The actual class schedule for my first semester at County College of Morris. I fell in love with the idea of going to college, right from the start.
The Golden Opportunity
By Richard Mabey Jr.
In September of 1971, I began my first semester at County College of Morris. I had no idea, on my first day of college, that I was destined to meet some very wonderful people who would help me to grow in my love for writing. From my first day at CCM, I fell in love with the idea of going to college.
Right from the start, I fell in love with the campus of CCM.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I attended Professor Keeler’s English Composition class. It was an incredible class to say the least. At the same time, I had been writing for the old Lincoln Park Herald. It was during the summer of 1971 that Mr. Marino, the editor of the Lincoln Park Herald, taught me a lot of the basics of writing for a newspaper. Professor Keeler’s class was like the icing on the cake, in terms of expanding my knowledge on the keys to good writing.
The front of Eastside High School. I would stand by my old Ford Falcon and wait for my girlfriend, Penny.
I really don’t know how I did it back then. I guess the key to it all was that I was only 18. On Wednesdays, I would be done with my only class for that day by about 11 in the morning. I would then walk to my old faithful Ford Falcon and drive home to the old Mabey Homestead and do my best to sleep till about two o’clock in the afternoon. I would get up, get dressed and then drive off to Paterson, to Eastside High School to meet my dear, sweet girlfriend, Penny.
It was such a great moment to see Penny walking out of Eastside High. I would hold my car door open for Penny. She would wave goodbye to all of her girlfriends, as she got into my old Ford Falcon. And, vavoom, we would drive off to the local library in Paterson. There we would study till about five o’clock. Then, we would drive over to Penny’s house for supper. After supper, Penny and I would go for a little walk, then we’d say goodnight. Penny’s Dad was very strict and Penny had to be home by seven at the latest on a school night, to get her homework done.
Then I would drive off to Route 80, heading west and heading home. I would get home about 7:30 in the evening. I would talk to my Mom and Dad and sister, Patti for a few minutes and then head off to bed, to get some sleep for a couple of hours. My alarm clock would wake me up at about 11 o’clock at night. I would quick get dressed and then head off to the grocery store, where I worked the night shift from midnight till eight in the morning.
I worked the night shift at a local grocery store in northeast New Jersey, during my first two years of college.
I would study during my late night “supper break.” Also, I would study during my two 15-minute breaks, that I also got. Then when eight o’clock would roll around, I would walk up the back stairs at the grocery store to the men’s bathroom and splash some water on my face and brush my teeth. And, then head off to my old Ford Falcon and head down Route 10 to County College for Professor Keeler’s English Composition class.
I would find a lonesome corner desk at the library to get some well needed shut-eye, between classes.
I had three classes on Thursdays. But, the good thing is that I had about an hour and a half between each class. So, what I would do is find a lonesome, corner desk in the college library. I would put my head down on my books and get some shut-eye. I always worried about over sleeping. But, my Guardian Angel would always wake me up in time, for my next class.
In spite of this insane schedule, I managed to make the Dean’s List. I also wrote articles for the Lincoln Park Herald and my college newspaper, Youngtown Edition. Looking back, now at 62, I honestly don’t know how I did it.