Fall of 1964: Beginning of the End of My Studies at UK

November 15, 2016 in 1950s-1960s

It had been a whole year’s worth of time in fulfilling my transfer goals at a different school, in a different culture with somewhat different objectives ,since I set foot again on the University of Kentucky’s campus, but I felt I had to return to my home campus. So, I transferred once again, this time in reverse direction from Nashville, Tennessee, to Lexington, Kentucky.  It seemed like yesterday that I made the transition and arrived at Fisk, bewildered at the intriguingly interesting influx of arriving freshmen, those who had not flown from various parts of the country and world as the others had, being delivered in luxurious vehicles by “posturingly competitive parents” as one observer termed it.  “Nothing in the oval surrounding the front of Jubilee Hall dorm for freshman was less than a Cadillac,” she said.

I went, I saw, I conquered

Just as in the famous quote: “I came; I saw, and I conquered,” I had completed my goals in attending Fisk for one year to round out my college social life at a predominantly “Negro” institution.  I did just that by attending (with black friends) football and basketball sports events with black cheerleaders. Got involved in campus life which included Phi Upsilon Delta, The Forum Newspaper, the Stagecrafters, etc.  Also, the display of black wealth by some, the awesome Greek shows, and obsession with civil rights excursions by others became very intriguing.  Indeed, I had conquered my own obsession with wondering what went on at “Negro” colleges through first-hand experience.

No Place Like Home

I was home again at UK, and was I glad.  The air was much cleaner than in Nashville, the transit system more reliable, thus granting me more freedom, and my former UK friend Wanda Hogg had secured me a room off campus three doors down from her house on Breckenridge Street from Mrs. German Theodore Bentley.  Her twin sister Mattie lived two doors down from her.  Both quickly seemed to assume the mantle of my protectors. My third mom was Mrs. Beatrice Hogg, Wanda’s mom.  She and I got along great! Also, I had found out that my mom’s long lost cousin, Harry Ward, lived in Lexington.  His daughters Henrietta and Jewell would make visits to me and drive me places in the city as most of us did not have cars on campus then.  In addition, I reunited with others of my off campus black friends on a more regular basis.  And one of the main reasons that I enjoyed being back is that my mom always wanted me to be graduated from UK.

Soon after arriving, I had to make the trip to the Registrar’s office to discuss how many of my credit hours would transfer.  Most people had lost hours when they transferred, but I had the nicest lady whom I believe to have been Helen King sit down with me, ask questions, and accept every single one of my credit hours!  Of course, I had made nothing less than a “B.” God had blessed me, again.  I lost no credit hours going there, either. So I had miraculously made two transfers without being penalized in any way.  Students tend to lose hours when the curriculum is vastly different or the grades are below a “B.”

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