Love in Talcott

Penny Norris, OC ’84, and Ted Norris, OC ’82, met through overlapping friend groups. They were on different academic tracks — Penny was an English major and Ted was a Physics major. At the time, Ted lived in Talcott Hall, where much of their socializing occurred through lying on the floral carpet listening to Pink Floyd. They stayed together even once Ted graduated and went to University of Rochester for his doctorate, where Penny joined him once she graduated.

For those two years while Penny was still at Oberlin, almost all of her funds went to phone calls. By the time she graduated, her phone bill was so high that she sold everything she owned right in front of Mudd Library, under a tree, including her bike, leather jacket, and guitar.

Their first date was quintessentially Oberlin: a large ballroom in Talcott frequently hosted dances, one of them being a lesbian social. The pair decided to go in, since the event wasn’t crammed. Subsequent dates were characterized by movies, shown almost every night in lecture halls in the late Kettering Hall of Science.

They loved bowling at College Lanes, walking around the Arboretum, playing pool, and going to see music at Finney Chapel and jazz at the Cat in the Cream when it first opened.

Their first “real date” was at the restaurant in the old Campus Inn, similar to what 1833 in The Hotel at Oberlin is now — they fondly remember the salmon there.

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