Saturday, July 11, 2009

Part - 19.g. - Education

MHS Class of '55



I began college at Livingston State Teachers College (now University of West Alabama) in the fall of 1955. I completed two quarters of study there and had to drop out amid the third quarter due to two health related things. One was the nervous breakdown that was followed by appendicitis.

The next fall, I transferred to Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham.

Upon completion of only one semester at Howard, I had fallen madly in love with a (as her cousin, Bill Sullivan, my LSTC roommate said) "pleasantly plump" gal from Eight Mile, AL by the name of Mable JoAnne Hendrix (JoAnne). So, much to the chagrin of Mother and Daddy, I dropped out of school and got a job in the Lab at International Paper Co. (IP), in Mobile.

After Deb was born, I continued to have the seizures. IP would not allow me back to work. I had found the problem and was adjusting to handling the cure.

The State of Alabama had a program that would pay tuition for college education to people with problems such as I had. So, I enrolled in William Carey College, in Hattiesburg, MS to continue studying church music.

JoAnne left Rhodes in Mobile and got a job at the Auto Lec Store (similar to Western Auto) in Hattiesburg making $180.00 per month. We had to hire a maid to keep the kids. This cost us $15.00 per week. So, needless to say, we weren't overly "flush" with money.

A rare treat, about once every two or three weeks, we would "splurge" and go to Bush's Cafe for a steak sandwich @ thirty five cents each, or to Frost Top Root beer drive-in for a couple of Chili, Cheese Dogs @ twenty cents each. Our main stay was powdered milk, oatmeal and spaghetti. It was a long time after that before I "redeveloped" a taste for spaghetti or oatmeal.

We lived in an apartment at the back of on old house that had two other apartments up front. We had one bedroom, bath and a long room across the back that served as living room, dining room and kitchen. It really was a "filth hole" that was overrun with roaches, water bugs and mice. We would spray for bugs and they'd make the rounds to the other apartments, then back.

The mice had gotten so bad that we couldn't catch them all with traps. So, I asked the maid if she had a cat. She said she didn't, but her neighbor had one that would catch mice. I asked her to arrange for me to borrow the cat the next night.

When I took the maid home the next day, I picked up the cat. When we started to bed, I turned her loose in the big room. The cat was so thin; you could "almost read a newspaper through her!"

When I went in the next morning, it looked like someone had pumped the cat up like a balloon. She was FULL of mice. When I
took her home, her owner looked at her and said, " Lawdy murcy! She musta et a lotsa mices!" We didn't have much mouse trouble after that.

During the school year, I discovered that working in the Very high noise level areas in the paper mill had caused me to lose the keen hearing ability to hear musical tones necessary to be a professional musician. So, I dropped out of school at the end of that year, so didn’t finish college.

Many years later, I enrolled in a two year Experiential Credits degree problem through Tusculum College in East Tennessee. After completing the first semester of that, I was transferred to Maine by Rust and finally gave up on the degree situation.

So, as I call it, “I graduated from UHK (University of Hard Knocks)” and gained what finally made for a pretty well paying career in the Construction Industry.

No comments: