At the age of 17 in the year of 1923, I was on a train with a small trunk and one suitcase headed for Ohio University. It was my first time away from home, and I was on my way to fulfilling my dream: a college education.
My new home was Lindley Hall. I had only $350 for everything I'd need for one year. I was assisted by a kind house mother, interested advisers and other help as needed. I went to see Dean Irma Voigt and was impressed by her interest in me.
The social life was not much. I had no money or time for parties. A highlight for me was to be able to afford a ham sandwich from the Spot (they delivered to the dorm every evening).
I made many friends and had enough money, so I was able to get a teaching certificate. There were no jobs in Athens, but one teacher asked me to grade papers at 50 cents an hour.
I then taught three years in Jackson, Ohio, enough to get a Life Certificate. I also saved $1,000 for my next two years toward a degree. In 1930, I returned to Ohio University and received a bachelor of education degree with high honors.
The graduation ceremonies were outside -- really impressive.
I remember the many times, especially on Sundays, that we walked around the beautiful grounds of the Athens Mental Hospital.
The physical education program was one of my favorites. I participated in all sports. My favorites were tennis (I played in the finals one year) and swimming. I became a Red Cross Life Saver and later saved two lives. I even learned to bowl at OU and earned a sweater. (My highest score since then has been 212.)
I remember trying to keep up with the fashions. One year skirts went up; the next year they were to our ankles. Of course, there were no slacks or shorts.
My English literature professor encouraged me to write poetry. I have authored a book of verses on true old times called "Read and Reminisce." I also have written many essays for Women's Club contests (I won several times, once in a state contest).
I did not become famous, but I am well-known in my community for my work with children.
When I graduated from Ohio University, I had high hopes of success. Now, at the age of 97-plus, most of my hopes have been realized. One big factor in my wonderful life was that I met my husband, Irwin Boetticher, at OU. He is gone now, but I have a daughter, four grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The last time I was at Ohio University to visit, probably about 40 years ago, I couldn't believe the new buildings.
It's hard to believe how much Ohio University has grown. It's a wonderful school, and my best wishes are for it to be one of the finest and still grow on to be the greatest. Signing off after 80 years.