June 08, 2020

Campus memories: the Elmos and the Pumpkin House

Letters from readers

Love, War, Grades, and the Elmos

I am an African American woman from the class of 1974 who lived in Emerson and Chapin. While black students were somewhat invisible to others, we certainly were witnesses to the times and the players.

I’ve told my husband about the Basic Elmos—these kids with mining lights on their heads at night doing odd things. They were harmless late-stage teens not at all touched by the troubles or turbulence of the times.

Back then they seemed irrelevant, as most others were caught up in war, or love, or grades. But now, as all things are in hindsight, they were OK, pursuing a different version of what it meant to be free, and young, and safe.

Finding your story was fun and gave credence to a distant place from a long ago time. They had fun and did no harm, which is a lot to say in today’s world, so…

Thanks for telling their tale and painting a picture that deserved preserving.

Karen Blackwell’74
View Park, Calif.

The Pumpkin House

Round Table staffers on front porch of the Pumpkin House in 1973. Round Table staffers on front porch of the Pumpkin House in 1973.
Credit: Richard Klug’73

Thanks so much for publishing the picture from the front steps of Pumpkin House in 1973. It brought a broad smile to my face to see all those folks from way back when. This shot carries as much vintage poignancy as the original Crosby Stills and Nash album from 1969. The fact that I can remember not just names, but also the character of almost all those shown, is evidence of how memorable and rich the Beloit experience was. [Larry] Sulkis’s Cheshire cat gaze across at [Richard] Klug is classic! The two of them are sharing something only they know!

David Stricker’73
Newton, Mass.

Editor’s Note

In our winter 2020 edition, we published a caption with a photo of the Pumpkin House student residence near campus in the early 1970s, but we gave the incorrect location of the house. Danielle Lienau’98 of Sheboygan, Wis., reminded us that the house, known later as the Blue House, is actually on the corner of Park Avenue and Emerson St., not Park and Clary Street as we reported.

Also In This Issue

  • Xinrui Bai’20, Beijing, China, celebrated Commencement by recording his moves atop Beloit’s sign.

    A Commencement Unlike Any Other

  • In addition to Beloit staff, turtles are ready to greet alumni upon their return.

    Homecoming/Reunion will be two celebrations in one in 2021

  • Chris Fink

    The nature of worry


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