By Rix Quinn '71
between your first ride down University Drive and your last meal in Brown-Lupton
came a magical time called "Spring Break."
The week, as you know, was the special
holiday created to honor the writers of "Beach Blanket Bingo." Earnest
students (and, students not named Earnest) left the classroom, packed
a bookbag with jean cutoffs and outrageous T-shirts, then headed for points
Years later, some remember it because 1)
away from home and college concerns, they met the "love of their lives,"
or 2) It's the first time they went to jail.
What are your special memories? Do they
include the following? Deep sea fishing. This marked a great opportunity
for those with adventurous spirits and high-limit credit cards, but the
activity bore no resemblance to any passive freshwater event, like "Hook
Your Own Catfish Night" at Lulu's Grill.
You climbed aboard a big boat and headed
out to rough sea. Once there, you "set anchor" (whatever that means) and
received a fishing rod you could pole-vault with.
Next, a sailor loaded your hook with bait
that looked like a small goat. He did this because you were trying to
land a fish roughly the size of a politician's tour bus.
Do not believe this giant fish came passively.
He fought, you sweated, and if you won the struggle, you of course wanted
to have him stuffed and mounted, which the fish objected to.
Today, you would not want to carry him
home yourself, since fish-related hernias might not qualify under your
HMO. Camping. This required little more than a tent, matches for a fire,
plus a guitar to accompany friends while they warbled songs from the "Freddie
Fleet and His Band with a Beat" album.
Friends tell me co-ed camping parties were
the best. I doubt this, because after a couple days without showers, toothpaste,
or deodorant, nearly everyone smells like anchovy-and-tuna pizza.
I do remember that hungry beasts prowled
the woods, so we had to watch for mountain lions, bears, and crazed campers
who forgot can openers. I also remember an article that said a snake's
head can still bite you one hour after it's been cut off.
No kiddin' ... this actually saved my life
one time. I remembered to stay back from the snake's skull. And I reasoned
that the body—without a head—would never remember which way I went.
Rix Quinn went to school a long time ago. He fondly remembers Spring Break
on Padre Island, but doesn't remember why his friends left him there.