Know Your Neighbors

On the outskirts of Wittenberg’s campus, a blue Victorian style house sits at 156 West College Avenue. It is surrounded by an iron fence with a sign hanging that reads “Beware of Dog,” while a black Shar Pei and Rottweiler crossbreed named Sherman dwells inside, guarding the house.

Rob Tuttle, 69, with a bright smile and a warm hello, sits on his porch with his dog and enjoys Wittenberg campus life around him.

Tuttle went to college in Findlay, Ohio, and eventually took some summer courses at Witt. He explained how he has nothing against a college education, but feels as though there is more to be learned in real life experiences than sitting in a classroom.

“Can’t find a higher education at a place of higher education,” Tuttle said.

Tuttle taught at Springfield High School until 1971, when he switched to the automotive industry, working for his family company, Tuttle Brothers. He believes students should have knowledge of plumbing, electric wiring, carpentry and automobiles. Familiarity of these trades will get one far in life and only benefit as a source of general knowledge, Tuttle explained.
Living on West College since 1969, Tuttle and his wife Sue have witnessed first-hand many generations at Witt.

“We have had our good years, and our bad years,” Rob Tuttle said, reminiscing in his chair by the fireplace. Before the iron fence, the Tuttles had a white picket fence where students would come try and steal pickets off the fence.

“We would wake up the day after a party and look outside to see another picket stolen,” Sue Tuttle commented with laughter.

Catching one student in the act, Tuttle pressed no charges but made the student replace and paint the picket.

Rob Tuttle explained how the ‘70s was the worst decade at Witt for them, due to John Belushi and his appearance in the movie “Animal House:”

“Every guy on campus tried to impersonate him,” Tuttle said.

The Tuttles also expressed their concern about broken glass scattered around the sidewalk during that decade.

The only behavior students participate in that irritates the Tuttles is vandalism and breaking glass; the ‘70s participated in both.

Over the years, the Tuttles have created good relationships with the students on campus. Last year, Tuttle said he “jumped the fence,” telling his wife he was going out and would return around 9:30 p.m.

“He wouldn’t come home till 11:00,” Sue Tuttle said, smirking, with a glance towards her husband. Wandering next door, Tuttle walked into 152 with a glass of scotch in hand and a couple tunes he wanted to share.

“He just walked in and started having a good time; it was humorous and we ended up having a good conversation,” said Hayden Ourant, Wittenberg alumni who lived at 152 last school year.

Welcomed in, Tuttle played some tunes of his own, such as “My Ding-a-Ling” by Chuck Berry, and got the students into it.

“He’s an animal; girls were dancing on him and he was getting everyone riled up,” Ourant said.

After an hour or so, Tuttle ventured off again, but he said he never stays out with the crowd for the bar.

“My favorite bar is my porch,” Tuttle said. “I can drink for less.”

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