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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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S&B Cribs: The creepy collections and composting of 1018 East Street

By Kelly Page

Many Grinnellians may know 1018 East Street for its basement with a neon sign, which has been the location of numerous widely-attended parties. It is also home to Ceci Bergman, Tulah Fuchs, Lucie Duffy, Nolan Boggess and Steven Duong, all ’19, as well as a collection of creepy dolls, a very active compost bin and a lot of personality.

All of the housemates have been friends since their first year at the College. Four of them lived in Main Hall together as first years, and Fuchs, Duffy and Bergman played ultimate frisbee together. Frisbee also gave them an early connection to the house.

“Kind of a fun thing about this house is that when we were first years, our friends who were fourth years on the women’s ultimate frisbee team lived here, and when we were second years, our friends on the frisbee team also lived here, so that’s kind of how we … became acquainted with this space and have had a lot of team events,” Duffy said.

Now Bergman and Duffy are the captains of the women’s ultimate frisbee team, and they have hosted multiple team events in the house. Despite the frisbee and friendship, life in 1018 has not been without its difficulties. The housemates have spent much of the past semester recovering from a break-in that occurred in the early morning of January 26. A man broke into the window of their downstairs bathroom and wandered around the house until walking into Boggess’s room.

“They came to my room and I woke up and, like, scared them away. … Then I called the police,” Boggess said.

Duffy says that, in bouncing back from the burglary, the residents of 1018 have relied on a healthy amount of humor.

“I would say one of our bonding fatal flaws is that we heavily use humor to deal with things, so like the night of the break-in the police are still in our house, like literally searching to see if the man is still in our house, and Nolan is like doing a dramatic reading of the police report that he’s writing and the rest of us are all huddled in our bed,” she said.

Duong added, “He made me get in his bed and pretended to be the burglar and he acted out, like, what he felt like.”

Despite their ability to laugh about the burglary, 1018’s residents were deeply shaken by it for weeks.

“I feel like just now I’m starting to think about it less,” Duffy said.

“It was really scary, and for months and weeks and every time I go to bed now, I think about it. That has never happened to me. I think it was a little frustrating in my opinion how no one in the College reached out, and the police didn’t keep reaching out about if anything was solved, so that was really frustrating in my opinion,” Boggess added.

In coping with the burglary, Fuchs made a Powerpoint about it for a PowerPoint-themed party. Duffy described part of the Powerpoint that detailed what the burglar must have seen when he entered the house.

“He walks in the room and he sees the abominable snowman in one corner, he sees Wendy Williams on Nolan’s door, he gives a little nod to our waving cat up in the corner and the cowgirl hat,” she said.

As is evident from that description, 1018 is full of an assortment of random props which the housemates have slowly accumulated. The prop theme began when Duffy found a creepy singing doll left over from previous tenants. Scared that it was cursed, she didn’t want to throw it out for fear that it would come back to haunt her.

Each of the housemates has contributed items to the growing collection. Duffy brought a Dobby mask and bought an abominable snowman mask from Walmart when Boggess asked her to “bring back something weird.” Boggess brought a clown doll, several wigs and a sticky rubber ball of cheese which Duong tried repeatedly to swat onto the ceiling with a sign his father sent him to deter burglars. Gladys and Gwyneth, two baby heads spray-painted on top of a golden plunger, serve as an ultimate frisbee heirloom which also resides in the house. Bergman says her prop is a composting bin.

“My greatest accomplishment of this house is that I have gotten all four of my housemates and I to compost, which I really never saw coming in this house, but I really impulsively bought a composting bin on Amazon and was like maybe some people will join me in this effort, and now they all compost,” she said.

Now that the semester is coming to a close and each of 1018 East’s housemates will soon move out of Grinnell for the last time, the housemates are looking to the future.

“I’m excited to live in a city again, but I’m also excited to live in a house that wasn’t broken into,” Bergman said.

The housemates are also excited about the future of the house itself.

“I think something that comforts me is that we can trace back at least two to three of the people who have lived in this house, and I know who’s living here next year. I think this house is a nice liminal space where, … it only will hold people for one year, and I think that’s comforting to know that the friends we know who graduated two years ago and had this house, they’re all doing fine, living great lives, and that really comforts me, knowing that there is a future after this house,” Boggess said.

From left to right, Tulah Fuchs, Nolan Boggess, Ceci Bergman, Lucie Duffy and Steven Duong, all ’19, pose proudly on the steps of their East Street home while adorned in costume. Photo by Liz Paik.
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