Fall semester freshman year – phone in the room. This probably wouldn’t seem like much to the cadets of today, but it was a big deal back then. I had some experience working with telephones in high school. In the Fall semester, I worked in the Amateur Radio Club, having had my amateur radio license when I came to the Academy. They had a class B (one which you could use to make local phone calls by dialing 9) phone in there. My room was one floor above (I was in Nooky Niners) and two half hallways apart. At the corner, there was an airshaft which went between the two floors. I had a girlfriend downtown by then and I was tired of taking grief from the upperclassmen to get to the Amateur Radio Club.
Armed with 2 conductor wire, tape, a phone from my girlfriend, one late weekend night when few were paying attention, I strung the wire and hooked up the phone in my room. I kept it in my bottom desk drawer. Worked great until one night, a Firstie came by. Our desks at this point were facing the windows. Firstie came in quietly, I was on the phone looking out the window. My roomie, Pat Berg, immediately stood at attention (he was on the bed or just paying more attention than I was). Firstie asks, "What is Lewallen doing?" "Talking on the phone, Sir." "TALKING ON THE PHONE???" – which made me realize that someone was in the room with us, hung up and stood at attention. I thought I was dead for sure, but it turns out the Firstie wanted a phone in HIS room and my secret would be safe. I lost my phone and wound up hooking several phones up for Firsties. They were all on the same number, so the availability of the line degraded significantly.