Both Kelly and I failed to realize that you are supposed to start college in September, not January. But as I said, ignorance is bliss. We were going to college.
We found State Teachers College and walked into the registrar’s office. We stood at the counter a few seconds and a well-dressed man came and greeted us. We explained we wanted to enroll. He nodded and agreed with everything we said. He gave us a questionnaire to fill out. It was only one sheet of paper. A few minutes later we handed them back. He said the college would send for our high school transcripts. We should hear by mail from the college in a week to ten days.
Kelly and I returned to the pool hall. We shot a few games of eight ball and had a few beers to celebrate our entry into the educated ranks.
Ten days later, I received a plain envelope from STC. I had been accepted. Go to the dormitory two days before classes start and sign up for a room. Get your class schedule the next day and classes would start the following day.
At the pool hall that night, I ran into Kelly. He had been turned down. No reasons given. He went on to greater things with Western Union. He later worked in the Western Union office in the House of Representatives in Washington DC. He got to read all the telegrams being sent and received. But he told me later, none were worth reading.
A few years ago Kelly’s brother was marlin fishing out at the Baltimore Canyon, about sixty miles from shore. He suffered a heart attack and died. His drinking buddies strapped him into the fighting chair. They put a fishing rod in one hand and a beer in the other. When they docked at the marina a few hours later, there was Kelly’s brother in the fighting chair, still holding the rod and beer and dead as a mackerel.