Back in the spring of 1997, as part of Bruce Hall‘s 50th anniversary celebration, I drew a giant-sized poster that depicted some of the crazy stories I’d experienced during my four years there.
The poster was later framed and kept behind the front desk. I’m not sure what happened to the poster itself after I last saw it in August 2000, but a mural copy of it was painted onto the C200 wing sometime afterward.
Here are some notes behind what’s depicted in both the drawing and mural:
- The “Bruce Hall” logo is obviously a homage to the orange engraved brick from the building’s exterior
- Adam and Eve are the names of the bathrooms across from the front desk. They used to have exhaust fans like the ones pictured, until air conditioning was put in
- Above Adam and Eve are the air conditioning units installed during the summer of 1994. They had a horrible habit of dripping, sometimes down on the top of units below
- The kite flying out the window — that happened at some point my freshman year 1992, but not necessarily from that window
- The cats along the rooftop are an homage to the feral cats that used to inhabit the Bruce sub-basement. They would enter the building through small vents at ground level in the courtyards. Later, the Feral Cat Rescue Association was started to serve their needs
- The witch serving gruel in the cafeteria was a joke — nothing like that actually happened. Richard, the cafe manager during my time there, got on me hard for that (in a loving way)
- The swamp outside the cafeteria kind of did happen. Before they built the patio that stands there now (sometime before Fall 1996), that area was a soupy mess every time it rained
- The crane embedded in the side of the building happened — not as comically, but some construction vehicle did impact the building. I don’t remember exactly when
- Wanda flying out of the attic…that one is obvious
- The R.O.A.R. above the entrance is a reference to the secret society in Bruce Hall at the time. Shadowy hooded men would invade hall association meetings across campus and make comical threats against the hall presidents such as Brad Moseng
- The Celtic Roach has been the unofficial symbol of Bruce Hall since it was conceived in 1993 by then-Treasurer and future-College Inn-RA Becky Watkins
- The NTSTC emblem above the entrance was the name of UNT at the time Bruce Hall was constructed in 1946
- The dual lights flanking the front door obviously weren’t radioactive — but at the time, they were the pale sodium vapor variety like you see on street lights. The radiation symbols are a comic exaggeration
- The falling water balloons happened, some of them by my own hand
- The “Vote Lenin ’92” graffiti was the first thing I ever saw the first day I was at Bruce Hall in August 1992. The doors were red back then, and eventually replaced and painted green
- A dark cloud envelops the smokers sitting on the bench outside the entrance. They had a habit of putting their cigarette butts anywhere but the actual ash tray. It was a common punishment of Jim Casey’s and mine to make smokers pick them up. The middle smoker has lizard-like feet — this is a reference to Jesse Salinas, the longest Bruce resident I ever knew, who was known as Swamp Thing (or Swampy)
- The fire extinguisher embedded in the front lawn occurred during rounds by ex-RA Dan Kinchen. He was walking along D400, and the window on the south end of the hall was wide open. He looked outside and saw the D400 fire extinguisher out there
- The exorcism depicted in the third-floor window was rumored to have happened when I lived on C300
- The chair embedded in the tree actually happened
- The squirrel attacking the roof is a reference to the Red-Tailed Squirrel, a freak of nature that was larger than his fellow rodents and could leap from trees 12 feet apart. He was such a scourge that he scared away all the other squirrels. Phillip Bickell (a.k.a. Bad Dog) was a famous Bruce resident with Ausperger’s Syndrome; he had a fixation on all animals, and I often found my resident hunting around for the Red-Tailed Squirrel and the albino squirrel
I honestly think that’s all. 🙂
5 thoughts on “Bruce Hall 50th Anniversary Drawing & Mural”
Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I had forgotten so many of these things! I still wear the shirt, btw. I may or may not have used it for up cycling.
I think you were still there when I moved into Bruce in 1997. I definately remember BadDog.
Around 1990 a roach was the unofficial pet of Bruce. I want to say it was an RA there either Chris Ice or JJ Nemo that tied dental floss to a roach and walked it around as a pet for a few months. The argument was that it didn’t violate housing rules since roaches ran freely throughout not only Bruce, but the entire campus. When the roach died, they had a funeral in one of the wing bathrooms.
In 1978-79, the first roach was made a mascot…and a movie was even made and its director/producer, Lewis Abernathy, even won an award for his skills! There are many tales that should be gathered….
I’d love for you to add any of that knowledge to the Bruce Wiki — anyone can contribute. Just go to http://brucehall.mcgarity.me!