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Memories of College Roommates, Friends, and a Fraternity Brother

Paul was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. He lived in both a dormitory and a fraternity house.

Tarrant House Dormitory Members 1963-1964

Tarrant House 63-64; Max K is 1st row 2nd from left; Jack B is 2nd row extreme left; Author is 3rd row extreme left; Roman R is 4th row extreme right

Tarrant House 63-64; Max K is 1st row 2nd from left; Jack B is 2nd row extreme left; Author is 3rd row extreme left; Roman R is 4th row extreme right

Memories of College Roommates, Friends, and a Fraternity Brother

Unlike in high school, I had many friends in college. Some were dormitory roommates and friends. Others were fraternity brothers.

From 1962 until August 1966, I was an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a brief time as a graduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from August 1966 until February 1967, I returned to Madison and lived there as a non-student until I entered the Navy in June 1967.

After finishing my Navy active duty, I returned to the University of Wisconsin in Madison as a graduate student and lived there from February 1972 until May 1973.

As an undergraduate at Madison, I lived in both a dormitory and a fraternity house.

While staying in the dormitory, I had two roommates as well as many friends there.

After pledging Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity in the winter of 1966, I was friends with many fraternity brothers.

One dormitory roommate, two dorm friends, and a fraternity brother are remembered in this article.

1. Max K

Max K was my first roommate after I entered the University of Wisconsin in Madison as a Freshman in September 1962.

We both shared a small room in Tarrant House which was part of Adams Hall. Adams Hall was part of many dormitory complexes on a campus situated on the shores of Lake Mendota.

Max, as I remember, was my height but not as heavy. He wore glasses and at 17 was one year younger. I quickly learned that he was from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and that his father was a professor at the University of Illinois. Max also had a high school sweetheart, Sniggy, who was an incoming freshman at Stanford University. Like me, Max was majoring in pre-med.

I never got to be friends with Max. We weren't unfriendly, but Max preferred to hang out a lot with Tom S who lived on the same floor of our dorm. Tom was from New York and majoring in chemical engineering. Max and Tom's friendship was so great that Max invited him to his parent's home In Illinois one weekend.

Tom would often come into our room to bs with Max when I wanted to study at night. Max was also a night owl and would often turn on his desk lamp to study right after I had gone to bed. I had the top berth of a bunk bed and could not block out the glare of the desk light.

I couldn't study in our dorm room and often spent evenings in the dorm cafeteria which served as a study hall. When Max asked me if I would consider moving to another room so Tom could be his roommate during the second semester, I readily agreed.

Max and I lived in separate rooms in Tarrant House through our junior year. In the second semester of our third year, Max was the social chairman and I was the president of Tarrant House. We worked together to organize a spring trip for the Tarrant House residents to Devils Lake near Madison. I still can remember Max opening our eyes when he invited an African-American coed to the picnic.

Tarrant House

Tarrant House was through the door on the right.

Tarrant House was through the door on the right.

2. Jack B

Jack B was a good friend while we lived in Tarrant House for four years.

I met Jack after I moved from the fourth to the second floor of Tarrant House at the beginning of the second semester of my freshman year in 1963. Unfortunately, my new roommate was worse than Max. Since I didn't spend much time in my room other than sleeping, I couldn't avoid Jack who had a single room. He often had his room open and played loud music on his stereo.

Jack and I quickly got to be good friends. He was easy to talk with and always listened to my problems. We would often eat together in the dormitory cafeteria. When meals weren't served on Sunday evening, we would sometimes go to the Badger Tavern just off campus for a hamburger and a beer.

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Jack was from Port Washington, Wisconsin, and studying to become a pharmacist.

Our friendship continued during the four years we lived in Tarrant House. After I went to the University of Michigan in 1966, I returned to Madison once to see Jack who was in his fifth and final year before becoming a pharmacist.

In August 1992, I reconnected with Jack through assistance from the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Jack was living and working as a pharmacist in a northern suburb of Milwaukee. After visiting his apartment, we went to a Milwaukee restaurant for dinner. Jack hadn't changed much and he had a lot of news about our old dormitory acquaintances.

I haven't had contact with Jack since 1992 probably because I lived in Maryland until 2003. Lately, I have spent all of my time in Thailand.

Tarrant House Dormitory 1964-1965 Members

Tarrant House:  Max, 1st Row 3rd from left; Roman, 1st Row 5th from right; Jack, 3rd Row 4th from left; Author, 3rd Row 5th from left

Tarrant House: Max, 1st Row 3rd from left; Roman, 1st Row 5th from right; Jack, 3rd Row 4th from left; Author, 3rd Row 5th from left

3. Roman R

Roman R was another good friend who I had for three years while living in Tarrant House.

We both lived in single rooms on the fourth floor of Tarrant. One of the first things we did together was to walk to St. Paul's Catholic Church on State Street for Sunday mass. We were both dressed in suits because suit attire was required for our Sunday noon dinner in the dormitory cafeteria.

Roman just like Jack was easy to get along with. I will always remember his red hair. Roman majored in political science and often talked about his plans to attend law school at Boston College.

I last saw Roman in April 1967. Having dropped out of the University of Michigan in February of that year, I was living and working in Madison. By chance, I met him at the Kollege Klub just off-campus. Roman was with his younger brother and I was with a date. After catching up on recent happenings, I learned that Roman never made it to Boston College. Instead, he was studying at a state teacher's college a few miles away.

I corresponded with Roman once in 1992 but never saw him away. With sadness, I learned from ancestry.com that Roman passed away in January 2022. He did become a teacher and taught in Wisconsin for about ten years during the 1970s. Roman then got a position as a manager in a private company.

4. Jack W

Jack W was one of my most interesting and colorful fraternity brothers.

I met Jack when I was pledging the Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity in the spring of 1966. Jack was in my pledge class and a freshman three years younger than me.

Waz, as we all called Jack, was a happy-go-lucky tall guy and a good drinking buddy. On occasion, we would have a drink at the Kollege Klub or Johnny's a Go-Go after fraternity pledge meetings.

I will always remember our informal fraternity initiation. Late on a Friday afternoon, fraternity members had Waz and I carry a small sink to a water fountain next to the library on campus two blocks away. We then had to fill the sink with water and carry it back to the fraternity house. The problem was that the sink did not have a stopper. It was so hilarious seeing Waz and me trying to stop the water in the sink with our hands. Needless to say, we both got wet and never made it a few feet from the fountain.

Jack was from Glidden. a small village in northwestern Wisconsin. He was a chemistry major like me although he changed to an accounting major in his junior year.

I continued my friendship with Waz after I left school and entered the Navy. Immediately after basic training in September 1967, Jack invited me to his home in Glidden. Then, right before I went overseas, I saw Waz at the fraternity in Madison. We corresponded for a few years, but I lost contact with Waz after 1992.


Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity Brothers

Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity brothers.  Taken in 1967.  Jack W is on the extreme right in the 2nd row

Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity brothers. Taken in 1967. Jack W is on the extreme right in the 2nd row

Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity

memories-of-college-roommates-and-friends

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Paul Richard Kuehn

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