This story that I tell is not an academic remembrance but an experience that I cannot forget.
I came to school late that year and rooms were hard to find. I got lucky and found a rooming house on Spruce Street that had one place available in a room meant for two. The fellow in the room, Ted (not his real name), seemed amiable and I agreed to move in. He turned out to be a life-long friend and very easy to get along with. The rooming house held students of the University from many schools: dental, veterinary, Wharton undergrad, etc. A group of us would have dinner en masse at the dining room table.
One of the other residents of the house was Mel Hines, a Wharton MBA student and one of the great guys that I knew at the School (he passed away several years ago and much too soon). It was final exam time in the spring of 1958, and he and I decided to go to the library and we implored Ted to drive us there. Ted worked at the post office at night to support himself and came to school with a car, which neither Mel nor I had. At that time, the Philadelphia police force decided on a program to find the scofflaws in the city and the University was an area that they targeted. We asked Ted to drive us to the library several times and he refused because of the police program. Finally he relented and as he drove past Dietrich Hall the police surrounded his car, arrested him and impounded his car.
I found out which police station he was held at and visited him behind bars. His demeanor was downright sullen: he was angry with Mel and me, he was behind bars, and he had an examination the next day. It was now about 11:00 p.m. and I discovered who the judge was that would hear his case the next day, found his address, and went to his house and got him out of bed. I told him the story and he agreed to release Ted. I put up the bail and Ted was released. It was the least that I could do now that he tried to help us knowing the risk of driving onto the University grounds.
Ted lives in Atlanta and has a commercial real estate business and is very active in the community and in his personal life—not much keeps him from being active.