DTD at MC #57.5

Saturday, December 08, 2007

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
(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

DTD at MC #57

Hello everyone,

This information is important for those of you (all 250 that get this email I hope) that are planning on making the trip to Marietta next October. The Best Value Inn is now closed. It will be replaced by the Microtel Inn and Suites, but there is no guarentee that it will be open in time for homecoming. Fpr those of you that don't know, the dates for homecoming are October 24th thru the 26th, 2008.

Matt Dole has lined up some rooms at the Best Western for us. Here is his note:

Best Western Marietta
279 Muskingum Drive
Marietta, Ohio

20 rooms reserved for Friday, October
24, and Saturday October 25 Around $75 per night. If anyone is
coming in early, or leaving late, they can make those arrangements when they

The hold up has been getting the rate, and it's not set yet,
but in the interests of time we'll have to run with "around $75 per

The group of rooms is reserved under my name for Delta Tau

The 20 rooms will be held until January 31, 2007, after
which any rooms not reserved will be opened up for the general public, so people
need to call and reserve a room quickly to get in on this group rate. For
those who don't want to stay at the Best Western, I have included a list of
other Marietta hotels below.

The selling points for the Best
Western are:

1. No further from MC than The Comfort or Holiday
Inns, just on the other side of town.
2. About a mile from the Valley Gem
boat launch
3. Walking distance to the Shrine where the dinner will be


(The Best Value Inn - the old
Knight's Inn - has closed and they are building a new hotel on that
property. I'm not sure if it will be open for Homecoming or not, so that
isn't an option)

The Lafayette
101 Front Street

Holiday Inn
701 Pike

Comfort Inn
700 Pike

Hampton Inn
508 Pike

Super 8 Hotel
46 Acme

Econo Lodge
702 Pike

There is another hotel for you to consider, it is in Williamstown, W.Va. right across the river.

Days Inn Parkersburg-Marietta I 77 And State Road 31 Exit 185 Williamstown , WV 26187

Since this is a pretty busy time of year for Marietta, I suggest that you call and make your reservations as soon as possible.

One thing that you might want to consider while making your reservations is various discounts you may be eligible for: AAA, AARP, Corparate discounts, etc. Also, you might try Priceline.com and see if you can save some money by naming your own price.

I got the following note from Joe Mester the other day,


I have the following addresses looked up from the recently published
Marietta College Directory - three with e-mails already. Recommend you
publish the list and ask the people who knew them to cold call them, let them
know what we are doing, and try and obtain an e-mail address with
permission to add to e-mail list.


He gave me 12 missing brothers names and addresses. I sent emails to a few of the guys that I have on the mailing list already and asked them to contact the ones we had addresses for. We have a large enough base now that I may start going that was for the guys that I have an address for, but no email. If you are interested in helping with any of this, let me know. Or who knows, I may call you and ask like I did with Rich Wolf today.

Kevin Oliphant sent this response to Shawn Selby's comment in my last email. Ollie, I can't believe that any Delt would suggest that your balls be cut off with a rusty knife. I'm sure they would want to use a clean sharp one!

Please inform Mr Selby that a few of the 7 are step children. Also i have figured out what causes children to happen and have taken steps so that no more children will come about. ...And no I didnt get my balls cut off with a rusty knife and a table saw as per the wishes of Mike Connaty and few other sadistic delts.
Sterile Ollie

Rich Miller sent the following note praising the story that Rick Dunkser sent in, I thought it was a funny story also. Keep them coming in. Dave Broome is collecting them and is very happy with the response so far. One thing he requests though, please make sure to include the year that you are talking about. Whether it was Fall, winter, or spring, if that is important and any other information that will be helpful in establishing the time frame you are talking about. Thanks so much.

I had a huge laugh reading about Ed Holmes, a story I had not heard, that
happened just 2 years after my graduation and while I was still in Ohio. He certainly would have had my vote and probably won on a national level in 2002. Thanks, Rick, for doing all that you are doing to bring us all together, up to date and providing a forum that, among other things, let's me know that my little brother is not among those Marietta Delts who have passed on to the Chapter Eternal.

Rich Miller, '74
I sent Mark Schlicker a note to get in touch with Joe Cohn and he sent me this note in response.

Will send letter today.
Looking for device to change slides into .peg files for 40th. Hopefully I can find the time to change over all my slides. I know I had a step by step building of the first two floats.

Best Regards
Mark Schickler, '69
The comment about changing slides into Jpeg files falls right in line with something that Seth Wolfson said in a note that he sent me. Anyone else that has something like this, we are interested.

Hey Rick,
Im sure that someone has suggested this, but i missed it. I think we should do a slide show that can run during the reception. I am not sure if there would be enough images from the pre-digital age classes to make it worth it, but maybe you can poll people and see whats available.

One of the addresses with emails that I got from Joe Mester was Frank Hirsch, one of our founders. I sent him a note welcoming him to our email group. He sent me the following reply. I hope that he can make it back to join us next fall.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive your e-mail message and enjoyed looking at the websites included in it. I'm glad to see someone making such an effort to organize alumni and collect the past history.

I'm one of those (sort of) lost alumni, as mentioned in one place on the blog. I didn't realize I was considered "lost" since I have always been on the college's mailing and alumni list, but perhaps it is not coordinated with your own.

Actually, I'm not supposed to be found since I worked hard at school to earn the title of "The Phantom Delt!"

Seriously, I noticed that you are collecting Delt memorabilia. Being the proverbial "pack-rat," I have saved some of my college stuff (like a beanie, that was mentioned somewhere in the blog). I also have some old pictures and perhaps most unique, I have some old Super-8 movie footage I took while at Marietta. I am in the process of having it converted to DVD, but it is not very good quality. There are several clips that have many of the original members in them.

I don't know if anyone would be interested in these, but I would be willing to share them with whoever might be interested. I think I would need help from someone who may be more "techno-savvy" when it comes to converting and then editing these movies. I'd be happy to arrange to meet with anyone who would like to take on such a project.

I live fairly close to Marietta and still have in-laws in nearby Little Hocking. We often travel to the area and I could even make a trip to MC with enough advanced planning.

I am considering trying to make the 40th anniversary gathering during Homecoming. It would be great to see some of the gang again and to reminisce (which you tend to do a lot of when you get to be our age). Do you think anyone would like to see these movies during the anniversary?

Anyway, let me know what might interest you and the others. I'd be glad to help wherever I can.

Did you notice that he mentioned that he has movies from his time in Marietta. I wrote him and told him that what he had was gold for us. And a beanie, this is the motherlode for memorabelia. Who out there is technosavvy and can help Frank make this stuff work for us? Let me know.

I also heard from Neal Mettler, another address that I got from Joe Mester. Good to hear from you Neal. You asked what you could do, I only have one thing to ask. Come back to Marietta for homecoming. I hope to see you there.

Rick, Good to here from you. Let me know what I can do.

Ted Smith is one of the guys I asked to contact a couple of brothers that Joe sent me addresses for. He called both of them, got one and spoke to the wife of another. He let me know the results of his efforts in this note;

I had a nice talk with Murray Talasnik ’71 today and informed him of the big shindig.

He is a criminal lawyer and, obviously, has a chaotic schedule…but I told him to try and block out the October dates.

He was treasurer, I believe when I was president.

I am hopeful he will attend.
I talked with the wife of Mike Stein ’72 and he is supposed to email
The 40th Anniversary festivities include wives…yes/no????
Take Care, Rick,

It's always nice to talk to someone you hadn't talked to in a long time. I know because I called Rich Wolf today. We got to talk for a bit and it was really nice to hear from him. The reason I called him was to ask him to try to get ahold of Larry Brown and Dave Mogil, two brothers from his era that we are missing. He asked me an interesting question while we were talking, "Who all do you know is coming to homecoming?" I mentioned several of the names that I have heard from, but I know that there will be many others coming who haven't said anything to me yet. So here is a request for you all. If you are coming to homecoming 2008 to join in the celebration of 40 years of Delta Tau Delta. Drop me a note letting me know. I'll keep track of you and let everyone know who is coming. Just think about it, if a classmate of yours knows you are coming, that may be just what he needs to know to decide to come himself. You don't need to write a letter, just reply with "I'll be there" and that will be enough. Thanks, even if you have told me in the past, please let me know again. I didn't track it before.

One thing I need to mention. Our homecoming weekend celebration certianly includes wives and significant others. The only thing they would be excluded from is a ritual meeting and/or an activation. Everything else is definately open.

The alumni speakers that have stepped up so far are Greg Maloof, Ken Kavula, and Rich Wolf. That covers the late 60's and mid 70's so we are still looking for the late 70's, the 80's, 90's and 00's. The time frame we are looking for is about 10 minutes and the subject matter is entirely in your hands. Let me know if you are interested, or I may give you a call and ask. Ken is planning a power point, so the equipment for that will be there, if you wish to take advantage of it.

Here are the new addresses that I got this week, thanks Joe! Murray Talasnik, Frank Hirsch, Alan Head, and Neal Mettler **addresses have been removed for privacy reasons**

Here are the missing brothers for this week: Stephen DeLong '80, David Duffy '80, Theodore Haase '80, Stephen Marino '80, Jeff Salway '80, Kevin Gieger '81, Helmuth Hinz '81, Walter Meneses '81, Jeffrey Myers '81, Brett Burkey '82, William Costello '82, George Dee '82, Rick Eckstein '82, Duke Weller '82, Bruce Goldfarb '83, Richard Ptak '83, Donald Sirrell '83, Steven Bennett '84, William Cruse '84, Jay Ehret '84, Gregg VanDerLey '84, Mike Malone '85, John Marfy '85, Kelly McKerahan '85, Adam Pyles, '85, John Rhein '85, Jon Townshend '85, John Baxley '86, and Jeff Gardner '86.

I'll do my usual, under a separate email, I'll post another 40th anniversary letter. Or maybe 2. Keep your thinking cap on and send something in, just remember to include who you are, what year you are writing about, and what season it occured in (if appropriate).

That's all I have this week, I hope that your holiday season is special. Rick Neel '73