Tag Archives: New Paltz

40 Years Ago: The crooked student government elections

voteUnlike in high school, where I was reasonably popular (student government president, drama club, et al), I was rather uninvolved in college; getting married at 19 will do that. I didn’t hang out at the bars and drink; the age of consent was 18 then. I just went to class, and came home, did the grocery shopping and like chores, I would go bowling occasionally with guys I knew, primarily my fellow political science majors.

In the spring of 1974, a bunch of my poli sci acquaintances decided to run as a team with some other folks, who I’ll call the Party and Dance folks. They figured they would capture the beer crowd (the poli sci) and the pot folks (P&D). Continue reading 40 Years Ago: The crooked student government elections

40 Years Ago: My 1st Presidential Vote, for George McGovern

There were a LOT of people running for the Democratic nomination for President against Richard Nixon in 1972. The general consensus early on, though, was that Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine would be the selection. He had been the Vice-Presidential nominee in 1968, and had been a credible candidate in a close race. But he was sunk early on by the crying incident, which, to this day, I find utterly bewildering, and dropped out of the race early on.

This seemed to give segregationist Governor George Wallace of Alabama some momentum, much to the chagrin of all right-minded people. Continue reading 40 Years Ago: My 1st Presidential Vote, for George McGovern

40 Years Ago: The Mining of Haiphong Harbor

In April and May of 1972, the Nixon administration kindled a major controversy “when the president ordered the renewal of bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong (April 16) and the mining of Haiphong Harbor as well as other harbors and inland waterways in North Vietnam” [announced the evening of Monday, May 8]. This latter act kindled student protests all across the country, and certainly at my college, the State University College at New Paltz, NY, as we felt this had escalated the VietNam conflict.

The chronology on some of this is a bit fuzzy, but I know there was a demonstration in the village. Some folks drove Continue reading 40 Years Ago: The Mining of Haiphong Harbor

40 Years Ago: March 5, 1972 – did not see that coming

In the Scudder Hall dorm, at the State University College of New Paltz, my room was B-2. I had a roommate named Ron, who was a graduate student; an odd pairing, a freshman and someone doing post-graduate work. But he was a pretty easy-going guy, and I guess I didn’t drive him too crazy.

It was surprising, though, that one day, Ron decided that we really needed to thoroughly clean the room. I didn’t think it looked that bad, but I admit I would not have been the gold standard for that kind of thing.

A couple days later, which was a Sunday, my friend Uthaclena were over at one of the dining halls playing billiards. Continue reading 40 Years Ago: March 5, 1972 – did not see that coming

40 Years Ago-February 2, 1972: punch

When I was in college at SUNY New Paltz, the way one signed up for courses was to go through something called sectioning. You went to various tables representing the different departments, and you got an actual IBM punch card representing that class. Once the cards for a particular class were gone, it was closed out.

As a freshman, I was in the group that got the last choices. I could make up a tentative schedule of what I WANTED to take, but I wouldn’t know until I got into the gymnasium where this took place whether a particular class was closed out.

I recall that I got three courses I wanted right away, but Continue reading 40 Years Ago-February 2, 1972: punch

40 Years Ago: First Day of College

With colleges now starting before Labor Day, I’m fascinated to note that I didn’t begin my college career until September 12, 1971. As noted, I was attending the State University College at New Paltz only before my high school girlfriend was attending there. And well before I got there, but too late to apply anywhere else, she had dumped me for another guy.

So what to make of the place? I’d been there before, and had had some affection for it. There were three red brick dorms at one part of campus. Scudder Hall was where I was assigned, room B-2. Continue reading 40 Years Ago: First Day of College

40 Years After: May 1971

Here’s a new thing I’m doing on this blog: a periodic recollection of my freshman year, into the beginning of my sophomore year, of college. These were significant events that had medium-to-long-term consequences in my life. If I had the discipline, it’d be an essay, or one way-too-long blogpost.

I won’t be writing them even every month, but in September of this year, then in February, May, June, August and October of next year; maybe a couple other times. I’ll probably link back to the previous episodes, but I’m not going to write the whole thing then chop it up. But the background from the previous segments should inform the subsequent pieces, if I do it write, or right.

I went to college where I did because my girlfriend was already there. But that didn’t exactly work out as I planned.

In the fall of 1970, I was in the second half of my senior year at Binghamton (NY) Central High School, and I would be graduating in January 1971. Meanwhile, my girlfriend, who was six months older than I, was a freshman at the State University of New York at New Paltz, about 150 miles away, in a small town along the Hudson River about halfway between New York City and Albany.

I would visit her at the all-female Bliss Hall Continue reading 40 Years After: May 1971