A Life of Letters

Had No Idea St. Louis Was So Busy

Posted in 1983, Friends by southpawcom on February 3, 2010

Paul was my last roomie in college at Michigan State. In spring term 1980, he had an opening in his room in the corner of the hallway at Phillips Hall, 2nd Floor. I honestly don’t remember one single day or night in that room, although I know I had them. I guess I may recall some buzzed chats and laughter late in the night between our bunks. He was by far the easiest male roommate I ever had. I guess he was the last one as well. He was a good guy but by no means a close friend.

Paul was from Wahpeton, North Dakota, which is just across the Mississippi River from Breckenridge, Minnesota. His family ran a travel agency and a movie theater in town, and Paul knew how to run the big cinema projectors. He even had a job in East Lansing as the projectionist at the State Theater, which I believe was the last of the downtown theaters there. Paul was a good guy. You could tell he was brought up right in a small town.

He had himself a girlfriend,  I’m pretty sure a girl he knew from high school. Anyway, when he graduated from Michigan State, he moved back home, started working in his family’s business, and married his sweetheart. I know I saw him once in Louisville, and evidently he came back to East Lansing in the spring of ’83, and we got together. I have no memory of it.

I do have lots of memories of going back to Phillips Hall after class some days in my second year at State, after I moved out of the dorm and moved in with Rebecca in Ulrey House Coop, and sitting around with Paul, Glenn, and a bunch of my other old pals, just chilling, sipping beer, and getting stoned. We used to listen to cool music and just chit chat, but at some point someone could be counted on to break out a record of the overture to Bizet’s  opera, “Carmen,” to which we would all “air conduct,” giggling our asses off.

I couldn’t go to Paul’s wedding, and to this day I still have never been to North Dakota. I just hope I let him know that I wouldn’t be making it, so he could get someone else to wear the tux. He was an all right dude. I didn’t know he was into fantasy art, or perhaps it was a druggie allusion for my benefit.

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