From the Arbor | News for May from Jerry Weakley

Campus in Spring

The thermometer is just now beginning to catch up with the calendar. As I look down at the weather indicator on my computer I see that it is approaching 70 degrees and yet the campus is just now beginning to reveal its real and most colorful potential. The azaleas and dogwoods that were much in evidence all along the southern route of the trip I took to the Masters Golf Tournament a month ago are just now beginning to bloom here. Other plants that are in keeping with our more northern climate are in varying stages of bloom. This morning I noted the beauty of the Eastern Redbuds and the different yet vibrant colors of the various crab apple varieties scattered about within the Ivan Boyd Arboretum. The tulips and other spring flowers have also made their presence known throughout the flower beds that dot the beautiful Baker campus. Perhaps this is the REAL spring that has only been rumored so far this year here in 66006!

In last month’s opening page we also talked of weather . . . the snowy variety! I invited readers to share specific memories of snow and snow events while attending Baker. Here is what I received. (My comments are in italics).

From the Rev. Dr. D. Allen Polen, Jr., ’62: “There was a series of snow storms in the winter of 1959-60. My memory is that the snow came after Jan 1, 1960. Ask Ron Holland what he remembers about that snow that grew to more than knee high.” (Sorry, I didn’t get around to asking Ron!)

From Rachel (Huhn) Langford, ’99: “I was a sophomore on the Baldwin City campus. It was October 22 or 23, 1996. The campus was filled with newly planted flowers and shrubs for the arrival of Margaret Thatcher. (She was dedicating the chapel.) The night before her arrival we received enough snow to cover the flowers. We couldn’t believe it. All that hard work buried under a blanket of white.” (I can certainly say that I also remember that particular snow event well!)

From Shane Davis, ’67: “One winter we played the “Snow-Bowl” with the Kappa Sigs from Washburn out on the old softball field. As the game started we had about 3 inches on the ground. Midway through the first half it really started to snow (big Kansas flakes) but we kept playing, naturally. (An adult beverage or two may have been involved.) The wind picked up and the snow began drifting. To make a long story short, when the game was over several of us had trouble remembering where our cars were because of the drifting snow. Eventually, most of us said “forget about it” and we walked back to the house! The second instance—April ’66 I believe—was a nice night. We all went to bed on the sleeping porch with the windows open. Next morning, yours truly and others who slept by the windows woke up to about 2 feet (really?) of snow on our blankets. Great times!” (I have no memory of any of this!)

And finally, from (name withheld to protect the guilty): “I remember one time that a big snowstorm came up out of nowhere and several of us decided to “borrow” some trays from the Union cafeteria to use as sleds. We took them out to the big hill just north of Baldwin by Signal Oak and slid for an hour or so down the steep slope there. Several of us came back to campus with cuts and scrapes as a result of being thrown off the trays when we hit hidden rocks on the hill. Eventually, we determined where the rocks were and tried to avoid them. (Must have been upperclassmen!) I’m not sure if the trays were returned, but they probably couldn’t have been used any more anyway!” (And now, I have the final piece of my retirement plan in place!)

View the current issue of the Arbor. I hope you will find something in it that will entertain, inform or further engage you with our great university!

Jerry Weakley, ’70, M.B.A. ’92

Categories: Arbor, News

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