Rebel without a Curfew

Nancy Keller Long (’73)

I couldn’t wait to get to college in the fall of 1969. Coming from the “semi-small town” of Seward, Neb., with a population of 4,210 people, I anxiously awaited being on my own with no parents looking over my shoulder!

Being “assigned” to Johnson Hall was quite an experience, with Ms. Eberhardt serving as the “mother” for all of us Johnsonites.

Our secret to popularity: a large basement window that opened just wide enough to accommodate anyone looking to dodge curfew.

Ms. Eberhardt was quite the imposing presence. She looked like she was seven feet tall! I always recalled her wearing calico fabric dresses with maybe a little bit of lace around the neckline. And those big, black one-inch heels with hose. Scary!

I was assigned to the basement level. My roommate, Brenda Harris (’73) (whom I didn’t know beforehand), and I had to get used to each other. I was used to my own room at home. I had three brothers at home who were all “crammed” in their bedroom while I “luxuriated” in my own bedroom.

Well, all that privacy was down the toilet—figuratively, as well as in reality! But Brenda and I soon learned to be quite popular among all those freshmen “beauties.”

Our secret to popularity: a large basement window that opened just wide enough to accommodate anyone looking to dodge curfew and the wrath of Ms. E.

I don’t recall getting any extra favors from these girls, but it sure was fun to hear them rap on our glass and whisper, “Let us in!”

Oh, we also rebelled in decorating our room. Seeing the drab tan walls and the worn desks, I made a collage of blue sky and clouds and taped it to our ceiling.

Well, the janitor ratted us out. Thus Ms. Eberhardt gave us demerits and put us on “parole” for a week.

So the sky fell, but our window remained open to our Johnson Hall girls. I sure do wish I’d had a camera then.

For stories and photos from Johnson Hall alumni, visit johnsonhall.nebrwesleyan.edu.