Stories from President Steger
For years, we had a brunch for Golden Bearcats (for alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago) at our house. Some alumni would start arriving around 10:30, so we would try to be ready by 9:30. One morning around 8:30, I was in my shorts shaving in the bathroom, and the door flies open. This little man with gray hair says, "Oh, hi. I'm just looking around. I got here a little early and wanted to see your house." Then he shut the door without another word.
More mystery company
One Saturday morning, I was drinking my coffee and reading a newspaper, when I saw a couple with a big picnic basket, two kids and a dog come into our backyard. I went out and said, "Excuse me, what are you doing?" And they said, "We're going to have a picnic. It's public property isn't it?" "Actually, it's not, because we keep the house in the Foundation," I explained. "Oh, OK." They took their things and left.
Mystery water, too
Soon after we first moved into the president's home, water started filling up the backyard. It was a mystery what was going on. After a backhoe dug it out, they found a long-forgotten sprinkler system, installed in the '30s or '40s, had sprung a leak. In the meantime, I got a phone call from the Cincinnati Enquirer: "We understand you're building a pool." A neighbor had called in a tip.
University of Cincinnati police may have thought twice about letting president Joe Steger try out one of their motorcycles if they had known of a past driving incident involving education professor Lanthan Camblin. Once, when headlights drew close behind Camblin during a pre-dawn jog, he hopped on the curb to leave a clear path. He nearly had heart failure when the tailgating car jumped on the curb, too — until he realized the driver was his prankster friend Steger.
Carol Steger's turn to tell stories
What were we supposed to do?
When we moved into the president's house, we had a cook. The first time we sat down at the dining room table with the kids, no one knew what to do.
How do you let the cook know you are ready for the next course? The kids felt that they should clear the dirty dishes. And there was no way I was going to ring a bell. We were laughing so hard we could hardly eat.
In the end, we didn't keep her. After all, we didn't eat meals at home often enough to make it worthwhile.
You're admitting that?
For a while, I had my office upstairs at home and had an appointment book on my desk. Once when we were having a reception at the house, someone said, "Oh, I see you're having dinner with So-and-So." "How do you know that?" I asked. "I saw it on your calendar," they admitted.
Another time, someone told me, "Wow, you need to do laundry; I see there's plenty of clothes in your hamper."
Oh, yeah, that's interesting
Joe has always loved to learn. He would get so excited over things I had no interest in and would read aloud to me about it forever.
While we were in upstate New York, he was consulting with a tire company. One Friday night, our daughter Tracy was going out with some friends, but Joe stopped them before they got out the door. "You've got to see this," he said.
Then he pulled out a piece of a rubber tire and started explaining how the tread was made, how certain parts meshed into other pieces and how the entire thing worked -- in great detail. Tracy's friends kept looking at each other and trying to back toward the door.
He wasn't being rude. That's how he is. He can't help himself.