College Street / Calle Colegio

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS THE above photo, from 1973 during my sophomore / junior year at university (I started school in January, a semester early, so I always straddled years). I shared a studio apartment for one semester with my best friend, a solid junior. He had done a semester in Washington, D.C., and asked me to find us a place to share when he got back. There was no room for him in the 5-bedroom house I had been sharing.

The main room had a double bed. There was a low-ceilinged space behind the main room in which we placed a mattress and lamp. Whichever one of us was sleeping alone on a particular night would take that space. If we both were sleeping alone, whoever got home first grabbed the big bed. We both had steady girlfriends the entire time.

I was an art major and hung fine-art prints collected from my travels. He was a political science major. His only contribution to the decor was that Boycott Gulf poster. I really don’t know why he had it. He was student government president; a staunch Republican, Nixon-supporting, pro-nukes, pro-big oil sort. Oh, and he had a hideous Goats Head Soup poster he insisted we hang on the kitchen wall. I don’t think he had ever heard the album by the Rolling Stones.

Other than that, we got along well — primarily because I knew he really didn’t believe a word out of his own mouth and was simply quoting his father and grandfather. When we met freshman year, he told me he would never smoke pot because he planned to be president of the United States one day. I was his hippie friend and by the time we roomed together, he was getting high often and everything was: “cool man.” “What are the lyrics to that song,” he asked [while listening to Brewer & Shipley]. “One toke over the line, sweet Jesus,” I said. “Like toking on a joint or something?” he asked. “Yeah,’ I answered. “That’s cool man!”

He hasn’t yet become President of the United States. So, if anyone asks, he didn’t inhale. He married his girlfriend. I, obviously, did not marry mine.

I loved that little antique table and regretted not keeping it, although the top was already warping. The antique dresser was exceptional. I seriously wish I still had that. I think I paid the previous tenants $20 to leave the furniture behind. In foreground is one of my footlockers covered with an antique rumble-seat blanket. It was a Christmas gift from friends who were antique dealers. Cinder block book shelves. So trendy.

I bought the tiny, 9-inch, B&W, Panasonic TV in 1969. That was where we watched Richard Nixon’s resignation speech. After my roommate said he felt sorry for Nixon I called him an asshole and then we went out and got drunk. Did you notice the black rotary wall phone above the TV?

The house had three apartments, two up and one down. We were up. I went on Google maps and have shared photos of the house and a couple of points of interest (at least to me). The exterior of the house hasn’t changed in nearly 50 years. And it was tired when we lived there. He was a good guy. We remained friends until 1987 and then I found we had simply grown too far apart.

Nutrition and Fitness Report
Stretching: Twice Sunday. Once so far today.

Walking: 6.5 km / 4 miles Sunday.
Gym: Planning to do chest and back today.
Note: No sweets, no alcohol Sunday. Valor sugar-free chocolate was a bit too dark. Will try less than 90% next time.

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RECIENTEMENTE ME ENCONTRÉ CON LA foto de arriba, de 1973 durante mi segundo año / penúltimo año en la universidad (comencé la escuela en enero, un semestre antes, así que siempre estuve a caballo entre los años). Compartí un estudio durante un semestre con mi mejor amigo, un sólido junior. Él había hecho un semestre en Washington, D.C., y me pidió que nos encontrara un lugar para compartir cuando regresara. No había lugar para él en la casa de cinco habitaciones que había estado compartiendo.

Al año siguiente, ambos nos mudamos a la casa de cinco habitaciones que compartí mientras él no estaba. La habitación principal tenía una cama doble. Había un espacio de techo bajo detrás de la sala principal en el que colocamos un colchón y una lámpara. Cualquiera de nosotros que estuviera durmiendo solo en una noche en particular ocuparía ese espacio. Si ambos estábamos durmiendo solos, quien llegara a casa primero agarraba la cama grande. Ambos tuvimos novias estables todo el tiempo.

Yo era un estudiante de arte y colgué grabados de bellas artes recopilados de mis viajes. Él era un estudiante de ciencias políticas. Su única contribución a la decoración fue el cartel de “Boycott Gulf” [Boicot al Gulf]. Realmente no sé por qué lo tenía. Fue presidente del gobierno estudiantil; un republicano acérrimo que apoyaba a Nixon, estaba a favor de las armas nucleares, y de los petroleros (como Gulf). Ah, y él tenía un póster espantoso de “Goatshead Soup” [la sopa de cabeza de cabra] que insistió en que colgáramos en la cocina. Él no tenía idea de que era un álbum de los Rolling Stones.

Aparte de eso, nos llevamos bien, principalmente porque sabía que él realmente no creía una palabra de su propia boca y simplemente estaba citando a su padre y a su abuelo. Cuando nos conocimos en el primer año, me dijo que nunca fumaría marihuana porque planeaba ser presidente de los Estados Unidos algún día. Yo era su amigo hippie y cuando compartimos el piso, él se estaba drogando a menudo y todo era: “Chulo, hombre.” “¿Cuál es la letra de esa canción?” preguntó [mientras escucha a Brewer & Shipley]. “One toke over the line, sweet Jesus,” [Una bocanada más allá de la línea, dulce Jesús], dije. “¿Se refieren a fumarse un porro? preguntó.” “ Sí,” respondí. “¡Chulo, hombre!”

Aún no se ha convertido en presidente de los Estados Unidos. Entonces, si alguien pregunta, no inhaló. Dos años después casándose con su novia. Yo, obviamente, no casándome con la mía.

Me encantaba esa mesita antigua y lamenté no haberla guardado, aunque la tapa ya se estaba deformando. La cómoda antigua era excepcional. En serio, desearía tener eso todavía. Creo que pagué a los inquilinos anteriores $10 para que dejaran los muebles, también las sillas. En primer plano está uno de mis baúles cubierto con una manta antigua de asiento retumbante. Fue un regalo de Navidad de unos amigos que eran anticuarios. Estantes para libros de bloques de cemento. Tan de moda.

Compré el pequeño televisor Panasonic de 9 pulgadas (por supuesto en blanco y negro) en 1969. Allí fue donde vimos el discurso de renuncia de Richard Nixon. Después de que mi compañero de cuarto dijo que sentía pena por Nixon, lo llamé gilipollas, y luego salimos y nos emborrachamos. ¿Notaste el teléfono de pared giratorio negro sobre el televisor?

La casa tenía tres apartamentos, dos arriba y uno abajo. Estábamos arriba. Fui a Google Maps y he compartido fotos de la casa y un par de puntos de interés. El exterior de la casa no ha cambiado en casi 50 años. Y estaba cansado cuando vivíamos allí. El era un buen tipo. Seguimos siendo amigos hasta 1987 y luego descubrí que simplemente nos habíamos distanciado demasiado.

Informe de Nutrición y Estado Físico
Estiramiento: Dos veces domingo. Una vez hasta ahora hoy.
Caminando: 6.5 km / 4 millas el domingo.
Gimnasio: Planea hacer pecho y espalda hoy.
Nota: No hay dulces, no hay alcohol el domingo. El chocolate sin azúcar de Valor era un poco demasiado oscuro. Intentaré menos del 90% la próxima vez.

• The top two windows at left were ours. The left-most window is the one between the TV and the Gulf Oil poster in the previous shot.
• Las dos ventanas superiores a la izquierda eran nuestras. La ventana más a la izquierda es la que se encuentra entre el televisor y el póster de Gulf Oil en la foto anterior.
• This was the Roxbury Inn. Right across the street from us, it was our nightly bar / hangout. It was also one of the reasons I so happily chose the apartment. It’s now the Roxbury Apartments.
• Este era el Roxbury Inn. Justo al otro lado de la calle, era nuestro bar / lugar de reunión nocturno. También fue una de las razones por las que elegí tan felizmente el apartamento. Ahora son los Apartamentos Roxbury.
• Our house was owned by Webster Funeral Home and sits directly behind it. From the looks of our house now, I‘d bet it still is. I remember them being kind of (extremely) creepy, but maybe that was simply because they lived in a funeral home.
• Nuestra casa era propiedad de Webster Funeral Home y está ubicada directamente detrás de ella. Por el aspecto de nuestra casa ahora, apuesto a que todavía lo es. Recuerdo que eran un poco (extremadamente) espeluznantes, pero tal vez fue simplemente porque vivían en una funeraria.

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• From The Lawrence Welk Show (nauseatingly wholesome). They thought they were singing a spiritual simply because it included “sweet Jesus.”
• Del programa de Lawrence Welk (nauseabundamente sano). Pensaron que estaban cantando un espiritual simplemente porque incluía “dulce Jesús.”

From Songfacts
Shipley reports that he was given a block of hash and told to take two hits. He ignored the advice and instead took three. Shipley recounts in The Vinyl Dialogues, “I go out of the dressing room – I’m also a banjo player, but I didn’t have one, so I was playing my guitar – and Michael (Brewer) came in and I said, ‘Jesus, Michael, I’m one toke over the line.’ … And he started to sing to what I was playing, and I chimed in and boom, we had the line.”

De Songfacts
Shipley informa que le dieron un bloque de hachís y le dijeron que tomara dos golpes. Ignoró el consejo y en su lugar tomó tres. Shipley relata en The Vinyl Dialogues: “Salgo del camerino – también toco banjo, pero no tenía uno, así que estaba tocando mi guitarra – y Michael (Brewer) entró y dije: ‘Jesús, Michael, soy una bocanada más allá de la línea.’… Y comenzó a cantar a lo que yo estaba tocando, y yo intervine y boom, teníamos la línea”.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

31 thoughts on “College Street / Calle Colegio”

    1. John:
      I’m pretty certain neatness is not on the questionnaire. If it were, SG would never have gotten his gay card.

  1. First off, you had a girlfriend[?] and lived with a Republican ???

    It’s like we don’t even know you from your sordid past!

    1. Bob:
      I had a number of girlfriends. That one was the most serious… seriously serious. I “saw” more women than men. But that was my one and only Republican roommate. He was, however, young and stupid… and a hunk (not that anything ever happened).

  2. That dresser and table look like Mission Style oak! Very heavy, right?
    You did have an interesting apartment and location for sure.
    Those were the days………when we dated females before we held our collective breaths and got the nerve to ‘come out’.

    1. Jim:
      The table was Mission Style but not actual Mission. It was pine. The dresser was I think mahogany (maybe cherry). It had a vanity section with drawers on top.

      I dated women exclusively … quite a number of women … until I was 27. Then Dale died and I decided there were more important things in life. And 5 months later, I met SG.

  3. So many details of daily life in the past, packed into one photo. I noticed the TV (Panasonic you bought a good one.) The Lawrence Welk video is hilarious, they had no idea, I was naive and I knew what those words were about.

    1. David:
      It really was more of a trip down Memory Lane than I expected when I came across the photo.

      I didn’t see that Lawrence Welk number at the time. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about it. What a joke.

    1. wickedhamster:
      I only listened to the first couple of lines just to be sure they were singing what I thought they were singing. Couldn’t take more than that. Unbelievable. I went to SUNY Brockport. It was a very informed choice. My father said if I went to CUNY (free at the time), he’d buy me a car; if I went to SUNY, he’d pay for my education. I was a January graduate and there were only three SUNYs that excepted January freshmen that year. I chose the one furthest from home (387 miles). Poor choice, but all I wanted was to get as far away as I could (for free).

    1. Debra:
      Oh, those rabbit ears. I had friends who had aluminum foil attached to the rabbit ears. I never had to do that. I still had that TV when I met SG in 1981! He didn’t have one and I finally bought a 19¨ color TV a year and a half later in L.A.

  4. Cinder block book shelves — classic student design! And there IS something creepy about living in a funeral home, despite the benefit of really quiet neighbours in the basement!

    1. Tundra Bunny:
      I loved those book shelves! Actually, I enjoyed that apartment — except for the crawl space 2nd bedroom.

    1. Karen:
      Thanks! We do have a LIDL about 5 minutes away by card, and I’ve never been in one. I would never have thought of that. I’ll definitely check it out. I trust your judgment!

  5. I love this post! The “Boycott Gulf” poster was the first thing I saw — it really jumps right out at you. Was that because of Gulf’s behavior in Nigeria, I’m guessing? The cinder block bookshelves are certainly collegiate.

    I’ve never really understood that Brewer & Shipley song. Not that there’s much to understand. I have a real feeling we probably watched that Lawrence Welk version at our house when I was a kid. We never missed that show! But Jesus, how cringe-worthy now.

    1. Steve:
      What I remember about the Gulf boycott was the company was accused of supporting the abusive Portuguese regime in Angola. I don’t remember details, except that was the year of the first oil crisis in my memory.

      All I understood of the Brewer & Shipley song was the one toke too many.

      I didn’t see that Lawrence Welk number. I was no longer watching the show by then. (My sister and I used to watch it an imitate everyone. SG watched it religiouslty when he was a kid; Myron Florin came to his school!) I wonder what was said about that number at the time. Riotous.

  6. What did your girlfriend look like? I’m asking because with me, any girl I dated had to be the most beautiful, most sexiest female alive, lest the gay thoughts creep in (this also meant I got turned down most of the time.) Once I DID let the gay thoughts creep in, I had no such high standards with males. It was usually enough that they were males.

    I would never guess that house was an apartment building.

    1. Kirk:
      Like many of the 19th-century homes in that town, it had been converted to apartments to support the university in the mid- to late-20th century. Others were just rented out as is. Some very cool houses. Yeah, my girfriends were good for the image. That one was the most serious.

  7. The sleeping ” arrangements” in your apartment left a lot to be desired and throw up several questions! Was there a door to the mattress space? How often did you change the bedding? to name but 2 . What if you both had girls back? You don’t have to answer!!

    1. Frances:
      if we both had girls back, whoever got home first took the big bed (which really used to piss of my roommate). Yes, there was a door to the mattress space, as it was meant to be a closet. I have no clue how often we changed the bedding. I’m sure not as often as we should have! I don’t remember it even being a concern.

  8. Wow! You were cool, Scoot. Apartment, drugs, girlfriend. What a time. I’ve seen the Lawrence Welk video before. It’s hilarious. Someone in that cast or crew had to have known what it meant and didn’t tell Mr. Welk. When I was in high school, most of us on the debate team thought of ourselves as Republicans. What the hell was wrong with us?

    Love,
    Janie

I love your comments.

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