Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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.