John Sowa remembers

I don't have any pictures from days gone by but I have a thought or two which come to mind now but significance is probably small.

I remember being on the first undefeated, untied Interhall football team in the history of the program, thanks to Coach Gene O'Connor. During that time I learned something about football which has come to play since then. During that time I remember trying to push Dick Rust, Badin's quarterback, though the line and he ended up with a dislocated shoulder. It was probably my fault and Dick - I apologize if this has been difficult for you since then. I also remember a film clip showing me starting before the snap. I never thought I was in motion but there it was. Of course, I was unique in that I could turn around in my uniform and the gear would not move. There were many other memories of then. I was too shy to sign our team picture for Gene so never did. It is certainly that since then I have been "such a visible person" to the public in my community activities. UND did a lot to bring my out.

I remember short sheeting others beds and putting water in their wooded chairs but when they tried to do that for me I just slept on top of my covers. Don Carmelite once told me, "Awe, we finally got him" after short sheeting my bed because they heard me bouncing around in the bed as I went to sleep. Don just said, "No, we didn't get him. He always bounces around when he bunks down."

I remember my freshmen year. If I hadn't had my brother and his friends, I might have left. I was so homesick, especially that snow fall approaching Christmas when I looked at the church clock and the large flakes.

I remember being congratulated after winning my fourth 100 and 220 yearly race. In those days I couldn't run beyond 500 yards and until my accident in '83, I had gotten to run 60 miles a week, for three years anyway.

I remember cutting hair. Most of my clients didn't worry about their looks afterwards. Bernie Allard was my highest paying customer. I said "pay what you want." He paid me 75 cents once but others ranged from 3 cents to slightly higher. Then there was the time after I had cut my own hair and was being inspected by or marine captain. He didn't like the way I looked and asked, "Who cut your hair, President Hesburgh?" Fortunately, I didn't answer and he went on to the next person. I was in NROTC. It was a pretty bad cut as were most of mine. But the cuts did give me all the spending money I needed. While in the ROTC, I also used to wash my own socks. One time, when I was trying to dry them before an inspection, I put them on a light bulb to dry. They melted but there was enough left for me to pass inspection.

My brother Paul lived off campus and used to use my room as a home base.
That was great but he used to just through his dirty cloths on the floor. I warned him to clean up and finally put his dirty socks in his pocket. He was talking to some one and wondered why they hadn't changed their socks.
Then he reached in his pocket to blow his nose and Woops, he pulled out his dirty socks.

I remember wrestling with Jerry LaPeyre. I was doing fine until he put his leg on me. It was just too heavy for me to lift.

Then there was the time that Charley Simpson, my room mate, who was trying to make fulminate of mercury. He kept on hitting the residue with a hammer but fortunately it did not explode. But then there was the time when I was returning to Lyons and he had our window wide open and he was fanning the yellow-red fumes of nitrogen oxides out of the room. He had mixed too much nitric acid with ethanol. We were worried that the rector would come by then and we'd both be kicked out of UND.

I remember the mud bowl game put on by Karl M., which I missed because there I was studying again and didn't know it was happening.

I remember watching John hurrying to leave organic lab and not be the last one again to leave again.I would watch him sweeping up his solid yield from the floor and also putting his glassware away first then throwing his iron rings in the drawer next - crash - all so he wouldn't be the last to leave lab again.

There are many more strange memories .
John R. Sowa, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Environmental Health & Safety Compliance Officer
Chemistry Department
Union College
Schenectady NY, 12308
FAX 388-6795