So anyway, I took a few days and drove down to Tallahassee for Florida State University Homecoming 2003. I was the first time I had been in the capital of the Sunshine State in twelve years, and even then I was only there for a short while. This time I was able to drive around town and walk across campus quite a bit to see some of the old places and discovered what has changed and what remains the same twenty years after starting my freshman year.
|The state phallic
symbol. You can't see it in this photo, but there are domes on the house and
senate buildings on either side of the tower. The are the testes to the huge
erection that greets visitors coming into downtown up Apalachee Parkway. The
old historic Capitol building remains here on Monroe Street. The new Capitol
building was built in the 1970's. (This is actually looking at the back side
of the current building.) You may have seen these buildings when the world's
news media converged on the sleepy little town of Tallahassee in late 2000.
The state Supreme Court is located across the street from the Capitol
complex. You remember the Florida Supreme Court, don't you? They were the
band of co-conspirators complicit in the attempted theft of the United
States presidency by the Democratic Party.
But this trip isn't about politics, so let's continue.
|The Holiday Inn
Select on West Tennessee Street, more commonly known as the round Holiday
Inn. I was lucky to be able to get a room here, having to make arrangements
on short notice. I booked a room in the Band Alumni block but did not march.
Hey, they never said I had to march. My room was on the third floor directly
over the kitchen and all the vents. Imagine you connected your stovetop fan
to the air conditioning ducts in your house. That's what I walked into every
time I returned to the room.
Anyway, put your things in my room and let's head out to campus.
|Here begins the "Places where Jeffrey Duly lived while attending FSU" photo series. First up is Landis Hall. It was a freshmen dormitory. It may still be. I lived in a room on the third floor that I seem to remember being told was the largest on campus. I don't know if that was true, but it was a three-person room. During my first semester I had it virtually to myself. One of my assigned roommates was a baseball player who ended up living in an athletics dorm and the other lived at a girlfriend's house. Housing eventually caught on, so I chose two friends to move in. I got along with both of them, but they basically hated each other, so it was a lot of fun for me.|
|The next year I lived in the dorm right next to Landis. This is Deviney Hall. To be honest I cannot remember much about my roommate here. I wasn't really keen on dorm life. Communal shower and restroom facilities. One kitchen to a floor. Loud music at all hours. Piles of pizza boxes and the stench of beer in the halls. Maybe if I was more of a dude that would seem like fun.|
|Welcome to the ranch.
The Meanwhile Ranch on Hayden Road. (Yes, that was really the name. As in
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch..." Get it? Yeah, it's a laugh riot.) Bob
Kamm's father owned one of the condo units in this little complex. I was
slated to spend the year in Salley Hall. I hated my roommates and was
looking for somewhere else to live. Bob needed a roommate. So I was in. The
place was brand new at the time. It was a wonderful and horrible example of
what a lot of Florida looked like in the 1980's. Coral columns and teal
railings. So Miami Vice. You can't really tell from this photo, but it
starting to look run down. Paint is peeling from the walls. The pool has
been filled in.
The beauty part of this place is that it was a mere few hundred yards from Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Very convenient on game days.
|1409 Mayhew Street. This is where I lived as I finally finished my college career. I lived here with a friend and fellow Chiefs horn player David Cogdill and his brother and sister-in-law. I know this place looks worse that when we lived there. It's just a house in a neighborhood full of FSU students. There was a pool in the backyard and a large empty space on the right which was perfect for parking. This was also a short walk to the stadium.|
|The Sweet Shop is
still there on Jefferson Street. I'd love to tell you the history of the
place, but I don't know it. When I was in school, this was where the
dormitory residents on this side of campus (Gilchrist, Broward, Landis,
Deviney, Dorman) went for groceries and for sandwiches. It is a eatery only
now, but the fact that it is still there is the most surprising. And a
pleasant surprise at that.
What is not there is The Phyrst next door. The Phyrst was a student drinking establishment. I didn't frequent that place. I think I was only there once and I didn't stay. And for another bit of trivia, next door to The Phyrst was (and still is) the Kappa Delta house where Ted Bundy murdered three sorority sisters.
|Bill's Bookstore. Where students used to go to buy new and used textbooks and various Seminole paraphernalia. The new Bill's is on the right. The old Bill's is on the left. The old building is currently empty, but would make a great cafe or convenience food store similar to what the Sweet Shop used to be.|
practice facility of the Marching
Chiefs. I don't think I could calculate how much time I spent on this piece
of ground. From the start of my first Gunkie Week to the last practice of my
last season, I've been all over this place. It goes from being a green field
in late summer to a sandbox by the start of winter and the end of the
football season. You can see that in the middle of the field it is already
in sandbox condition.
For the uninitiated, a gunkie is a Chiefs rookie. The call them rookies now instead of gunkies. Somehow that term was too controversial. God only knows how. There are a lot of things we did in the old days that aren't done in today's p.c. Chiefs. Oh well, the one constant in life is change.
|Florida State is the
only major university with a circus. Yes, it's the FSU Flying High Circus.
It is a credited course. Students learn how to do aerobatics and all sorts
of other circus stuff. I don't remember ever having gone to the circus, but
we used to be able to see them practice. Chief's Field is right next to the
Back to Chief's Field. There used to be all kinds of room around the field. Each section had their practice area for sectional. There was the horn tree, the 'tone pole, the swamp (trumpets). But with all the new construction in the last decade or so, Chiefs Field is rather boxed in. The swamp no longer exists and many of the old section trees are behind fences.
|The only real landmark on the Florida State campus is the Wescott Building. FSU does not really have very many recognizable icons. Well, except for Bobby Bowden of course. But unless they have him stuffed and mounted in the middle of Landis Green, this will have to do. Wescott represents the entryway into campus. It is the keystone to the old campus. The older, more classic architecture is found on FSU's eastern side. As the campus grew westward, newer buildings began to dot the landscape with the less impressive architecture of the 50's through the 70's. However I am happy to report that much of the recent spurt of construction is of a more classic style.|
|The Florida State
University College of Business. I got my degree in Risk Management and
Insurance from this school. I can't say that I'm using that RMI education in
my current profession, but a degree certainly opens doors in the real world.
At least it did a decade ago. These days you almost need a graduate degree
to get a decent job.
This is the newer annex of the Rovetta Business Building that was built while I was there.
|This is the School of Music, the new building. Another old "new" building. Being in the Marching Chiefs, we had to visit this building fairly often. If you walk around downstairs where the practice rooms are, you can here the honks, toots and tweets of practicing music majors at all hours of the day and night. It just occurred to me that those rooms would make a great place for a quickie. Not that it would have been an option for me. The only sneaky thing I ever did in one of those little rooms was have a quick nip before a Prism Concert.|
|Here is a bit of an
aerial view of campus from the top of the parking garage that wasn't there
when I was enrolled.
At the lower left is the
Oglesby Student Union, where students get their mail, eat
at the cafeteria, bowl and shoot pool at Crenshaw Lanes, and buy books and stuff at the Bookstore.
One of the strange delights of my time at FSU was when Brother Jed and
Sister Cindy would come to campus and preach at the Union, telling the
student how they were going to hell and baiting them into "debates" which
were just ridiculing shouting matches. Apparently Brother Jed still does the
You can see the Rovetta Building (left), Bellamy Building (center) and the old Montgomery Gymnasium (right). It is being gutted and renovated. Into what I do not know.
Homecoming Parade and Gameday