1950s Nursing School Pizza Caper Almost Kept Secret [I Know a Story column] | Nostalgia

I was a nursing student in the 1950s when college was different than it is today.

Setting: Dormitory of a nursing school.

Time: Midnight.

Let’s eat pizza!

Enthusiastic cheers followed!

Problems: We had a 10pm curfew. We had no transportation. The only phone was on the eighth floor (cell phones hadn’t been invented yet). We lived on the fourth floor.

The hostess on duty made Ivan the Terrible look like Mother Teresa. But, we were hungry – hungry, in fact.

Solution: We shared a bathroom with a window overlooking a dark alley. We had a plentiful supply of white nylon stockings (which were part of the day dress required for student nurses). We had a laundry bag.

We had a conspirator who was willing to risk the stairs to the eighth floor phone (don’t dare use the elevator as the noise would surely wake the housewife). And, as stated before, we were hungry – starving, in fact.

Thus begins the clandestine adventure.

Phone call to the pizzeria – over.

The money collected – done.

Stockings tied together to make a four-story rope – done.

Money secured in a laundry bag – done.

It seemed like an eternity until we saw a car crawling up the driveway with its headlights off.

The laundry bag was lowered and we saw two men approaching with a pizza box. A tug on the bag meant the delivery had been made.

We all piled into the bathroom – two in the tub, one on the toilet and one on the floor.

The box was opened revealing our treasure: A delicious crumpled up pizza in one corner of the box.

Never in my life have I tasted such a tasty snack. Ahhh!

The Wait: Now the “what ifs” have begun in earnest.

How about the pizza guys tell someone?

What if the stay-at-home mom heard something?

What if one of ours was bragging?

What if they called our parents?

What if we all got fired?

But time passed – one day, two days, one week, two weeks, and slowly we began to relax.

Two years have passed, with the whole incident a distant memory – until one slow night of duty in the delivery room.

The elevator stopped and the night watchman approached the office. It was a slow night for him too, and he was full of adventure stories.

“But,” he said, “the best was one night around midnight, I saw this car crawling slowly down the driveway with its lights dim…” And he went on to tell the whole story infamous.

He ended with “But it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, so I didn’t report it!”

The author lives in Willow Street.