Those cold winter nights....

Do you remember those cold winter nights when it was required that we keep our window open. It was the rule that we keep a window open every night regardless of season. However, those West Virginia winter nights, and those cold concrete rooms with no heat made my business all the more in demand. I charged twenty five cents a week per room to go all over the dorm and quadrangle and shut the windows after the officer in charge (faculty and cadet) had gone to bed.
The business was most successful. In those days (probably 1946 or so) a quarter was a lot of money. That Christmas for the first time I had saved enough money to buy my mother a meaningful present, a Waring Blender. 46 was the first year the Waring Blender was on the market. Why I was not caught plying my trade in the middle of the night is a good question. Unfortunately the business was seasonal and come spring time I went back to sleeping all night.
Mr. Zicafoose was in command of the furnace which heated the entire school and there was no heat till he fired up the monster furnace in the morning. I'll never forget how cold those rooms were till the radiators started banging the welcome news that heat was on the way.


That was my first job in life. I'll never forget it as getting up in the middle of the night was no easy task. And it was always so cold as there was no heat anywhere in the school.

The "Open Window" regulation was indeed a form of forging men tough enough to withstand adverse conditions as might occur in the military service. Most guys I knew withstood those cold nights amicably. Honestly, the cold forced most of us to hustle to get moving in the mornings more quickly, and to head to the mess hall for that first cup of coffee... Typically, the mess hall was warm, as was our coffee and after quick smoke, we were glad to get to our classes for a few hours and warm up...