To the University, he was just a maintenance worker. But to the 1974 residents of the Stadium Scholarship Dormitory, Charlie Dailey was one of the most important men on campus because he worked to make their lives more comfortable.
Being the only maintenance worker in the dorm Daily did everything from plastering to plumbing. “Most of the things I know I’ve learned over the years just doing work for myself”, Dailey said. “You know, you pick up little things here and there and just do your best to remember them so you can do things for themselves.” Dailey said learning odd jobs has proved useful in his job.
Strangely enough, Dailey feels he has a brotherly, rather than a fatherly relationship with the dorm members even though he’s 30 years older than most of them. “I don’t know why it turned out like that. I just know that I try my best to communicate with the guys and they all seem to accept me as one of them.” He said. “Anyway, it makes me feel a lot younger,” added the 54-year-old Dailey.
His equipment room is always unlocked, and Dailey speaks highly of the trust exchanged within the dorm. “Nothing’s been stolen from me in the five years that I’ve been here,” he said while beaming one of his frequent smiles. “If anyone ever wants to borrow anything from me, they always leave a note in my office, telling me what they took and when they’ll bring it back. I’ve learned that if I trust them, they trust me.”
Although Summer Quarter gets a little lonely because the dormitory is closed, Dailey said he has 3 students helping him. “I’ve found that students are as good or better workers than you could ever ask for” Dailey added. “Working with the kids makes me feel good because I’m helping them and I’m helping myself.”
He said one of the biggest maintenance tragedies happened during Christmas vacation 1971 when cold air, seeping in from underneath the windows, froze some radiators and broke them.
Dailey compared his times in the dormitory to the time he spent in the Navy. “It’s like a big family,” he said. “Everyone does their best to help each other out and it’s really a nice place to be.” Unlike some people who might get angry about having too much work to do, Dailey never complains. “If the guys break stuff it doesn’t bother me because if they wouldn’t, I’d be out of a job!” “Actually, I think my job is great because I’m always kept busy and every once in awhile, I get to talk to the boys,” Dailey said.