First To Arrive, Or Last To Leave?


At a party you never want to be the first to arrive nor the last to leave, though someone inevitably must be. Dorm life (which is kind of like an endless party) is no different. This young chap is either an eager beaver at the start of the year, or a sentimental sap waxing contemplative after everyone else is long gone. From the Brown Alumni Magazine, 1953.

Chris Sharp found the photo. Maybe next he’ll find the guy and ask him whether he was coming or going. — CC

32 Comments on "First To Arrive, Or Last To Leave?"

  1. What a great pic. If smoking were still allowed this would be a fine advertisement. I wonder if it ever was.

  2. The bags were packed earlier in the evening, before dusk. End-of-year revelry has subsided. This, then, is an exit.

    “Light the first light of evening, as in a room
    In which we rest and, for small reason, think
    The world imagined is the ultimate good…”

  3. First to arrive at the dorm and you might get to pick the best room/bed/whatever. I’d say he’s leaving; if he were arriving he’d be unpacking those bags and claiming his turf before anyone else turns up.

  4. Looks like he’s the first to arrive. The room is pristine.

  5. Isn’t this Brown’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol”? It’s the scene where a young Ebenezer Scrooge is left at school over Christmas, very sad ;-).

  6. Looks like a scene from a film noir. A tough dame is about to arrive to seduce Junior into doing something stupid that will get him a one-way to the gallows. “The Dark Side of Tuesday,” “I, Fool,” “Tip on a Dead Eli,” something like that.

  7. Or, “Hell in New Haven.”

  8. It was a brisk evening. I was the last one to leave the dorms we had called home for the past school year. I was killing time, waiting for my ride, so I lit up. I really wanted a stiff belt, but I couldn’t head to the bar—I might miss my ride. Looking back at what happened, now I wish I would have gone to the bar.

  9. Walter Denton | September 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm |

    Henry – That’s perfect, just perfect.

  10. Mellow Fellow | September 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm |

    He’s lost his driving mocs so he can’t drive home.

  11. Fritz Kalkbrenner | September 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm |

    Comment by Mellow Fellow — September 19, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

    ‘He’s lost his driving mocs so he can’t drive home.’

    hahaha. what about: he used his driving mocs but now he is afraid to move in case he creases his weejuns.

    great find! that site just keeps on giving. lol

  12. Waldo Walters | September 20, 2014 at 12:16 am |

    “I hung in there until things got untenable.”

  13. He just made bail. No ride now because it is Christmas Eve.

  14. From a distance, the loafers call to mind the Alden LHS.

  15. “It was a brisk evening. I was the last one to leave the dorms we had called home for the past school year. I was killing time, waiting for my ride, so I lit up. I really wanted a stiff belt, but I couldn’t head to the bar—I might miss my ride. Looking back at what happened, now I wish I would have gone to the bar.”

    this site, and the guys who hang around here are fucking cool…

  16. Is a ghost of 1950s student that haunted the modern ragamuffins-students in flip flop.

  17. Is a ghost of 1950s student that haunt the modern ragamuffins-students in flip flop.

  18. What’s interesting is how such a scene provokes every sentimental fiber of one’s being. Beyond the obvious point that a natural shoulder, straight lines, and a relatively trim pant flatters every man, there is the realization that, for anybody who’s bothering (and, rare as is these days, it certainly is quite a bother) to stick with the Look, all sorts of tendencies and cultures and habits are being defied. It’s an act of sheer rebellion to dress this way in the year 2014. Most of the men who dress for work err on the side of the vulgar or the crass, and most men who dress for leisure–well, words fail. Good taste is lacking in most arenas of modern life. Ivy isn’t a style, after all. It’s a clinched fist. The extended arm is hidden by a Brooks oxford and Scottish tweed jacket sleeve, but it’s a fist nonetheless. Resist.

  19. Viva La Revolución!!!

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.

  20. @S.E.

    First, thank you for the Wallace Stevens. Your comment of this morning is also wonderful. Beneath the text is a subtext of longing, evident in the picture and in Steven’s poem. Maybe we are of a like mind: I want a natural shoulder “world”; I want it back; dammit, I want it back! It’s not coming back, is it… Squeeze?

    So, thanks again, for showing that this blog is about a hell of a lot more than clothes. All you have to do is read — and listen — to this great stuff. By the way, in my mind you teach a class in modern American poetry at Princeton.

    You know, with great stuff like this, I’m not so sure this is a blog as much as it is a club, but without the social climbing.

  21. Not too far off the mark, Mr. Mason.

    And thank you.

    As for longing–yes indeed.

  22. Gee, guys, kind of a creepy note of self-pity oozing into later comments. It was great. It still gives great pleasure. But the world changed. Worlds have a way of doing that, you know. Get over it, and deal with the now. And prevail!

  23. This is one of the ways one “deals” with “the now.”
    Prevailing ever–

  24. Fritz Kalkbrenner | September 21, 2014 at 11:53 am |


    Ivy has need of you now!

    look at the appalling advice being dished out by a site that styles itself an Ivy site:

    a newbie asks for advice on walking shoes.

    one clown tells him to wear sneakers. another exclaims ‘ Ivy be damned!’

    only one sane voice is pointing out that good leather shoes are not uncomfortable and are supposed to be worn and that the name of the game s not Cosplay.

  25. If Mr. Sharp does find the fellow, I’d also like him to ask him who took the picture (his girlfriend, perhaps), how (that’s a high vantage), and why?

  26. I go away for a few days and come back to find an uprising! In retrospect, future historians will say it had been brewing and locate its exact causes.

    In solidarity, yet unawares, I apparently accomplished some subversion along the way. Brought home a pair of trousers with cuffs from the Andover Shop!!

    All power to the people (who wear Ivy).

  27. @A.E.W. Mason- I guess this blind Squirrel found a nut-or in this case a story. I was not looking for one but it is there.. It is not a noir tale and I am not trying to hold anyone in suspense but it is not ready to share yet.

  28. @ C. Sharp

    Well, then I’d say we all have something quite interesting to look forward to. Well done, and thanks.

  29. @A.E.W. just realized there is a mystery in the story, I will have to see if I can solve or if not I will just have to share. Thanks so much for your interest and inadvertently encouraging a second look into this photo.

  30. @Fritz Kalkbrenner
    If you read that thread it appears the guy actually isn’t a newbie, he’s a long standing poster, and that he’s ruined his feet by running in 50 yo Keds!!!
    You really couldn’t make this shit up. Oh, and he’s not a brit!!!

  31. Fritz Kalkbrenner | September 23, 2014 at 8:12 am |


    thanks. have just read the whole thread. you are right that guy is not a newbie. in fact (to use E’s descriptor of this behavior) he’s a long standing Cosplayer who bears a striking resemblance to one of the characters in a sit-com called The Big Bang Theory! as you say you couldn’t make this shit up!!

    also if you read that thread, you’ll see that most of the Talk Ivy clowns have got foot problems!

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