheeling News Register. I moved into a semi seedy hotel in downtown Wheeling and started my life as a real journalist.
But, I was also nearing my 21st birthday and clearly my sex education had big holes in it. There was a guy at work who kept putting the moves on me. He was easy so I picked him. We went out one time. He got lucky and I was not a virgin any more. I set him up and he played along - maybe he even knew he was being used, I don't know. I do remember going to his wedding a few years later. It was the most purple wedding I had ever seen. Everything looked like it had been bombed by Welchade. John Marshall was his name.
To Be Continued