Shawn Selby: Visit to the Chapter, Sept. 15-17

Hi All.

I had occassion to go to Marietta for my 36th 25th birthday last weekend, and while in town I visited the Shelter and spent time with the Undergrads.

Now before you start to think that spending my birthday with a bunch of college students many a few years younger than me is a little, well, “creepy,” let me just say two things:

1. Going to Marietta was not my original plan.
2. I did not intend to do much more than a couple of quick “pop ins” at the Shelter.

My original plan was spend a four-day weekend in Toronto, which is a mere 2.5 hour drive from where I live. However those plans had to get spiked when I was unable to get appropriate hotel accommodations owing to the fact that the Toronto International Film Festival had the termerity to be going on the same weekend as my birthday.

After considering alternative destinations, I put Marietta on the table, even though I would going there a month later for Homecoming. There’s just something about Marietta … I enjoy going back, even if I don’t set foot on campus. I always have a great time in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and I don’t feel I get back enough. And having both Friday and Monday off that weekend provided an opportunity for me to justify the 6.5 hour drive.

So Thursday afternoon I made my decision to go to Marietta and I emailed a few friends in Marietta, plus a couple of Undergrads, to warn them of announce my arrival.

Now I had not planned to spend much time at the Shelter or with the Undergrads, but the response I got from them led to me spending a lot of time with them over the weekend. I do not regret it; I had a great time. And I think they did, too.

The Chapter had just wrapped up Rush week on Thursday night. They had pledged 13 men (as of Sunday, Sept 17). The Chapter had a goal of 15. They felt they would meet that goal this past week and expect to add another 5 or 6 before the semester is out.

After I arrived in Marietta early Friday evening, I had been invited to go with the Chapter at 10 p.m. to the Mountaineer Family Restaurant in Parkersburg. Now, I really love that place, and had been going there (usually after drinking way too much) during my Undergrad years. And I introduced plenty of other Delts and friends to the joys of Mountaineer dining.

Now when I had gone back to Marietta for the Delt Alumni Golf Outing Weekend, I was pleased to find out that the Chapter did weekly brotherhood outings to the “‘Neer,” so in some ways I feel responsible for that tradition.

So I readily accepted that invitation.

Now as many times as I’ve eaten there, I can say this visit was unparalleled. That’s because, including me, there were about 40 Delts that had descended on the unsuspecting good folks at the ‘Neer.

Needless to say, they couldn’t accommodate all of us together. So we got split up among the three sections of the restaurant. I made my way into the glass-encased Smoking section, followed by the Undergrad smokers. (Yes, quite a few of them smoke. Get over it.) We were eventually joined by nonsmoking Delts who had nowhere else to sit. Brave souls that they were, placing themselves in a glass-encased room with me nearby able to smoke …

Anyway, a very enthusiastic Pledge named T.J., who is from China (People’s Republic, I presume), was going around to all the Delt tables taking his picture with everyone. When he got to the table I was at, which included Undergrads Scott Dettra, Josh Argento and Andy Byers, T.J. looked at me and the following conversation happened:

T.J. to Shawn: “I don’t know you. Are you a Sophomore?”

Shawn to T.J.: “Yes, I am. Let’s go with that.”

Scott, Josh and Andy were very much amused by this exchange between the Pledge and the Alumnus. A little TOO amused, if you ask me.

And even though this happened just hours before I turned 36 25, T.J. unknowningly gave me the best birthday present ever.

Well that’s the only story I will tell from that weekend. If you want to know more, get your butts back for Homecoming and ask the Undergrads to tell you the rest.

But I will share one more update from the Chapter. I attended their Sunday evening Chapter meeting (hoping to see Fergie, but he was out of town). This was their first Chapter meeting with Pledges and the Chapter room was almost at capacity.

They elected their Homecoming King candidate that night. Bearing the Delt standard will be John “Goose” Kitson, a fifth-year senior.

He’s under a bit of pressure. The Delt candidate has been crowned King the past three Homecomings. Goose, and the Chapter, would like to see the House retain the crown a fourth year.

But what was interesting about this is that Goose had won a contested election. The Chapter was deciding among initially four, then three, seniors, all of whom it seemed were popular enough on campus to be a viable candidate. And by viable I mean capable of winning.

This was much different than back in my days in which our candidates had to be roped into accepting the role.

Goose should be proud that he won. But the others who had been considered should be proud, too. For their ability to contend speaks volumes about them. And about the Chapter.

Hope to see you all at Homecoming this year, and at the 40th next year,

Shawn “Revisionist History Sluggo” Selby ’92 ’03