Notes from the Trail

Happy 125th, OBU!

I’m always one of the last to find out stuff like this. But not this time. I ended up muting @Ouachita’s Twitter feed yesterday because they were retweeting faster than Walt used to recycle shepherd’s pie. My alma mater is 125 years old this fall, and they asked us to post what our first impression of Ouachita was. They then proceeded to retweet every hashtag of #OBU125.

I wish I had more of a sentimental streak, but my first response on seeing things like “the beautiful campus” and “friendly people, butterflies and puppies” was just to unfollow their Twitter account. I then felt bad about that. I wondered if perhaps some sweet old dorm mom was monitoring their unfollows. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. So I refollowed them sheepishly but muted their feed in Echofon.

Then Amy’s post showed up in my RSS feeds today about this year’s OBU Blogabout. I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s posts by everyone (you can read mine here) and knew that I had to dash off an attempt on Tuesdays in September along with everyone else.

They want you to write about your “Favorite Ouachita Memory” today. Bleh. It’s like Amy said. You just can’t pick one. When I hear grads and current students from other universities talk about their college experience, I am somewhat smug. Truly. It’s just hard to top Tiger Tales.

Here goes…

So here’s a memory. It’s not my favorite. But it’s also not not my favorite.

I was driving back from Hot Springs – an enjoyable 35-40 minute jaunt from Arkadelphia. I noticed a lot more driving those days since we didn’t have cell phones. … Uh, not that I play with my cell phone while driving… But the stack of boxes in my 1981 Subaru GL were assuring me that there would be mayhem on campus that night. It was before the days of campus shooting tragedies. Life was innocent. And I had 10-12 boxes of Laser Tag guns that had gone on clearance at Kay-B Toys in the mall for $9.95 each.

The plan was simple. Collect my money from the guys who wanted a set. Divide up in teams. Wait until dark. Avoid campus security. Shoot the other team.

That’s exactly what our gang did. There was an addition to the business building going up at the time, and we were able to slip into the building and shoot out through the unpaned windows. We were amazed at how much range the Laser Tag guns had.

We ran all over campus, gyrating and ducking to prevent the light beams from hitting the glowing target on our chests and setting off the “hit” alarm on them. I actually don’t remember if we ever played again. It may have been a one-night, epic, OK Corral type of event.

I do remember all of us telling stories of heroic courage, sacrifice and amazing feats of testosterone-induced recklessness the next day in the cafeteria to our women folk friends. We orated. We exaggerated. We painted verbal Picasos of action and derring-do unmatched since the Trojan War. And the girls just ate their salads, nodded with feigned interest and continued their conversations about Whitney Houston and their latest hairbow purchase.

My first impression?

By the way, I didn’t tweet what “my first impression of Ouachita” was yesterday. I didn’t think they’d appreciate it. It was preview weekend. I stayed in my cousin’s dorm room. He was a Beta. So were his roommate and suitemates. They (not cuz) returned in the wee hours of the morning drunker than skunks.

I don’t think I told my parents – cause I really wanted to go to Ouachita (not for that reason).

I’m so glad I did.

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3 comments for “Happy 125th, OBU!

  1. September 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm
    So fun! Reminds me of a water fight, Angie and I against Ernest DeSoto and Ross Sawyer outside the old communications building. And Gotcha with the BSU! Good time.
    Kecia´s last blog post ..I remember…
  2. September 7, 2011 at 9:31 am
    I know exactly what you mean about feeling smug about my OBU experiences. I felt sorry for my high school friends who went to other schools. They can keep their football bowl experiences and national championships. They don’t come close to my OBU memories.
    whimzie´s last blog post ..Happy Birthday, Old Friend
  3. Witteguy
    September 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm
    I remember that night, and yes…the exploits were very heroic! The next night they blocked the way in through the construction site and Lon Vining was able to get a key from his dad which allowed us to sneak in through the fine arts building. Two nights in a row of playing till 4 in the morning finally caught up with us though…

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