We’ve had absolutely lovely weather where I’m at this week, but even so, looking at the cartoon above still gives me a chill. Blacksburg in late Fall through early Spring can be pretty miserable, especially if you have to wear a uniform. I recall the everyday or “gray-bag” uniforms as being on the rather light weight side. Sure the pants were a wool blend, but they had also been worn by a couple hundred other cadets over the previous several decades! Everything was hand-me down or previously worn(out), and none of it up to the frigid chill of a Blacksburg winter.
The rain coats were probably the worst. They were designed to cover a cadet from neck to mid-calf. They were this god-awful heavy rubber, with a caplet at the top that tended to flap in a good wind so that on a really stormy day all the cadets looked like giant bats haunting the campus. It was a pain to wear, and an even bigger pain to figure out what to do with once you made it to class. I mean really, the thing was big, cumbersome and sopping wet. Was I supposed to put it in my chair and sit on it? Not. Hang it from some non-existent coat hook? You jest, right? Or maybe I was supposed to leave it in the hall and pray no one walked off with it?
Anyway, one thing I do not miss about being a cadet is wearing those uniforms on a cold, windy, rainy day.
I’m going to curl up with my heating pad now. BRRRRRRRRRRR!