Category: �’

Junior Year – Part 2, Dump Two, Gain One

March 11, 2008 Posted by suefairview

At some point I received a letter from Evan in Athens, Georgia. I was with Sam and when I opened it a fat joint rolled out. Sam couldn’t wait to light it up. So he did and we smoked it.

“Wow! That is some good shit!”, said Sam.

“Yup. See that’s why I can’t get off on the Mexican shit you guys smoke up here. We had the good stuff down there.”

Anyhow, I read the letter and it said stuff like how he missed me and how his dog should have her big old head in my lap.

I sure I wished I could explain how I dumped him because he was a drug dealer and all, but there was no percentage in doing that. So, I didn’t write back at all.

Eventually, my body builder boyfriend Zach, from Cornell, called me and asked me to come over for a visit too. I had told Sam about him. I just wouldn’t feel right about breaking up with him over the phone as he had been very good about writing to me while I was in Georgia, so I asked Sam to drive me to Cornell and he agreed. The very same weekend, Sam drove me to Cornell and dropped me off at Zach’s Fraternity.

Of course there was a party and Zach looked just a delicious as I remembered. He was tan and must have worked out over the summer because he was all bulked up and huge. I couldn’t wait to paw him. He gave me a big kiss and we danced. We helped ourselves to drinks. Some how he had arranged to have his room all to himself this that evening.

When we got there we were all over each other. I wanted to tear his clothes off of his body he was so hot. But I fussed with the fucking buttons on his shirt and he helped; damn there were too many. Finally I could see his pecs and abs. He was a god! I nearly fainted. His arms were a prize too. But he wanted to see me, and I just couldn’t understand that, but whatever. My clothes came off really quickly. I was so hot for him and when he mounted me I realized that if he didn’t lift me up and fuck me hard, literally pound me with his body strength, his penis just wasn’t big enough to get me off the way that Sam’s was.

This was kind of a disappointing realization. But I knew I had to dump him anyway because it wasn’t fair to Sam to date Zach, at least in my mind. I just wasn’t cool enough to date more than one guy at a time. I sure would miss my body builder boyfriend. But, I was still underneath Zach, and he was pounding away, trying to get me off while I was thinking these thoughts. I held him tighter and lifted my pelvis a bit to urge him on. He grabbed my ass and lifted it a bit. Then suddenly he grunted and came. He kissed me and said that he was tired. I let it go.

The next day Sam picked me up as planned. Later that week I wrote a “Dear John”, letter to Zach, saying that I didn’t understand the nature of our relationship and that I thought we should end it. I never heard from him again. Now that Sam had me all to himself, he decided to take me home to meet his father, Hershel and step-mother Wallis, who lived in Amityville on Long Island.

Sam drove us down there one weekend in his Audi 90 at about 80 miles per hour which gets you there pretty fast, let me tell you.

My first impression was that Sam looked nothing like Hershel, but later when I met Sam’s mother, I saw where his looks came from. However, Sam’s father was just the nicest guy you could ever meet. Their house was a cape cod, just like the one I grew up in so I felt at home right away. In the living room there were two large recliners in front of the television set. It was obvious that plenty of tv was watched in this home.

Hershel and Wallis owned the cutest shorthair dachshunds named Oscar and Mayer. Each dog was exactly lap size. The favorite story was how one day they were eating Szechwan food and dropped a piece and of course, Oscar got to it before it could hit the floor, only to realize it was hotter than he bargained for. He was at his water dish the rest of the night.

That night, Sam confided to me that he was falling in love with me. I did not handle it well at all. I just didn’t feel the same way yet, and when I balked in replying by trying lamely to make a joke about it he got very upset. Then I had to spend the rest of the evening soothing his injured feelings. It was not a pretty sight. Basically, I fucked up.

Junior Year – Part 1, Billy Joel Concert

March 3, 2008 Posted by suefairview

Now that all of you have finished reading Bookfield, my fictionalized (names changed to protect the innocent) autobiographical telling of the time that I sold bible related books door-to-door in Athens, Georgia, we are ready to move on to my return to college in my Junior year. The tale begins below.

I had packed all of my winter stuff in my green duffle bag and got back on the Greyhound bus to Cayuga College. I sure was glad to leave my mom behind. I was staying on the tenth floor of the twin towers dorm in a six person suite with my new roommate, a tall thin back stroker named Mary, plus Jan and Amy from last year and two other girls that I did not know.

When I got back it didn’t take long for Sam, the freshman guy I met on the bus on the way home, to get in touch with me. He called up and asked me out to a Billy Joel concert. Of course I said “Yes!” Who didn’t love Billy Joel?

The concert was in a town about an hour away, but Sam drove his 1972 2-door Audi Super 90 which was Hunter Green with a tan buckskin leather interior. The car was a classic.

He brought his home town high school buddies Ian and Tony. Ian was a very light blond and looked sort of Scandinavian and Tony was really short and looked exactly like a miniature bodybuilder at 5 foot 5 inches. His body was well muscled and perfectly proportioned but tinier all over. He would have been a god if only he were taller. He made the esteemed Cayuga Varsity Gymnastics Team as a freshman and that was no small feat. These two were part of Sam’s posse and followed him everywhere.

On the way to the concert we stopped at a MacDonald’s and when asked what I wanted I ordered what I was accustomed to getting in Athens, five hamburgers. Sam’s eyes widened and he stared at me. Suddenly I realized that it was not normal for a petite coed to order five hamburgers. So, I quickly lowered the order to three. I would just get by on three.

Sam said “I was wondering where you were going to put those five hamburgers.” He looked up and down at my trim figure.

I smiled innocently and said sweetly “A girl has to eat. That was how I was eating when I was riding 40 miles a day in Athens on my bike to sell books door-to-door.”, in my best Southern accent. He melted. Men could not resist the accent. I think he kissed me for the first time then.

We had great seats at the concert; they were on the floor not far from Billy Joel. I felt like he was just about in my lap, when in reality he was maybe 40 or 50 feet away. He was so young, energetic and vital and the way they staged it, his whole band was in darkness and the piano was lit in the foreground so you could only see him playing it. When he played fast songs on the piano, like the prelude to The Angry Young Man, his hands blurred because they were moving so fast. What a thrill I had being there! What a super concert!

On the way home, Ian decided to spark up a doobie and share it with Tony. They offered to pass it to me, but I deferred. Sam refused because he was driving. Next thing we know, we got cops behind us. We opened all the windows to air out the car and Ian stomped out the roach on the floor. He had a small baggie of weed between his legs that he was ready to toss out the window at a moments notice. Sam pulled over and we waited for the nice officer to come and tell us what the problem was.

While he was on his way over, Sam glanced in his rear view mirror and saw the second officer creeping up the passenger side of the car. He quickly said “Ian don’t.” Ian froze and did not throw the bag out the window where it would have landed at the officer’s feet or at least flown right by him. The other officer came to the window and said “License and registration please.” Sam already had these out and provided them to the officer. “Where are you going this late at night Sam?”

“We are going back to college after a concert Sir.”, replied Sam clearly and respectfully.

After a short period of inspecting Sam’s records with the help of his flashlight he said “Well, watch your speed Sam and drive carefully. Go on now.”

We drove away as quickly as the law allowed. We rolled up our windows and Ian and Tony regaled me with stories of great police getaways that Sam had under his belt and how great he was talking to the police. Apparently he had talked his way out of a great many tickets.

We got back to campus in one piece. Ian, Tony and Sam we scattered all over the campus as far as dorms, none of them managing to become roommates, which wasn’t allowed for freshmen. Sam and I went back to his dorm room. Sam’s roommate was quite a dweeb I must admit. He really did nothing more than take up space. He breathed through his mouth, he was thick headed, he had a constant hard-on up to his nose, and I could find nothing about him that was redeeming. He had promised to sleep elsewhere this evening however and that was a good thing since Sam and I planned to have sex. It was the seventies after all.

Sam was a virgin, but I sure couldn’t tell. It was as if he was made just for me size wise and he seemed to know just how to move to please me as well. We were perfectly sexually compatible and he had me screaming with each orgasm that night. Actually, he earned the nickname “Stud”, after that one particular evening with me since I could be heard up and down the hall. He didn’t mind that much too at all. After that we had sex at least twice a day; morning and evening. Sometimes we did it right in front of his loser roommate, though not with him watching.

He and his buddies also smoked a lot of weed. I tried his pot, but it didn’t get me off the way Evan’s did in Georgia. Sam and his pals nicknamed me the “waste”, as in they didn’t want to waste any of their weed on me. That was fine with me. Ah, what a semester that was: party, party, party.

Here are some videos of tunes Billy played at the concert back in 1976:


Sophomore Year – Part 8, Acing Organic Chemistry

August 9, 2007 Posted by suefairview

I was astounded with my own progress through the self tutorials of organic chemistry’s second semester. By the end of March, I was taking the very last one. After I passed that one, I was eligible to take the final exam. I just couldn’t believe it. I could be entirely done with this 3 credit course more than two months in advance of the end of the semester! Plus I had taken a full course load and worked at my own pace. It was just that I had this inexplicable natural proclivity and aptitude for this subject that enabled me to learn extremely quickly. I requested that Dr. Silver give me the final immediately while the material was fresh in my brain.

So at the next class, while everyone was taking their quizzes, I sat with the final exam which had ten questions. I had two hours to complete it. I read through the exam quickly and found that I could not answer any of the ten questions. Panic time. I could not answer a single one. Not one. None. I was holding my breath. I looked around the class at my fellow students busily working their quizzes. I felt like a fake. I looked at the front of the class at the other smart kids that had stayed clear of me when I pulled ahead of them in the quizzes. It sure is lonely at the top. At my school, those kids were all trying to get into medical school and they were also competitive as hell. I was ruining the curve for them as well. They would just love it if I failed. And it seemed that what just what I was about to do if I could not answer even one of the questions on the final. I was in all out panic mode when the 1 hour class ended and Dr. Silver told me that we had to move to the lab room to finish the test. I quickly hid my test paper so that he would not see that I had not done anything yet and got up to move.

We walked across the quad to the lab building and the fresh air helped me snap out of my panic. I thought that there must be one question that I could answer on the whole exam, and I would look for that question as soon as I sat down. We made it into the lab; I sat down and looked for the question that I could answer. A short time later, I found it. So I answered that one, and then looked for another. After that I was able to do the test. Time was not really an issue once I got going. I had already gotten my panic out of the way. I learned that sometimes I just really needed that panic time and that if I allowed myself that I could move forward. I have used that strategy in life many times.

Dr. Silver came in and graded the test right in front of me. Talk about instant gratification. I had made a very small error in one of my syntheses and he gave me an A. I was elated to say the least. An A in organic chemistry was the stuff dreams were made of. He shared my joy.

He told me of a senior research project, that he would like for me to undertake next year. He was saving it for a gifted organic chemistry student who was also studying biology. He said that I would be perfect for it. It involved identifying the chemical components of the alarm pheromones from local amber ants called Acanthomyops claviger. We would use a gas chromatograph and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging to do this. My eyes opened really wide. The project sounded so challenging. He assured me that he would be my adviser and that he had full confidence that I would be able to do it. Was I interested in the project? I told him it sounded wonderful and I wished I could start now. He smiled broadly at that. We shook hands.

When I got back to my dorm, my Dale Carnegie books had arrived. So I read them.

Eventually the semester ended and all of the organic chemistry students took the final. When all of the grades came in, mine was the highest. But there were other A’s. I really felt that my grade should be increased to an A+ based on the curve. So I thought about how best to approach this based on what the Dale Carnegie books said. Then I went to Dr. Silver’s office.

I walked in and said “Hi Dr. Silver. How are you?”

“Hi Sue. I am fine. How are you? What can I do for you?”

“I just have one question. Why didn’t you give me an A+ on the final?”

He looked flummoxed as he stammered and said “Well let’s take a look at that…” Then he rifled through various papers and exams and mucked around his office. I really caught him off guard. He hesitated and then said “I really don’t see any reason not to give you an A+. So I will change your grade to an A+.” Then he smiled at me. I smiled back.

“Thank you so much Dr. Silver! See you next year!” Then I walked out on air.

* * *

Here is an organic chemistry quiz for you: What famous organic chemist is this and what pivotal discovery did he make?

Here is a hint:

Sophomore Year – Part 7, Ornithology and Zach

July 24, 2007 Posted by suefairview

The other course I was taking that I really loved was ornithology, the study of birds. Dr. Fågelson, an older man in his early sixties, was our professor and I really liked him. We had lecture classes and for our labs we went birding with him in his Volkswagen bus.

I really loved the birding part of the class. He was an expert birder. We all bought Roger Tory Petersen Field Guide to Eastern Birds in addition to our ornithology text book. We were provided with binoculars and brought the guide books and binoculars with us on our field trips. We were required to keep life lists of all the birds we saw beginning with those we saw on our class trips. I was so excited! This opened a whole new world for me.

We departed really early in the morning, before the sun was even up. Dr. Fågelson would drive like a madman with his window open listening for birds. Meanwhile, it was bitterly cold and the frozen air was coming into the van. But he would see a bird on a wire and screech the van to a halt, or hear a bird call and veer off dangerously off the road and set off out the door at a run, expecting us all to follow, or miss out on the sighting. If you missed out, you would miss out on seeing something that might be tested later. But most importantly to me, you missed out on a life experience, on seeing something you had never seen before, and might never see again. Didn’t everyone see how precious this man was? How inspiring he was? What a genius he was? How could they not? I just wanted to be inspired by him. But, not everyone saw him as I did. I got to run after him to see the woodcock, the wood thrush, the rufus sided towhee, the kingbird, the ruby crowned kinglet, the indigo bunting, the meadow lark, the killdeer, the snow geese, the blue bird, the cedar waxwing and so many more.

I sat right behind him in the van, questioning him about the birds we might see. One day we were talking about large predatory birds. I asked him what kinds of those birds we could expect in our area. His answer was “Well, we do see some kestrels and lots of red tail hawks. Rarely you will see an eagle. But, hey, wait! There is one right now!!! Pull over! Stop the van!”

We screeched to a halt and off he ran across the frozen corn field with me following at his heels. He jumped over the mounded rows that were frozen solid, and hard as rocks. I looked up and saw a huge bird sunning its wings high up in a tree in the first rays of morning light. Bur Dr. Fågelson still wasn’t close as he wanted to be. He ran down a little gully while looking up through his binoculars and fell headlong into a small partly frozen stream. Unfazed, he got up and kept running up the other side of the gully. He assembled the class on the other side in a corn field. We all had a really great view of the golden eagle there.

He told us how rare a sighting this eagle was in this area. Then he talked about what the eagle eats and how it lives and so forth. I just listened and stared at the eagle though my binoculars. I was amazed. It was a day I will never forget. God, I loved that class. I would have aced it, but a big part of the final was memorizing bird calls. To me, all ducks and sparrows sound alike. So, I only got a B. Oh well. So it goes.

At the end of that week of seeing the eagle, Zach came to Cayuga to visit me. I couldn’t wait to show him off to my suitemates. They were duly impressed. We hugged each other good and hard and I took the time to really feel all those muscles I had missed so much. We kissed in our suite lobby and as he forced his tongue into my mouth, my knees gave out and he lifted me into his arms and carried me into my room. He kicked the door shut after us. I could see my suite mates happy faces as we left; they were probably thinking it was so romantic and it was. He gently laid me on the bed and proceeded to undress me.

Oh god I wanted him to fuck me so bad. I helped him with my buttons and zippers, and his and in no time we were naked. He was making those grumbling growling noises as he kissed my body and sucked on my breasts that he mounded with his hands. I writhed on the bed with expectation. Quickly he donned a condom and we began to make love. He lifted my hips clear off the bed again and I just never could get enough of that feeling. He was so fucking strong to be able to lift me while fucking me. It was such a turn on. I felt like I was totally under his power; it was so easy for him to do. It was as if I weighed nothing. Then of course I had a great view of his meaty chest during sex, which was totally hot, plus seeing his handsome face as he pounded his cock into me until he shot his load. God, sex with him was wonderful.

Afterwards, I had time to really look at his body. He was beautiful everywhere. Since he was from Florida, and had just returned from Winter break there, he had a perpetual tan. He had great thighs. They had just the right amount of muscle, nice and thick with a bit of light brown fur. His calves were good and solid too. But nobody that went to Cornell had bad calves. (That is an inside joke – there are so many gorges in Ithaca that it is said that the coeds have over muscled calves.) He had the widest shoulders. That was my favorite part of him. From them hung his marvelous pectoral muscles that I used to lie across. He was absolutely perfect in my eyes and I wanted him to stay just where he was forever. I entertained thoughts of tying him to my bed. But I rarely saw him asleep. When he was awake he was always ravaging me with his animalistic grumbling growling noises or we were going out someplace to have a good time.

We continued to see each other through the spring. Zach became my bodybuilder boyfriend and I was thrilled.

Photo credits Zach: Unnatural Devotions

Bookfield, Sales School, Part 1

February 28, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

Mom had driven me to LaGuardia airport from home, so, the airplane landing seemed like the first step of my first journey that I had ever taken alone. The sound of the wheels touching the ground was muffled from inside the plane, but the force of wheel against pavement pulled my head back slightly. I was on my own. As we taxied I strained to see the Nashville Airport terminal. It was a small cinder block building only distinguishable from other small airplane hangers nearby because of the white letters on it bidding me, “Welcome to Nashville”. I was glad the airport was small, because it would be easier to spot the expected welcome group from Parchment. The plane parked a hundred yards or so from the terminal and I undid my seat belt. I took my green duffel bag and tan sales case down from the overhead storage compartment and waited to exit.

I walked with the other passengers into the terminal. One by one, the other passengers were claimed by waiting loved ones. “Grandma, Grandma!” exclaimed a little boy who rushed forward to hug the elderly woman walking ahead of me. Couples and families embraced, reunited. For them the trip was over. The crowd of passengers dissipated quickly. Off to their homes and families, I supposed.

I surveyed the crowd. The terminal building was small enough that I could see from one end to the other from the gate I had arrived at, there were only four gates. Supposedly, a group of other college students, like my self were arriving in Nashville today and a bus was to be provided to take us all to the hotel. I saw no groups of people fitting that description or even anyone who was alone, like me. I walked across the speckled, moss green linoleum floor to the ground transportation booth, but it was Sunday afternoon, and no one was on duty there. Ticketing was just a few paces up ahead and so I went there and looked at the arrivals board. My flight was the last to arrive that afternoon; no more flights were scheduled that day.

Ten minutes into my first independent foray and I was marooned at the goddamn airport. I looked around the airport and the number of people there had already dwindled down so that they could be counted on one hand. The people I was supposed to meet weren’t here. The bus wasn’t here. I sat down on one of the bowl like black plastic chairs to think. A tear rolled down my cheek. I had expected the comfort of meeting my new friends, and having the travel arrangements taken care of. I felt stressed by the situation. It wasn’t going as planned.

But what if the bus was merely delayed and on its way? It could be transportation was planned for me, and it just wasn’t here yet. Maybe I should wait a while before I worry too much. So I waited twenty minutes. I tried to relax, but as each minute went by, and I looked at my watch, my tension only grew. Every five minutes or so I walked out side of the terminal and looked down the street both ways to see if any thing was coming. The bus didn’t come. Surely if it was coming, it would have been here by now. Finally I felt justified in taking some action. No one could say that I didn’t wait.

I fished around in my pocket for change and opened my sales case to hunt for Parchment’s phone number. Finding both, I got up, picked up my duffle bag and sales case and found the pay phones. I put a quarter in the slot and dialed Parchment’s number. The phone rang and rang. I guess no one was there because it was Sunday. I tried another Parchment number, also with no response. I looked at my watch. I had been in the airport for forty-five minutes already. There was a Nashville phone book on the shelf under the phone and I pulled it out. I looked in the yellow pages under hotels and found the Hermitage, where I would be staying. I dialed that number.

“Good afternoon, Hermitage Hotel, how may I help you?” the woman at the other end answered.

“Hi, this is Sue Fairview, and I’m with the Parchment group. I’m at the airport waiting for the bus to the hotel, and its not here.”

“I’m sorry, the last bus left there over two hours ago. You’ll have to take a cab to the hotel. Don’t let the driver charge you more than twenty-five dollars. See you soon, bye!” She said in that cheery down home voice.

I hung up the phone. Twenty-five dollars! I only had one hundred dollars on me to last the whole week! A fourth of it was gone just like that. My worries crested and another tear fell down my cheek. I retreated back to the same black chair and sat down again. I held my head in my hands. I didn’t want any one to see I was upset, not that there was anyone there to see. I sobbed as quietly as possible. Would I have been better off if I had stayed home? The quick thought of home made me marshal my resolve to be independent. I tried to minimize the inconveniences I faced so far. This was just a small set back. I knew I could overcome this.

I got up, picked up my things and walked outside again. There was not a cab in sight. I swallowed hard and went back into the terminal to the phone. I looked up the number of a taxi cab company and dialed. I could hardly understand the southern accent of the individual that answered the phone. The wait would be twenty minutes. I stood outside waiting, some how feeling that if I sat in that black chair; I would not find the resolve to leave it again.

Finally, the cab arrived. The driver sprang out of the car to open the trunk for me. He was a black man in his fifties, I’d guess. The short tight curls of his hair were white, and his eyes were tinged with red at the corners. He picked up my duffle bag and sales case and put them into the trunk.

“Are Y’all alone?” he asked.

“Yes.”, I said despondently. “Hermitage Hotel, please.”

He shot me a sympathetic glance as we got in. I guess he could tell I had been crying. He tried to cheer me up by talking about the Grand Ole Opry. He though that Minnie Pearl was funny. I had hopes of doing some sight seeing, not ever having been in Nashville before. But I kept focused on the cab’s fare meter. What would I do if he tried to charge me more than twenty-five dollars? Would he take a longer route to try to gouge the fare? How would I know if he took the shortest way? I looked out the window. I expected to see high rises, maybe a skyscraper, like in New York City. Highways, streets, route numbers I didn’t recognize, and nondescript buildings were all I saw. The meter kept adding up my fare. I couldn’t tell if we were any closer to downtown. After a while I saw a green highway sign for downtown Nashville, and to my relief, the cabbie went that way. The buildings were not very high here either. The meter was already near twenty dollars. What if the fare was thirty, or more? Without warning, we pulled over.

“Hermitage Hotel.”, the cabbie suddenly announced. We both got out of the car and he opened the trunk and brought my stuff to the curb. “That’ll be twenty dollars please.” I opened my wallet and handed over the money for the fare. He took it saying, “You take care now, y’hear.”

“Thanks.”, I muttered. I picked up my bags and looked at the hotel.

I looked around the lobby quickly to see if any of the Parchment group was there. Again I saw no one who fit the bill. I walked up to the check in counter. The woman behind it looked friendly and just being there made me feel better. I was silly to worry so much about getting here. I made it and that’s what counted. “Good afternoon, and welcome to the Hermitage, do you have a reservation?” It was the same woman I had spoken to on the phone from the airport.

“Yes, I’m Sue Fairview, I called earlier from the airport. I think I have a reservation.”

“Oh yes, glad you made it. Was the cab alright?”

“Yeah, it was only twenty dollars.”

“Good.”, she said as she rummaged through the reservations. “Okay you are in room 515 on the fifth floor. We had a little over booking problem and some of you Parchmenters have had to double up. You’ll be staying with a nice young lady named Mary.”

“I have to share my room?” The thought was immediately unacceptable.

“Yes I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but nothing else was available, and she was the only other female checking in with Parchment. I’m sure you two will get along just fine.”

It didn’t seem that I had any other choice in the matter, so I took my room key, picked up my bags and went to the elevator. I had roomed with strangers before in college. My freshman roommates were strangers at first and friends later. If Mary was the only other woman there, perhaps I’d better get to know her sooner any how. We’d probably be roommates for the whole summer. On my way down the hallway of the fifth floor I noticed for sure that the hotel had a scent of mildew and also a musty smell. It didn’t seem to be air conditioned either. I found the room around the corner from the elevator. I paused outside the door. If Mary was in there, perhaps I should knock first. I did, but there was no answer. I opened the door without problem and got another surprise. There was only one bed.

I surveyed the room completely. There was no couch, no rollaway bed in the closet, no place but the one bed for both of us to sleep. Mary’s things lay about the room. There was a suitcase, and clothes thrown over a chair. It looked like she had already been there, changed and left. I picked up the room phone and called the front desk.

“Hello, this is Sue Fairview in room 515.”

“Yes how may I help you?” Again, it was the same woman from the front desk.

“There is only one bed in 515 and there are two of us checked in. Could you please send up a rollaway bed?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, but the group from Parchment this year is so big that we have already used all of our rollaways. The bed in your room is a double bed. We sent all of the cots to rooms with two people and single beds. Again, I apologize for this…”

“Thanks anyway.” I hung up the phone and sat on the only bed. I breathed a heavy sigh. After a few minutes of convincing myself that everything would be alright again, I went to the bathroom and freshened up to prepare myself for meeting the other Parchmenters. I looked at my sales case, and opened it one more time.

I had received my sales kit from the Parchment Publishing Company some time before my sophomore finals. Inside the cardboard shipping box was a light tan fiberglass sales case that looked rather like a large tackle box. The enclosed letter explained that in the remaining weeks of the semester I was to study the enclosed sample books, memorize the demonstrations for each book, read the enclosed inspirational paperback books by Dale Carnegie, and sign the registration form. The registration form indicated that I agreed to follow the direction of sales management to the best of my ability. Failure to do so could result in immediate termination. I signed reluctantly.

The sample books consisted of a Family Bible Library, a Bible Dictionary, a health book, and a set of educational books. The Family Bible Library was actually a ten volume set that sold for about $100. From that, Parchment would get $35, and I could keep the remaining $65 as profit. The Family Bible Library, or FBL, was a sort of an encyclopedia of bible stories. Non-denominational and written for youngsters, it was illustrated with sketches and photographs and was bound in an ivory colored leather-like material with embossed gold lettering.

The Bible Dictionary was actually a dictionary of the words used in the Bible with scriptural cross references. Bound in a textured brown vinyl with gold letters, it resembled a Bible. The selling price was about $30; my profit was $20 for each sold.

The health book had a red cover and was a basic how-to guide to health. It covered nutrition, first aid, and the like. It sold for slightly less than the Bible Dictionary.

The educational books covered basic science, American history, and etcetera. The construction of these books was a bit cheaper and the coverage of each topic seemed superficial at best. What struck me most was that the focus of the American history book was notable assassinations, Lincoln, JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King. I could see value in the other books, but did not have any interest in selling the educational books.

The demonstrations were sales scripts that when performed for the customer would result in a sale. The ‘approach’ script was designed to gain entry to the customer’s house. It went like this:

“Hi there Mrs. Jones! My name is (insert your name) and I’ve been calling on all of the church folks in the neighborhood. Just wanted to come by and see you. You all do go to some local church, don’t you? May I come in?” The sample customer’s name was always Mrs. Jones. The actual name was to be determined beforehand from the mailbox or a neighbor.

The script also included what can only be described as stage directions, like, ‘Complement the customer on the first thing you notice in the house. Sit down facing the gathered family on your sales case, opening it behind you.’ There was a scripted demonstration tailored to sell each book or set of books. Most memorable was an introductory line in the FBL script that read, “Mrs. Jones, don’t you wish that Bible study could be as exciting as the Fourth of July?” Each script was several pages and all together it seemed like a lot to memorize. There was also a closing script which focused on filling out the order slip. The customer’s name, address, number of books to be ordered, and amount of down payment (half of the total was suggested by the Company) were all to be completed. Books would be delivered at the end of the summer. Conspicuously absent was any wording dealing with whether the customer wanted to buy the book or not.

I closed the sales case. I summoned up the courage to take the next step of my adventure, and left the solitude of my room and went down to the lobby to meet up with my group.