CHAPTER VI
ACTIVITIES DURING COLLEGE

IN THE early days, before organized sport had become of absorbing interest in college life and before winter sports except skating had entered into student life, there were few outlets for the students' natural effervescence. Of course, many of them went out to teach school immediately after Christmas, as was the tradition. My father and his two brothers, Edwin B. and Henry M., all taught in the winter, probably in each year of their college course, and generally in the vicinity of Cape Cod. There was a long vacation of four weeks, which in earlier years was even longer, so that the student lost no college exercises.

The town was rather a snowy waste during January, but this made little difference to a pair of young fellows who had a horse and sleigh at their disposal, plenty of sleds, and two pairs of good skates. Coasting was a sort of passion with me and I must have made walking pretty risky for some of the older citizens living in our neighborhood. As a boy I used to ice the sidewalks where the track of my sled would be well marked and bank the corners so as to make in safety what would otherwise have been hazardous turns. I can remember one bitterly cold night when I was out icing my track that I looked at the observatory thermometer and found it stiff at 39* below zero. This is the lowest reading that I have ever seen. The latter part of the winter, extending even into April, when the sunshine would be strong by day and the air very cool by night with frequent zeros, the situation was ideal for forming a crust. I have seen the crust so strong that oxen could walk on it, and again, I have skated on it. It was then one of our great delights to go wandering about over the hills and dales.

A grand old elm tree stood on the crest of the hill a couple of hundred yards south of the observatory, and it was a test of skill to make the turn around this splendid old tree, and go crashing down over the bump into the valley below. Later, probably after I was an instructor, some of the young ladies used to like to trust themselves

-47-

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