May 1966


Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day!

Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way!


The background singing of the Mamas and the Papas accompanied my last class of the day. We were sketching a live model. Mr. LePoris was just finishing up a conference with a student when he called my name. I laid the thin piece of charcoal down and I headed to his desk.


My teacher’s blue eyes lit up over his kind smile as I approached. Even though his curly black hair was short and gray he minded me of Jesus. Little did he know how much his encouragement for the past three years had boosted my confidence.


“First of all, Kathy, I want you to say it has been a pleasure having you in my art classes. I have watched your progress and I believe your art talent should be continued after graduation in a few weeks. I was wondering if you are planning to go to college?”  


 I shook my head no, embarrassed to tell him I couldn’t afford college. I blinked back the tears of self-pity. I couldn’t tell him my big dream back in sixth grade was to go to beautician school and save my earnings for art school. It was a stupid idea, since I hated fixing hair.


“That’s too bad because you have a special gift from God. Your eye for detail and perspective is exceptional.” My quivering lip made him look out the window long enough for me to gain my composure. “You know, Kathy,” he said, “I didn’t think I could afford to go college either at the end of my senior year, which was many moons ago,” he chuckled. “Can I tell you what my art teacher said to me during our conference?”


I nodded, yes.


“He told me if I really wanted something I would have to make it a matter of prayer. Plus, he told me to look at my options to see what suited my talent. While I prayed I looked at several colleges and narrowed them down. Before I knew it I was going to Ohio State! I didn’t start paying back my college loan until I graduated and had a teaching job.”


By the time the Yellow Submarine bus dropped me off at home I was singing, We Can Work it Out! God reminded me praying led my dad to find our new house so God will help me find a college!


“Kathy, honey,” Mrs. Felty said after Sunday School, “I talked to Donny about you wanting to go to college. He said all you have to do is write a letter to Dr. Boswell, the president of Cumberland College. He is a nice man who likes to help people. Tell him your heart’s desire and that you are willing to take any job on campus and work your way through.”


When I got my acceptance letter I was singing, I’ll See You in September!


 Half-way on our drive to Cumberland College my dad stopped in downtown Corbin to find us something to eat. The aroma of home-made bread from the bakery filled our car and made our choice easy. I’ll never forget sitting in the back seat taking turns pulling off big chunks of hot bread that melted in my mouth.


I watched the red tail lights of our blue station wagon disappear into the night. Johnson Hall almost looked haunted but I straightened my shoulders and climbed steps. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach subsided the second I stepped over the century-old threshold.


I was last arriving so I got the bottom bunk. There was only two feet of space between my mattress and the  top bunk. I was worried there wasn’t enough room for my big head full of two-inch rollers! Opening the package of sheets from K-Mart I realized my mom had bought two, flat sheets!


The Baptist roommate arrived early this morning to get dibs on the one, single bed. She gave me her Bugs Bunny smile while I struggled making the bed. The crazy Catholic girl from North Dakota laughed through her crooked teeth and said to be careful every time I hit my head. A bunch of laughter down the hall drew my roomies out the door. I was alone at last! I lay in my flowered, sheet coffin and closed my eyes for a minute. The last thought I remembered before sleep…was not very nice.


That evening the large living room downstairs was packed like sardines wearing pink curlers, face cream and pastel pajamas. It was enough to scare all the boys to Jellico, Tennessee. The wall-to-wall chatter of estrogen gave me a tired headache. When the dorm mother entered the room all became quiet. Each girl introduced herself, told where she was from, and shared her favorite Bible verse. I couldn’t remember John 3:16.


 I over-slept the next morning for Orientation plus I forgot where I was! My head full of two inch rollers crashed into the top bunk and knocked me back down. I lay there scolding myself while hot tears gushed from the pain. I rolled out of bed and unto the floor where I yanked the curlers out.


When the lady handed me my class list I almost wet my peddle pushers! There must be a mistake I said! The woman assured me there was no mistake. She explained something about a “well-rounded education”?


 I forced myself to go to each teacher and sign up for English Composition, Civilization, Zoology, Old Testament, Physical Education, and Art Structure! I only get ONE art class! When you are an art major don’t you take mostly art classes? I wanted to go home!


Later, somebody explained the “well-rounded education” standard to the dork from Ohio! It didn’t make any sense to be paying for classes I hated. I did get a $200 grant toward the $900 tuition. My job assignment was working in the school cafeteria. I couldn’t complain about that since the cafeteria was the perfect place to check out all the cute guys as I handed them their choice of a dessert.


Monday, Monday! It had to be a perfect day!

Monday, Monday! God made it better than okay!