VT Stories Shorts

Every Hokie has a tale to tell. Here are some of our favorite stories submitted using our “Share Your Story” feature.

“A Challenging Year,” by Jean Brickey

What makes mine special is I was the first staff member to serve as a constituent on the Board of Visitors, and that happened to be 2006-2007 which became a very challenging year for everyone. I had no idea that I was going to be the first staff to serve on the Board of Visitors. Dr. Steger was the one to have the change made to the board and my first knowledge that it had occurred was by a phone call from the press.

“The Shirt Tuck,” by Russ Neal Jr.

For anyone who has ever been in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, the importance of good shirt tuck cannot be understated—especially for freshmen. Such cadets will also be familiar with the never-ending search for a way to beat the system. The freshmen class of 1968 was no exception in this quest, and one day, during the winter quarter of our first year, my roommate was sure he had found the answer.

It seems that Dick was always running late and trying to find new shortcuts, like the time he waited until the last minute to put together his uniform for a Full Dress A parade, only to stick himself with a compass and bleed all over his white cross belts. But that’s not the story here.

After months of getting his shirt pulled out by upperclassmen for failing to have that impossibly perfect tuck, Dick was sure he had invented the ultimate solution to his problem.

It was winter, and we were still in our gray “woolie” uniforms. Dick was convinced that no upperclassman would ever “stick” him (assign him a demerit) again for no shirt tuck as he meticulously prepared for First Call one crisp Virginia morning.

I watched in amazement as he took out a pair of suspenders, and, with great care, attached two of the snaps to the tops of his socks. He then proceeded to tuck his shirt in the usual manner, pulling the tail end of his shirt between his legs and sitting on the corner of the desk to hold it in place. He then wrapped the suspenders around his legs, over his thighs, attaching the remaining two ends of the suspenders to the shirttail perched dangerously between his legs.

Dick continued getting dressed and announced triumphantly that, if any upperclassman would pull out his shirt, it would automatically go back in, re-tucking itself. Needless to say, I was skeptical.

As one of our “buddies” sounded-off for first call, Dick ran confidently into the hall. Before we could begin our group chant to rouse the upperclassmen, I heard a sharp snap followed by a distinctly painful groan. Glancing to my left, I saw Dick bent over at the waist, his knees locked together, and a pale sickly expression on his face. Knowing what had happened, it was all I could do to control the waves of laughter coming over me.

Luckily for both Dick and me, no upperclassman was prepared to inspect us, and we were told to “drag in.” Dick burst into the room in obvious agony, and proceeded to divest himself of the offending suspenders. Hysteria kept me leaning helplessly against a wall in a vain attempt to compose myself.