Saturday, December 20, 2008


In September of 1953 I moved into Marilyn Hall, the women's dorm at the then-named George Pepperdine College at 79th and Vermont in Los Angeles. My room-mate, Carolyn, and I had become instant friends. Although both of us lived relatively close to the college, she in Inglewood and I in Long Beach, we wanted to experience dorm life and because of our compatibility we spent as much time as we could together.

As Christmas neared, we both knew we'd be at with our families once school closed for the holiday break but we also wanted to make this first college Christmas something special. I took lots of photographs as we readied our little dorm room for festivities. The picture above is really a good depiction of the fun of dorm life and the inventiveness of young people. You can see our little Christmas tree, complete with popcorn and cranberries that Carolyn and I strung as decorations. I am standing over an ironing board, not ironing but making frosting for the cookies that Carolyn had just made and brought up from the dorm kitchen. We had invited some girls from down the hall to a little party. These were the final preparations. She and I laughed through the entire planning and decorating process. To this day, every time I open an ironing board, this picture flashes through my mind.

Probably the funniest thing about this picture is that I am wearing an apron over my skirt and cashmere sweater. Today you would never catch a kid in an apron! I am sure none of my daughters even has an apron -- and probably the grandkids don't even know what aprons are, but our mothers wore them when they cooked so both Carolyn and I did too. The fact that I was running around the dorm in a cashmere sweater is also a recollection that makes me laugh. How different today is!

The party was a success. All the girls who attended were ultimately to end up in the same sorority - and for the most part we stayed friends for a long, long time. Although my childhood Christmases were wonderful, I think of all the Christmases I can recall this is the one that is most special. For me, that period when I was learning to be an adult but had the freedom of not being burdened by heavy financial expenses which one experiences as an adult was a most wonderful time in my life.

This picture serves to remind me of that special time -- and also of how things have changed. It seems like it was only yesterday, but it was over a half-century ago!

But most of all it reminds me of Carolyn and what a great friend she has remained all these years.

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