Millard Goes to College

A happy cartoon dog with a bone in his mouth.

Millard Krew. Another name and memory from my misspent youth. I matriculated to college in the ’60s. The phrase that anyone who can remember the ’60s didn’t actually live through the ’60s, is partially true. It was the beginning of the hippie generation and was back when college students would demonstrate against nearly everything. We were early that fall in ’65 and was usually the case it called for a kegger for the early birds before classes started. One thing that too much beer does, it makes absolutely idiotic, imbecilic and totally absurd behavior sound like it was hatched by Ben Franklin or Einstein. I think that is why everyone jumped on board with our devious little plan.

A lot of guys and girls had a role in that particular demonstration, in fact, nearly everyone in on that little beer soaked soiree, and there was much help from everyone, but we four, Stretch, Fighter, Gunch and I  got in the most trouble since the buffoonery was hatched at a party at our apartment. And for other reasons that will soon be apparent as you read this.

The mid-’60s was the infancy of the computer age. They had crude computers but the computers they had took up a room and were a maze of vacuum tubes and were run by putting in mag (magnetic) cards. We were told that the college was going to use these mag cards to enroll us into classes and we would no longer be assigned a teacher/advisor to help with enrollment. We would simply be assigned a number and would pick up a “mag card” for each of the classes we wanted to take. They would then be fed into the computer and that is how we would be registered. What a travesty! We were not only being robbed of our advisor who could keep us away from certain professors and classes but were being assigned a number. How dehumanizing! How utterly Big Brother!

We needed a way to protest the way this was being handled. We had to show them that when you reduced a person to just a number, that something bad was bound to happen.

Fighter had come back to school that year with an extremely ugly stray dog in tow. He said that the dog had just showed up one day and when he fed it, he just stayed. This dog was as ugly as a three year old bowling shoe. We all sort of adopted him.

At that pre-school “social gathering.” In a moment of beer induced hilarity, we decided that if the dog was going to be living in our apartment, that he needed a proper name to put on the mailbox. We dubbed our new canine roommate . . . Millard Krew. (I swear, I don’t know!)  That very night Millard was a member of the Columbia record club and had a subscription to SPORT magazine. It seemed only a logical progression that Millard should also be enrolled in classes!

We thought that if the school was going to enroll us by number alone –then we should create a number for Millard and enroll him just to show them the error of their ways. We had a young woman who was working in the Registrar’s office who created a name and a profile for Millard. The bill for Millard’s tuition and fees were to be sent to Millard Krew, Sr. to an address in Stillwater, Mn. (An address that just happened to be the State Penitentiary.)

Well, evidently the school, in its initial attempt to try this new procedure had failed to work out all of its fail-safe security measures, because when classes started, Millard was actually enrolled in a full schedule of 16 credit hours. This was more fun than we had even anticipated! We monitored Millard’s classes and when there was a scheduled test we found someone who had previously taken the class to take Millard’s test. By mid-semester time, Millard had a grade point average higher than 2 of his other roommates, and all Millard ever did was sleep, eat, chase an occasional cat and scratch where it itches.

The bad news was that Millard was getting mail from the Dean of Men and the college business office. It seems that Millard Krew, SR., (address: state pen) was not forthcoming with the tuition payments and the mailings were being returned. They wanted Millard to address the problem. We did what any normal college guys would do, we ignored the mail and ordered more beer.

One evening, close to the end of the semester, there was a knock on the door. We opened the door and found standing there – the Dean of Men and the Assistant Dean of Men. They both looked pretty grim and angry, like they had some sort of intestinal disorder. They wanted to talk to a student by the name of Millard Krew.

Uh, he isn’t in right now. Maybe you could come back later . . . . .”

“We’’ll wait!” was all they said. They pushed their way in and sat down on the couch with their arms folded in patient wait.

We tried to act normal, hoping they would get tired and leave. That was when the dog, who had been excitedly running in circles since our guests arrived went over to his water dish for a bit of refreshment. The bowl had the name Millard painted on the side. The smarter of the two suits finally pieced it together and with flaming eyes and a sneer in his voice simply asked all of us:  “That’s Millard?!?!?!”

All four of our heads slowly started to nod. Millard was the only one in the room who did not grasp the gravity of the moment.

“You four men will be in my office at eight o’clock in the morning,”  The Dean said,  “and be prepared to withdraw from this institution!”

Nobody slept well that night except for Millard. We all thought our college careers – at least at that school – was over. We ended up talking the Dean into two semesters of disciplinary probation and we all worked in the cafeteria washing dishes for a semester. Millard’s career as a student was over, but he did not seem to mind. And you know what? Nobody who is presently going to that school now remembers us – but just mention Millard Krew on that campus to this very day – and the people know the story of the dog who went to college.

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