Thursday, January 5, 2017


This is a picture of me as a diligent student in my college days.

Clean-shaven, bespectacled, with a crew cut hairdo.

But why, Gentle Readers might ask, is he wearing that silly grin, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Because he is participating in a campus stunt of the late 1950's which involved stuffing as many people as possible into a space built for many fewer.

I think it began with phone booths.

Those of you too young to remember phone booths, this is what they looked like.

Generally they were a compartment with a folding door containing a pay telephone.

If you're a fan of the Doctor Who television series, you may recognize them as looking like this.

But, before the advent of cell phones, they were used to make telephone calls.

Or for rowdy students to cram into en masse.

But by the time of the picture of the student that began this post the telephone booth had been replaced as a space to be stuffed by another small object.

The Volkswagen Beetle!

The tiny German car was designed as a rear-engine economy car for four people.

(I might add four SMALL people.)

The front compartment was the trunk, here housing your scribe, among others.

On this particular night, I believe the seats had been removed from the car in order to accomodate more passengers.

The owner of the automobile, Lew White, is seated on the floor behind the steering wheel with his glasses pushed up onto his forehead.

21 Jamestown College students were crammed into the car. 

It was driven slowly and carefully, with much noise from the occupants shouting directions to the driver who couldn't see where he was going, over to the girl's dormitory.

Proof can be shown by the lighted headlight.

You may note a miniature cowbell in my hand, used to further announce our arrival.

Ah, college days, when so many hours were spent at desks "hitting the books".

And then there were nights like this.

(Before I hear from the fashion mavens out there, I will call attention to my stylish argyle socks.)


William Kendall said...

Looks like you had fun!

Should Fish More said...

Ever see the Lampoon's movie 'Animal House'? You guys remind me of the other frat, the ones Hulce and the other actor couldn't get into.
Halcyon days, eh?

Catalyst said...

Curiously, I never have seen that movie. Excerpts but never the full thing.

joeh said...

And yet you survived!

Great story. Was it a record?

Anonymous said...

Going to a panty raid?


Tom Cochrun said...

Nice piece of history. BTW that hair cut and your glasses are very much in again with some of the hipster crowd.
And good work in going for spot in the hood as opposed to inside the car. You always have had your exits covered.

Catalyst said...

I don't think so, Joe. But it was fun!

Catalyst said...

LOL! The girl's dorm was too well guarded.

Catalyst said...


The Bug said...

I love everything about this post - hilarious!

Stephen Hayes said...

Looks like you enjoyed college as much as I did.

Frank Phillippi said...

Great picture and great memory. As Tom noted, you may not have been in the driver's seat but you are always ahead of the game (or should I say gang?)

Silver Willow said...

hahaha I remember those days!!!

Val said...

You must have been a big wheel. YOU got to ring the bell!

The University of Oklahoma has one of those red phone booths. I don't imagine my son will be stuffing himself inside, though.

Sharon Anck said...

We did it in a small convertible and drove across the river from Quincy into Missouri shouting and cheering all the way.

Thérèse said...

I do remember this picture of yours all crammed in the beetle: how fun. Phone booths can you imagine that we still have a couple of them around, we do have to use cards for calling though, I must admit I never tried but we tend to see them in smaller towns.

Zhoen said...

I have a soft spot for argyle.