Monday, September 30, 2013

Come Early On Friday

Come over to campus early on Friday afternoon, October 4th. 

There's a whole series of educational programs to get you intellectually stimulated (you know, like we used to do when we went to class).

Don't fret, they will be over in plenty of time for you to get changed and freshened up before we party the night away at our 40th Reunion Class Party to be held in the newly remodeled Rand Hall (6:30--9:30 p.m.).

Here's the full schedule of things to do Friday afternoon:

Here are a couple of highlights.

To begin the day, especially if you still have high school age youngsters, don't miss our very own Janet Schneider (B.A., Class of 1973). She's part of a panel from 11:30 a.m - 12:30 pm. in Sarratt Room 189 offering "A Look Inside The World of College Admissions." Janet is the Director of College Counseling at University School of Nashville. She and the others on the panel will bring first hand knowledge of what can be an "exciting" but "nerve racking experience" for both parents and students. (Yes, I remember it well).

After that, starting from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the Sarratt Cinema join in "A Conversation With The Chancellor," Nick Zeppos. Chancellor Zeppos will share his thoughts and answer questions about "The State Of The University."

After this session, you have a tough choice to make. It's like back in the day during registration when there were two courses you really wanted to take but, darn it, they were both being offered at the same time!

One of your options is to stay in the Sarratt Cinema and hear a presentation from Professor John Lachs from 2:30 p.m.until 3:30 p.m. John Lachs was one of most popular teachers on campus during our time at VU, and over four decades later that's still true. In fact, he's the Centennial Professor of Philosphy at Vanderbilt. Hmmm...since we're the Centennial Class, does that means he's one of own too? We'll sure claim him!

Professor Lachs will speak on "The Cost of Our Comfort" looking at how "we lead longer, safer and richer lives than any previous generation, (yet) despite this, we sometimes feel passive, insignificant and unhappy."

I told you we would be intellectually stimulated!

But maybe it's some music you particular the Magic and Music of Motown!

Come over to the Rand Function Room (close to where our Party will be that night) and also from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m., listen to Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams. He will offer his insights and stories from growing up in Detroit right in the very neighboorhood where the world-famous Motown Sound was created. It's a presentation that also includes "tunes from Memphis, Chicago and Philly" as Vice Chancellor Williams gives us some of the back "stories about the songs and the people who created them." 

He'll probably also tell you how he almost became a Commodore years before he came to Vanderbilt!

Vice Chancellor Williams is also Vanderbilt's Athletic Director and it is fair to say he's nutured a unprecedented era of success across the board in the school's sports teams. Some of you may heard his Motown presentation before and you know what a treat it will be to hear it again (likely with some new stories and insights added).  

And so, your afternoon of educational programs will be over by 3:30 p.m.  You can head back to your hotel room or home to get ready for the Class Party with plenty of time. There's even time for a quick nap, although I am sure none of us are of an age to need one just yet.

But if you want one more event to check out, walk down to the Jean and Alexander Heard Library (The Joint University Library in our day) and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the VUcept program (those nice upperclassmen who welcomed us to campus as freshmen). A recpetion will be held in the Library's Community Room from 4:00p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

It's going to be quite a day, quite a night, and a very memorable weekend for sure!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

So What Do I Wear To The Class Party Friday Night?

Our attire is casual when gather for our 40th Class Reunion Party Friday night at the newly remodeled Rand Hall (so you don't get lost, we are in the area of the old bookstore). And you can come '70s style if you'd like (pre-disco, please).

This photo above will give you some idea of what folks wore to the Theta Barn Dance Party in 1970 (couresty of Beth O'Shea). But do you remember the fashions of our day when we were at Vanderbilt? Here's brief look back.

 Actually, as you can see from the photos, there was lots of choice. Look at the picture below with everything from mini to midi to maxi skirts and dresses for women, and even pant suits came into fashion (to stay) for the first time.

When we were in high school, the mini skirt was the rage for young women. The emergence of the maxi and midi, in particular the midi, created quite a stir, even a bit of a backlash....

And of course, the battle of the hemlines brought this style ((hot pants) to the forefront for a while too. I don't expect to see anyone in an outfit like this Friday night.....

Again, the key word in women's fashion while we were in school was choice. Here are some more popular styles of the day. For example, there were hippie clothes, tie dye, and unisex clothes which came over from the '60s. As well as the wrap dress style that emerged to make headlines in the 1970s.....


And there was footwear. Platform shoes were big for both men and women. And remember we used to walk in these things?

For guys, we're not looking to see you in a coat and tie Friday night. But here's what those items looked like when we wore them out on dates back then. And here's the other hot fashion for men in the early '70s: flared or bellbottom pants. Got any of these still left in your closet 40 years later?

So you have quite the variety to choose from if you want to come to the Class Party '70s style. Or just make up your own fashion of the evening. That's so very '70s. And don't forget Vanderbilt attire is always in fashion for us!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Fence

The Sarratt Student Center has been the center of campus life for just about 40 years.

That's right it opened the fall AFTER we graduated in 1973. Rats! It's still a little bit of sore spot for some of us.

But here's what we did get: THE FENCE which surrounded almost all of Neely/ Alumni Lawn throughout our senior year during construction.

Neely/Alumni was one of the few large green spaces we had to play (touch football, Frisbee) or just enjoy the sunshine and warm weather and maybe ride a bike. But not our senior year. Losing this access plus Sarratt not opening until after we graduated, was a bit much to take. Vanderbilt really didn't have a Student Center at the time. Alumni Hall and Rand was as close as it got...and it was not really all that close. 

If you read the signs below, which we hung on THE FENCE, you can see we weren't real happy.

The more explicit saying was "F... The Fence" and I can only imagine what it would have been like if Facebook and Twitter had been around in those days. But by letting us paint signs and find other ways to vent our unhappiness, the Vanderbilt Adminstration did a good job of keeping things under control and we found a way to do the best we could...

What are your memories of THE FENCE and having walk all the way around it going to class instead cutting across Neely/Alumi Lawn like we did our first three years? By the way, go by Sarratt while you're in for Reunion (we are holding our Class Party Friday evening in the new Rand Hall next door).

The Student Center been renovated and expanded several times over the last four decades, and it's still a showplace for students before you even start talking about the Student Rec Center and the other on campus amenities we could never even dream of back in the day. Oh, well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Ring

The Vanderbilt Class Ring above looks a lot like mine. I don't how many of you bought one. I thought it was so expensive when I purchased it my junior year. I believe it cost around $200 or more. I can't really remember now. I am pretty sure I needed my parents' help to buy it.

Over four decades later, it's been a great investment for me on many fronts. I wear mine almost every day, and I don't feel quite fully dressed if I don't have it on. That's why I was so alarmed about two weeks ago when I couldn't find it. It wasn't on my dresser and it wasn't in the pants or other clothes I wore the day before. I looked everywhere I could think of. Nothing.

I guess I was kind of in mourning about it the next couple of days. I had worn the ring so long I sometimes could almost still feel it being on my finger (like a phantom). It also gave me a sick empty feeling thinking that I wouldn't have for Reunion weekend when we all return to campus together.

But then just as I had given up hope, I went to Mass on Sunday about a week after I noticed the ring missing. During the sermon, the priest talked about the gospel passage where the Good Sheperd rejoices when he finds his one sheep that was lost, even though he had another 99 sheep in his care.

While I know this Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with class rings, suddenly this feeling came over me that I was somehow still going to find my ring.

Sure enough the following morning as I dressed for work, I checked another pair of pants in my closet and there it was! I had checked the wrong pair of pants before, so I had missed it. I was so happy and relieved to have it back in my possession and on my finger.

The ring has not only become something of an antique item now being over 41 years old, I feel its also something that keeps me connected to Vanderbilt and all you, my classmates, so many years later.

See you next weekend! I'll be wearing my Class Ring, which has Kirkland Hall right there on one of its sides between the numbers 19 and 73, for our Centennial Class!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Southern Hospitality Nearly 41 Years Later

Class Reunion Chair Steven Greil has clearly used the occassion of our return to campus after 40 years to research and clean out his personal files. He seems to have kept everything (he's an even bigger pack rat than I am).

That's includes the gem above which  Steven found among his papers from a "grateful" group in Alabama who really liked their trip to Nashville for the famous Grateful Dead concert at Vanderbilt in October, 1972. 

So Steve and Aubrey, inquiring minds want to know, did you guys ever collect on the cold ones being offered?

Hard to believe this photo below was taken over 4 decades ago. Where have the years gone?

 See you all in about a week to turn back the hands of time, at least a little bit, for our special weekend together!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Nostalgia Is On Our Class Party Menu

Along with a menu that already includes mini-cheeseburgers on french bread (inspired by Rotier's) and mini-hot dogs with sauerkraut (ala Lums), another food item available at our 40th Class Reunion Party on Friday, October 4 will be some vegetarian tacos with refried beans, lettuce and cheese.

Tico Taco is the inspiration for this dish. While Mexican food is more more popular today than in our time in college (think Taco Bell) I did not find a phone listing for Taco Tico in Nashville anymore and a Wikipedia biography of the company indicates that today the restaurant chain, founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1967, now has stores only in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The next menu item courtesy of Vanderbilt Catering for our Class Party (to be held the newly remodeled Rand Hall where we ate lots of meals in our day) is a mini-caesar salad inspired by the old House of Pizza on White Bridge Road. The House of Pizza is long gone now and it was best known (at least among my Vanderbilt friends) for its huge Gondola sandwich. Frankly while I ate several in my day, it was really too big to eat even in college. So I'm not sure I'd even want to try to do it these days, even just a mini-version.

  The next nostaligic menu item being served for our enjoyment at the Class Party is Baked Brie En Croute with Fresh Fruit. Its inspiration comes from Julian's, an up-scale restaurant near campus that we could probably only afford when Mom and Dad came to visit. Julian's too has passed from Nashville' dining scene.

Our next nostaligic menu item for the ClassParty is inspired by Ireland's which operated for many years on 21st Avenue South just across the street from the VU Law School. No, it's not Steak & Biscuits (we're already having cheeseburgers). But you're close. It is another meat option: mini-Country Ham & Biscuits. Yeah, I know Country Ham was better known at Loveless, but enjoy what you can. If you're like me, you're not supposed to eat this kind of food anyway anymore!

Our dessert item is potentially even more sinful (it's the luck of the Irish, I guess). Or maybe I should say it's straight from the Big Boy, with our finishing course inspired by the old Shoney's Restaurants which still operate in Nashville and all over the country, but none are all that close to campus now.

It's a min-Hot Fudge Cake with Stawberry Shortcake also available.

Wow! What a menu. I'm full already. But I'm sure I will be hungry again by party-time.

But looking at everything we'll have to pile on our plates at the Class Party, even in mini-fashion, it's no wonder given the nostalgic foods we ate back in our day the Big Boy had such a rounded outlook.....

You've been warned! Come hungry!