Goodbye winter! Sorry you have to rush off. Don’t let that remaining bit of snow bank stop you on your way out; it’s not going to be there for long.
One hundred years ago students at the University of Detroit were happy to see old winter’s exit too. It’s likely that spring was welcomed then with the same enthusiasm as it is these days … maybe even more. In April 1915, winter’s insistently bitter-cold grip wasn’t held at bay by fleece and Gortex as it is today. The world wouldn’t know the “puffer jackets” or any of the lightweight waterproof clothing we take for granted these days for years. Scratchy wool and fur were then the best protection from the cold for the average student, and heating the hallways and classrooms of the University of Detroit was challenging at best.
And what could one do anyway during the harsh winter months just before the spring of 1915, when the days were mostly filled with just trying to stay warm? Ice skating on Belle Isle was one option, negotiating the mostly ice and snow covered sidewalks was another, and then there was driving … if that was even possible. (If the cars back then didn’t fail you in winter, the roads would.)
Spring meant freedom, new life, just being comfortable outside again. And this sense of renewed freedom was just as exciting then as it is now this time of year. It’s enough to bring out the poetry in any student! And for students at U of D, it did just that!
The Tamarack shares its dusty pages with many stories, anecdotes, observations, and humor. Within its issues you’ll also find poetry, like the one below, inspired by the first few days of Spring.
So, good bye, winter! Hello, spring! Make yourself comfortable! We’re all looking forward to spending a lot of time with you.