Freddy the Freshman
Freddy the Freshman
Yes, I really did encounter a freshman named Freddy, but that’s not him in the picture. The picture is of Kosta, now my husband of almost 49 years. This is pretty close to how he looked when we were students living in Dykstra Hall, a coed dorm at UCLA, in 1959. At that time, Kosta was one of the student leaders of Bruin Christian Fellowship, the UCLA chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was the unofficial leader of a group of Christians who met regularly in the dorm for prayer and fellowship. One of those times of informal fellowship was dinner.
Most of the Christian students in the dorm ate meals together, and their roommates and other friends, Christians or not, tended to come along and eat with us, since our table seemed to have the most fun. There was always a lot of laughter, and this tended to attract people. Normally Joyce and I and Kosta were in line before the dining hall opened. Our friends got their trays of food and joined us as they came in to sit down at the long tables. When people finished eating , they either left to go study or got another cup of coffee or tea and continued to sit and socialize until they were ready to leave. This was before Kosta and I were dating. I was a junior.
Almost everyone who had been around the dorm for very long knew Kosta and what his beliefs were. Most of his friends and acquaintances had been invited to the inductive Bible studies held in his room or been in a serious conversation with him. But he had once played football in Canada, he was a swimmer, and he still looked athletic. You could often see him on the dorm’s basketball court in a casual game. It was well-known that some of the football team also lived in our dorm on the first floor. They were popularly known as “the animals.” Kosta lived on the second floor.
Kosta was often recognized from across a room by his loud and infectious laugh. He was also somewhat rowdy and many had been victims of his practical jokes. But he also had a way of drawing people together and making strangers feel welcome. His humor wasn’t cruel or sarcastic. That’s one reason a lot of shy people wound up at our table. Another reason was that we were all kind to each other.
So one night, Freddy, whom none of us knew, asked if he could join us. He’d evidentially observed us. My roommate Joyce, a pretty blonde, was also part of our group. (Read more about Joyce and Kosta in The Frame-up,
To Freddy it appeared that our table was where the rowdy, fun-loving, popular types hung out, although none of us were in the “in group” on campus. Freddy didn’t know that, though. He just wanted to be where it appeared the action was, and he wanted to be part of it.
Freddy wanted to fit in. He wanted to impress us, even though we were all upperclassmen. He was from New York and he thought he could wow us, Joyce in particular, by being as crude as possible. Joyce did not enjoy being the center of his unwelcome attention, but she wasn’t all that experienced in handling such things. The more Joyce shrank from his verbal advances, the harder he tried. He couldn’t figure out why he was bombing out.
After dinner that night the dorm was showing a movie in the dining hall and we were all planning to go. Freddy sat as close as he could to Joyce, but we did protect her from letting him get too close. All the other guys in our group could see what was going on, so they helped create space between them.. After the movie, Freddy started making a play for Joyce again, so she asked Kosta to talk to him and explain that his behavior wasn’t appropriate.
We all watched from a distance as the two talked, and later Kosta reported Freddy’s shock. He couldn’t believe we were all Christians because we were having the most fun. Freddy, being Freddy, was not embarrassed about his presumption, and he asked Kosta if he could continue to sit with us at meals. Kosta said he could as long as he behaved respectfully to the women in the group. After that he behaved and we all got along.
It always pays to know something about the people you want to impress before you start trying to play up to them. Otherwise, the impression make may not be the one you were hoping for.
Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved
First published on Bubblews.com and removed.
Image Credit » From family photo collection