Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Otterbein College

Post World War II young Joyce from Lancaster, Ohio met returning war veteran Bobby from Trenton, New Jersey at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. We don't know what brought Bobby all the way to Ohio, though we did learn his mother also attended Otterbein, and was a member of the class of 1911 -- forty years before they attended.

Anyone who has followed my adventures cleaning out their house can easily extrapolate that means they left behind items that would be viewed as treasures by an archivist named Steve.

Steve took time out of his day to tell us about the campus circa-1945. One of the items we donated was a directory. In the directory is a list of where everyone lived, and their graduating class. The book showed that Honey Bunny lived in King Hall (which is now called Dunlap King Hall and has received a face lift).
Pop-Pop, along with many returning vets not used to strict rules, lived off-campus at 125 King Street -- less than a mile walk to campus. We also learned his sister (Ruth) was attending Otterbein at the same time. We really do need to visit with her to learn more about that time period.
Some places are still standing. Some have changed. The football stadium is still called Memorial Stadium (in honor of the veterans), but is a completely new stadium.

The alumni house was the former home of the school president. Not sure where the current president lives. The campus is decorated with many historic signs. The town of Westerville is proud they were dry until very recently. Now students at Otterbein can have beer. 

In addition to meeting the archivist, there were two other highlights. The first was strolling on their Main Street -- a shopping district made up nearly exclusively of independent shops (plus a CVS, and one other national chain that is escaping me now). It was at their consignment shop I was able to replace my pocketbook which broke on the trip.

The second is discovering that a major exists for Theater Design. Ashley had been saying she wanted to study architecture. It turns out, she was using that as a way to learn how to build in order that she could create sets. With a new end goal, the college search became focused, just in time for her to start junior year in high school.

Through a series of missteps we did not get a college tour. Next time life brings us out that way, I would like to learn more about a place that played an important part in Don's life before he was born.

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