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hen I was growing up, my family moved a

lot. So home to me has always been where I

spent my first four years. That place was my

parent’s hometown, Williamsport, and the

campus of Lycoming College, where my father,

Henry Lewis Long (’56), had grown up as the

youngest son of Dr. John W. Long. When it was time for me

to attend college, Lycoming was an obvious choice. It was like

coming home.

After college, my husband, Peter (’79), and I moved to New

England, my parents’ family scattered, years rushed by, and

somehow I never returned.

Then, in 2013, I made my first attempt to reconnect with

the Lycoming administration since my graduation in 1980. My

father had died and with the administration’s generous help,

I was planning a memorial service for him in Clarke Chapel.

I quickly learned of all the changes that had taken place on

campus over the years, but was pleased to find threads of

continuity still in place.

Now it’s 2015 and to my astonishment, I received an

invitation to the 35

th

reunion of the Class of 1980. I wasn’t

surprised so much at the number of years that had elapsed, but

the mere blink of an eye in which they had passed.

Memories came pouring back as I looked through the

material that the alumni office had sent, and I grew curious

as to how many others in our class would remember the same

moments and events that occupied my mind. Memory is such

an elusive thing — so unique to each individual and so plastic

— changing each time we pull one out for review. I wanted to

share some of my memories with the Class of 1980. I hope that

some of them might stir up your own recollections of our years

together at Lycoming.

In the fall of 1976, we were the first freshman class to occupy

Skeath Hall as a co-ed dorm. The guys had the first and fourth

floors, and the girls occupied the second floor. The third floor

was equally divided between men and women. Our parents

were a little skeptical at this arrangement, but most of us were

thrilled at the prospect of this daring new housing plan. I had

only sisters at home, so this was something brand new to me.

The first adjustment we had to make was to get used to the

noise of all those stereos. On the second floor, I remember

hearing Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton’s Frampton Come

Alive and Jackson Browne, among others. On the first and

fourth floors, you were more likely to hear Led Zeppelin, Jethro

Tull or the Eagles. In the student union building, I remember

walking in rhythm to Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” which was

booming from the jukebox as I made my way on platform shoes

to the snack bar for one of Mrs. B’s black and white milkshakes.

The tune was punctuated by the pinging of the pinball

machines and the steady “pock-pock” from the ping-pong

tables. At Bucknell University that fall, some of us saw Billy Joel

and Harry Chapin in concert.

Coming Home

By Joanne Long

Fenstermacher ’80

W

32

LYCOMING COLLEGE 2015 SUMMER MAGAZINE

F E AT U R E S