In my day, the SUNY Morrisville journalism classes were spread through many different campus buildings. Charlton Hall. The Library. Lab-Class. The Little Theatre in the Student Activity Center, even, with those fold-over mini-desks in the very spot where the Friars put on their most excellent drama productions. No wonder I still get hit with that decades-old nightmare. It’s the morning of finals, I don’t know what building to go to …
Of course, I graduated with my associate’s degree from this little upstate New York campus in 1977. Way back. Throwback.
I visited Morrisville on Monday in chase of a good story for this week’s Throwback Thursday. And I scored, big time. Wait until you see what I’ve come up with in the Wayback Machine this time.
My friend Brian McDowell, journalism department chair, invited me down to Hamilton Hall for a quick tour of what he’s got going on these days. I found a bonus story in the now and then.
In the olden days, the basement of this old gymnasium building used to be the campus store.
Now all the journalism classes are down there. The Chimes newspaper office and WCVM radio station, too.
The newspaper office was filled with bulletin boards, white boards, really, which the students were starting to fill with names and numbers and messages. It’s getting to the time of year when one editorial staff hands the torch to the next year’s chosen. It looked like it’s still an emotional passage for these students. No typewriters to clack away the tears and fears, though.
The radio station had a modern studio booth.
It looked way different than the spot where I used to sit for my shifts, in front of a big, old board held together with solder and love by technician George Cisler from Canastota, with two turntables to the side, cart machines up above, and big, old headphones plugged in.
I told Brian how I used to have what I considered a prime shift, Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. Every Sunday, a movie would be shown on a pulled down screen in the old gymnasium in Hamilton Hall. They’d play WCVM over the PA for the hour that students would file into the gym to find seats. Morrisville was a big commuter campus, so plenty of people would time their return to campus for a bit of schmoozing and the movie in Hamilton Hall. My friends Twenty and Shultsie would save me a seat, along with Justin and Michelle, and I’d race from my radio shift providing their soundtrack to watch the movie with them.
Brian thinks I should write a story about it for the Chimes.
Consider this a teaser.
On my chase for Thursday’s story, I happened upon the Arcadian from my senior year. Oh, I own it, somewhere in my possessions here in our Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, but I haven’t pulled it out in awhile.
So here’s a special Throwback Tuesday, fresh from the 1977 Arcadian.
Take a good look at the Arcadian cover above. Stare at the guy below the masthead, the one in the winter hat, nice-looking mustache. Yes, that is I, waiting for the crowd to be let into Hamilton Hall to see Southern rock band The Outlaws perform. My girlfriend that college year, Diane, is in front of me.
My friend Milt “Murph” Clayton climbed to the floors above the entrance to take this cool shot.
The yearbook staffers who put together the first of the three magazines, for fall 1976, were asking students the same question around campus. I do believe they caught me outside Helyar-Stewart Dining Hall.
I know I liked the unlimited food plan right from the start, that’s for sure. Check out those jowls.
This is my graduation photo from Morrisville Agricultural and Technical College, the little two-year SUNY school that could.
Armed with my associate’s degree in journalism, I stepped into the world in May 1977 … worked my butt off all summer to save as much money as I could, and started as a junior at the University of Maryland in College Park that August.
Do you still have yearbook pictures of yourself? Do you like them or hate them? Do you have fond school memories or bad school memories? Do you ever go back to visit?