from North Texas in 1940 with a degree in chemistry, but I
first registered as a freshman in September 1932. I can remember
those times very well.
dormitories hadn’t yet been discovered, most students resided
in private boarding houses around the campus. My first campus
home was on East Fry Street, No. 322, and was called the Huffacre
House. Room and board was $20 per month — $15 for board and
$5 for room. I was able to augment my payments somewhat by
working part time. I remember waiting tables, washing dishes,
mopping the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, repairing roof
leaks and unstopping sewers.
worked out my tuition with an old hard-nosed foreman called
Cap’n Yearby. The captain was very strict on his boys, and
a lot of mothers’ darlings developed blisters from digging
ditches and shoveling sheep manure so that we earned every
dollar we had coming.
of my earliest jobs was on the Campus Chat crew. I
didn’t get paid for the pressroom work, but I did earn college
credit. I was absolutely, without doubt, positively, the most
worst proofreader ever, and I can prove it by a Professor
J.D. Hall, our instructor foreman.
of the toughest jobs I had was working for the Parks Dairy.
Another student, the owner and I got up at 4 a.m. and milked
30 cows twice a day by hand. After the first day, my fingers
swelled up and looked like fat little sausages. During that
time, I had little chance of doing any of English teacher
George Medders’ essays, holding a pencil with two thumbs.
addition to milking, we carried a 15-mile milk route. Milk
at this time, at Joe Bass’s grocery or Clara Lou Jones Carrico’s
grocery, was 5 cents a quart. Pasteurization hadn’t been invented
yet. But Parks delivered at any hour for 8 cents a quart.
In our spare time, we washed bottles, bottled milk, ran and
cleaned the cream separator, swept the barn and mixed cow
most demanding job was delivering ice for Frank Mahan’s ice
company. Frank had six or eight one-horse wagons, closed-bodied,
with a step on the rear end and a railing. Ice tongs were
called hooks, and a leather back cover called a spread completed
the picture. Our biggest competitor was the Penry Ice Co.,
which had pickup cars with canvas covers.
best friend was old Prince, the horse. Prince knew the route
as well as I did. I’d make a delivery up an alley and pick
up Prince and the wagon — clop, clop, clopping along on the
far side of the block.
had much of the city square business, and old Prince developed
a taste for city garbage. Wilted celery was his delight. Watermelon
rinds, turnips and lettuce were all on his menu.
day I was icing a pop box while Prince was parked in front.
farmer came running up to me and said, “Your horse is eating
my truckload of cantaloupes!”
enough, old Prince was taking a horse-sized bite from every
cantaloupe in sight. The farmer demanded $5 in payment for
his melons. I paid him wistfully — with a half-week’s salary.