I was amused by the story concerning air conditioning in Bruce Hall — or the lack of it in the old days (Eagle Tale, spring ’06). It reminded me of the rules at Bruce Hall in the mid-1950s. It was positively, absolutely a women's dorm then. No men, except plumbers, etc., were allowed above the ground floor, and it was not permitted that men should be in some parts of the ground floor.
Girls had to be inside the dorm at 11 p.m. during the week. The doors were locked at that time and parents were called long-distance if any young ladies missed the curfew. There were numerous cases of girls getting caught trying to climb into Bruce Hall through a friend's outside window. Ah, the good old days, huh?
Tom Eastland (’56)
“Heat Wave” in the spring issue brought back many memories. There was an error, however. Bruce Hall opened in 1947, not 1948, to women only. My roommate and I were the first ones to live in our room. We didn’t have a cafe; we had a cafeteria.
As I recall, parts of Bruce were still under construction. We were not allowed to open certain doors to the outside. Some friends and I went through one of the doors (because it was a shortcut) and got sent to Dean Imogene Bentley’s office.
There were many strict rules for women on campus in those days. We were not allowed to wear slacks unless snow was on the ground. Shorts could be worn only to and from P.E. We were not allowed to go to common areas with our hair in curlers. Young women were expected to act like “ladies” at all times. Of course, we had a curfew.
Jacquelyn Aken LeCroy (’76 M.M.), attended 1947-1949
I enjoyed Cynthia Boyd Guidici's recounting of her years in Bruce Hall. I was a Bruceling from 1962 to 1964 and I well remember the huge windows that allowed much-needed cross ventilation. My roomie and I went back to Bruce about 10 years ago and were dismayed that the dubious charm of North Bruce was curtailed even further by the tinted windows and AC units. It was never a luxurious place to live (my mother cried when she saw my dorm room for the first time), but it has certainly seen better days.
When I lived in North Bruce, it was not coed. In fact, any visit by a male was preceded by someone shouting at the top of her lungs, "Man on the floor!!" If it was a hot day, all of us would go scurrying back to our rooms since we were in various stages of undress in an effort to beat the heat.
I spent four semesters in sweaty North Bruce, but I remember it fondly for the wonderful friendships I forged and the events that occurred while I lived there. As a former Green Jacket, I remember being “called out” to become a pledge while standing on the balcony at Bruce. I remember the curfews, the dress code (courtesy of Dean Imogene Dickey) and the bad food (that is an Eagle Tale in itself). And I will remember forever that I was standing in the lounge at Bruce when Walter Cronkite announced that President Kennedy was dead.
I'd like to thank Ms. Guidici for bringing some of those memories back and reminding me of some of the happiest times of my life.
Ann Laurence (’66, ’04 M.S.)
Regarding Cindy Boyd Guidici's remembrances of Bruce Hall without AC, I could not agree more with her assertion that something was lost when Bruce added those AC units. I met my wife, best man, a groomsman and a number of life-long friends all in those first few sweltering weeks of fall.
As a nervous kid from Kansas who knew nobody, I acquired a sense of belonging, camaraderie and comfort from those long hours hanging out in the lobby playing spades until all hours of the morning before crashing on the floor to avoid the heat. I wouldn't trade that experience, including the sore neck, for all the comforts of Kerr Hall ever. (Hi, old friend. Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to call you Cynthia.)
John Gerken (’86, ’98 M.S.)
In response to Cynthia Boyd Guidici and her article "Heat Wave,” I too am wondering what happened to the window air conditioners in Bruce Hall. When I was a freshman in the fall of 1964, there were ACs in all the windows except those occupied by freshmen. I could hardly wait to be an “upperclassman” and get an AC, which I did the next year, and until I graduated.
I loved Bruce (not coed back then) because it was so centrally located, and once I had the luxury of the window AC, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. So, where did they go between 1968 and 1981?
Janice Spooner (’68)
Editor’s note: Housing brochures through the ’70s and ’80s label Bruce Hall as non-air conditioned, thus offering “the advantage of lower cost to the student.” Our Eagle Tale author recalls that when she was at Bruce from 1981 to 1983, the resident assistants had rooms with ACs and were “much envied.” All rooms were air conditioned by 1997. If anyone has more light to shed on the history of AC at Bruce Hall, just let us know at email@example.com.
Faculty and friends
It was a sad occasion to learn of the passing of George Christy (spring ’06). I took BA400 (Investments) and remember Dr. Christy as a man of impressive intellect, true dignity and very dry wit who caused me to imagine a larger world than I might otherwise have.
As I was about to dispose of the issue, I noticed that the cover photo was of my high school acquaintance and subsequently well known songwriter/singer Ray Wylie Hubbard. The inspiring journey Ray has taken has returned him to the person I remember. That is — a good guy.
Jack Woodruff ('71)
Thank you for the story about Antonio “Tony” Garcia's death (spring ’06). When I was a sophomore in the fall of 1950, I was enrolled in the beginning government course he taught. I'll never forget what he said that first day we met in that little white house on Mulberry street.
He said: "I know why you're all here. You have to have three hours of government to graduate. So my challenge is to convince you that government and politics affects all facets of your life — family, church, school, government."
Well, he convinced me. I took 27 hours of government or political science. I've always remembered Tony fondly, as he was one of the best teachers I had while at North Texas.
Sadly, I could not take another course from him, for he left at the end of the semester to work for General Motors and a living wage. Bear in mind that faculty in those days made only $5,000 to $6,000 a year.
I ran into Tony at a UNT event a few years ago. He told me that when he retired from General Motors he wanted to teach again and asked about a job at UNT, but he’d never completed that Ph.D, so he couldn’t teach there. Too bad, a good teacher, but denied the right to teach for lack of a Ph.D.
Junetta Watson Davis, attended 1950-1952; faculty, 1966-1972
My wife, Debra (’90), and I thoroughly enjoy your magazine and always look forward to it arriving in the mail. A big hats off to the creative director for the photos and graphics in every issue. They are the best we have seen in any publication.
Also, your magazine covers all aspects of university life and keeps the memories of our classroom days fresh in our minds. Keep up the great work as we can’t wait to the next issue.
Chris Huffman (’88)