The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Cribz: Halloween comes early to Scare-grounds

Owen Barbato
From left: For Harvey Wilhelm `24, Genevieve Martinez `24, and a totally friendly skeleton, Halloween came early!

At 1018 East St., also known as Fairgrounds, an eclectic house serves as both an archive of swim team history and a vibrant space for bonding. Senior swimmers Genevieve Martinez `24,  Harvey Wilhelm `24, Jenna Kollevall `24, Toby Frick `24 and Marshall Sharp `24 share the space, decorating it with furniture passed down from previous tenants and relics of the original Fairgrounds legacy. 

The front of the house is decked out in Halloween decorations courtesy of Kollevall, Martinez and Wilhelm. “We came home one day, and [Kollevall] decided that it was time to put up the Halloween decorations because it was fall,” Martinez said. Wilhelm said, “This was the early September 10s.” The roommates hope that the decor will bring in trick-or-treaters.

The swim team recently moved from the original Fairgrounds at 1220 6th Ave. — where they lived for 10-12 years — and kept the name for their new home, honoring the tangible swim team history that the residents miss. “ In the dining room, there’s a big door frame where everyone had their heights marked with their names and years on it. That’s the one thing that I wish we had yanked out of the wall,” Martinez said. However, Wilhelm stated that the new house provides much better living conditions.

Team culture has not been lost, though. Upon entering the living room, decor from the original Fairgrounds populates the walls of the new house such as old swim team records decorating the wall . There are two couches, rugs covering the floor and warm ambient lighting, all contributing to the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. There are many board games, some that were hand-me-downs from old residents of the house and some that were brought by Frick, Wilhelm said. 

A side table next to the couch is covered in knick-knacks, lending the room an eclecticism. When asked to describe the vibe of the house, Wilhelm called it a “collage,” and Martinez said, “It’s a little busy.” Particularly prominent on the side table are a cat mug and a cow mug — “I tried to pick them up yesterday and was told they had to stay on the table,” Martinez said. “They’re decorative,” Wilhelm added.

Martinez and Wilhelm using the house’s purely “decorative” mugs! (Owen Barbato)

In Wilhelm’s room, the theme of warm, vintage looking lighting and a plethora of tchotchkes continues. “This is where I play video games and hang out,” Wilhelm said. He has many of his own posters on the wall as well as a small painting of the original Fairgrounds.

Continuing into Martinez’s room, there are a lot of decorations left over from previous residents, including string lights, curtains and a sign above the bed that says, “Man Cave.” However, she has contributed her own taste to the space, adding a Green Bay Packers flag and several stuffed cows. “They’re a little family,” she said, “I just like cows, maybe that’s cliché because I’m from Wisconsin.” 

The kitchen is nearby, where Martinez said the household cooks a lot of staple foods — eggs, cheese and pasta. Wilhelm said that he “likes a good old cheese quesadilla,” but his favorite thing to cook is pizza, although it is too much work to make regularly.

The basement is where the party happens. A prominent feature of the space is the copious amount of party lights, all colorful and all providing a different effect. “You gotta set the vibe for every part of the party,” Martinez said. There are also many swim team relics — almost all of the wall hangings are from the original Fairgrounds, said Wilhelm. Further, there is a touchpad that serves as a die table and has many signatures on it, most of which are older alums, said Martinez. The low ceiling beams are covered with pool noodles, which fits the aquatic theme of the room while acting as a safety measure. “The swim team likes to dance,” said Martinez.

The first rule on the list of house rules hanging in the basement is straightforward, “Have fun.”

A few Fairgrounds` rules to keep the good vibes afloat. (Owen Barbato)

On the top floor of the house is another space to relax with couches and a TV. This room has a vaulted, wood paneled ceiling, lending the room a cabin-y feel. Compared to the living room, this space is used for more of a movie night, said Wilhelm. Martinez said that the extra couch space was especially useful because they were having alumni stay at the house that weekend for the annual alumni meet.

Additionally, Fairgrounds is an essential aspect of the “team” part of the swim team. “I feel like the swim house is a big part of swim tradition, and it’s definitely a big bonding place for the team,” Martinez said. “We host a lot of swim and dive team-only things, which may seem culty and exclusive, but we really enjoy each other’s presence.”

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About the Contributors
Evelyn Wilber
Evelyn Wilber, Staff Writer
Evelyn is a second year intended English and math double major from Chicago, Illinois. She enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, her dog Ted, and the season of winter.
Owen Barbato
Owen Barbato, Staff Photographer
Owen is a third-year psychology and political science major from South Pasadena, California. When he's not photographing for the paper, Owen enjoys taking nighttime and landscape photos. In his free time, Owen can be found trying to learn guitar and overanalyzing music.
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