The Legendary Library Lotharios

The Legendary Library Lotharios
Julio Iglesias was idolized by Latin music lovers. Elvis appealed to young rock and rollers. Adonis was famous in Greek legend, and Casanova’s reputation was world-renowned. But the legendary Library Lotharios belonged to little Shippensburg College and to no one else.

I should know because I was one of them.

My roommate at the time (1972), Andy Shubik and I would routinely grab a notebook from our dorm room desk, roll it into a tube-like shape, pick up a pen and head to the library at least two or three times a week. This ritual would have absolutely nothing to do with studying.

We would never carry a textbook and never plan on staying longer than about a half hour or so. We didn’t make the trek there (Ezra Lehman Memorial Library) to read, do research or to learn anything – we went there for another purpose – to find women.

We had about the same chance to meet a girl there as discovering a black hole in a far off galaxy with our naked eye. But we were relentless and would never give up hope. And once it actually worked.

I grabbed my notebook and pen that evening and took my pre-pasted toothbrush to the lavatory in the men’s dorm. That way I wouldn’t have to return back to the room before making the cross-campus venture.

My long locks were in perfect position, and I vividly remember smiling widely to examine my pearly whites in that lavatory mirror. Yep, Mr. Cool and his roomy were heading to the library to seek out lonely, yet gorgeous girls who just so happened to be there (in our fantasies) to meet us. Yep, that was the plan. Pretty sad, huh?

Starting on the upper floor, we habitually worked our way through all the aisles and corridors until we reached the basement level. In one of the last aisles left, I spotted a gal studying that evening for an upcoming test.

I knew what test she was preparing for because this beauty was in one of my classes, and I should have been studying for the same exam. I had wanted on numerous occasions to talk to her, but always felt inferior. It was as though she wore Not Interested signs on her body. And I felt like I sported Not Worthy signs on mine.

Leaning over, I broke into our conversation with something like, “Are you ready for the test?"

To my surprise, she recognized me, smiled naturally and replied, “Not really, how about you?"

I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears! This girl, far out of my league, was not only talking to me but she couldn’t take her eyes off me.

Watching her roving eyes closely, I noticed she would look right into my eyes, and then grab a quick glance toward my shoulders, chest and upper arms. I thought to myself, “was this girl hot for me?" After all, I had been playing a lot of tennis out doors, and my arms were toned and tanned.

This whole scenario was too good to be true. Our library plan was actually working, and this girl was really enjoying my company. What a great feeling! My smile grew wider and I was beaming with poise and self-confidence (two unusual traits of mine during my college years).

Our dialogue continued for another four or five minutes and I grew more relaxed with every additional phrase.

“This girl really likes what she sees," I assumed. My goal of asking her out was about to be realized. All I had to do was wait for the exact right time in this NOTHING COULD GO WRONG situation.

While her eyes scanned me yet again, I happened to also glance toward the region around my upper left arm. That seemed to be the magical, erogenous zone to which Miss Gorgeous was devoting most of her attention.

And then it finally all made sense. My quick glimpse brought the mystery area to the forefront of my intellect. In my shirt pocket was my toothbrush, still covered in dry, white Crest, and supported by a wet pocket blotch.

Two inconceivable events took place that evening in the library. One, I truly met an attractive girl there.

And two, I ACTUALLY LEARNED something there too.

I discovered that maybe Elvis or Julio Iglesias could smoothly remove a recently used toothbrush from a front shirt pocket without looking like a real doofus. Perhaps Adonis and Casanova could also. But a Library Lothario didn’t have a prayer.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA