My first semester at BYU I lived in the dorms. May Hall, 1977. It was the newest dorm in Helaman Halls and I was excited to be there. I moved in to room 1220 with my couple of suitcases full of belongings. Ground floor, south west wing, 43 girls all up and down one long hall. Our rooms were really small. Basically a bed, that pulled out from a sofa-ish thing against the wall with a narrow closet at the foot and a built-in desk at the head. When both beds were pulled out, we had only a foot or two between them. It seems we had to turn sideways to pass each other. The room had a window and a door. The bathroom was down the hall with shower stalls and a few toilets. It was a social gathering place where we passed as we brushed out teeth and did our body grooming (there wasn’t room in our dorm rooms for that).
We had hall parties and short-sheeted each other’s beds and toilet papered each other’s rooms and had water fights (we had to dry the carpet with our hair blow dryers). When some kissed a boy, they “owed ice cream” to their roommate. When someone got engaged, there was a “candle passing” where the ring was tied onto a candle which was passed around the darkened room and blown out by the excited bride-to-be. We had meal tickets and ate in the Cannon Center (“Cancer Center”). We listened to music played on cassettes in tape players. Not one of us had a car-we all walked everywhere we needed to go.
On Sundays we all went to church together and every evening we prayed together. For the first time in my life I had sisters. We loved and lifted each other and helped our faith in our Heavenly Father grow.
We lived through mid-terms and early morning classes and late nights at the library. We all had nicknames and we knew each other inside out by the time our freshman year was over. Our beloved R. A. was Jackie Owen and Sis. Burdett was the kind and dear Head Resident who made the best banana bread ever.
At the end of the semester, boxes and suitcases lined the halls as we said our tearful good-byes and went to our homes in all corners of the nation, not knowing if we would ever see each other again. And in most cases, we never did.
But every once in a while, heaven sends an exception. Tonight my 2 best ever dorm friends and I had a reunion. Becky Benfell Haymond was in town from Alabama for her son’s wedding reception in Springville. Roothie Morey Olsen came from Mapleton, and we three were together, in the same place for the first time in 36 years! Oh, what fun it was to laugh together again. Our children are now at BYU, where we once were. I’m not sure how that happened, because we are only a few years older!
In any case, it was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time. What happy memories we have!
Photos: Above–May Hall 1200 floor girls. Yes, I’m wearing furry socks. Don’t ask. Below: May Hall in 1977.
My desk and the bulletin board above my bed.
May Hall beauties. Becky and Roothie in the front row. I’m on the left in the long dress. Next, Becky & Roothie (we never called her Ruth) on my bed.
Ann, Roothie, Becky and Linda.
Here is Roothie sunbathing on the roof, eyes protected by bottle caps!
Beck’s room TP’d, and some late night ice cream. Yum.
Ann and Roothie and a look at my roommate’s sofa bed between the desk & closet. Yikes those were small rooms!
And here we were tonight, 36 years later. What a happy reunion!