I write to assure your editors and readers that those halls glorified in (“If These Walls Could Talk,” Fall 2021) can indeed talk, or at least could talk with eloquence when I attended Grinnell.
In 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor, Grinnell employed 15 or 20 students to live on campus for the summer and work on various maintenance projects. For this work, living quarters and meals were furnished, plus 25 cents an hour, a small amount of that in cash and the rest applied to tuition fees.
I was assigned to scrub walls of dorm and cottage rooms, day in and day out, all summer, hundreds of rooms.
Could those walls talk? Indeed, they could, not audibly, but in the form of messages, poems, pictures, caricatures, tales of conquests, slander, or praise directed at other students and faculty — enough material to fill a large book and then some.
So, we got our summer reading in and learned that walls can talk.