Buxton Ridge Military Academy

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Buxton Ridge Military Academy

Buxton Ridge Military Academy is the military school to which Jake Morgendorffer was sent to instead of high school, and possibly for part of junior high as well. In "Jake of Hearts", we find out "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer did this on the grounds that Jake had asked for more structure in his life - he'd actually said he might want to go to tennis camp - and had spent years trying to mould Jake into a 'soldier'.

There is no indication that his experiences were happy ones. He describes the other boys as bullies who could "smell" his fear. He describes himself as being demeaned and terrorized by Corporal Ellenbogen, one of the instructors - who is seen in a flashback in "Of Human Bonding" mocking him for being stuck, in clear distress, up a climbing rope, and leaves him up there for the entire night. Jake's family appears to have largely forgotten about him at the time: "Bonding" reveals he was left to spend at least one Christmas in the barracks and his father left him there for an Easter break after hearing how he couldn't climb the ropes.

Between these abuses and the general hardships of life there, not to mention the fact that Jake described himself as a bed-wetter well into his teen years, the experiences he had at Military School were not pleasant. These shared negative experiences were the basis of a bonding moment between Jake and Anthony DeMartino ("The Daria Hunter").

Jake's memories.

"The Daria Diaries" show letters and photos sent home from Buxton by Jake. We learn he was there for over four years, that he was once part of the colour guard (he wasn't very good at it) and put on a Leadership Platoon Reaction Course in his fourth year, that the girls in the local town "had it made" when it came to getting attention from the girl-deprived cadets, that Jake was heavily bullied by other cadets (including being made to eat dress socks), and that he had 98 demerits by his fourth year ("but they still won't kick me out"). His one known friend was Randy, who'd been sent to Buxton "because he put a fist through a wall" and would go AWOL after four years; Jake would've followed him except he felt "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer would "never let me forget it". His letters show him becoming increasingly bitter and angry, his third shown letter making vicious attacks on his father and declaring he was going to graduate just so his father couldn't couldn't hold that against him. In the fourth letter, he lurches from revealing his intention to become a hippy to being glad he & his father 'made up' and is paying for his college tuition.

"The Lab Brat" mentioned many of Jake's classmates went to Vietnam and he likes to think of them as being killed in action; Diaries revealed that he went straight from Buxton to Middleton College, and that this kept him out of the Vietnam War.

Jake's website at MTV asked: "Did you attend Buxton Ridge Military Academy between 1950 and 1970? I am trying to locate alumni. This is not for a reunion; I just want to find out if it screwed you up as much as it did me. We can swap memories of heartless parents who shipped off their own flesh and blood to be "cared" for by cruel strangers holding guns."