Part of what makes history come alive in the archives is when you find a personal connection to it. This happened to me while looking at of all things the Fusser’s guide. The Fusser’s Guide served as the OSU phone directory, and for the last few years was called the OSU Phone Directory.
An interesting fact about the term ‘Fussers’ is that it refers to dating! Some of the covers of the Fussers Guide are very suggestive to this. It is fun to remember that at the time phones (land lines!) would have been a new exciting way to keep in contact with people. The Fusser’s Guide served as a directory for students to find each other. Along with phone numbers, it also included residence information (address or residence hall), class standing, and major affiliation.
My grandmother, Helen Jones (Ossiander) went to OSU when it was called Oregon State College in the mid 1940s, and unusual for her time and gender she got a degree in Chemistry. While it isn’t much to look at it was neat to find her name in a couple of the directories. I also found my grandfather Frank Ossiander, who at that time would have been her future husband, and his older brother Homer Ossiander.
When I told my grandmother all of this, she laughed. She hadn’t even known (or she just doesn’t remember!) that the Fussers Guide existed; she said she didn’t think she ever got one. That being said, she is 89 now, so that is the sort of thing that she easily may have forgotten about!
One guess who I am named after!