The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Monday, November 4, 2013

In Class at EKU, 1966.

Lately we've been sifting through old slides, photos, and other mementos from our past.

I finished my M. A. in January of '63 and worked that spring semester at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. We left there and moved to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY in the fall of 1963.

Joyce had completed her AA degree at Martin Junior College where we met, and she continued her academic work by taking some more general education courses at Eastern. We bought our first new car ('64 Dodge) and house when we lived in Richmond--I'll show some pics of them in a later post.

We enjoyed our three years there very much and made a lot of friends, most of whom have passed on now. Our dear friend Professor Philip Mankin passed away in the early '70s and Professor James (Jim) Mangus passed away a couple of years ago. Jim and his wife Carol were our closest friends; Jim and I played a lot of tennis (he won most every set) and were on the faculty basketball team together. Joyce and I remember remember a couple of times when the four of us got into long conversations that lasted all night and Carol prepared a great breakfast before we went home.

For the first two years my office and my classes were all in the old Roark Building on campus. In my final year at Eastern ('65-'66), I moved my office into the newly completed Combs building and had all my classes there. I taught Comp I and II, as well as both semesters of World Literature.

Eastern was a great place to work under President Robert Martin. We enjoyed monthly faculty dinners, a Christmas party, departmental "teas," concerts by national artists (like the Rooftop Singers and Ferannte and Teicher) and student dances.

The college was just beginning its Masters program in English and the department was expanding and hiring new teachers, many with doctorates, but most with MA's to free up the doctorates we already had for teaching the graduate classes.

I shared a long office in the new building with two other instructors,  guys about my age (Perebinossof and Whitson). It was a great time to be a college teacher. We enjoyed considerable student respect, just from our position. Students had not yet evolved into the self centered, profane, shrill, abrasive and demanding creatures they became after the '60s. The previous sentence is a general statement; I, of course, had many great students in the '70s and '80s and on into the '90s, but the overall collegiate atmosphere did change.

Here's a pic taken from the Eastern Milestone annual, 1965-66. It's a posed World Lit classroom scene. I remember we all had a good laugh after the photographer left and then got back down to the business of Plato or Sophocles, can't remember which. Those were good times.


  1. That girl on the far right is a dead-ringer for my former mother-in-law. Amazing.

    I think you might have hit the sweet spot in your academic career by beginning in the early sixties. I had some small experience with mid-70s college kids and I can vouch for the "self centered, profane, shrill, abrasive and demanding creatures" bits. But I loved her anyway. ;-)

  2. The early '60s in academe were great. The later '60s, not so much.

  3. Jim Mangus is my late Grandfather. I can picture him staying up all night talking politics, sports, etc! Cool post.