Dinner parties and cocktail parties dominated every Ann Arbor weekend. Women wore girdles; the jacket pockets of men’s gray suits showed the fangs of handkerchiefs. Among the smooth-faced crowds of Chesterfield smokers, I enjoyed cigars, which added to the singularity of my beard and rendered living rooms uninhabitable. When I lectured to students I walked up and down with my cigar, dropping ashes in a tin wastebasket. The girls in the front row smoked cigarettes pulled from soft, blue leather pouches stamped with golden fleurs-de-lis. As the sixties began, if I was sluggish beginning my lecture—maybe I had stayed up all night with a visiting poet—I paused by the front row and asked if anyone had some of those diet things. Immediately, female hands held forth little ceramic boxes full of spansules or round, pink pills. After I ingested Dexedrine, my lecture speeded up and rose in pitch until only dogs could hear it.
— Three Beards : The New Yorker. Donald Hall on living and teaching in the Fifties.