Life at our ‘mini-frat’

We rented our ‘mini-frat’ house for $120 per month.  We divided rent, electricity, water, and heating costs equally among us.  We charged 75 cents for the evening meal, 35 cents for breakfast and 25 cents for lunch, for those that had them.  We rotated on preparing the evening meal and cleaning up afterward, having these chores on different days.   The one preparing the meal bought whatever supplies he needed, paid for them himself, and deducted the costs from his monthly bill.  We agreed to make up our beds each day, and clean house when needed.

We had two bedrooms; one very large, where we had space for four beds.  My brother and I brought bunk beds from home and slept in the small second bedroom.  Lloyd was content with what was just an oversize closet, where he slept on his camp cot.

We were reasonably comfortable.  The atmosphere was very congenial.  We had few disputes.

Ken Thomson, a creative thinker, gave everyone names.  Darrell was ‘Gopher’, Don was ‘Ace’ (he ‘aced’ all his classes), George was ‘Itchy’ (he had been a paratrooper and had an abundance of energy), Doug was ‘Chocolate’ ( he was allergic to it), Lloyd was ‘Whitey’ (he had very light blond hair), and I was ‘Griz’ (I had a beard for a while).

Ken had a superlative name for himself, but we all called him ‘Fuzzy’ (short haircut, and drank rather too much).

Ken was a swimmer.  His competition swim was the breast stroke.  His job was as life guard at the Minneapolis Athletic Club.

Ken had trouble with his finances.  He had a job, but his money had trouble making it to the end of the month.  He’d borrow a little cash from this guy or that, to tide him over.  He always paid his debts back when he got his monthly check.

Every month, though, he had to borrow a little more.  Finally the time came when he brought his check home and had nothing left when he had paid everyone off, and paid his monthly house bill.

Of course the following day he came around trying to borrow something to maintain his lifestyle.  Of course, we were alerted to his problem by this time, so nobody lent him anything.

“Fine friends you are!” he ranted.

We told him that we were doing him a big favor, helping him to get himself solvent.

His car soon ran out of gas and sat for the rest of the month.

When he got his next check he was more careful about how he spent it.

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