Colt Dickman, Chris Mulkey and I were responsible for repainting the Marine Classroom; I believe our names are painted behind the whiteboard. We completed the work during the summer of 2009.
The Hut, located in right field of the baseball field, was a favorite place for many students during the end of close ball games. The NROTC sophomore classroom was located next to the track field high jump pit and we (NROTC staff and Midshipmen) watched Dick Fosbury, (Fosbury Flop) become the great jumper he did. Another fond memory of the Hut was when my oldest girl’s bicycle disappeared from our new house. What really happened was she outgrew it; but our youngest daughter also needed a bicycle. So, the north end of the Hut became a wonderful bicycle repair and paint room; lots of staff and Midshipmen helped. Also the Midshipmen lounge on the 2nd deck normally became a staff lunchroom at noon. I became a really good pool shark in that room.
Jerry Anderson, CDR USN, Retired
Back in the 60’s when I was a Midshipman there, 1963-1968, the parking lot on the other side of the tracks was covered in gravel. It was called “The Grinder” and it was where we did all our formations and marching. It was deep gravel and actually difficult to march on. The crunch, crunch, crunch of the footsteps of Middies trying to learn close order drill per the Landing Party Manual is a sound that still comes back to me. Later in my Navy career we used to joke about having sailors march anywhere in formation…"don’'t do it, we officers would say…tell the men to fall out and fall in over there!” But in those days, the Marine influence of formation discipline was instilled in us.
I remember one afternoon when at formation, we were being inspected. We all carried the old Enfield rifles as our arms. The senior Mids wore swords…not the regulation full sized swords of officers but a shorter “toy” version. As the senior MIDN was going down the line inspecting each person in my squad, he stopped at one of my classmates…name long forgotten but he was a crusty guy even at that age…the inspecting officer looked over the weapon, then his uniform, and finding no fault…barked, “What’d you have for breakfast, Mister”…Sir, a cup of coffee and a cigarette, Sir!. “Not a very good breakfast, Mister…what’d you have for lunch?”…A cup of coffee and two cigarettes, Sir!. That broke us all up…the discipline in the ranks was ruined. The inspecting MIDN officer continued down the line as we suppressed our smirks.
When I was a squad leader as either a sophomore or junior, not sure, I’d have my squad out there on the Grinder practicing in the off hours for the squad drill competition…crunch, crunch, crunch…I can still hear the sound of that gravel on the grinder.
If it was raining heavily, we’d form up inside the building in ranks; very crowded. The perpendicular Quonset hut was where the classrooms were along the long hallway. There was a room where we would go to get clothing, gear and college textbooks issued to us. Lt Dickey, our freshman instructor, was a gung-ho Academy type, a submariner, and he was there when I was issued my first uniforms in October of 63. He insisted that I be issued the blue wool shirt with a tight collar because it looked more squared away than a loose collar and that’s how it was worn at the Naval Academy. I hated wearing it with that tight collar. Always gave me a neck rash. In my fraternity house, I would iron that shirt and the shirts of upper-class fraternity brothers such as Steve Lambert…a dollar a shirt to put the military creases in it. I still have that blue wool shirt, now over 50 years old, and that collar is still tighter than ever, but it is one warm shirt for winter time in Oregon.
When my class were juniors, then Ltjg. Boenninghausen, OSU alum, came back from his fleet squadron to address our junior class. He was an F-8 pilot and we were all “oooh…ahhh” about that. Can still remember him talking about how difficult it was to bring the F-8 aboard the carrier. I remember him saying “I may be killed in an airplane but I’m not going to kill myself in an airplane.” He had a long Naval career, made Captain and was CO of NAS Alameda before he retired. Died, though, at an early age from a heart attack I think I heard.
LCDR Sperling, our junior year instructor, told us one day…we were discussing going to sea and leaving the family behind…one student asked what happens if your wife is pregnant and going to give birth? Sperling’s response was… “In the Navy, you have to be there to lay the keel, but not for the launching”. Hmmm…didn’t ever tell my wife that one!
I was the CO of the unit from 2000-2003. As you know the building is next door to Goss Stadium, home of Beaver baseball. It was not unheard of for a baseball to leave the stadium and take out a NROTC staff member's windshield.
One warm spring afternoon we had opened the doors and windows to enjoy the warm weather and gentle breezes. Included in the open doors was the entrance to the staff offices at the east end of the building. The outside door was propped open at a 45 degree angle.
The baseball team was conducting batting practice that afternoon and one foul ball left the stadium, bounced across the NROTC parking lot, continued under the alcove, hit the entrance door, and rolled into the office spaces, stopping in front of the State Secretary's desk!
It may be possible to duplicate that feat at the new NROTC location, but it will take a very, very long home run ball to do that!
Captain, USN (ret)