you managed to _use_ the bang paths? That’s hard. I came in in 1990 and Hampshire College was primarily on BITNET and Usenet but I started using a BITNET/Internet gateway right away until our college got its own edu and proper email system.
I *do* remember a *few* emails that were a weird hybrid with bangs and percent signs along with the normal @ in order to route email properly. That was odd but it worked.