Painting at Eureka College

One of the best summer jobs I’ve ever had was the summer after I graduated from Eureka College in 1987 when I worked on the college paint crew with my best friend and former room mate Luke McQuade.

I was headed to Western Illinois University in the fall to start graduate work and instead of going home for the summer, I thought it would be cool to hang out in Eureka for the summer, make a little money and spend time with hanging out with Luke and his brother Kevin.

And perhaps, I didn’t want to say good bye to Eureka College yet. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, the places I have been to, and the people I have met, I look back on the two years I spent at Eureka with many, many fond memories. Going to Eureka College was one of the best choices I have made in my life. I might have only been there for two years, but it was enough to change my life forever.

I was thinking about Eureka, painting some of the dorms that summer, and a trove of other memories because I got an email from Luke today. He’s been going through some difficult times in his life now and just wanted me to know what was going on.

I feel bad because we haven’t kept in touch as much as we probably should have over the years. I think we take email for granted in that we think we can always stay in touch more, but in reality we probably don’t stay in touch as much as we used to when we had to sit down and take the time to thoughtfully write a letter.

Looking back on that summer 20 years ago, everything was much simpler, or so it seemed. I was looking forward to starting graduate school, but still not sure what I would be doing once I graduated. Luke still had two more years at Eureka. A year later he would do a year of study in London and as for me, a year later where I would be going when I finished my graduate work would start to come into focus.

If my memory serves me correct, I pestered Luke about talking to his boss to put me on the paint crew. I was already working in the school cafeteria, but I was hoping to make a little more money and at the same time hang out with Luke.