Share / Discuss

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter(ed)

I enjoyed reading about campus pranks (“Gotcha!” summer 2016), and one of them—buttering the railroad tracks, attributed to alumni from the early 1970s—brought back memories. 

I entered Swarthmore in summer 1944, and at that time there were 55 male civilian freshmen and 45 male civilian upperclassmen. Not all of the upperclassmen were good influences on the impressionable freshmen, and I remember being regaled with stories of campus pranks, including the buttering of the railroad tracks, which had supposedly happened then in the very recent past.

Thinking about it now, I suspect that this prank never took place, but people liked to talk about it as a possibility. In the absence of an eyewitness, I think you better file this one under “Campus Mythology.”

—IRVING DAYTON ’48, Corvallis, Ore.