Higher Learning among the Green Hotdogs
Fortunately, I lacked common sense that fall day in 1957 when I jumped on a Greyhound bus in Chicago's Loop and headed for Lafayette, Ind. My escort was a large suitcase filled with clothes, $100 in cash, and blind optimism.
I registered in the electrical engineering circular at Purdue University, the home of great quarterbacks and the Golden Girl. Driven by the desire to escape my lower-middle-class neighborhood home in Cicero, the industrial center of dead-end factory jobs, I was determined to make my fortune as an engineer.
Rash decisions are easy to make for an idealistic 17-year-old. I had enough money to pay the out-of-state tuition of $320 per semester from my savings, and my mother paid the room and board bill for the first year - but made it clear the well was dry. My father passed away when I was 14, and with my three younger sisters the family finances were tight.
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