There wasn’t anything especially jarring or earth shattering about my senior year. With Jon was gone to Knoxville, I expanded my circle of friends dramatically. Of campus, I started hanging with Jim again. I also hung out a lot more with my fraternity and sorority friends. I even went to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario to see the Dead. I lost my friend Sue in a parking garage and ended up having to cross back over the Rainbow Bridge back into the US with one of my Sammy friends who had an bowl shaped like an elephant tucked behind his privates. It was so much easier crossing the border back then.
I spent a lot of time playing poker at Jim’s house and that is how I lived the second semester of my senior year. Every Wednesday night there’s be a poker game and then I’d head to Broadway Joe’s to see Acoustic Forum.
I lived in a single room on the 5th floor of Richmond Quad. A bunch of my friends lived over in Wilkison Quad and I spent a lot of time over there and they bought me flowers at Christmas. I also studied every now and then at Richmond CafeteriaOr sometimes in the ILC when I needed peace and quiet.
Sometimes my friends came and studied with me in my room
And I went to Knoxville to visit Jon a couple times. We went to see the Dead in Atlanta during Spring Break that year. And he got Prudence, the puppy.
In the Fall (winter in Buffalo), I sold beer with the UB Crew members. It was really funny because people would pay a bunch of money to be able tot get that last beer before half time! Look at those prices! I bet people would give their right arm to be able to get that large beer for $3.75 these days!
Living in Ellicott all four years was an interesting place. I met a lot of really great people and some really fun and some really memorable times.
Ellicott on graduation day.
As my time at UB drew to a close, I was profoundly grateful for having chosen this school in the end to spend my undergraduate years. It expanded my horizons far beyond my little town and I met people from all over the world. I finally got to see and interact with people of color on a daily basis. And although, I did not identify with them yet, I had broadened my understanding of what it meant to be a person of color. I learned that not all Black people were criminals who lived in the projects. There was Black middle class that sent their children to college, just like they did on the Cosby Show. It wasn’t just a fairy tale. It was what this little country girl needed in the end. Even through the bumps and the bruises, I made it through, and I graduated in in less time than most people take to graduate from school. I made it where others had failed and fallen off before they even got to graduation.
So in spite of all my trials and my identity crisis of starting to shed my small town mentality and what it meant to be a Black person in the world, I made it to graduation.