General Thoughts about the Dormitories at LWMA 1959-1964
By Brian V. Brunner ('64)
Powder Springs, GA - 7/4/2001
Friendly Hall - 1963
Friendly/KirkLand Hall - 1967
The building known as Friendly / Kirkland Hall was unique! The building was a house with the rooms built around it. The rooms build like a square horseshoe or square "U" around the house, not actually attached to the house. The hall was open to the sky with a concrete floor. This was very much like a motel of the 1940's era, pine paneling and all. The rooms were numbered 1 - 20. Room #1 was the first room on the right front and room #20 was the first room on the left front. Room #6 in the first corner was a double room and so was room #15 in the other corner. Making 22 rooms in all. High ranking cadets lived in the double rooms.
Buildings 1940's L-R - Alabama Hall - Friendly Hall - Dr. Ward's House.
Today, the west side of Hill Hall is near where Alabama Hall was.
Howell Hall is to the right of where Friendly Hall was.
And the Dixon Chapel is where Dr. Ward's house was.
The bathroom door was in the back of the house across the hall from the middle rooms in bottom of the "U". (See the above picture) There was no passage into the house from the bathroom. In other words to go to the bathroom you had to leave your room and go outside and down the hall to the bathroom that was across the hall! Of course this gave you problems if it was raining, snowing, or just plain cold! The roof of both house and the room "U" part had an overhang of more than a foot. That overhang helped if it was raining and you had to go to bathroom. You could come out of your room and stand with your back against the wall and scoot sideways down the hall under the overhang until you were directly across the hall for the bathroom. That would keep you dry until you had to jump across the hall and through the bathroom door. Now, for the big challenge, heavy rain! The concrete floor was sloped on both sides to a line in the middle of the hall. Those low lines led to drainpipe in both corners of the "U" shaped hall. This meant that when it was raining very hard water would stand in the middle of the hall as the two drainpipes filled up with water that could not escape fast enough. When that happened you had to leap across the hall as far as you could to keep you feet out of the deepest part of the standing water. Sometimes the boys shove mops into the drainpipes to see just how deep the water could get. Once during a freezing cold rain the boys did that and made an ice skating rink out of the hall!
Looking down the hall at room #7.
Notice the sunken hallway with drain
at the end of the line on the left.
The house is just out of sight to the left.
Cold, yes, Friendly Hall gets my vote for the coldest dorm on the hill. (While I was there the only dormitories we had were Friendly Hall, Ward/Howell Hall and Russell Hall) Each room's door went outside. There was a big window in front and one in back. And if you lived in room 1 or 20 you had an extra outside wall! The whole thing was heated by steam and hot water supplied from gas boiler inside the house. Each room had a radiator under the front window. The steam and water flowed through two groups of lines coming from the house over the hall to two rooms. If you lived in those rooms where the all the pipes came from the house your room was almost warm. The pipes then went out to the other rooms from there. At each room two less pipes went to the next room. If you lived at end of the pipes your room was really cold. The last room only had two pipes in it, one for the hot water coming in and the cold going back out. By the way, the doors were at lease 1/4 inch off the concrete floor. Each room had a concrete wall base about two feet high. The pine paneling went from up from there.
I'm glad I was living on the second floor of Russell Hall at the time of the Big Chill of 1963. I don't know how the boys lived in Friendly Hall without burning lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol or something in their rooms! I know that I would burn rubbing alcohol in a shoe polish can lid sometimes during the winter of 1960 when I lived in room #7.
I lived in Friendly Hall my entire first year at LWMA. That was the 1959-60 school year. My brother, Richard, and I shared room #11 from our first night in October 1959.
Sometime in the early spring of 1960 we split up. Richard moved in with Jack Riley (Efird, Jr.)('61) and later he went on to share a room with Phil Potts('63). (Don't ask me the room numbers!)
I moved in with Chester Quinn('62) in room #7. I stayed there until the end of the year. Chester was injured near the end of the year and stayed in the Infirmary until school was out. For almost the last two or three weeks I lived in room #7 alone.
The next year Richard and I went to Mount Berry School for Boys in Rome, GA. I was able to return to LWMA for the 1961-62 year. I had a problem in that my Mother and Grandmother only had my Father's VA and Social Security benefits money to send me on. Col. Smith gave me 10% scholarship and let Grandmother pay the tuition any way she could. This left no money for uniforms, so Col. Smith let me borrow used uniforms. Yes, I gave them all back when I graduated in 1964 including the used sword I had!
I had to enter that last seemingly unrelated paragraph so that the following paragraph would make sense.
The summer after we went to Berry (1961) I had to go down to LWMA to have CWO Yancey fit me with some of the used uniforms, and arrange it so I would have my Corporal strips sewn on. I had to go down on a Greyhound bus from Atlanta to Opelika, then change to a Trailways bus for the twenty-mile trip to Camp Hill. I had to spend the night at LWMA and return to Atlanta the next day. That night Mr. Yancey let me stay in one of the rooms in Friendly Hall. I picked room #1. He and his wife lived in the house in the center of Friendly Hall. Because of that I was not alone on the hill, but I was the only teenager sleeping there! I don't guess anything bad happened, because I don't remember anything else about the trip. I do remember that I was very happy there those two days because I was going to get back to LWMA in September. After I returned in the fall of 1961, and for the next three years, I was always happy to be at LWMA.
After the 1959-60 school year I did not live in Friendly Hall again until the first semester of 1963-64 when I was a senior and Company Commander of "B" company. I lived there with my two Platoon Leaders, First Lieutenants, Robert C. Bell ('64) and Robert Bickerstaff ('64). The three us lived room #15, one of the double rooms. When you entered the first room, the only things in that room was two desks, (Two sheets of plywood attached to the left wall as desks tops) a couple of chairs, and a closet extending from the right back wall. Before that closet was a doorway leading to the back room. In the back room were two sets of metal bunk beds and another closet extending from the back left wall. Both closets were back to back on the common wall between the rooms. In the front room to the left of the door there was a window and the steam heater below it. There was another window on the back wall to the left of the protruding closet.
In the bedroom there we two windows also. One to right of the closet in that room and one across from the closet. There was no steam heater in the bedroom at all.
So I lived in Friendly Hall all of my 8th grade year - '59-'60 and the first half of my senior year '63-'64. I lived Russell Hall all of my sophomore year - '61-'62, the last half of my junior year - '62-'63 and the last half of my senior year - '63-'64. That leaves the first half of my junior year, 62-63, as the only time I lived in Ward / Howell Hall. My total for each dorm is Russell Hall - 2 years, Friendly Hall - 1 & 1/2 years, and Howell Hall - 1/2 year. Of course in year of 2001, Howell Hall is the only one of the three dorms still standing. Each one of those buildings was very different from the others and each was filled with more stories than the number students who lived there.
Postscript: When the building known as Friendly Hall - Kirkland Hall - "The Sandbox", was being torn down in 1992 I took a piece of the concrete wall from room #11. That's the room my brother, Richard, and I lived in when we first arrived at LWMA in October of 1959. I have that piece of concrete in the drawer directly beneath this PC I using to write this story.
To see more pictures of Friendly Hall see the story about Friendly Hall - Kirkland Hall - 1940's - 1992.
To read more details about Friendly Hall see My First Look at LWMA by Lewis Harrison '63.
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