“I’m gonna blow,” I kept repeating to myself on Build La Verne Day Wednesday.
BLVD, of course, will go down in the University of La Verne annuals as one of the greatest days in ULV history. But for me, BLVD will be remembered as the day of the Campus Times Editor vs. the paint buckets.
Wednesdays, you see, are usually one of the paper’s busiest production days of the week. That particular Wednesday, though, turned out to be the time George Keeler, Campus Times adviser, came up with the bright idea of painting the journalism room for this year’s BLVD project.
“An absolutely brilliant idea, George,” I said. “But we do happen to have an eight-page paper to put out, remember?”
“Oh, we can still do it,” Keeler replied in his ever-optimistic tone of voice.
And thus, the great confrontation began.
I started the day off setting eyes on Agnes Rust, CT co-adviser, kneeling in the far corner of the Campus Times room. My first thought was, “Agnes praying in public? … What’s this world coming too?” But right after I stumbled over my first empty paint bucket, I noticed the brush in Rust’s hand. By then, I regained my senses and realized that Build La Verne Day was in full gear.
A few minutes later, the rest of the CT crew filed in. “Here comes help to the rescue,” I said. But nope, not this time. This was a day when the newspaper staff resorted to stroking paint brushes instead of the usual typewriter keys.
There were people painting to the left of me and people painting to the right. Wet sticky plastic covered the floor, and where there wasn’t trash, there were those damn buckets and my feet somewhere in the vicinity. The room looked like hell. I wanted to scream. But I maintained.
I tried to get out and get a little fresh air, but all I sucked in was the fertilizer smell that came from the manure sprinkled on the Miller Hall lawn.
I was in the middle of one of those situations when you begin thinking of 10 other places you’d rather be, including Philadelphia.
I’m telling you, it was hard to concentrate in there. Tom Vivian, assistant editorial director, shouted instructions like he was appointed foreman of the Three Mile Island Evacuation Committee.
Cindy Ronzoni, one of our sports writers, was her usual peppy, bubbly self, acting like the whole thing was supposed to be fun.
Jerry Redman, the football team’s all-league noseguard, amazed me with his brute strength. Why, he moved a desk in a single in a single heave.
Keeler almost tore up the clock.
Rod Foster, the student worker in here, followed everyone’s instructions.
When Terry Ichinose, our editorial director, walked in I thought she was going to help me read some copy, but she helped paint the door.
Mary Spanos, staff writer, delivered a couple of pizzas for the working crew. But I still managed to grab a few bites. Almost go sick in the process. Can you imagine the strange aroma of wet paint and hot pizza playing tricks on your stomach and nose?
Rust, in the meantime, hung around in her corner a few minutes longer and then went to visit her kid.
I just kept trying to maintain.
To tell the truth, though, things weren’t that bad. When typesetters Steve Cundy and Phil Bellomo brought in some copy, somebody dropped his paint brush and helped out.
All in all, it was quite an experience.
Now that the room is painted, is anybody interested in helping clean up the mess that was left for next year’s BLVD project?