Saturday, 25 July 2015

Reminiscences of a Military Brat, Part 14, Living in Residence and Military Training

The 2nd and 3rd windows down from the centre door are my room
So at the end of my last post, I had finally been accepted into the Regular Officer Training Program (ROTP) as a future Logistics officer. In January 1975, I moved out my brother's PMQ and down to residence at University College. I was to share a room in Whitney Hall, Cody House on St George Street. The picture above is the view of the quadrangle. Cody House is the 3 stories to the right of the central door; men on the ground floor and ladies on the 2nd and 3rd floor. Mulock House was further down to the right and the other two houses were Fraser and Ferguson, both to the left of the central entrance. You could also enter from St George Street. To get to our rooms, you passed by the porter's office, managed by two older gentlemen.

My side of the room, my desk, quadraphonic stereo, records, tapes and books
My room, which I shared with Chris Bradford for two years, was the first on the right past the porter's office. Everyone made me feel very welcome even though I arrived in the middle of the term. Cody House was a great place and I had 2 1/2 good years there; the first two sharing with Chris.

My future flatmate, Allan Harris
3rd year I moved across the hall into a single room and 4th year, I moved into an apartment off campus and shared with a science student, Al Harris. But for my first 5 months in residence, I got used to a new life style. I will readily admit, that I began to party a bit and *ahem* drink a bit.

My room and Chris' became a bit of a gathering place, as you can see, but we just as happy sitting down in the hallway, chatting, having a drink and letting people step around us as they headed to their rooms.

University Gothic; our wonderful Dons
We were well cared for. Each house had 2 dons. Ben lived on our floor and looked after we guys and Rachel lived upstairs and looked after the ladies. It was a very homey place. Off the hallways was a small lobby and then a large sitting room with comfy couches and chairs and even a piano. There was also a study hall with 3 or 4 desks if you wanted some piece and quiet to study, especially if you shared a room. Onward and into a kitchen where you could keep food in the fridges and also cook meals if you wanted. Continue on towards Mulock House via the kitchen and before you hit their rooms, there was a TV lounge.

The patio
As you can see from the first picture, Whitney Hall was basically a C- shaped building with a nice quadrangle for throwing around a baseball or Frisbee. We were lucky in that there was a little deck off the lounge, through French doors. I spent many days out there studying... well, studying is a loose term, but enjoying the sun anyway.

The Dining Hall was down the path towards the UC bookstore. You could get lunch and supper there (I don't think they served breakfast, but you could get that at many other places on campus, or just keep milk and cereal in the kitchen.) and it was a good meeting place.

Cody House regularly hosted dances in the lounge; probably once every two or three months. We'd set up the study hall as our bar, keep the beer and wine cold in the kitchen fridges and move the furniture around in the lounge so you had a nice big dance floor. I volunteered my stereo; really probably a pretty cheap kit, but my pride and joy. It was a quadraphonic, 8-track stereo with record player. So besides serving at the bar and squeezing in a few dances, I was also the DJ. The dances were always very popular, folks from all over the university. It did mean I had to improve my record collection to provide sufficient dance music. There were a few record stores that I frequented; Round Records on Bloor Street and down on Yonge Street, there was Sam the Record Man and A&M Records. I did like my stereo; there were a few nights after imbibing a bit too much that I fell asleep with an 8-track in play, which played on a continuous loop until I woke up in the morning. Ooooops.

Visiting the folks
I did still get home for Spring Break and Easter, either taking the bus up or driving up with Rick and Heather. My folks still lived on Moffatt Crescent at that time. By now, Dad was retired from the military and now working as a mail carrier. Mom still worked at the Base Post Office. John was either in Grade 6 or Grade 7.

Anyway, I will get back more to living at University and my activities in future post(s). To finish off this entry, I enjoyed my first experience living in residence and still managed to pass my 1st year courses. Summer was approaching and that meant Basic Training with the military. This will be the subject of my next entry. Can't wait, eh?

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