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In the late 1940's I managed to scrape together some bits and pieces of money, scholarships, like that, and I went to graduate school in electrical engineering. ("Electrical engineering" was almost a different field then from what it is now, as you can imagine.)

I lived on the third floor of a big building on campus (Stanford), Encina Hall. (I think it's used for administration now.) There were no elevators, only stairs. To get around town, I had gotten a beat-up old military jeep left over from the war - I got it for very little, but it ran well. Fairly primitive transportation: those old WWII jeeps were really simple, basic cars. No frills.

One evening I walked back from class and saw that my jeep was gone. (You couldn't really lock the thing - anyone could hot-wire it just by laying a quarter across the starter terminals.) In a panic I rushed up to my room to see if my roommate knew anything about it - and there, in the middle of the wide hallway running the length of the third floor, was my jeep, with the engine running, just sitting there idling....

My "friends" had taken it apart and carried it piece by piece up two flights of stairs, then re-assembled it and started the engine.

I didn't get any help reversing the process - seeing me lug all those parts down and put the car back together again on the ground was part of the fun, I guess. At least I was carrying everything down, not up.

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