Davis too busy in college to notice lack of social activities
By CAITLIN WORLEY
When Frank Davis attended Youngstown College in the late 1940s, he didn’t pay much attention to student activities on campus, or whether he could attend them.
He was too busy. When he wasn’t in class or studying, he was working at Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. where his father worked. When he wasn’t doing either of those things, he was sleeping.
“I had heard all these rumors about the activity book, but I didn’t really take part in the social activities for the most part,” said Davis. “I just got out of the service and so I decided I’ll go to school, and Youngstown is just as good as any other so I might as well go here. And so one thing one thing led to another, but I kept I kept my job at the Youngstown Sheet & Tube a total of 10 years, all nights.”
When he enrolled, he was in his mid-20s and had just been discharged from the U.S. Army, having been stationed in Japan.
“I didn’t go directly into the service when I got out (of high school). I moved around a little bit. I just had a good time. When I got out of the service, my father told me, ‘Hey boy, it’s time for you to do something.’ So I did.”
Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in education. After that, he taught for six years in Alliance schools before returning to Youngstown and teaching biology, chemistry and physics at Chaney High School. He retired after 30 years.
Despite not having too much time for socializing, Davis did join a black fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.
“We were one of the group of young men that helped put that rock in the front of Jones Hall. We helped bring that rock up there – the two black fraternities, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi.”
Fun activities were at a premium for Davis in those years.
“I don’t remember whether I got an activity card or not, because I wasn’t going to dances anyway. I went to a few football games played at Rayen Stadium, I think, during those days.”
Besides the stadium, there are other differences between Youngstown College then and Youngstown State University now.
“It was a commuter school. We didn’t have a campus. We just had an old Army barracks for everything, plus these old homes that people moved out of probably because they couldn’t heat them or keep them cool,” he said. “The library was in the main building, way up in the crow’s nest, as we called it. I never went to that library. Every time I had to go to the library, I ran across the street to the public library.”
There have been social changes as well.
“Things are so much better for the kids here in Youngstown than they were in my day. Some of the members of our group did help make a way. Everything we got, we had to fight for – and still do.”