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Read the Memories

Marsha Brewer, 1967

I graduated from high school in 1967. I knew that I wanted to go to college to be a teacher in theater, but knew little else. I wanted to go to Madison and was good enough academically for admission. My dad told me he would help me only if I went to UW-Fox. He would not charge room and board. I was offended that he would consider charging anything. I was not age 21. He was already sick with cancer, and my mom was scared.

My parents drove me to UW-Fox and picked me up after my dad finished work. I earned enough on my store clerk job to cover tuition and books. No loans. I ate a ham salad sandwich on wheat for $1.60 every day from the lunch counter, and brought soda and an apple from home sometimes.

My parents are dead now. Coming into this building carries me back in memory to when I was 18 years old every single time I enter this building. I know more now and also have some academic degrees. I realize now that my parents loved me, wanted the best for me, and did the best they could for me back then. I value my education and what it took to get me as far as I have got in the world. In many ways we are all standing on the shoulders of those who came before us.

(published on 3/13/2008)