Former residents' ode to Delta Hall and Evergreen Court
As PLU's newest residence, South Hall, continues to rise from the ruins of Delta and Evergreen, former residents of those twin quarters treated Scene editors to a barrage of funny and fond memories. Thanks to all who responded! |
Cops and celebrities
By Jeanne (Jackson '83) Enders
Jane Kinkel '82 and I were hall directors of Delta and Evergreen around 1982 or so. I remember a shoot-out across the street when we had to crouch down in our units and wait it out while police rounded up the shooter. It was quite exciting and no one was hurt.
I also remember hosting a celebrity in one of the apartments. William Windom may have been his name, and he was on campus for a lecture series. He had no idea that we were an "alcohol-free zone" and uncapped a beer out on the lawn. Jane and I had the unpleasant duty of notifying him that he was committing a campus violation. We got a lot of grief (all in fun) from other residents because we didn't "write him up." At that time, those units were a place for rebels, outsiders, residents proud to be different. It was a fun time. I loved living and working with Jane. I'll always have nice memories of the Delta/Evergreen housing units.
Ice hockey in Parkland
By Alan Hedman '67
I was privileged to live in Evergreen Court for three of my four years at PLU, from 1963 to 1967.
After one year in the newly constructed Foss Hall, I scampered back to Evergreen for my final year! There were, of course, many wonderful pranks at Evergreen Court: completely refurnishing a student's desk, chair, etc., on the roof (in perfect order); completely toilet-papering a student's room so it was virtually impossible to enter; many captivating stories told by wise seniors to freshmen and sophomores.
But two memories stand out: 1) The unbelievable participation and final products of Homecoming floats developed by Evergreen Court students. I'm sure we won first prize every year; and 2) During one frigid winter, the grass area between the rooms was creatively blocked off and filled with water to make a perfect ice hockey rink. With every broom, stick and other usable utensils, numerous evenings were spent in spirited "hockey games." The only interruptions were the frequent injury time-outs as people were escorted off the rink to receive medical attention. Play was quickly resumed, however, as soon as the injured party was out of sight and a replacement player took over!
What great memories! Evergreen Court is a major reason why the PLU experience was so memorable.
Weathering the storm
By Carol Hagler '93
I graduated in 1993. I lived in Delta during the '91-'92 school year and in Evergreen Court during the '92-'93 school year. Obviously, there are tons of memories from those two years, but one that I remember most of all was the Inauguration Day Storm in 1993.
The day that Bill Clinton was inaugurated as president, there was a terrible windstorm around the Puget Sound area. It was interim [J-Term], so not all of the student body was on campus at the time. I sat in my warm room in Evergreen Court and watched the mayhem on TV. All the surrounding communities - Spanaway, Tacoma, Puyallup - were without power, but the lights in Evergreen Court did not even flicker. My friend, who lived in Pflueger, came over to join me. When she got there, she told me that there were uprooted trees on the golf course and all over campus, and that they had actually closed some of the paths around campus because of unstable tree limbs.
I was so happy to have Evergreen Court - I didn't have to venture out to the UC to eat (I think the CC was closed for that interim), nor did I have to trek up to the library for anything. I had everything I needed right there. It was a great transition from college dorm life into the life of an apartment dweller in the "real world."
Another thing I really liked about Evergreen Court was the fact that you only had to go out onto your porch during the fire drills. Evergreen Court and Delta's fire alarms "falsed" just as much as the dorms did, but it was much more convenient when it happened there.
I was really sad to hear that they had torn those two places down. South Hall sounds like it will be great, but I feel a little disappointed that I cannot go to see my old stomping grounds, where I lived two wonderful years of my life.
By Jill (Johnson) Gardner '89
I was delighted to have a chance to share a memory from my year in Evergreen Court, because it was perhaps my favorite year as a student at PLU. My roommates and I lived there in 1987 or 1988, and it was an experience that has cemented our friendships for life.
We really thought it was a privilege to be able to live there, so we didn't question many of the little hardships that came with the territory. We were very proud to be the women of Suite F. That's probably why we didn't complain about the "Mouse Olympics." They started at nightfall, and by the time we were all lying in our bunks, they were in full swing. We could hear the pitter-patter of their scurrying feet on our ceiling as we lay there. We tried to ignore it in the hope that they would stay up in the ceiling.
However, one day when I came home from a class, I found one of my roommates in a state of mild distress. Apparently she had been cornered in the bathroom by one of these excitable little creatures, who then disappeared. When another of my roommates came home and heard about this, she rushed to the phone and dialed Campus Safety, much to the amusement of the rest of us. We were picturing the blurb in Campus Safety's section of the Mooring Mast: "An excited female student reported the presence of a small mouse in Suite F of Evergreen Court. Fortunately, no one was hurt." However, the operator transferred her to the Physical Plant. A trap was set, and the little offender was never seen again.
All in all, we felt we had gotten off pretty easy. None of us will ever forget the smell in the unit shared by some of our good friends due to their rotting floor! Nevertheless, it was a delightful year.
By Conrad J. Kasperson '62, '74
After spending a year together, living in Old Main, my two roommates and I tried to move off campus, but were told by the dean of men (whose name I have long forgotten) that it was forbidden. He also told us that the college was about to build a new building on the lower campus and that it was a very innovative building. We said that we would try it.
Unfortunately, when we all returned to campus in the fall the building was incomplete, so we had to find temporary housing. Two of us ended up living for a couple of weeks in the basement of Professor Kenneth Christopherson's house. We were finally able to move into the new, as yet unnamed, dorm.
After all of the residents moved in, we gathered together to settle on a name for our new home. We decided that these new conditions were somewhat like a fraternity, but there were no fraternities at the college. Thinking along these lines led us to conclude that we had an opportunity to be a kind of fraternity if we simply gave the building a Greek name. We tried several ideas and settled on Delta Hall, which seemed satisfactory to all. I recall that there was a reasonable rationale for Delta, but I have forgotten what it was.
The only downside to living in the new hall was the fact that some administrator had the inane idea that the building would look better if dressed up with flower boxes under each window, with an eclectic collection of plastic flowers. I recall that both boxes and the flowers - especially the flowers - suffered continuous and well-deserved abuse. We had a great time living in this dorm for that first year, and it is kind of sad that it is now only history.
The secret loft
By Birdena (Melton) Coate '86
I lived in Delta Hall from the fall of '84 through the spring of '85 with my roommate, Leslie Johnson '86.
One of the best things about living there was the added room you got with the living room and loft arrangement. But the loft did have one disadvantage: you didn't always know when people were up there.
One night, we both left together to do some socializing. But I came back earlier due to exhaustion and crashed in my bed in the loft. Leslie came back later and since the lights were off, thought I hadn't come back yet, and turned on all the lights and the stereo while she prepared for bed herself. The funny thing is, I have no memory of this. It wasn't until she climbed up there herself that she realized I was there, but it didn't faze me a bit. We both still get a kick out of that story.
Kind of sorry to hear Delta and Evergreen Hall have been dismantled.
The Norwegian Mafia
By Frank "Pare" Johnson '66
The friendships I made in Delta have been with me since graduating in 1966. A group of us had moved from Ivy into Delta in the fall of 1964. We called ourselves the Norwegian Mafia, complete with nicknames: "Buddha Body," "Pare," "Homely Twist," "Muddah Ole," "Max-da-B----S----" and "Super J----," to name a few. Then there was "Odd Job," an exchange student from Taiwan, the only non-Nordic/Germanic in the group.
Out of this motley crew of boys come three Lutheran pastors, two financial planners, two educators and the CEO of an import/export business. The Norwegian Mafia became our second family, a group of eight brothers bonded together for life. If someone needed help with a class or personal problem, or to get through a family tragedy, we could always rely on each other.
A beer keg, "borrowed" from a local watering hole, and painted yellow with a black triangle (delta) and Lute decal became the prized symbol of brotherhood. Many an important decision was made sitting around the keg in a cloud of Amphora pipe tobacco. These sessions were often accompanied by Kerry "Buddha" Kirking's bagpipe solos that went on to the wee hours of the morning. The sounds still ring in my ear.
Then there was the "Bat Cave" - each room in Delta had storage area built into the attic. We converted one of these areas into a lounge, and access was via a rope ladder. It was a challenge to see if we could talk our girlfriends up into the loft to autograph the wall.
Somehow, it would always work out that one of us had the inside track to some big campus event, and that would allow us all to get into the "center of action." Gary "Muddah Ole" Olson '67, '71 did not live in Delta, but he had a trailer house out on Lake Spanaway. This became action-central to the non-school-sanctioned activities. Jack "Max" Kintner '67 had earned his pilot's license. This was useful in transporting a classmate on a one-way trip to the San Juan Islands in celebration of his recent engagement. So desperate for money for a date, my roommate, Steve "Super J----" Cornils '66 announced, one cold winter eve, that he would swim Clover Creek from one bridge to the next if he could raise $5 in donations. That was a lot of money back then. I think most of it went for the cold medication he needed afterwards.
The Norwegian Mafia has continued its traditions long after graduation separated us from each other's daily lives. We have continued to stay in touch by letter, telephone and now email. Five years ago, when I hit the big 5-0, I walked into the back room of a favorite Portland restaurant to see all but one of the old gang. They had flown in from San Jose, Bellingham, Spokane and Minneapolis. Ken "Odd Job" Kuo '69 could not make it from Taiwan, but he did come two months later. That, to me, demonstrated just how close we were and still are to each other. Hopefully the summer of 2000 will see our next get-together. We are older, but still, I hope, as foolish.
Back to her roots
By Lisa (Sanborn) McCrea '91
When I saw the small notice in the Scene, I was momentarily taken aback by the realization that Delta Hall and Evergreen Court had been demolished. I had heard about this previously, but the picture and your call for memorials made it hit home.
I spent my first two years in Harstad before jumping at the opportunity to live in "alternative housing." When my parents visited my Evergreen Court apartment, they were amused to inform me I was living 50 feet from the married student housing apartment where they lived when I was born! I enjoyed two years in Evergreen Court, the first with two roommates and the second with one.