Arvid E. Roach, II


Arvid Roach and I were roommates for sophomore and junior years.  I remember Arv as one of the most intelligent people I knew–and given the caliber of people at Yale, that’s saying a lot!  In high school, he had been seriously into debating.  He claimed to have escalated the standard of research for national competition from a stack of index cards to a stack of shoe boxes full of cards.  Kind of quaint by today’s standards–I’m sure it’s measured in gigabytes, now–but remember, we were still doing science labs with slide rules then.He, I, and a few others have the unusual distinction of being members of TD who lived on campus all four years but never lived in TD.  We were in St. Elmo’s, across the street, which was kind of expansion housing for TD.

Then there was the Saturday night he appropriated my bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label to try to get some girl drunk.  I believe he was successful ;-).

Arv had been my roommate for quite a while before someone explained to me why Arv freaked out whenever he got even a cold: because he was in remission from Hodgkins disease.  I gather that is what finally did come back.  He did not let that stop his enjoyment of life, though, or getting the most out of Yale.

Some time after the scotch incident, Arv had a girlfriend at Mount Holyoke who had spent a semester in Europe.  Her trunk had been shipped back (on a real ship, another quaint touch) and needed to be picked up at the dock in New York.  I was the one with a car, so the three of us drove down there.  Unfortunately, it was a very large trunk, and my car was a Ford Maverick–not so large.  The trunk was way too big to fit in the trunk of the car.  It would fit in the front door, but even hard up against the steering wheel, you couldn’t get the door closed.  And it was just a little too wide to fit in the back door.  Arv figured out that if we took the back door off, that would gain us the extra couple of inches we needed–and for some reason, he had a wrench handy!  So, we unbolted the back door of my car, slid the trunk in, bolted the door back on, and took off for Mount Holyoke.  The best moment was when the girlfriend walked into the common room of her dorm and announced, “Anybody want to help us take the door off this car so I can get the trunk out?”  Needless to say, that got her some strange looks!

               Dan Goddard

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