Off to College


One of the women who works with me has twin boys that she’s seeing off to college next week. One to New York and one to New Hampshire; thank goodness they don’t have to report to their respective campuses on the same day!
In 1981 I was off to college, it seems like just yesterday…and then I wake up. My parents drove me the five hours up to Castleton, the car packed with new bedding and towels, clothes, laundry baskets, popcorn maker, school supplies, books, family photos, all the normal stuff.
Most of my things were packed in an old steamer trunk. We’d picked up the trunk at an antique shop in Fair Haven, Vermont while on one of the visits we’d made to see the college. I’d refinished it, inside and out. It was packed; and I mean packed, to the point of almost impossible to close. In turn, carrying the trunk anywhere was no small task.
So picture if you will the flurry of activity in the parking lot of a college dorm. Over one hundred freshman nervously pacing and trying not to be too embarrassed by their parents. A parking lot barely big enough for 15 cars filled with out-of-state plates jockeying for position. The college staff trying to keep order were waving their arms to provide direction. They also offered their services as pack mules for the day so no one would be left standing in the parking lot in the middle of all their belongings.
My pack mule happened to be the Resident Assistant (RA) know as Al. He was helpful and didn’t bat an eye when he saw the trunk that my father and I had struggled to haul out of the back of the car. Of course I was assigned to the third floor of the building, thankfully there were only three floors. Al and my dad carried the trunk up the steep, cement stairs to my room where it was promptly dropped in the middle of the room.
I’ve know Al for 32 years. Yikes! He’s never let me forget the fact that he carried that trunk up all those stairs on a hot day in August.
So Al, here’s a very public thank you, not only for carrying the trunk, but for your friendship all these years!


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