Friday, April 29, 2011

1st Yr. Teacher Employment

September 2, 1949- "Dad finished pouring our basement. He has worked at it spare time for quite a while. ... 

You see when I look for work I haven't experience typing, filing, clerking,  receptionist, etc. Yet I know how to build a house, pour cement, plaster, wallpaper, some carpentry, paint, wreck, and---but these aren't what girls are hired for nor would a girl want to. Nevertheless if one helps at home as long as I have such is the only experience she receives. I wonder if what I learned will make any home I might have in the future happier. I guess everyone is at least free to dream of a home. I know there would be dancing every night, good things to read and have read, always something to learn and good ho-made fun to add to the monotonous routine tasks, oooh lots, lots, more, but I should ramble on so".

September 10- "I desire to be successful but know I won't succeed. It is for a man to succeed anyway and for a woman to be merely a remote cause of his success. I leave doing a super job of things to you". I became the mom eventually who could change her little daughter's 'I can't' into 'yes, you can' and 'you are a capable woman'. Long before President Obama.

I spent my first year teaching in the Milwaukee schools, the position had a title  'Permanent Substitute'. I had applied for work in Milwaukee because of my relationship with Bob. After I returned to Milwaukee in September from spending my summer at home in Hebron Bob paid me a visit.  When his summer term ended he had gone down to Texas to meet his previous girlfriend, Cassie. He found he  still loved her and she him. He said he would no longer be seeing me or calling me for he would be loyal to the other girl. I wanted it both ways."We walked to the bakery for I needed to buy rolls for the breakfast tomorrow and stuff for my lunch. Well, sensing his cool air I did get to the bottom. He is engaged now, Bruce, and to Cassie in San Antonio after all the things I said about this not working out for him and for me. Guess he kind of thought things over for the best. Said she was so happy and even he feels so grand, so content. Made my eyes water. No more wonderful dances and parties for me. I can forget, I guess... It's an awfully lost feeling. Like hearing of the death of a friend."He married soon after his graduation and lived in her hometown, San Antonio. They had met when he was in the Air  Corps, San Antonio. Her father was well off. I believe Bob did well. I doubt if I ever told Bob about my Hebron High School crush.

I had three separate schools to service on   opposite ends of town. I lived in a Marquette approved home for girls for about the first half of the school year. 22 years old this birthday. I had a bed mate, Marquette person, who  would come home [our room] and play classical music. She said her dad used to hum tunes while they were out on the lake [Wisconsin gal] and she would guess the title of the classical music. All the girls living there took turns preparing evening meals. Put money in a 'kitty'. I lived at 3021 W. Wells until February, 1950. The house was only 3 blocks from St. Rose where I usually attended 6 AM Mass. One time I  opened a can of fruit, a metal can of fruit cocktail treated inside, and placed in the refrigerator for another meal. Our house mother had a conniption. Didn't matter this was my college major and I knew what I was doing.

Jim was attending St. Mary's High School in Woodstock, IL. "Jim seems to like school. The whole idea was so on spur of the moment that it is difficult to visualize him over at St. Mary's. He is taking World History, Latin, English and Algebra, Health and Religion. He bought fresh  binder dividers,  three pads of paper, two notebooks, and a new pen.  'Member the good old days'. Gone forever".  Only a short time enrolled and he broke a rib, football I guess. Dr. said he would grow tall. In '49 he was about the height Bruce and I were in High School. He's 14 years old.

We had Wisconsin Teacher's Convention in Milwaukee which added up to a busy, bustling weekend. Marquette held their homecoming. I was able to ride home with dad for he had come up to 'meet the boys at Sigma Phi'. 
"Bill wanted Elayne to help him with his term paper this evening and because he wasn't too nice she became angry and began to run away. She has been doing that when in temper about semi-annually ever since she was eight. The very first time it was cold and dark when she left the house so she stood a long while about two steps outside, and so it has been since. Confidentially, I think it means she, too, is tired of playing grownup and wants to be babied for a while".

November 14 I wrote: "It is hunting season, you know. Our hired man killed a pheasant so I had some for the first time and you know what-- it was kind of good. Jim went out before Mass yesterday and shot at 2 rabbits and missed both times and then was happy he missed them. This is the kind of hunter I would like to be. We don't let anyone hunt on our land because we feel they could be careless and it will become dangerous. They come around persistently. We have many pheasants".
November 25, 1949 " Because it was really the first snow it was the first day in for the cattle. I watched Jim open the gate for the young heifers this morning and they actually ran into the yard. Guess they discovered it had turned wintertime overnight".
Elayne and I got a new bedroom set for Christmas this year and Jim built a bookcase for us. She spent the winter, in Chicago rather than commute, staying at Catholic Women's Club over downtown Loyola University."Mother is going to have an operation the first part of January. Probably not serious enough to get worried about. But she is our darling at home and things just must go fine for her. I have a letter I wrote which refers to mother's operation being on February 7.

Bill is getting fed up with college. He needs its security so much more than many. I thought I would go downtown about 8:00 and visit with him. He is in a rut and must be pulled out or do the getting out himself. It takes quite a bit of stick to get through college-- more valuable really than brains".

Because of my employment in Milwaukee I am able to visit mother every evening through her hospital confinement. She developed an infection. No antibiotics available to fight infections. On one of my visits-  "Mom was feeling rather perky. Seems she asked Dr. Byrnes for a schnapps to stimulate her and he prescribed it." She was kept an entire month when dad finally drove up to get her. These were special times for me alone evenings with my mother.
St. Clara's Home for Business Women

It was some time after this that I moved to St. Clara’s home for business women on the south side. "I'm trying to get into St. Catherine's because my friends from school are there. Our meals are good, breakfast and dinner. We have a chapel with Mass at 6:30, nice recreation room and parlors. Miss Beatty has been trying to situate me in one  school for the past few days". I have a perky little working girl roommate, Mickie. These homes are for working girls who come to Milwaukee after High School for employment. I believe my cousin Dorothy Margaret Bergin stayed at St. Catherine's. Perhaps other cousins. 
He wore a topcoat and Fedora just like this

I write these words in February. Bruce has returned home from active service in the Air Force. From Mrs. Beth Stewart's urgings he finally looked me up. He strolls into my life from out of nowhere, having left the U.S. Air Corps, as it was then called. I tell you this because he showed up at my parents home wearing a very stylish men's overcoat and a fedora, classily clothed like my father would look leaving for work in the city daily. And he looked so beautiful to me, not at all like a farm boy or the uniformed Air Force Captain. I immediately fell head over heals in love with him all over again. By April Bruce visits me when I am home weekends and we visit with members of his family. I am in love. At least once he drove up to Milwaukee to visit with me. My family and I were stunned when we saw him so grown up, wearing an overcoat and top hat. Not a boy- a man. He grew in stature to 5'10'. I am happy. 

My Carnation Corsage

He and I attend the Hebron High Prom this Spring. 
  "Your carnation and mine are going to be saved forever. Now I won't know which one I love the most my 7-year old one or the new one."

I finish my Milwaukee teaching season. I wrote my last letter to Bruce June 7, 1950. From here on we go live and personal. Eventually, very personal.

Teacher Evaluation:"I did get my rating today, May 19, 1950. Mr. Byrne's gave me excellent in all but one and that was 'interest' for which I received 'superior'. Won't that be a hum-dinger recommendation... from the Milwaukee School System?"

"-you know we were going to have  a HCHS reunion in 5 years and this is it. Should we plan one? We could have a beach party or even a party at home on a nice summer evening." 

Stewart House on the Hill

We did have our 5th Hebron High School Reunion, Class of '45. Most everyone made it to the picnic. We used the yard and kitchen at the 'House on the Hill'. As usual Mr. and Mrs. Stewart provided the means. Do you recall the fireplace they had built into the garage? The home had been newly constructed.

I had no interest in returning to Milwaukee for my next year of teaching High School. I applied in a few towns around Hebron. I landed my job in Darien, WI, for $3000.00 annual, a 2o minute drive from home, which in this era was considered a long drive. And I might add this was considered a good 9 months salary.

I bought a little blue chevy coupe from a dealer in Harvard, IL, neighboring town. The car had been his son's in college who now had moved on to something bigger and better. I loved my very own little chevy.

In July Bruce and I drive up to visit  Fr. Maddigan who leads an 'Inquiry Forum' at Marquette University. My cousin Tom Collins tells me, "I knew Fr. Madigan very well'. Tom entered the Jesuit novitiate soon afterwards and stayed on for 8 years.

This would be while Marquette is in summer session. From what I recollect this was with a group in the basement at Johnson Hall. Madigan in his visit with us tells Bruce his becoming a Catholic must be his clear decision. His, not mine. There is to be no pressuring at all. [Think about it or looking back from now would we have married if he hadn't converted?] I did my best for many years in a hard sell. That was pressure, certainly. I believe my folks were becoming more flexible. Was I? I had been raised in parochial schools. I was indoctrinated. I believed what I was taught- only salvation was through the Catholic Church. Where do all God's other children go? -to Hell. I had yet to learn this dictum did not make sense.  I would like to think I would have buckled if threatened that I might lose my love once more. Other girls [women] I knew were opting for a mixed marriage.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Jim: " believe it was in the Fall of '48 when dad resigned from American Printing Ink Company [by then it had been bought out by Sun Chemical]. He didn't return to the Chicago commute until the Horse Meat Scandal of early '52 as I recall." When he returned he was employed by the University of IL in their food testing laboratory downtown Chicago. He frequently brought tested meat samples home for us, knowing of their high quality,  to be used rather than waste.

September, 1948, I must return to Mount Mary a week before the other students to attend classes in Student Leadership and to help guide Freshman Registration. I would be chairman of Sodality Spirituality Committee. Actually  I had so little to do. Mainly be present at the sodality meetings. One responsibility was to pin a daily inspirational message to the bulletin board along the corridor wall in the college  basement.
Chapel 2nd floor, Notre Dame Hall
We had our own chapel which I hadn't mentioned previously. I had attended morning Mass the past 3 years most every day. Someone would pass through the residence hall each morning, open our door if I was on the early list ,and give out with a wake up call. Attendance was not obligatory, however. We wore a small white veil on our heads.We would wear our caps and gowns in chapel when attending Sunday Mass. Through the years past graduates frequently arranged to have their weddings in the college chapel. This was the year we had a television set up in the Student Lounge in Notre Dame Hall, only TV in the 2 buildings. Some days  we would have a String Quartet perform in the lounge through the noon hour for music appreciation. Mother would send a dollar in her letters occasionally. We had a book store/gift shop. She experienced some frustration when I would spend the money on a gift to take home to her. Purchasing and then giving a gift pleased me so much.

More now about Bob Durocher from Marquette Univ.I continued to meet Bob at the mixers this new semester and we became college friends, for sure. By my Senior year and the days following I had totally dismissed Bruce from my life. No anger, he was just history. Bob Durocher worked some jobs to pay his way in school and make spending money which he didn't hesitate to spend on me. One job was very greasy working at an auto station. I would frequently ride into town on the bus, meet him at his place of work as he was leaving. He'd need to go home and clean up. He lived in a home with other Marquette guys with a house mother and father- chosen by the University. Turned out to be such a friendly household. We would all sit around and visit together. I visited there most every weekend for a long time. One of Bob's housemates, Danny Donovan, gave me my first ride in an airplane, a 2 seater, open cockpit. It was great. He pointed out stuff on the ground beneath us. Danny was a blond hunk of a guy. I think he knew it. He had a beautiful, genuine blond, steady girlfriend, eventually engaged. Gorgeous couple. One job Bob had was playing his huge bass in gigs. He was quite musical. I shared with mother and dad  that Bob had been adopted by his aunt and uncle. They didn’t like that story at all. When we had our Spring retreat I had a meeting with the retreat master to discuss  my parent's attitude. Since he was Catholic, a university student, we cared for each other the priest took our side rather than parental side. My parents were outraged. I believe this is about the first time they came to realize the Catholic Educators total philosophy might not coincide with their parental and family philosophy. The relationship with Bob was the greatest for he would call me every single evening that entire school year. We had only one phone for the whole 4th floor. The phone would ring, somebody answer, and then shout down the hall ‘MaryKay’. I felt so popular now. In addition we would walk in from the bus line together weekend nights and hang around the ’grill’ in our residence basement , dance to the tunes someone had playing on the jukebox until curfew time. He must leave the premises at 11 PM and I would go upstairs to my room. Got lots of popular exposure in the Grill, too. Especially, I remember  ‘Harbor Lights’. Dedicated here to his memory.

The Lyrics:
Bob Durocher- thanks for great days
I saw those harbor lights
They only told me we were parting
The same old harbor lights that once brought you to me
I watched the harbor lights
How could I help if tears were starting
Goodbye to tender nights beside the silv'ry sea
 I long to hold you near and kiss you just once more
But you were on the ship and I was on the shore
 Now I know lonely nights
For all the while my heart is whisp'ring
Some other harbor lights will steal your love from me
 I long to hold you near and kiss you just once more
But you were on the ship and I was on the shore
 Now I know lonely nights
For all the while my heart is whisp'ring

Some other harbor lights will steal your love from me

When Easter approached Bob's mother invited me to their home in Iron Mountain MI. To accept would be a big, big break away from our closely knit family. Truly a rebellious move, a no no. I accepted the invitation, abandoning my family. Durocher’s were French decent.
Ford Motor's Company Home

They lived 2 story home, identicals, all in a row built by Ford Motor Company for their employees, a Ford factory town in Iron Mountain, MI. I had never seen homes so narrow and yet tall. Living room and kitchen downstairs, bedrooms upstairs. Simple. Well maintained. His mother and father were delightful [aunt and uncle actually by blood].
Introduction to pasty

Bob showed me all about town and introduced me to yummy pasties. He purchased an engagement ring around this time, a lovely diamond. I was disconcerted. My parents were outraged. I couldn’t cope with their judgmental attitude even after they had met Bob. I simply couldn’t keep it. I could not oppose them. He was so hurt. He told me there are other places and other people not so friendly as Mount Mary and home-- things I have a need to learn. I have been told before how naive I am. He's dealing with 'Daddy's little girl' not a college woman and he knows it. 

Bruce's sister Elsie's baby  daughter, Ardis died in March '48 from chicken pox. 

Annually Home Ec Club hosted a party for little boys at the orphanage in the Home Economics practice apartment
1st on left is me. [Milwaukee Journal clipping]
Practice Teachers Group-- I am she standing in the bus

I will be grateful forever for the college education I received here at Mount Mary. This was a Liberal Arts College which was always its emphasis. I often thought I would have had superior training in Home Economics at the University of Illinois. Most likely so.  Living as I did here was  a blessed opportunity. No doubt about it. One summer mother and I checked out Mundelein College in Chicago with a tentative plan to transfer. Finding a place to stay just seemed too monumental a task at that time and I settled my mind to remain where I was. My professors were admirable women. I prized my Catholic Literature class which Sr. Joseph taught, she directed her students to The Thomas More Book Club which proved to be ongoing education throughout my life for adult female or male to keep on stretching the mind, heart and soul, quality books by well educated authors. Sr. Caritas was our Education professor with a heart as large as she was tall. These women, as others,  pointed me in an upward and forward direction. All about continuing to grow, to change, to become the woman I was created to be. I took that essence along with me upon graduation into the whole of my life to build and to shape myself always striving to be  me even when at odds with others. Maturing came slowly. My grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my parents, my brothers and sister each left an indelible mark for good. And so it was. I graduate. 

My graduation announcement

 1949 graduate Mary Kathryn Bergin B.S

I wrote about my friend: "Bob is going south to Texas when the summer semester at Marquette ends in about fifteen days."

Before graduation I had a job for the 49-50 school year. I would be a permanent substitute teacher my first year out in the Milwaukee Public School System. But before the school year commenced I had summer months to fill while living at home. I grew up a bit in that summer of 1949. I made a decision. I would tear down the horse barn. This building was just standing there. Though not a problem, we knew eventually it would be coming down. Now that is quite a responsibility.  I had learned other skills through the high school years as well, which would include the ‘how to plant bushes in a straight row’ story. I felt up to this. I don’t recall where I began. 
Serious tools for barn wrecking

I marched down the hill with hammer and crow bar beginning to remove one board, then 2, then 3 and so on. It was 2 story so I recall figuring it would be smart to begin above and work the way down. So this is what we kids did that summer. I initiated the job so Elayne didn’t need to push me. [Well now, she'd have graduated and be working in Chicago, wouldn't she? She was working in the offices of a large insurance Company, Kemper] We just did it. The building came down to the ground with all the lumber to be stacked and nails to be removed.
old square nails in barn boards

"August 20, 1949"Jim went to the Free Show. Elayne Bill and I just stayed home this evening. We worked on the barn all today. I think we will have it down before long. Jim seems to think we haven't been at it a month yet,well almost, though."
"The carpeting is down except on the stairway. It's nice stuff. Looks so cozy and warm." To jog your memory, do you remember that green, sculpted, wool carpet in the living room,  piano room, open stairway room, front door room, basement door room? Picture this in your head.
August 22, 1949 "The horse barn is down. We pulled nails all day long from the good 2 by 4s, 6s, 8s. Now I can see way off into the distance. The hills just seem to roll on and on and they really do."
Handful of discarded square head nails

Young brother Jim's notes: I also so fondly remember our summer of '50 [my envelope has the postmarks Aug, 1949] when together we literally deconstructed that big horse barn board by board, plank by plank, which we cleared of all nails  spikes, subsequently saving us and the environment the costs of new material to build the corn crib Dad designed, AND, an addition to the cow barn which included 2 large granary bins overhead a drive in parking space for the barn cleaner-manure spreader-tractor, all of which he designed with the use of all those old horse barn timbers - everything but the old wood shingles and siding which had certainly served out their lifetime. We were, to put it directly: "One Hell of a Team!" I'm so proud of those days and our unique achievements!  I can't help thinking it would all make a Best-Seller were it all a documented narrative. I just have such regrets that we ever let it go from the family too, after all our contributions to its success." 

Jim adds: "I know Dad was so resolved that we should each reap a fair share of its value, and hence the Incorporation scheme; but that need not have precluded our retaining it for us and our progeny ." 

Our Dad was dead set to find a way to have their parental inheritance pass down to his progeny without a hassle. I wrote previously about my father's disappointment in his alcoholic father not tending productively to what he had inherited. I also wrote of a mutually respectful relationship between him and my mother's father, John Morris. When mother's Aunt Mary died and mother's parents, John and Kathryn Morris, we kids witnessed the Morris family split in two factions. My grandfather would have 'turned over in his grave' had he known. There was a lot of anger and resentment in the air for quite some time. This was experience our parents lived with. Dad seriously struggled to create a plan to avoid this wrangling when their turn came to pass on. Thus he leaned toward incorporating the farm. The process of family incorporation was new to him and he studied hard to unravel all the legal intricacies. I believe he succeeded in his effort. I have a loose leaf notebook filled with his letters to us, his dear ones, as he struggled to keep us aboard and to keep us informed, I have a hunch the fact that we siblings scattered so brought him eventually to see the land in a different light. Jim left and went to Merna with Angie's family. I returned to Illinois from California  but in 12 years I left again for good.  Turns out our family cohesion and venture  was really about investing money and labor, keeping the family constructively busy and an education in the value of God's Creation. Farm's earnings would be cash for each of us to invest in our own piece of America the beautiful with the strong directive, 'it must grow and multiply'. It was their lifetime to do  what seemed best. Takes time and know-how more than remained in their lifetime. And so it goes. Writing the story, sharing experiences and by example perhaps future generations will grow forward, onward, upward with knowledge of history, family, country, world, universe. We are after all, building the kingdom. Dad and mother spent their lifetime building. This is my dad's legacy. Pray we have the wisdom as they to build, not to destroy our piece of the universe.

This is the year the new St. Joseph’s is constructed in Richmond, IL.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1947 Three in College

1947 my brother, Bill is registered as a Freshman in Marquette University. He lives right smack in the midst of campus at a men's dorm, Brook's Hall, just across from what was then the new Bus. Ad building. I couldn't find a picture. Lived there all 4 years. Soon after he graduated a new men's dorm was constructed. The old building remains for I saw the building when we toured the campus in the nineties.  
The picture on the right I'm thinking  would do my brother, Bill, justice. 
Note the colors, blue and gold. I know he is giving me 2 thumbs up!

Jim writes: "It was such fun for me going up to Milwaukee to see brother and sisters, probably getting the day off from school, accompanying my mother. He [Bill] became known by all, many of whom were football players, quite a few blacks, and he would take me around to their rooms to introduce me to the jocks. You see he was what they called a Manager for the football and basketball teams, taking care of uniforms, logistics. Owing to this situation he knew the coaches personally".

All three of us, Elayne, Bill and MaryKay are now in college. One semester Elayne opts to live off campus. She lives with a family in their home in Wauwatosa just off Bluemound Rd. I do not recall much about how this change came about. I know the family consisted of father, mother, and 2 children. This mother was a nurse. I stayed overnight at least once with Elayne. The mom opened the windows in the children's bedrooms very wide at night to let in the cold, fresh air. My impression from my visits was  a 'cold' one all around. Oh- yes it was fresh and it was cold. Like sleeping in an igloo.I can imagine though that Elayne and perhaps 'the club' thought she might save us some money in room and board with this arrangement. This could work out for Elayne just as it did for me with the Holtan family. I'm not sure it did. No room and board expenses would indeed be a tremendous savings. In addition to tuition, however, she would now have the cost of public transportation to and from school and the time involved.
"Mother drove in on Friday. She and Elayne came out to pick me up and  went to dinner."
Bill and his roommate came out to visit me at MMC and spend some hours just fooling around. Mother picked all three of us up for Thanksgiving break. Perhaps more economical than 3 bus fares. Was surely convenient for us.
Pennants were glued on my suitcase.

Mother asked me to pick up Bill's laundry at Brook's Hall. "Right between classes at Marquette I came walking along with my Mount Mary pennant suitcase. The pennant seemed magnified 100 times. Then all by myself I walked into Brook's Hall-- so many men. Now I know how the fellows feel when they come out here with all the girls around.... Jim has a clarinet now. So far he knows the first 12 measures of 'Merry Widow Waltz'."

My sister was pledged into the Theta Sigma Phi Honor Society- National Honorary Journalism. She says she's getting such wonderful marks in reporting she can hardly believe it. "Dean O'Sullivan is supposed to be 'tough stuff'  I write.
June, 1948- My sister, Elayne,  graduates from Marquette University with a B.A. Degree her major having been Journalism.
Air Force Graduation Announcement

And Bruce is now a jet pilot having completed his Air Force classes. Lieutenant Bruce M. Stewart Shaw AFB South Carolina. He's flying jets overhead, formations and all the Air Force maneuvers.
Lieutenant Bruce M. Stewart US Air Force

"Fr. Blake at St. Joseph's, Richmond was killed in an automobile accident last Wednesday outside Kenosha. Another rider was killed, too, Mr. Clancy lawyer from Chicago. Went to Fr.'s funeral this morning. I couldn't look at him laid out because I loved him so and want to remembr him as he was . He just went away or I did and it is goodbye--- so long to an old friend. Maybe we can be even better friends with him in Heaven. What a personality that guy had!!!"
"Elayne commutes to Chicago from Genoa City each day. Her features are softer and more womanly. Just took a snapshot of her. If it turns out I'll send it to you."
Big Foot Country Club- Fontana, WI

I spent these summer months away from home. I was working at Big Foot Country Club in Fontana, WI. I roomed with 2 other college students from Whitewater College. We lived in a great room over the Club’s kitchen. The club members had many activities those summer days other than golfing. Throughout the summertime there were frequent luncheons, dinner parties, dances. We were busy serving meals. Members treated us special.

Spending my break at the lake

After lunch we’d have a break and head down the highway to the lake to pass time until we were needed for dinner service.

The head greenskeeper, very nice, clean cut young man kept asking for dates. I went out with him only once. I wanted to marry a college guy and so he didn’t fit the profile. Too many tears might result if we did. He was a Catholic, that satisfied another requirement. Had to be Catholic. Some nights we three girls would walk down to the lake to a popular spot nearby where many young people gathered, again many from Evergreen Park or Beverly in Chicago. Fun was flirting with these guys. Some were ‘fast’ [shameless, immoderate, licentious]. Behavior unexpected from Catholic College guys, I thought, which they often were. Previous guys I had met were by far more gentlemanly, in my experience. Always I compare guys I meet to the ones special in my life-- my father, my brothers, and my first love, Bruce.
Ride to Sunday Mass w/Daley Family

Sundays I would walk out onto the blacktop road on my way to the church in town. Several times Richard J. Daley gave me a lift. This was the papa Daley who was mayor of Chicago and , of course, his son was with him, another future mayor. Nice Irish family-- mom, pop and kids. A lesson I learned at the club that some of the folks that have a lot of money don’t need to dress up, show off, and act a part. Another new idea- my roommates would strip off their clothes and spend the evening in our quarters after work totally naked, 'absolutely as naked as the day that they were born'. They said they did the same at home. This was news to me. And I couldn’t help but wonder if they had brothers or paraded around bare before their father. How could this be modest womanly behavior? Things to learn out in the great big world.