The Hitchhikers Guide to the State
In 1973, the Student Handbook included a section on hitchhiking. After stating that hitchhiking was illegal in the state of New Hampshire, it went on to say the law was not strictly enforced (except in Dover), it was a relatively acceptable way to get around in the college area, and it was standard transportation for many students.
Advice to would-be hitchhikers included the best places to hitch from: "For Dover or Newmarket, stand opposite the Durham Post Office, and use a sign to indicate which town... For Lee, Concord, and Manchester, the intersection of Main Street and College Road has plenty of stopping room." The final word for safe hitchhiking was to stay well out of the path of traffic, use a sign, and be visible after dark.
In 1974, the Highland House Applied Science Project began as a joint undertaking of the Thompson School and Student Housing. The Highland House, a large, University-owned farm located near the campus was open to selected Thompson School students as a residential alternative.
Students lived and worked on the premises while attending school. They raised beef and grew vegetables for their own use and local sale, cut cord-wood, made maple syrup, and did all their cooking and baking. On the grounds, they maintained a nursery, a Christmas tree farm, an orchard, and forage crops.
A new law went into effect on June 28, 1976 that seemed to some of the UNH students, faculty, and staff to be the perfect solution to campus parking problems and the energy crisis. The law legalized the use of motorized bicycles, called mopeds, on all New Hampshire roads (except any highway that was posted against their use). This new mode of transportation was inexpensive to buy and some got over 150 miles per gallon.
Required equipment on the bikes were a horn or bell, good brakes, reflectors, and head and tail lights for night driving. For the commuting student, a milk crate strapped to the rear of the bike with bungee cords was also a necessity for carrying their books. Mopeds were a regular sight on the side of New Hampshire's road for a few years thereafter.
In 1978, a female student studying in the Dimond Library discovered she had been robbed and phoned the police. A short while later, the police arrested a 24-year-old Division of Continuing Education student, ending a year-long investigation into a rash of thefts from the library.
The thief was charged with stealing 48 items, including 14 wallets and purses and an estimated 26 pairs of clogs. A search of the suspect's residence revealed clogs and wallets hidden in pillow cases, two clogs underneath a pillow, clogs stuffed in a sleeping bag, clogs in a backpack under a bed, and clogs stashed in a bureau drawers.
The thief confessed to the crimes, saying he was glad he was caught, and claimed he had a neurotic problem and couldn't help himself.
1980 was the era of the MUB PUB and the annual Great Goldfish Eating Contest presided over by DJ Rick Bean. The winner of the second contest was Tom Michaud '82, who, according to the Granite, "jauntily threw off the coat of his three-piece suit and removed his shoe to the tune of "The Stripper." He then poured a beer and a live goldfish into the shoe and drank them both."
His reward was the approval of the crowd (with the exception of the "Save the Fish Coalition") and two J. Geils Band tickets.
Thanks for Some Respect
In 1981, Hunter Hall was home to the one and only Rodney Dangerfield fan club. To be a member, one just had to sign a list and agree to watch Dangerfield on The Johnny Carson Show once every three months. The fan club made Dangerfield an honorary member of the dorm, and the entire second floor bathroom was dedicated in Dangerfield's honor. Paul Fallisi started the fan club as a joke, but when he heard that Dangerfield would be performing in Boston, Fallisi and some of his brothers went down to meet him.
Several months later, Fallisi received a call from Dangerfield's manager offering him an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas where Dangerfield was being appearing on the show "This is Your Life." The New Hampshire fan would get to meet his idol onstage at the Aladdin Hotel and tell him what his club, with seventy-two charter members, had done. Afterwards, Dangerfield sent an autographed photo to the club inscribed: "To Paul and all the guys at UNH. Thanks for some respect."
Light Bulb Joke
When UNH students are ready to make the move from dorm living to apartment living, the town they chose to live in—Durham, Dover, Portsmouth or Newmarket—seems to reflect different personality types.
In the 1981 Granite Yearbook, these differences were expressed in the answers to the question, "How many students from (fill in the town) does it take to change a light bulb?" Their answers:
- Durhamites: Two. One to change the bulb, and one to make sure his shirt doesn't untuck.
- Doverites: One.
- People from Portsmouth: Two. One to call the electrician and one to mix the martinis.
- Newmarkettes: Two. One to change it and one to protest it.
- Madbury: Three. One to change the light bulb and two to make granola. -- Scott Wilson '82
"How many Doverites does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
Four. Three guys to sit around in the dark drinking beer and wondering if they even have any light bulbs and one girlfriend who buys the light bulb, changes the light bulb, and pays that month's electricity bill so the light stays on. -- Michelle Wilcox George '97, wife of former Doverite, Spencer George '97