Saturday, August 13, 2016


 When I graduated from Anderson College, I was all-everything.  I had gotten several awards and honors.  It wasn't quite the same at PC.  Yes, I was quite successful in the Theatre area.  Yes, I was quite known in the student government area.  Yes, I was quite read with my columns in the school newspaper.  But, not everything was quite good.
 As I wrote before, I had to change faculty advisors between my junior and senior year, because my first advisor went on sabbatical, and my second advisor was just not really interested in that role.  I guess I trusted him too much, because I didn't keep up with the hours I needed to graduate.  I was too busy partying to keep up with such things.
 About a week before graduation, I got a message to come see the registrar.  She had been going over my file and found that I was three hours short from the needed hours to graduate.  I needed a class in Art.  I had already taken Sculpture, which I thought was enough, but apparently I needed something like Art History, too.  The Registrar told me that the Administration didn't want me to hang around for another semester, so she gave me a paper to sign.  PC would let me graduate 3 hours short, if I didn't tell anyone.  So, I signed the paper, and the Registrar signed the paper.  She gave me a copy, and she kept a copy.  I could graduate.
 So, what did I do as my final dig at the Administration?  I walked over to the student newspaper office, and told my friend, the editor, what had just transpired.  The last issue of the paper came out with the headline:  "Registrar Makes Deal With Student".  The Administration hated me for this jab, but there was nothing they could do.  They had signed the paper. 
 When graduation day came, I was waiting to file into the auditorium and standing next to the newspaper editor.  My best friend.  We had gotten a copy of the program and were looking for our names.  We didn't see them.  Panic set in.  Did the Administration decide not to honor their deal?  Was the editor being punished for publishing the deal in the paper?  What were we going to do?  How would I explain it to my parents and grandmother who had come to the graduation?  There were several minutes of various emotions, and then we realized that we were looking at the Bachelor of Science page, and we were both graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  One more page over, and there were our names.  How do you spell relief?  G-R-A-D-U-A-T-E. 
 I think the speaker that day was the Secretary of Commerce, who had been a PC graduate several years before.  I have no idea what he spoke about, but I guess it had something to do with going out and making a name for yourself.  Either that or good luck.
 I never told my parents or grandmother about my near-death experience that morning.  We just went to the park to have my picture taken with my sculpture (The Monster).  I was a college graduate.  The world was my oyster.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Lost Weekend

 If you have read any of my previous posts, you will see that I loved to make phony phone calls.  You also have to remember that these were before Caller ID, so the person on the other end might have to accept that the call was legit. 
 There were a few dorm rooms that had phones.  These phones were paid for by those who lived in the rooms, so not everybody had a phone.  On the weekend after the final exams and before graduation, most of the guys in the dorms had left for the weekend.  Nothing was going on at campus.  Everything was pretty much shut down.  About the only things opened were the dorms and the library.  So, what do you get when you mix liquor, 4 guys, 3 days, and a phone?  Trouble.
 We went looking for a room, which was unlocked and had a phone.  We found one.  The occupants had gone home for the weekend.  So, Friday night was when we started.  It ended on Sunday.  We went on constantly calling everywhere.  While 2 guys were calling, 2 other guys were sleeping.  One of our group spoke fluent French, and he called the Sorbonne in Paris to register for classes.  We called China to ask to speak to the Leader of the Country.  We didn't get through, but we did talk to some folks in Vietnam.  In my British accent, I called the Israeli Embassy and told them that the British government didn't like their citizens being mistreated in Israel, and if they didn't stop, that meant war between Great Britain and Israel.  I got as far as the ambassador's secretary, before I hung up.  We also did some domestic pranks.  We found that if you call the local numbers for hotels, instead of the 800 numbers, that they will believe you more.  So, we called hotels in Honolulu to book their ballrooms for wedding receptions. 
 Now, I should say here that I do not condone our actions, nor do I suggest how one can make phony phone calls.  This is just a story what we did in 1975. 
 There are many calls that we made, which I don't remember, because I was drunk.  We even went to the school library and got pages out of phone books to call them.  I do remember just calling people at random and to ask them what the weather was like where they were. 
 While one of the pranksters and I were standing in line for graduation practice the following weekend, the guy whose phone we used came up to us in a panic.  He said that the school wasn't going to let him graduate until he paid his phone bill.  He said the bill was $1500, and it came in a box.  We looked shocked, and didn't tell him it was us.  We just told him that if he could prove he wasn't at school, when these calls were made, then he wouldn't have to pay them.  He said his father was going to kill him.  He kept rambling about not knowing anyone in Paris or Vietnam.  I hope his father didn't kill him.  Sorry, guy.  Oh, and thankfully Britain and Israel didn't go to war.  But, one of our guys did get registered for the Sorbonne, but he never made it to class.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Going to the Movies

 As you probably know by now, I love the movies.  From an early age, I have had a love for the movies.  Now, you have to keep in mind that videos didn't come out until I was in my 20's, so I had to go to a theatre to see a movie back in the day.
 When I was in Anderson, they had at least three movie theatres in town, not to mention drive-ins.  I saw just about every movie that came to town.  I even went to a drive-in a couple of times.  I saw all kinds of movies, but my favorites were the ones with action and people getting shot or beat up.  So, when I went to PC, I found that Clinton only had one movie theatre, which wasn't going to be enough for my movie fix.  Besides, the theatre in Clinton showed only G and PG films.  They liked to pride themselves on being the only theatre in the Southeast to not show R rated films.  Most of those films had people getting shot or beat up.
 Laurens was only 8 miles away from Clinton, and they had two movie theatres.  The downtown one showed a lot of movies to my liking, including karate movies.  So, I would take the bus over to Laurens to go to the movies.  The other theatre there showed more eclectic movies, so they were a nice change to the "B" movies that were in the downtown theatre.  One night, I had gone to see a karate movie, which got out late, and I missed the last bus back to Clinton.  So, I decided to walk back to school.  It was only 8 miles.  It was dark, and I got to an intersection that I thought would take me toward Clinton.  I kept walking a couple of miles and saw a sign to Greenwood.  I was going in the wrong direction.  8 miles was turning into 12 miles, because I had to double back.  When I finally got on the right road, I was trying to avoid cars hitting me.  Now, it was close to midnight.  I was about a mile out of town, when a car stopped and asked if I wanted a ride.  I said yes and got into this souped-up car.  He took me back to school.  My feet ached for days.
 I got the bright idea of borrowing a bicycle to ride to Laurens, since I didn't want to miss another bus.  I also got a map of the county to look for a back road to Laurens.  I found this farm road that was a straight shot, so I set out on that road.  I had gotten a little ways down it through farmland, when some wild dogs attacked me.  I tried to shoo them away, but they were more interested in me.  I turned around and went back to Clinton, and they gave up chasing me, so I never got to bike to Laurens.
 Greenville and Spartanburg were about 40 miles away, and they had lots more theatres.  There was a girl in school named Susan, and she had a car.  I told her that I had a doctor's appointment in Greenville for my bad knees, so she let me borrow her car.  I drove to Greenville and went to the movies.  I didn't have a doctor's appointment.  In fact, I didn't know any doctors in Greenville.  She was kind of gullible.  I then found excuses to go to drive-ins up there, because the appointment ran long, and it got dark, so I would return her car later.  She finally caught on to my ruse, and she cut off the car from me.  So, I went back to the movies in Clinton.  G and PG.  Very little killing and getting beat up.  Ugh.