Looking Back 57 Years

It was my first day at Emory University in the fall of 1963. I was with my fellow freshman on a huge, green lawn on a breezy, crisp day. We awaited some sort of orientation.

The campus was in a section of Atlanta called Decatur. It was and is an older, distinguished neighborhood.

I was Jewish, attending a Methodist school, because, it could provide an excellent premedical education. I was to learn that would match up well with the needs of many of my soon to be, Jewish, fraternity brothers

That day out on the lawn I was scared. It was all new to me.

Like most of my fellow freshmen I was now competing with a smarter group of students than I had in high school. It was an unknown.

As I look back it is hard to believe how wet I was behind the ears, so much so it was hard to keep my glasses on. I was so full of fright that day it was all I could do to smile.

As noted soon after orientation I joined one of two, Jewish fraternities on campus. Despite the problematic reputation some collegiate fraternities have now, I think mine was an advantage. It was a bunch of Jewish guys knowing some of life would be uphill given their ethnicity. As a result they worked extremely hard.

Socially most of the freshman, frat brothers had a lot to learn. As naive and immature as we were, we were fixed up with high school girls. There was one remarkable exception to the immaturity rule. This was a freshman, fraternity brother who for the sake of this piece I will call Tom.

One night at the frat house, Tom told several of us, as 18 to 19 year olds, that the woman we would marry was now 12 years old. He was dead right about me and I suspect several others.

Tom’s girlfriend a high schooler almost his age was just as street savvy as Tom. I guess one might call that a high, social IQ. Mine is still in mid-range after 75 years. So much for growing up.

On the flip side, the two of them have been married for over fifty years and clearly confirmed their finely honed instincts as very young adults. Tom is still a friend and cannot remember that memorable remark in the frat house. So much for memoirs…

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available on Amazon

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