Back during the winters of 73/74 & 74/75 I attended a university in Fargo, ND. I was 17 & 18 years old those two winters.
Weird things come to mind from those days. I used to go to coffee houses at the student union. Entertainment was a guitar player singing folk songs as I sipped hot apple cider, with a cinnamon stick, out of a mug.
Almost all of the guys wore green Army “snorkle” winter coats and blue jeans, and as they walked around on the snow-covered grounds…they all looked like ugly clones. My ex kept his snorkel jacket for years with a strip of duct tape holding the back together. It mysteriously disappeared into a dumpster, along with a pair of thin, brown nylon runing shorts, many years ago.
Several of us went to a series of Charlie Chapman movies and “Clockwork Orange.” We also bowled and played pool.
I helped with a group called “Campus Attractions” setting up concerts. I saw “Black Oak Arkansas,” Linda Ronstad, Charlie Daniels, John Denver, ZZ Top, and others. One band, the “Ozark Mountain Daredevils” invited us poolside at their hotel. Their lead singer and harmonica player kept taking his shirt off hoping to get the group of us to strip down and go skinny dipping. He was unsuccessful. We were too conservative and self conscious.
This was the era of the famous song about “The Streak,” where one stripped down randomnly, and ran across a public place or stage in nothing but tennis shoes. The fad disappeared as suddenly as it had when it first appeared…like a streak.
The drinking age was 18 across the river into Minnesota. One bar called the “Dirty Bird” had the famed falsetto singer “Tiny Tim” perform on their venue during that era.
I was a lifeguard at the university. I used to do back sailor dives off of the high dive. Over time, I became more cautious, sensible, and fearful before I was ever injured from doing so. I flipped off the low boards until my back slightly scraped the board once, and knew to quit from that one near miss.
I rode bike everywhere in those days during the non-winter seasons. My car was a 1963 Chevy Impala 4-door. Most of the time the engine killed on the 10th street underpass if the light turned red at the top of the incline leaving the underpass. Then, my brakes would lock up and I could not start my engine or shift to go forward. I had to slide backwards in reverse down into the underpass, hoping to start up the incline again during a green light. I had the wave to the cars behind me to go around as I backed down.
If successful, I could drive on my way to “T lot” to park in time for a 7:30am Biology Lab to study, disect, and diagram “instinct, non-vertibrae fish.”
Going back to my car, oftentimes I locked my keys in my car. Fortunately, I could bend and wiggle a wire coat hanger through the winged front windows enough to free the lock. It happened so much that I ended up to be pretty proficient at doing so.
My other more reliable vehicle was my mom’s Gran Torino. She carpooled to work so I could drive her car. That was the car I drove when I had passed my driver’s exam a few years earlier. Both of those cars now would be quite sought after.
Just a few random memories…hoped you enjoyed them.