By Jennie Montgomery


I can still hear the clapping of clogs going up the steps in Binford Hall, in rhythm: stomp, stomp, stomp…stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp! At the same time, echoing wildly through the three-floor stairwell, we sang the chorus to the latest chart-topping hit from Queen “Bop, bop, bop… another one bites the dust!”

My roommate and I lived at the top of that third floor stairwell—you’d open the door to the hallway and see right at our room. We heard EVERYTHING that happened in the stairwell—the racing downstairs when someone was late for class, laughter, sometimes yelling, even quiet crying when homesickness set in or a break-up just happened.

Thirty years later I find myself again walking up those three flights of stairs. The most surprising difference is the number of boys passing me. Our women’s dorm, back in the day, is now a co-ed dorm. Blows my mind! The only time we would have seen so many boys in Binford back in 1985 was when it got close to 11 p.m. and all “guests” had to be out of the dorm.

As I get to the third floor landing and open the door leading down the hallway, I see the door to my freshman room. The faint sounds of my Gino Vannelli records still linger in the air, along with leftover pizza, air-popped popcorn and Lauren perfume—it must have been sprayed in every other room back then! I started thinking about the time my roommate and I hid in the closet to scare our…“Mommy!”

I turn and see my daughter Sky running down the hall…the “my daughter” part catching me off-guard as I was, for a brief time, a 19-year-old myself.

“Sky Baby!” I call out and open my arms to hug my girl. “You know this was my room?” I ask as we start walking up the hall.  

Sky is an RA on the same floor where I spent my freshman year. We love talking about the changes on campus, even as we realize how many experiences are the same.

As we get to her room in the center of the hallway, we pass what looks like two empty spaces, two useless “cubbies,” so to speak.

“Hey Mom,” she looks at me with a mischievous smile, “I am the only person on the floor who knows those were phone booths!” (Which sounded like “and they can’t believe y’all had pet dinosaurs.”)

Now THAT makes me feel old! WE waited and waited to use the two phones on our floor—and 30 years later, not only do our kids have NO experience whatsoever using a pay phone, but they all have THEIR OWN phones. (Not that they talk on them…but that’s another column!)

This article appears in the October 2015 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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