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Tony Hall's Class of 1973 Page

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A Story:  The 1972 Leadership Conference
by A. L. DeWitt (Tony Hall) '73
In early 1972 Mollie McNickle, Katie Scott, and I were selected to attend a leadership conference in Baguio City. It was hideous (a story in and of itself), but as a result of it, Mollie came back with this idea that Wagner ought to put one on. Fortunately she and the remainder of the people who organized it, left me out of the loop right up until the time came for this 3 or 4 day extravaganza, at which time someone had the bright idea that we should have a daily bulletin or a "news and events" thing mimeographed every day for the attendees. As I recall, we had kids from all over the Pacific including people from Manila, Subic, etc. I don't recall exactly when this all took place, but I know it was terribly hot that week, and that the quonset huts where everyone was staying were not air conditioned. Thus the only thing people were sleeping under, if they were sleeping at all, was a sheet.
One of the girls, who shall remain nameless because of the data that follows, was in charge of serving as the "Charge of Quarters" for the entire billeting area (over in the temporary airmans quarters). Because there wasn't really anything to do after lights out, these people were allowed to lay down on a cot in the back room. The back room, however, was also where the mimeo machine was.
Well, in addition to being assigned to do this little paper, I also was taking pictures for the Falcon Crier, and I had my camera with me on that date. Unfortunately, I had not loaded the damn thing, having just bought film at the little PX in the snack bar over by the theatre. Geoff Scheerer and I were walking over to the little quonset hut where the mimeo machine was at about 7:30, 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday. No one else was apparently even up yet.
So we walk through the front part of the quonset hut and no one is there, we open up the door to go to the back room, and we are confronted with a bit of a dilemna. There, lying on the floor, absolutely naked from the waist up, is this un-named girl. She was lovely, and I say that with no disrespect.
Now, a smarter person would have simply walked out and closed the door very loudly, given this person a few minutes, and then come back in very noisily. But not me. I was 17, and this was the first time I had seen anything approaching that degree of loveliness that was not in the pages of a Playboy Magazine.
Knowing I had no film, I decided to play a practical joke. I took out my electronic flash, charged it, flashed it, and then slammed the door, running as fast as I could. Geoff, who had a bad hip, got a bit of a headstart and was two or three buildings away when the flash went off. As I cleared the door I heard this awful, embarrased scream, and kept running. Only the fact that this girl was absolutely buck naked under the blanket kept me from being discovered, and to the best of my knowledge, she never did learn it was me who set off the flash. For weeks rumors abounded in school about who had these "great negatives." Finally I dropped a note in her locker telling her the flash had been discharged only, and that there were no pictures.
I have always felt kind of bad about this event, since the girl was truly a nice person, and not a person I would ever want to embarrass. It was just, well, opportunity and immaturity merged together.
I do suspect, however, that from then on she slept in a T-shirt away from home.

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 Class of 1973