Noilly Prattle: Looking Back: 26 – Good-bye campus life . . . Hello, real world

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Looking Back: 26 – Good-bye campus life . . . Hello, real world

Fuller and one of his
geodesic domes
     In June of 1969, one of my discussion group friends, MD, joined Buckminster Fuller's World Game Seminar in New York City. P and I helped her move to an apartment in the West Village before I had to go back to Amherst for my summer classes.

Andy Warhol
the Factory
        One of M's friends in Manhattan was associated with Andy Warhol's second Factory on Union Square. One day she invited us to visit the Factory around the time Warhol was recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted by a disgruntled radical feminist who had been a marginal figure in the Factory scene. Warhol was there, looking rather more pale than usual, but he was very friendly and accommodating in showing us around the factory. All I can say is that it was a really funky and innovative atmosphere that fully lived up to its reputation as a hip and hedonistic hangout for artistic types and people from a kind of latter day demi monde. It was an unforgettable experience.

        Good times (bad times) come to an end although the memory lives on. But, in the real world you can't live on memories. With graduation, which I finally achieved at the end of the Summer of 1969, came the end of the GI Bill checks and the State housing grant. In short, it was time to move on and get a job. Graduation broke up the old gang. Some went on to Graduate School, P joined the army, my roommate M set up a commune in the Berkshires and married a Gentile and is now the CEO of a line of gourmet sauces Chef Myron's Sauces, and I went back home to look for work.

"I guess this means NO?'
        Liberal Arts degrees don't qualify you to do much without further training or higher education on the graduate level. I was neither sure if or what I wanted to pursue in a graduate program, nor did I have the money to do it. When in a state of indecision it's best to do nothing. But, I needed an income and I applied for a management training position in a bank. I got to an interview and things seemed to be going well, until the manager noticed a 2-week gap in my, shall we say colorful, resume. I hadn't been aware of the fatal “2-week gap”, and reacted with surprise and, I guess, incredulity at such a silly, in my estimation, fine-tooth-combing of a resume. The man all but accused me of dishonesty and trying to cover up some nefarious deed (like doing time, I imagine) which simply would not do in a bank employee. That was the end of the interview and the end of my stab at a conservative workaday lifestyle. The university experience had affected me far more deeply than I had realized.

        Still, I needed a job and an income. I figured if a bank didn't want me, maybe a mental institution would. (Although you'd probably have to be slightly insane to crunch numbers in a bank all day long—full blown schizophrenia seemed far more interesting.)

To be continued...

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