Lazing in the sun atop the steps of Sproul Hall

For many years in the 1990s this was like a daily ritual we did near the end of the day. Climbing atop The steps of Sproul Hall and catching the last rays of sunshine before the sun disappeared behind the Pacific Ocean. . . Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me in my old age, but I mostly remember those days as innocent and carefree. It’s like we played all day long. Most of us were still young back then, full of youthful energy and vitality. And living was easy. Great food was all over the place and easily available. The weather was mostly like an endless sunny day (at least in my memory). You could always find a sleeping bag or some blankets and a place to crash. And after you scored your morning coffee and shook off the cobwebs from the night before, it was like the endless party started up all over again. If you wanted some pot or speed or acid or alcohol or shrooms or whatever to add a different sparkle to the party there was always something going around. And somebody was always jamming on guitars. Or a drum circle was going on. And beautiful young women in halter tops and hippie skirts were dancing along. Around 6 in the evening the food carts on Bancroft in front of the campus would shut down for the day and we’d get whatever leftovers they didn’t sell (maybe you were in the mood for pork fried rice and egg rolls, or perhaps baked potatoes with sour cream and bacon). Later in the evening we’d get the leftover hot slices of pizza when Greg’s Pizza closed, and jugs of hot coffee and pastries when C’zes Cafe closed.

But those lazy hours lolling up on top of the steps of Sproul Hall in the sun were the best. I’ve been all across the country and there’s nothing like the feeling of California sunshine on your skin. This electric warmth. It’s both soothing and exhilarating. And as we sat there lazing away, it was like time had stopped. There was nothing more that needed to be done. Nothing that needed to be added. This was it. The campus used to pretty much close down by 7PM back then. So it’s like we had the entire grounds as our personal playground for the rest of the night. We’d often be romping around out there until well after midnight. Sometimes all the way until the light of morning. Howling at the moon.

Of course at the time I never thought it would end. I thought we’d be out there playing until the end of time. . .

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