Archive for Sunday, July 29, 2001

Students pulling up stakes all over town

July 29, 2001


"One ... two ... three!"

A gush of cold water rushes out the first-floor window of an Ohio Street house and onto Keri-Ann Colletti's nylon pants and bare feet.

"Push! Push! Push!" she yells.

The plastic chair she's standing on sinks slowly into the mud puddle created by the onslaught of water.

Five men inside are combining all their strength to heave a queen-size water bed mattress toward the window and force out what's left of the hundreds of gallons of water that once made it a comfortable place to sleep.

They've been at it for 3 1/2 hours.

"We were doing fine for a while until it rolled off the bed onto the floor," said Carlos Obando, the Kansas University senior who owns the water bed and was moving it out of his house Saturday evening.

He and Colletti, his girlfriend, were among hundreds of area college students cramming their belongings into U-Hauls, horse trailers, pickup beds and cars this weekend, vacating their rental rooms and apartments by Tuesday, when their leases expire.

Fortunately for Obando and Colletti, the bed was just about the last of a heap of belongings they had to move by today.

Other students waited until late Saturday afternoon, when the clouds parted and the temperature topped out at 88 degrees, to begin moving their heaviest loads.

"We should have started this morning," said Barb Framke, wiping sweat from her forehead. She was in Lawrence Saturday from Hiawatha, helping her daughter, Andrea, move.

Andrea Framke, Kansas University senior, recruited her family to help carry her heavy furniture up the three flights of stairs to the top floor of the Kentucky Street apartment complex she's moving to.

"I've always lived in ground-floor apartments. It sucks moving in here," she said.

Steve Lacoss approached his move differently.

By 4 p.m. Saturday, he was lounging in a chair in his shaded front yard on Tennessee Street, drinking a beer and taking money to let other people move his stuff for him.

He spent much of the day replenishing his yard sale with an eclectic collection of his belongings a microwave, a box of crayons, a rusted lantern.

Lacoss is trying to get rid of as much as he can. The 2000 KU graduate and his cat, Maggie, are moving to New York the middle of August.

"My plan is to get off the plane in New York with two suitcases and a kitty carrier," Lacoss said.

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