Class of ’61 ramblings and reminiscences — AL SCHALOW and RAY SMITH


·         We as students thought our labs had the latest “state of the art” equipment. By today’s standards, it was very primitive … boxy hoods, “shower-no drain” stuck … Eely got wet.

·         Professors, teachers, lab instructors were all willing to schedule time to give extra help to students in need of it.

·         Fellow students were always willing to study together and share information.

·         Yes, our class was the class that boycotted the annual senior banquet. Upon review of the planned Senior Take-Off and Parody, Dean Weaver canceled the Take-Off portion for being too racy and explicit. The class ordered pizzas and beer – and we had our own party. Tom Murry got boxed foods from the dinner banquet.

·         For some students, college was a financial struggle. At the time, we paid tuition by trimester. Many times I remember being short of the total needed. The office secretary always allowed a week or so to make full payment.

·         McCaw Library was a godsend for borrowing textbooks. I personally bought the required books only. It was a juggling act to check out and renew checked-out textbooks. Many times the library only had a few “in-date” versions – so an outdated version had to do.

·         Probably my most embarrassing moment: During a physics final exam, we had been up all night cramming. That morning, my eyes were scratchy, but a couple cups of coffee kept them open. I opened the exam book and quickly read through the questions. I selected the questions most comfortable with higher numerical percentages of value and did them first. I remember completing between 75 percent and 80 percent. The next thing I remember was the professor standing in front of my desk. I awoke as he announced that time was up. I looked around the empty classroom and sheepishly apologized while handing him my booklet. I did pass the exam.

·         No one told, but the whole class knew who was performer of the “brownie caper.”

·         In Pitts’ chemistry class, instructor Annie Leeper explaining how to clean glasses, saying “You have to get them beer-glass clean.” Said wash them in cold water – when I asked if the soap wouldn’t be more soluble in warm or hot water, she looked daggers and said, “When I say wash them in cold water, I mean cold water.” I still wonder about that.

·         Many know that generally I disdain “big government.” But it was nice that the state had a vested interest in pharmacists and subsidized much of the costs of tuition.

·         Vat room – body parts – mysterious!

·         McGuire Annex — $8 to go down fire escape. Fellow students took up collection. I went down the “silo fire escape” four floors to bottom. Landed in triumph. Professor on ground floor looked out window and said, “There go those d— freshmen again.”

·         Nonstop bridge games in the dorms.

·         Joe running the snack bar at dorm – reasonable prices – edible food.

·         Charlie Thomas – was charged 20 cents for two slices of toast. He got mad: “We could buy a whole loaf of bread for that!”

·         Pitts complained about “Willis” and hose making noise by washing cars in the alley.

·         Parking always a problem – tickets always a problem.

·         All the guys in love with Bertha Rolfe and Charlotte Harris, lab instructors.

·         Everyone could smoke in class if they wanted, and so could professors.

The way we were — AL SCHALOW (B.S. ’61)

Class of 1961 golden reunion at the home of Al and Janice Schalow

Class of 1961 golden reunion at the home of Al and Janice Schalow


The letter of acceptance to pharmacy school
Is still kept safe, like a family jewel.
The start of a journey with constant change,
A profession evolving with wider range.

We knew from day one it would be a mistake
To think this course of study as a piece of cake.
Off at the bell, our fingers did ache,
Pencil lead melting from notes we take.

The Skull and Bones was our second home.
We loved those burgers and drinks with foam.
Grilled cheese, cokes and a bag of chips,
Ching-ching on the register and very small tips.

Study rooms full at old McCaw,
Students cramming in the hall.
Vending machine coffee that tasted like swill,
Always did — and always will.

Froggie’s frogs and dogfish sharks,
Twelfth Street fenced in stray dog barks.
Student Union building, hurried lunches,
Corner vendor flowers in yellow bunches.

Pitt’s cigars and Leeper’s hats,
Creepy things in urns and vats.
Ping-pong balls and student chatter,
Memorizing things we thought didn’t matter.

Dean Weaver’s smile and friendly greeting,
Could change to somber at a post-grade meeting.
And organic experience with Doyle Smith;
Who could be better to have your first one with?

John Andrako hung tea bags in flasks,
While counseling students or performing tasks.
And “Uncle Miltie” Neuroth wrote so fast,
He chalked the answer first — and the question last.

We navigated tunnels having yellow-green pipes,
Gathered on street corners for airing gripes,
Attended frat parties, paid tuition due,
Watched buildings torn down, up with the new.

Study, study, study — study and cram,
Post-mortem the gift, or shaft, exam.
But we loved our college and golly, gee,
Back then we knew it only as MCV.

We set the alarm, not to be late,
One more exam and we’d graduate?
The good news came in the morning mail,
Time to grab the world by the tail.

Ensuing years have made us proud
Of school and pharmacy — we say it loud!
Memories like these will always last
And fifty years — can go by fast.