Leslie Dean feels sorry for the students of today. They don’t get to experience the magic of Grandma’s Rooming House, as the private home at 406 East Chalmers was affectionately known in his day.
Now a retired U.S. senior foreign-service worker who served stints in Baghdad, Nepal, Tanzania and Zambia, among other far-flung spots, ‘Cap’ Dean (BA ’64) still has vivid memories of Grandma — “a delightful and charming widow by the name of Lois Thompson.”
“Grandma took good care of her boys, and the rooming house was a great place to live — close to campus, and with a wonderful porch where we could hang out after dinner. ... The only drawback at Grandma’s that I didn’t care for was that we all slept in the attic. Some health regulation required that the window be kept open at night, which meant that in the winter we could see our breath if we dared to take our heads out from under the covers.”
Sadly, Dean learned on a trip back years later, the home “gave way to ‘progress’ and was torn down, only to be replaced by a women’s dormitory.”