DTD at MC #57.5

Matt Dole sent me the following story from the late 90’s. I’m sure that every era has a story (or 50) to share, put your thinking cap on. After his, I’ll post my story. It’s not to blow my own horn, but it is a bit more on the serious side, so you can see that there is room for both. I hope that you enjoy them. Rick Neel ’73

I wanted to get a couple of the younger guys thinking, and no one who was around
in the late 90s has more stories than Tim Cox – who is now an “accomplished” actor in New York (sorry for the quotes… I just can’t accept that my roommate is getting positive reviews in the New York press). Otis (his pledge name) could have a whole chapter in this booklet we’re putting together, but with the presidential funerals topic I thought I would share his. It’s an easier topic than delving into the time he took a leak on my computer printer. Apparently Hewlett Packard printers and American standard urinals look very similar early in the morning after St. Patrick’s
Day. But I digress. Otis had a Viking funeral. After a beautiful eulogy affording Otis all the respect he deserved (none!), black-robed brothers lit up tiki-torches and loaded the table top holding Otis onto our shoulders and walked down Fourth
street, up Putnam and turned onto Fifth stopping at the Chi Omega house. What a sight. After convincing the house mother that Otis wasn’t really dead (I told you he’s an accomplished actor), she decided the dead body needed to be put on ice and promptly pored a nice sized bucket of ice down Otis’ pants. Because he is a consummate professional… and because we weren’t letting him off that table, Otis had to endure a rather cold ride back down the hill to the house before he was able to relieve himself (luckily, this time, not on my printer). I’m sure there are other stories out there not only about Otis, but others guys from the late 90’s and early 00’s. Of course, there aren’t any stories about me… no matter what Otis or anyone else says.

And here is mine:

Building Brotherhood -1971

“It was a dark and stormy night.” That is the way Snoopy always starts his novels. In this case it was true. Mid January, cold, snowy and drunk. That was the setting for the end of our “Help Week.” We had already taken our fraternity exam and
initiation was right around the corner. Just this final thing to do. The “Bag Baker Memorial Walk.”

Let me take a minute to explain what the “Bag Baker Memorial Walk” is. It took me many years to realize that it was designed to build brotherhood, and it really did. It also built friendships, I still feel very close to all of those guys, and wonder what ever happened to Patty occasionally. At any rate, the walk was actually a scavanger hunt, where the Actives went around town and hid empty pop bottles. Each of the bottles had a clue to find the next bottle.

Al Morrison, Randy “Awk” Williams, Andy James, Darrell Pritchard
(he had already activated but missed the Walk when he was still a pledge), Patty
Ritchie
(my girlfriend and later one of our original Little Sisters), and me. That was the group that headed into our personal history.

As I remember, there were about 24 of those bottles that night. At midnight, we took the clue to find the first bottle and our bottle of vodka screwdrivers and headed out into the snowstorm. As the night went on and we found our bottles (and got our bottle refilled by the active assigned to keep track of us, Joe Mester. Thanks for that Joe!) crisscrossing the city. We had a great time and from time to time had to help each other find our way. I remember many things about that evening, but the one that really stands out to me is laying in the middle of the road making “snow angels” with my big brother, Darrell Pritchard.

The actives had hidden those little coke bottles from the college campus proper to Mound Cemetary, to the Hospital, to the college boathouse on the West Side (that is where we made the snow angels, coming off the Washington St. bridge), and many other places. It caused us to walk around town for 3 or 4 hours looking for bottles.

When we got done, sometime late in the night, we were very cold, very tired, and (can I say this, in this age of political correctness?) very intoxicated. But we all felt a feeling of accomplishment because we completed our assigned task as a team. Then we fell asleep.

Let’s see what has transpired between me and that group from 37 years ago. Darrell Pritchard and I are still close friends and play golf with each other a couple times a
month. We both have season tickets to the Arizona Wildcats football program, and just generally try to spend some time together when we can. Al Morrison and I have been in fairly consistant contact for the last 10 years or so, and I helped him find his current wife and former college sweetheart after a seperation of about 25 years. We still get together when I make my annual trip to Florida to visit with my Mother. Al is responsible for getting me re-involved with the Delts, he talked me into coming to Marietta for the golf outing one year, thanks Al! “Awk” Williams and I have been friends since I moved to Marietta in time for my junior year of High
School. None the less, we had fallen out of contact, and it was my interest in the 40th anniversary that put us back in contact. We have rekindled our friendship like we never were apart. It’s been really nice to find an old friend. Andy James and I had lost contact also. With the help of an address list we got from International headquarters, I found Andy’s phone number and called him. I don’t think that I’ve talked to Andy since graduation, but we had a good conversation and I hope that we can continue and build on our refound relationship. I feel confident we can. Patty Ritchie and I have lost contact, I hope that she is doing well and is happy. Perhaps as a result of our effort to build contact with our past members, we will be able to get in contact again. I hope so.

I’d like to express my appreciation for that night to Chuck “Bag” Baker, whom I have never met, the actives who planned our night, Joe Mester for keeping us lubricated and keeping track of us so no one got hurt, and most of all to my “Walking Group” for making that night one to remember.

When we woke up later in the morning, we got ready for initiation, and took our place as activated members of DTD. A big day.

But the one I remember best, was the night before.

Rick Neel ’73