How Patrick Ended Up In College

Transcription of a conversation with Patrick on 2 October 2014 during the drive to the 2014 Prescott Rally, talking about how he managed to get into college and how he met my mom Donna.

JP: You were talking about Florida State.

Patrick: I had no idea I was going to go to college. Never occurred to me to think to go to college. In Winter Park High School for some reason, unknown to anybody, I was in the 98th percentile in that test they give you at the end. The principal called me in and he suggested that I consider college and he talked to the band leader—I was the captain of the band and assistant director of the male chorus for the choir, and I’d been playing piano with a group in high school—so they thought that—

JP (interrupting and pointing): a red-tailed hawk

Patrick: Must be related to Bush!

Patrick: So they arranged for me to have a scholarship to go to Florida State where they had a new band director from Michigan State. They gave me a scholarship that paid for everything except for food and housing. I had to work with the band to get the scholarship by working on sets and liming the field for practice and all that and kinds of odd jobs. For food I had to work in the coffee shop, which is where I met your mom.

JP: I thought it was hitchhiking to a concert. [first time meeting Donna]

Patrick: No, we met in a coffee shop one night and they had a dance and I danced with her. Her friend was there, she arranged a blind date for herself with a guy…. her friend was … what was her name? She was a beautiful woman sitting down, but when she stood up she had huge thighs, some kind of goiter or something, so she could never get dates except blind dates. So she was in the front seat and I was the date for Donna in the back seat, when we went to hear Claude Rains reading. And then we had another one where we went to see the … what do you call it? … Dancing Russian soldiers… the Cossacks, at Leon High School in Tallahassee. That was an amazing night. By that time we were pretty well involved.

That’s why I said that it was not an occidental college but an accidental college. First of all, it was an accident that I went, and second that’s where the accident [Donna getting pregnant with me] occurred.