And that leads me back to ECI. I took a bus from Lafayette, Indiana, to Chicago, and an elevated from Chicago to Evanston, with a small handbag and $30.00 (that's 30 smackeroos). I had no family with me for support, no scholarship, nor any federal loan. And, there was no job in sight, and no lodging reserved. In addition, on the day of my arrival there was a snowstorm that the Great Lakes are noted for in late January, and I had no parka or snowshoes!

The dean of that small junior college across from the Northwestern campus, and in the cosmopolitan environment of the Chicago north shore, met me as a Christian and took me to his home where his wife provided a warm, home cooked dinner. Then Dean Nelson put me up in a dorm until I could get settled and registered. Within the week I had a job at a resort on the shores of Lake Michigan. Because it was winter, the owner had customers rooming and boarding in the lodge. My job was to do anything I was capable of doing, and to learn how to do anything else. The salary and fringe benefits amounted to five dollars each week, plus free board and room.

My scheduled classes were three in the mornings of Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and two in the mornings of Tuesday-Thursday, for a total of fourteen semester hours. To help pay expenses, I worked fifty-five hours per week during the first semester that ended first of June. Since I had no car, and lived off campus, I walked to Evanston, two miles to and fro, along the lakeshore. That was the pattern. Social life was relating to the boarders at the resort. My activities were classes, studies, work, and lots of meditating, as I walked the four miles, five days each week.

Since ECI was affiliated with the Methodist churches, the tuition was affordable and the texts were handme downs. Many of the faculty were teachers from Northwestern and the Garrett Bible Institute. I'm guessing that they were offering their services at minimal returns, besides those of doing good. I recall that about 75% of the male students were preparing for the ministry. And, in the case of the gals, for church administrative jobs and/or to be ministers' wives.

During the summer of 1940, I worked at the resort and worked with children from five to thirteen years of age. They could stay half a day; full day; full week, or more. One of my many chores was to drive a station wagon for the children, picking them up, and returning them home. One of the chores of interest was to take care of the real pony, cleaning his stall, grooming him, etc. But, I played the harmonica to him in early night which he appreciated and the kids too who stayed overnight. The children came from wealthy families. I picked them up in Wilmette, Kenilworth, and other towns on the North Shore.

I could spend a lot of time about that summer at Camp Shorewood at Wilmette. But I'll have to move on after telling this. One of the gals on staff went with a halfback on the Chicago Bears. The owner-coach, George Halas came out to the camp one day to talk to the gal about the halfback's tendency to skip business on the gridiron at times. I got to meet him; an ego boost for me at the time. That introduction fared me well later at Chanute Field and I'll refer to that later when getting back to Chanute Field.

In the Fall, I was fortunate to get a job in Evanston at Kresge's and Cooley's Cupboards, until I had to take a job with Uncle Sam in July of 1941. With these jobs, I made more money, only worked thirty five a week, and could afford living in the dorm. Even better, I got two free meals daily when working at either Kresge's--S.S. Kresge Co. changed their name to Kmart Corporation in 1977--or Cooleys. Less working hours and less walking allowed me more time to play on the varsity basketball team.

Then, Uncle Sam sent an invitation to "see the world," and I accepted on July 31, 1941, but not with a full heart of elation and joy.

 Back to Top