Saturday, June 4, 2016

Um Yah Yah

The reunion committee for my alma mater requested a drawing for this week's reunion booklet. I couldn't make the reunion myself, so you'll have to indulge me this Semesterback Saturday as I wallow in a bunch of personal nostalgia.

I had fun thinking up things to put together to make this drawing, although I did have to start all over once I recalled that while Kodak "110" cameras were yielding rectangular pictures since 1972, square photos were still quite common.
I tried to come up with things that might spark memories (while most of us still have them), so I included a "caf card" for a student with an implausibly Norwegian name. The Lion's Pause was a student-run coffee shop in the basement of Ytterboe Hall where student musicians would perform; students produced LP records of those groups in 1980 and 1981. Ytterboe Hall is gone now, in spite of student protests to "Keep Ytt Up," but there is a new Lion's Pause in Buntrock Commons.

There was the football game covered by ABC television, whose producers expected a marching band to perform during halftime. We didn't have a marching band per se, but St. Olaf is a musical school, so it wasn't difficult to pull one together. It even had a cellist.

A streaker ran through our graduation ceremony; the shorts we wore back then were almost as immodest. The "New Dorm" opened for residence in time for our senior year; it was later named for Sidney Rand, President of the College during our freshman through junior years. President Carter named Rand as Ambassador to Norway in 1980, sending Vice President Mondale to our campus to swear him in.

Back in my salad days, I cartooned for the campus newspaper, the Manitou Messenger. I've got one cartoon that shows a little bit of campus geography:

And one that betrays the fact that I had been in the utility tunnels underneath the campus, which was and presumably still is a no-no.

My freshman year cartoons tended to be pretty non-topical, but by my sophomore year, campus administrators began showing up in my cartoons fairly regularly, as well as a reincarnation of Rollin Kirby's prohibition-era "Mr. Dry" to represent the college alcohol policy. This one riffs on the limestone architecture of every 20th Century building on campus:

(Some older buildings, such as the women's gymnasium  converted to being the Speech-Theatre building before our freshman year but still smelling of chlorine  were painted gray to more closely resemble the limestone ones.)

And finally, a cartoon one of my Resident Assistants freshman year asked me to draw to cajole students selected to participate in a psych survey he and a classmate were doing. Mark (on the right) wanted the Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum motif, even though his partner didn't exactly have a roundish face. The dialogue is also theirs.
I have no word how their career trajectory has been, or how famous their psych study became, in the decades since.

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