Northwestern’s early campus was very different from the present one. Its green acres were only sparsely dotted with buildings and the architecture of those structures was enough to send chills down the spines of the cultured. Heck Hall, a plain, straight-sided, barnlike building was the only men’s dormitory and housed the students of Garrett Biblical Institute. It was located at the eastern edge of the campus, so close to the lake that occasionally starry-eyed strollers suffered deluges when washbowls were emptied out of the windows onto their heads.
The observatory was infinitesimal and fraternity houses unknown. The Athletic Field (wisely named) consisted of a small uncovered section of bleachers, a gate, and much earth. At important football games fraternities marshalled their ladies on tally-ho's and if the weather proved inclement, rain trickled down the said ladies’ chapeaux and made puddles in skirt folds. But no one minded: the important thing was being invited to get wet.
Living in a house where so many girls were accessible brought plenty of boys and, since I went with the house, some crumbs fell to my lot. As a matter of fact, rivalry between two boys often accounted for what might seem to be a girl’s popularity.
Bill beaued me quite steadily for a number of reasons. He enjoyed the musical experiences we shared and my lack of sophistication. I was young, spontaneously gay and untutored. Then besides, having steered me into a new school, he was interested in seeing the experiment be worked out to a successful conclusion. In addition, he knew that Mother both admired and liked him.
Mother was eager to have me enjoy the advantages a big city afforded but she was unwilling for me to go about alone. She had never lost her belief that men, being mentally superior to women, should protect them, and whenever one of the boys offered to escort me, she was pleased. She was especially happy when I went out with Bill. He looked safe to her.