Tag Archives: Randolph Hall

Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, June 2017 (5)

Pictured are Framar House, Jefferson Hall, Jefferson Square, Combs Hall and the Bell Tower.

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Framar House.

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Jefferson Hall.

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Jefferson Square, in the middle of Jefferson Hall, Bushnell Hall, Combs Hall and what is now known as “Double Drive.”  (That’s George Washington Hall and Dodd Auditorium behind it.)

We just called it “The Quad.”  When I was a freshman at Bushnell, this is where the guys would play “ultimate frisbee.”  My roommate once spearheaded a spirited petition by the freshmen to get stadium-style lighting surrounding the place.  The administration did not accede to his request.

Behind me here would be Jefferson Hall.  I went to a party once hosted by a couple of girls on the third or fourth floor there — the view of the quad under the stars that night was just unforgettably beautiful.  I don’t think I ever hung out with those girls again, or even stepped a foot inside Jefferson.  But, for some reason, that is one of my most vivid memories off my freshman year.

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Combs Hall.  This was where I took biology as a freshman.  I also have an unrelated and truly strange story about Combs that I cannot share publicly here.

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This is an admittedly poor shot of the slightly controversial Bell Tower.  (That’s Randolph Hall beyond it.)  I try not to be a cranky old man, but I do share in my alumni’s collective eye-rolling here.  It’s superfluous, it was no doubt costly, and it makes the southern juncture of Campus Walk feel crowded.

Also, as one of my old psychology professors was in the habit of observing, “What would Dr. Freud say about that?”  It looks like our geographically smaller campus is trying to compensate for something.  In my native New York, the equivalent of the Bell Tower is that guy in the hood who wears too much bling.

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Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, June 2017 (3)

Pictured are the Amphitheater, Mason Hall, The Link, Randolph Hall, Russell Hall, Brent House and Marshall Hall.

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The Amphitheater.  Sorry the first picture is so blurry.

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Me, performing “Richard III.”  “NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCOVFEFE.”  I was the toast of Sunken Road.  The performance was brief; I only know two lines of “Richard III” — one, if I get stage fright.

Seriously, though, if you people haven’t checked out David Morrissey’s treatment of its famous monologue, then you don’t know what you’re missing.  You can find it on Youtube.

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I have no idea who I am supposed to be saluting here.  My Alumbud taking the picture?  Any competent commanding officer would take one look at that gut of mine and then BUST ME RIGHT DOWN DOWN TO PRIVATE.

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Mason Hall and Randolph Hall, with the above-ground “Link” between them — a new product of the campus-wide remodeling.  Previously, there was a line of dorm rooms unofficially known as “The Tunnel,” beneath a massive stone porch overlooking Fredericksburg.  That porch was a great place to read, and I’m sorry to see it gone.

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Another blurry picture — this one of Russell Hall.  The old steps have been upgraded.

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Seen from Russell is … Brent Hall?  Is it weird if I have no memory of that building — and I lived right across the way over at Bushnell Hall?

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The parking lots at the southeast corner of campus, behind Russell and Marshall Hall.  Running behind those is Sunken Road, where a few of my friends had off-campus housing.  There was a smallish apartment building (north of this spot) where various classmates of mine in the early 1990’s could be found residing or visiting … was it called Sunrise Apartments?

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Marshall Hall.

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Throwback Thursday: The Allman Brothers Band

Rest in peace, Gregg Allman.

I first got acquainted with music of The Allman Brothers Band as a first-semester freshman at Mary Washington College in 1990.  My cultural illiteracy as an 18-year-old was embarrassing — especially where music was concerned.  I’d arrived at the small, fairly conservative Virginia state school listening to … well, very little other than what I’d heard on the MTV countdown.  (I started loving Richard Wagner as a high school senior — but that niche interest was rare for someone my age, so far as I was aware.)  It was an ongoing issue when I was a college freshman that upperclassmen would roll their eyes or even occasionally hiss when I told them what music I was into.

Alumnus Steve Miller and his friends were the exception.  They showed me far more patience at their parties in “The Tunnel” between Mason and Randolph Halls — they exposed me to tons of The Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, The Steve Miller Band, and The Beatles.  (No, the irony of a guy named Steve Miller coincidentally loving The Steve Miller Band was not lost on us.)  Steve and his friends were each, in varying degrees, an amalgam of Obi-Wan and a far mellower version one of the guys from “Animal House” (1978).

The Allman Brothers were really my first extended exposure to Southern rock.  (And, hey, you can’t get much more Southern than a band made up of guys named Berry Oakley or Butch Trucks.)  I listened to them whenever there was a party at Steve’s, even after he started hosting his soirees out of his apartment on Sunken Road. Everyone there loved The Allman Brothers.  I think “Ramblin’ Man” was probably the group’s favorite.

Today, “Midnight Rider” is by far and away my favorite Allman Brothers song.  Curiously enough, though, for the life of me, I do not remember hearing that one in college.  I actually started jamming to it after I heard Rob Zombie include it in the score for the opening montage of “The Devil’s Rejects” horror film in 2005.

Anyway … “The Tunnel” at “Mary Washington College” has apparently now been remodeled into the above-ground “The Link” at “The University of Mary Washington.”

Well la-dee-DA.

 

Check out MWC Alum Steve Miller’s virtual silkscreen art!

Here’s something I’ve been meaning to post for a while now — I am the proud owner of two “photographic virtual silkscreens” by the talented Alexandria artist Steve Miller.  I mentioned these prints on the blog when Steve sent them to me, but I never posted photos.

Steve is an old friend of mine, and a fellow graduate of Mary Washington College.  (No absurd “UMW” appellations will appear on this blog.)  As I’ve mentioned here in the past, some of my favorite memories of college were partying with the gang at Steve’s room in “The Tunnel” between Mason and Randolph Halls.  (I was a nervous and hyperactive freshman in the Fall of 1990; Steve and a few other upperclassmen there took me under their collective wing, and taught me to chill out and listen to the Beatles like a respectable Virginian young man.)  Steve is the tall guy in the shades in our group photo below.

But Steve was also a great friend because he’s one of the first true artists I had in my peer group.  He was a great creative influence, and taught me to dig good music, laid back friends and offbeat, unusual art.  I’d like to think it made me a far more well rounded young person.  To this day, whenever I hear The Allman Brothers (whose work was gospel to our crowd), I think of The Tunnel.

Steve’s work with virtual silkscreening was my introduction to the medium.  It’s cool and trippy; I love the vibe it brings to my place.

Check out Steve’s site here:

http://virtualsilkscreens.com/

 

 

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