Edward Shackelford '43

  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: Okay. My name is Edward E. Shackelford. I live at Corpus Christi, Texas. I’m a member of the Grinnell College class of 1943. I graduated in January because the Army was wanting my services even before the- I enlisted in the Reserve as a private that September, and then came back to class. I’d gone to school at Colombia University that summer to pick up enough class hours to be able to graduate in January.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: There were about 125 of us in the class. Most of 'em graduated in June of ’43. A lot of the men had left school to go ahead and enlist prior to that. It was a very disturbing time. We had... we had had a lot of our facilities taken over by the Army for our officer’s training course. We had to... we did not have any of the gym facilities that you normally have, and of course the campus was so much smaller because the enrollment was around 750 at that time. Now it’s, I guess, around 1500.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: The buildings- I can’t imagine what we had at that time because we had the men’s dorms. I lived in Kelly, Rawson Hall, known as Kelly Stables. Then we had the small area by the Chapel and the Library and, the one building. I guess this [ARH] is it.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: Then you had- in order to have a date, you had to walk across the railroad tracks to the women’s dorm. And of course, you could only get to the front door, basically and announce who you were, and then they called up to your date and asked her to come down. They had very strict rules. Your date had to be in on 10 o’clock of an evening I think 11 o’clock on Saturdays.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: I sang in the Glee Club and in the choir for all four years, had- I think we had our first tour outside of Grinnell that year and we.. I think that was in our sophomore year, because we went to Chicago and Minneapolis and I think we made a couple of stops along the way but I don’t remember which ones they were. We rode by bus. It was very interesting, but it was the first time that Grinnell had made a tour. Now, I understand, you have students going to Russia and all of the places that I thought about and wished that I could go to, and since have but that’s another story.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: I met my first wife here and we married after I went into the service, and that was the end of it. We... I had had French in grade school, went to public school and then I had three years of French here at Grinnell. I don’t remember who the- Smith was the professor’s name. He encouraged my singing and I gave a concert at the end of January. Let’s see, what else...?
  • Tamara Grbusic & Edward Shackelford
    Tamara: Why was Rawson known as the Kelly Stable area? Rawson? Why was it known as the- is that what you said?Edward: I don’t know.Tamara: No?Edward: But our pin was a horseshoe with stones in it, in the shoe. And- I don’t have one. I don’t remember which girl I gave it to.Tamara: Heh, funny.Edward: But, it was a... it was quite a beautiful little pin.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: I majored in Economics, wanting to be an accountant, but I didn’t pursue that. I became a Budget Accounting Officer in the Air Force after I was called back in.....
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: The students today are... seem to be more mature than the ones that we had at the time I was here. In fact, all of us, I think, were... just beginning to grow up, and I know it took me a couple years after I got out.
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: The town has grown, I think. We had good relations with the town. I sang at the church, one or two of the churches. The French teacher also played the organ, so he played in the churches, and brought me along to accompany him.
  • Edward Shackelford & Tamara Grbusic
    Edward: Our first year, we lived in... I think it was called Carney House, which is off-campus, and there were twenty freshman and one senior who supervised us, so to speak. And it made it a little easier to get acquainted. However, one of the juniors at that time evidently looked a lot like me, and so he got called on the campus a couple of times for not wearing his freshman hat.Tamara: You had a freshman hat?Edward: Cap. And the other students ask me what was I doing in such and such a place at such and such a time? And I hadn’t been there but they had thought I was, because...
  • Edward Shackelford
    Edward: I- we picked Grinnell out of a catalogue, because my dad have never been to college, neither had my mother, and we really didn’t know what we were looking for, and I didn’t. And my grandparents lived about 25- 125 miles from here, so we figured that Grinnell would be a good place. I graduated from a high school that had 11,000 students and our graduating class was 1,100. So, it was quite a change to move to a college that was smaller than my graduating class.
  • Edward Shackelford & Tamara Grbusic
    Edward: And... we had been living in New York City for over... ten years. And, consequently, the change of small town and a small college was, I think, maybe a little unnerving. I think that’s about all I...Tamara: Thank you very much.
Alumni oral history interview with Edward Shackelford '43. Recorded June 1, 2012.
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