My parents drove me from Minnesota – a three-or four-day journey. Along the way, we stopped one night with my sister and brother-in-law in Princeton, N.J. They dropped me off in Highland Falls the night before. I stayed in some sort of boarding house with about 6 prospective cadets. Not being from New York, we were anxious to take advantage of the drinking age of 18 and I had my first and probably last taste of Highland Falls. Knowing virtually nothing about West Point and after a somewhat fitful sleep, we reported early to get a “head start” on the process and arrived when the cadre was truly full of piss and vinegar. My second mistake was arriving in brown loafers sans low cut black shoes (we looked in Southern Minnesota, but they didn’t seem to exist there.), Upon arrival at the 1st New Cadet Company, I learned that I needed them that evening and my company was not to draw shoes for two days; thus it started. I rapidly learned the value of “no excuse, sir”. I survived reporting to the 1st Sergeant of the 1st New Cadet Company for the 1st time as ordered after a few garbled attempts, was later afforded the opportunity to stare at a crack in the pavement for an hour as I was caught “gazing around”. The cadre grudgingly took me for a special clothing formation to get some shoes. Since I had arrived early, they were still busy with others when I had finished getting check marks on my tag. Taking advantage of being in a room on the third floor of New South I went to my room and took a nap, fortunately the cadre didn’t catch me. A somewhat faltering start to our four years together.