May 1953. Four years of struggle. I was 20 years old, acquired a wife and a college degree. I cleaned every building on the UW campus during my four years, some times holding down three or four part-time jobs. Went to work at the Half-Acre gym at 11:00 p.m. after intramurals, then 12 blocks down town to the phone company and then back to my room on 12th st. by 2:00 a.m., then up for class. I was chewed out many times for nodding off in class. Notwithstanding, it didn't seem like a big deal. I received no help, but always felt I could survive another week, another month. I loved school. Mother wrote to me every week for four years. Sometimes her pen drifted off the page when she fell asleep when writing. She earned the degree every bit as much as I did. It was always sad that Dad had to stay home with the cows. Velna made my accomplishment possible in many ways. She was 16 when I went to Laramie, 19 when we married. She was the bright light that saved me. Along with her mother's cooking. We never really worried whether we could make it. We left for the University of Michigan three years later with a three year old, a two-week old, no job, no money, no place to stay. And we were bold enough to think we could make it. So we finished nearly eight years of college without borrowing a cent. I just think it was the Wasden and Blood family mettle, absorbed in the genes and never mentioned openly. You just did what you had to do and then figured out the next step. And then you did it. Now I am just simply lazy. But I really find it hard to believe that Velna and I were so naive that we thought we could do what we did. We had many guardian angels along the way. I don't know how I got so distracted posting this photo, taken by the west door of the LDS Institute, our home away from home for dozens of poor Mormon kids just like me who figured out how to get through college and went on to become physicians, dentists, professors, teachers, scientists, ranchers, and mothers. We were a mutual support group, finding each other jobs, bolstering each other up when needed, and we became a tightly knit family. We all survived. I never intended to be so wordy, but I might as well go ahead and post it.