Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Memory

This is the building my father worked at when he was a professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

He officed on the seventh floor, and sometimes he'd take me with him when he had to go there on weekends or after hours. I remember the elevators, and I remember a large open classroom or lab where they had guinea pigs. Oddly, I was never much taken with the guinea pigs, even though I've always been an animal person.

I don't remember my father's office, although he must've had one. I guess it wasn't interesting to this little kid.

I remember there being a small library that had children's books - a standard feature of education colleges. Sometimes we'd check out a few books for me to read. I don't remember there being a librarian, though. As a professor, my father was able to go in and sign out whatever he wanted.

My most striking memory of this building is the day we visited the fifth floor. There had been a fire, and I guess my father was curious to see the damage. I remember the hall as a long tunnel of dark wood paneling and identical office doors. I remember walls darkened with smoke and scorch marks, all permeated with a pungent, burnt-over smell. Mostly, though, I remember a creepy feeling of destruction and things not right. I was glad we didn't stay long.

All of this happened between 1970 and 1973. We left Muncie for Fresno, California, when I was six.


Rabbits' Guy said...

I took kids that age to my office in Dearborn, Mich. when I was working some contracts with Ford Motor Co. There were several offices with white boards and phones. They each went in different offices and called each other on the speaker-phones, wrote all over the white boards, and generally trashed the place! Thought they were big shots!!!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh - PS ... how did you wind up a SW girl???

bunnygirl said...

RG: Kids are always more trouble in the plural than singular. I was an only child until the month before my seventh birthday. Even had I been inclined to act out, I had no co-conspirators.

As for ending up in Texas, we only stayed a year in Fresno and Dad got a job offer via an old college friend who was living in San Antonio. We moved there in '74 and to Houston in December '78.

I've often wanted to move, but inertia keeps me here. Okay, it's also because jobs are plentiful, pay is decent and cost of living is cheap.

Christina said...

Isnt it funny the memories that stick in our minds.

I graduated high school from Texas, born in California but left when a baby. (Dad was military) Texas is one of my favorite places, you have it all, beach, mountains, hill country, a bit of desert. I lived in Lewisville, Round Rock and Bryan. Miss it a lot.

Hef's Mom said...

See, isn't that funny? I am such an animal person too and even after working in a petco with guinea pigs I don't care for them either.

Glenna said...

We're the same way about DC--stay for the jobs (although not for the cost of living) because even now, they're fairly plentiful. But if I had the chance (actually I do, but BF would have a harder time), I'd rather live just about anywhere else. I'm trying to edge us closer to Richmond, which has a more "authentic" flavor. DC is about as bland as cities come.

Thomma Lyn said...

Fascinating memories -- thanks for sharing them. The visit to the fifth floor after the fire does sound like it would have been disturbing, and such a thing would have stuck in my mind, too.

And guinea pigs -- I like 'em okay, but I've never been around them too much. Ferrets are weird (and fun), though -- they climb up your britches legs! :)