"I left Culver thinking that I didn’t like it very much. But, as the years have gone by, my feelings about the place have softened. Now there is much about Culver that I cherish. It is, after all, a beautiful place."
"I had a small private reunion with Culver a couple of years ago. I was playing Mark Twain in South Bend and had a day off, so I drove down to Culver, unannounced. I came in on that road over by the golf course and memories of running in the two-mile cross-country race at the half time of the football game every fall for four years came flooding back upon me. So I turned onto that small road between the end of the playing fields and the big hill to the golf course and got out of the car. There is a little bridge there. The road is now tarred over, but I remember it being dirt. That big hill (there used to be a ski jump on it) was a major challenge during the cross-country race. Soon after the start you had to get up it. That was tough enough, but the hardest part was coming down that hill just before you hit the little road and the final several hundred yards of supreme effort to the finish line. Coming down that hill in a state of trembling exhaustion, trying to control your legs so that a twisted ankle would not throw you in a heap to the ground, was a daunting exercise. But then you hit the road and there was nothing left but the end of the race. No cover, no protection, and all those people waiting in the stands to watch how you finished."
"Memories of how it felt crossing that road and facing this last desperate effort came surging up in me and I found myself suddenly very moved, standing there alone so many years later. I realized that where I was standing was a hallowed place for me. That it represented that crucible of fear, of self-consciousness and doubt, of hope and of lonely effort that is at the heart of every boy trying to grow up. It hit me hard, just thinking of how difficult it was to grow up and how we tried to do it well. And how we so often failed."