Virginia Spiess grew up down the block from the College and actually remembers the times before Dowling took over the Idle Hour mansion, back when the National Dairy Corporation held sway. Much like Chris Bodkin did for the College’s first home in Sayville, Virginia fills in some of the history of what was here before.
She describes what it was like in the Education Department and her early days teaching in the Connetquot School District. We also get a glimpse into life in the Artists Colony, the section of Oakdale made up of former Vanderbilt farm buildings that seems to have always attracted the young and adventurous to its cramped yet charming quarters.
In these excerpts from a longer oral history Virginia conducted at the library, we hear again of drama instructor Ned Bobkoff, not to mention Janis Joplin. We also discover a previously unknown use for the fireplace in the Student Lounge.