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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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High Street’s Fairgrounds Are Open Year-Round

By Roni Finkelstein

1220 6th Avenue houses a cat, four double majors, four swimmers, a soccer player, a buffalo and a suspicious number of secret hiding places. With a sign that points directly at their house reading “Fairgrounds”, the inhabitants of 1220 6th Ave. had little trouble naming their residence last year. The five male athletes who live there now with their beloved cat named Douglas have kept the well-posted name.

Home to Trenton Bush ’12, Nathan Mannheimer ’12, Chris Kaiser-Nyman ’12.5, Sam Sherwood ’12 and Joe Sinnwell ’12, the Fairgrounds is still clean from its recent renovation. It stands across 6th Avenue from Main Hall. Each of the five residents has his own room, with Mannheimer on the first floor and the rest upstairs.

“It’s the biggest room in the house, which is nice,” Mannheimer said. “But it also suffers from the problem of that you can hear everything in the [living] room.”

He may have a hard time sleeping this year, considering the household’s status as the new swimming house.

“We’re in the process of moving Swimmer House from its old location to this building,” said Joe Sinnwell. “We’re putting up the boards and artifacts in our rooms.”

The only non-swimmer in the house, football-turned-soccer player Trenton Bush once considered joining the swim team.

“[I thought about it] for like a quarter of a second … my swimming expertise consists of swimming back to the boat or to the side of the pool,” Bush said.

Bush has lived with Sherwood since his first year at Grinnell and hardly feels out of place with his four swimmer housemates. Although life at the Fairgrounds is comfortable (it has air conditioning and laundry) the house is not a good place to focus on schoolwork.

“Last night we were all in the living room trying to read and the average pace was […] ten pages an hour,” Mannheimer said.

When they do manage to study at home, Douglas the Cat provides much needed study and cuddle breaks.

“He actually belongs to [Erin Labasan ’11 who] got a Fulbright and is teaching in South Korea,” Sinnwell said, “so we offered to take care of him until she got back.”

Though Douglas does not purr, he is the only cat known by any of the housemates to play fetch.

“He has this little yellow dingily ball, and if you throw it for him, he’ll grab it in his mouth and bring it back multiple times,” Mannheimer said.

The dynamic of five guys living together with no feminine touch proves to be an interesting situation, culminating in a recent infestation of fruit flies.

“It had to do with the bananas that were up [on the fridge] for a month,” Kaiser-Nyman said. “I don’t like bananas … if I ever buy a banana you can slap me.”

“Nobody wanted to pick them up, so I picked them up,” said Sherwood. “It was disgusting.”

“With bad timing we also cleaned out our fridge so there was just rotting food everywhere,” Sinnwell said.

Due to the pricey City of Grinnell trash bags, the garbage sat in the house while flies feasted on the boys’ rotten leftovers.

When he is not cleaning up spoiled food, swim team Captain Sherwood enjoys lounging on the green couch in the living room. He competes with Douglas for the title of house mascot with his buffalo-like activities.

“Buffalo do this thing where they just lie down and roll and wallow until all the vegetation under them is dead,” Sherwood said.

He often practices his best imitation.

“Yeah, so Sam does this thing where he rolls around [on the couch] until he gets too sweaty, then he takes his shirt off,” Bush said.

Though Sherwood denied these claims, his role as the house buffalo is solid and has been exacerbated by the beard he’s been sporting lately.

This year, the guys all have the goal of having a good year and just graduating Although they are busy with sports, academics and their other friends, the five guys living at the Fairgrounds will always have time for each other.

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  • R

    Ross NSep 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Jeez you guys, clean your house. You’ll have (my) company before you know it.