Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Life at Cornell

I will continue in the King blog to divulge the small incidents that occurred at Cornell College which might be of interest to you, the reader.

Many, if not most, colleges of that era the football season with its bright sunny days and leaves come tumbling down is the time for pranks, not necessarily harmless played on faculty and students alike. In my freshman year I attempted to carry on this journal of pranks but I quickly learned that I was a rank amateur in such goings-on. Even though I did not participate in the more outlandish and violent pranks, I did greatly enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of college life as well as watching the beautiful leaves come tumbling down since the Cornell College had a great multitude of hardwood trees.

Cornell College had given up the fraternity life a long time ago but in their stead were "social groups" that took the place of fraternities. It was always a matter of conjecture as to whom which would be pledged - which would be left out.  The social groups were pretty much divided as to the atmosphere derived from their undergraduate days at home. Even though I came from a poor family and had no special athletic talents as pledged by "AXE" Alpha Chi Epsilon. And my good fortune in receiving such an honor has stayed with me throughout my life.

The fraternities did have their own version of "hazing"; not the extremly physical type used by many freshmen groups in other colleges but such harmless incidences as wearing outlandish costumes, painted faces, etc. in fact resembled a Halloween party. At that period of time booze such as beer, wine and hard liquors were forbidden on the campus as was the case throughout all Iowa. Despite this, the  law was being frequently violated. In my hazing part, we were put through some crazy tricks and were dressed in what might be called "crazy clothing" and as you might expect of students of that age, a couple of cases of beer had floated by which were quickly snatched up by the pledgees. Just how an intact case of beer would float down a large river was never explained. I don't recall indulging to any great extent in the occasional beer, but several of my fellow pledgees imbibed heavily and one whose name shall be forgotten, and never be indulged on these pages.

Suffice to say that I did not imbibe so heavily that my action nor voice was affected in any way. And to this day some 65 years later, the statement still remains true.

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