Trip to Forest Grove campus stirs fond memories ... IRIS LITTLE '51, Grapeview, Wash.
We got home late afternoon Sunday after a wonderful day in Forest Grove, home of Pacific University (“The Harvard of the West”), our alma mater.
The current tennis coach came up with the idea of inviting alumni who had been on the team in their day to see the brand new tennis courts, watch a match between Pacific and Whitman (Whitman whopped Pacific), partner current team members for an hour (or so) of doubles and share a barbecue at the end of the day.
Some of the “old boys” still have it. Ken (Little ’51), the oldest there, played for an hour with an alum opponent at [our son] Don’s age, who agreed to hit the ball directly to Ken, so he wouldn’t risk a fall. It was wonderful to see him on the court in his tennies with his racket. Hallelujah!
I spent time trying to keep warm in the car and in the commons, where you can get coffee. When I went to the cash register to pay for my Starbucks, I looked up and saw a huge poster of Ken and his frat brothers, the “Lucky 13,” with Boxer. “That's my husband!” I exclaimed. Those in the commons reacted because they, too, to this day, would like to possess Boxer!
For those of you who don’t know, Boxer contains the spirit of Pacific University. Ken and his frat brothers fought off all others for hours all over Forest Grove to get possession. They used guile and cunning to get away safely with him so they could have possession and get their picture taken. If you see the photo, you will notice they are all dressed to the nines, out of respect. For those of you who don’t know, every male who has gone and will go to Pacific wants to possess Boxer, and has to fight to get it. It isn’t easy!
We finished the day with the barbecue and went back to the motel, exhausted but rejuvenated.
If you want to have an animated conversation with Ken, ask him about tennis, or Boxer. You’ll have to fight to get away.
IRIS LITTLE '51