October 2001 Newsletter

What a homecoming weekend!  From the time people started arriving Friday afternoon until the last goodbyes after Sunday breakfast, it was non-stop fun.  In fact, there was so much going on it was necessary to circulate agendas and maps just to make sure that no one would miss out on anything.

This year’s Lambda Pi Homecoming Reunion was the biggest and the best ever and that’s saying something since last year’s was also touted as the biggest and best ever.  A year ago, nobody would have thought it possible.  The actual head count of all of the attendees this year is still being determined but it’s no stretch at all to peg the total number of alumni, actives and pledges at around 100. Yes, that’s right, 100 partying PI’s!  And let’s not forget all the babes that the PI’s brought with them!  While there were a lot of familiar faces again this year, it is especially gratifying to note that there were many new faces as well.  If judged by this aspect alone, this reunion was an incredible success.

Let’s talk about next year’s reunion for a moment. Yes, there is going to be one and it’s going to be over homecoming weekend again, most likely the first Saturday in October. So, by the time you are finished reading and hearing about this one, you are going to be primed for next year’s. If you haven’t reconnected yet, I’m telling you, you don’t know the fun you are missing.  If you attended this year, you already know you’ll be back and you’ll probably go find a couple of lost, disconnected Brothers to bring with you.

Collective Hats Off to Neal Grove

About the time the 3rd and Ivy fraternity house was being sold (Fall, 1999), the Lambda Pi fraternity as we all remembered it, was pretty much non-existent. The future of Lambda Pi looked very bleak indeed.  There was no Active group.  Most tenants quit paying rent and/or moved out.    The house was empty and the sale of it seemed the logical thing to do.  The sale, however, was a wake-up call for many Alums.  A lot of emotions surfaced when the house was sold.  Many questions were asked. “How could this happen?”  “Why did this happen?”  And so on. Perhaps the sale of the house was the necessary, long overdue catalyst that Lambda Pi fraternity needed.  The question of what to do with the sales proceed was pivotal.

There have been many Alumni meetings over the years but none (save that meeting back in 1944 when the decision was made to start Lambda Pi) were as important as that 1999 meeting.  Some wanted to take the sales proceeds and donate it or spend it and fold the Alumni Association.  The others  wanted to take the money and use it to resurrect the Fraternity, (i.e. keep it going.)  I know that I speak for many when I say that I’m glad the second group prevailed that day!!  This is where Neal Grove rose above and beyond the call of duty.  As the last previous Active group President and still a resident of Chico working at Canyon Oaks Country Club, Jack Dufour literally bumped into Neal at the bar at Canyon Oaks.  One thing led to another and Neal volunteered to help rebuild the Fraternity.  Just about everyone I have talked with says Neal was the “man”.  Within a year he, almost single handedly, got the Active group up to 14-15 members.  Neal started with 7-8 guys he knew and went from there. The new Active group called themselves the Apostles. Though graduated and with a job, Neal nevertheless, devoted many, many hours to the task.  At least 90% of the Active group today was his doing and without Neal, there just wouldn’t have been an Active group – a Fraternity.

Here’s the long and the short of it.  Without Neal putting his personal life on hold for a year or so, we wouldn’t have an Active group, in other words, no Fraternity.  An Alumni Association – maybe.  But without an Active group, who needs the Alumni.  Thank you Neal, from all of us.  Next year the drinks are on us!

Lead in to 2001 Reunion

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“On the Porch of the New Pi House”: L-R Stairs: Mike Sherk & Ben Strand. L-R Porch: Louie Andreini, Ron Solomon, Randy Mora, Jack Dufour, Craig Bates & Wife, Grant Codiga.

Reunions just don’t happen by themselves.  There are a handful of Brothers that all of us need to keep thanking.  If not for their individual and collective efforts over the past two years, Lambda Pi would not be alive and kicking and there wouldn’t have been any reunions.  For that matter, it’s safe to say there wouldn’t have been a fraternity. The passion and determination of Neal Grove, Ron Solomon, Randy Mora, Craig Bates, Jack Dufour, James Engler, Grant Codiga, Louie Andreini, Dan Ostrander and Mike Strand is deep and unwavering.  Most of these guys pledged in the early 80’s and they really know their stuff!  These guys had a vision and it materialized!

Got a new castle: a bit of a hassle
Up from the “O” on 5th & Cedar: 
Green & white couldn’t be sweeter
Rooms & beds for six: walls covered with old pics
Front porch, back deck and big back yard too:
Elbow room at Solomon’s Landing for me & you.
When in town, I’ll look for you there; voices united 
we’ll raise a big cheer.

In my opinion, the genesis for this year’s reunion was probably a combination of five prior events.

  1. The 1994 50th Reunion and Friday night beer blast at the Oasis.
  2. The sale of 3rd and Ivy house and the necessary dissection of the Lambda-Pi Fraternity itself.
  3. The October 2000 Homecoming Alumni Reunion.
  4. Mike Strand’s Extravaganza in April 2001 when the University honored him.
  5. The May 2001 Memorial Day weekend gathering at Jack Dufour’s.

1994 50th Reunion & Night at The Oasis

Craig Bates and Neal Grove and their wives organized and put on the 50th Anniversary Reunion of Lambda Pi.  The dinner dance was held at the Holiday Inn and was attended by  Pi’s and their wives or significant others totaling over 200.  It was a smashing success!

It’s my personal recollection that Mike Strand was mostly responsible for that 1994 Friday night at the Oasis. Rumor has it that he got a wild hair and just decided he wanted to party with his Pi brothers again. I was curious about this so I called his wife, Marilyn.  She confided in me and shared the following story.

“We were at the symphony.  It was intermission and we were sipping some Moet Chandon.  He was such a hunk standing there in his tuxedo, and I said, ‘Mike, you’ve been a loving husband and a wonderful father to our children.  Your business is successful and you’re a well-respected member of the community.  However, I’ve noticed that you’ve been listless lately, as if you’re searching for something.  I’ve got an idea.  Why don’t you contact all of your fraternity brothers and set up a reunion. You guys can get together and drink and party like a bunch of sailors on shore leave.  It’ll fix what ails you’. Joe, he looked at me with such a big smile I thought my heart was going to explode right then and there and said, ‘Marilyn, you’re the best!’  By the way Joe, do you think I can get him to shave his head again?”

A lot of telephone calls on Mike’s part yielded a five-page list of names and numbers, and we couldn’t say no to Mike. At least thirty to forty Pi’s showed up for that Friday night event.  While most of the Brothers were from the 60’s, other eras were represented also. Even though everyone had a blast, not much happened after that for quite a while. Mike, however, continued to quietly add names and numbers to the list.

Sale of Third & Ivy

The sale of the 3rd and Ivy house is probably the most significant of the five events since it became obvious to all that the very existence of the Fraternity was at stake. The sale forced a decision – “Was there going to be a Fraternity anymore?”  Fortunately for us, the answer was yes! Up stepped a new, younger group of leaders. Full ofpiss and vinegar, Neal Grove, Ron Solomon, Randy Mora, Craig Bates, Grant Codiga and Louis Andreini launched the Fraternity onto its comeback course.

Delbert Raby was there to inspire them and provide a much needed historical perspective. Jack Dufour rounded out the New Leaders group and he worked closely with the new actives and pledges and in seeking a new house.  No doubt many others contributed to the resurrection (rebirth if you will) of the Fraternity, however, no one can deny that these guys put in the most sweat and tears to make it so.

2000 Homecoming Reunion

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“Tune-Up Party” at Bob Cohen’s. L to R: Grant Codiga, Fred Knoles, Tim Riddle, Dan Ostrander, Joe Belden, John D’Anna, Ken Lange, Jack Dufour, Bob Kohen, Mike Sherk, Mike Strand, Clayton Riddle, Jim Dalton, Don Brennan, Ben Strand

The 2000 reunion was a natural extension of the past one to two year’s hard work by the New Leaders and by Mike Strand’s continuing desire to party with his Pi Brothers. He kept calling Brothers and his list just kept getting bigger. This reunion was memorable for the traditional Friday night at the Oasis, Delbert Raby’s seat-of-his-pants inspiration to us all at the Alumni Association Meeting and John and Judee D’Anna’s 1st Annual Tune-Up Party. The party at D’Anna’s was attended by at least 25 Pi’s. Judee prepared lots of snacks and drinks for all of us and we had a great time catching up with each other. Then it was off to the dinner–dance at the Arroyo Room. There was plenty of food and it was good!  A fine looking young lady helped the pledges tend a well stocked bar.  The talented DJ kept us jumping and jiving. Special thanks to Kohen and D’Anna for letting all us “unattached guys” dance with their women. As if they had anything to say about it!! You couldn’t keep those gals off the dance floor! And who could forget Mike Sherk’s rendition of Brown Sugar backed up by the comical antics of Dennis Chappin, as well as the conga line led by John Hair, Chappin and yours truly. I do believe that the Alumni did most of the serious dancing that night and there was many a young babe that was impressed with the grey haired dudes. A few of us had the late night breakfast special at Jack’s before turning in. It’s still a local institution! Over another breakfast Sunday morning at the Oxford Suites, we all promised to do this again next year. It wasn’t a hollow promise, but still, no one really knew if the energy could be rekindled again.

April 2001 Strand Award Night

strandaward

Mike Strand Award

By now all of you must be aware of Mike’s being honored as one of Chico State’s outstanding alums. When Mike personally became aware of his honor, he wasn’t sure if he should tell anyone about it since it isn’t his style to toot his own horn. Fortunately, he made the mistake of telling me and I couldn’t wait to get the word out. About twenty Pi’s showed up that Friday night to be a part of it all. Most of the guys from the New Leaders groups (guys from the early ‘80s) came to celebrate with Mike, which was really great to see.  It was a black tie affair and the University President and other dignitaries were there. After a lot of cocktails before dinner and a lot of wine during and after dinner, the conversation coming from the Pi tables was getting louder and louder. Most Pi’s have ADD and it was quite evident that night.  I have it on good account that it was about then that one Pi leaned over at the table and whispered to Strand that if he didn’t get up on the podium soon that the lady sitting next to him was going to get her bones jumped (a Dean’s wife no less).  Strand didn’t know whether to laugh or choke but then he was called up for his award – saved by the bell! All the Pi’s clapped and whistled to the extent that the University President took note of Mike’s “entourage”. Mike had a little challenge sharing stories with the 250 or so in attendance: what to say and not be offensive and all. But his speech was funny and everyone there gave him the loudest round of applause!

Many of the Pi’s cruised around Chico that weekend revisiting old haunts, Hooker Oak Park, the old “Orchard” fraternity house, upper and lower Bidwell Park and downtown, etc. Four of us got in a round of golf at Bidwell Muni Friday afternoon and a dozen of us were hosted by Neal Grove for lunch and golf at Canyon Oaks that Saturday afternoon.  Later that night about 22 or so showed up for a great dinner at the Sierra Nevada brewery.  We had a sweet time sampling their brews also.

Before the black tie shindig, there was a most memorable tune-up party at Bob and Kay Kohen’s house.  Twenty or so Pi’s showed up for this 60’s get together.  Lot’s of food and drink and levitating moments! All of us guys agreed to take Kohen on a “sneak” so as to hit on Kay. She was a huggable hostess.

Memorial Weekend with Defour

Well, you didn’t miss much.  Just another run of the mill backyard BBQ weekend at Jack’s place in Scotts Valley (just about to Santa Cruz off the 17 highway). You    know, the usual. Perfect weather.  A tub full of ice cold brews.  Lots of good sounds. After having not been seen by anyone for the last 35 years, Marsh Clarke strutted up the steps with a couple of fine Kenwood cases of wine.  Dennis Chappin showed up incognito, a white wig, sun-glasses and a dozen pizza boxes to hide behind.  Jack’s place is quite the bachelor pad! Beautifully landscaped and terraced, a very large pond full of trout and bass, another patio side pond full of Koi and the interior richly decorated with Asian artifacts.  And he knows how to cook too! This particular weekend was pretty laid back which gave everyone the opportunity to visit more and get into each other’s lives a little deeper than what can be

Golf at Canyon Oaks:  Front:  Grant Codiga, Ben Strand, Neal Grove, Clayton Riddle.  Back:  Randy Mora, Dan Ostrander, Mike Sherk, Joe Belden, Tim Riddle, Jack Dufour, Dale Cooper, Mike Strand

Golf at Canyon Oaks: Front: Grant Codiga, Ben Strand, Neal Grove, Clayton Riddle. Back: Randy Mora, Dan Ostrander, Mike Sherk, Joe Belden, Tim Riddle, Jack Dufour, Dale Cooper, Mike Strand

done at the wham-bam weekends in Chico. Believe it or not, everyone had a lot to talk about. Trust me, when I say there weren’t any awkward moments.  Whether you know it or not, you guys (and your wives) are really interesting!  Most of the wives came and got to see their husbands revert back to their Lambda Pi personalities and meet the other wives who put up with us.  So, a couple of BBQ’s Friday, Saturday afternoon and night and a wrap-up breakfast at Jack’s favorite neighborhood café (that opened up the Bloody Mary bar at 10:00 a.m. just for us). Oh!  Let’s not forget all the dancing Saturday night at Jack’s either.  Jack’s dog (not his woman – a real dog) was somewhat of a stage hog though; couldn’t get the dog off the dance floor.

The Stage Was Set for the 2001 Reunion

It was pretty clear to me that a very strong contingent of Pi’s enjoyed getting back together with each other.  I didn’t think any of us knew exactly why, but we knew we were going to have a good time and of course we did!  Even though we all grew up (in spite of ourselves), got married and raised a family, etc. – you know – “got a life”, there has always been this “hook” that our life in Chico has had in each and everyone of us.  While the place – Chico – evokes a lot of memories for all of us in different ways and degrees it, nevertheless, has to be the friendships we developed that has allowed us to get back together again so easily.  Who could have known how deep those friendships were?  But new friendships, however, were being developed as well.  The guys from the 60’s were getting to know the guys from the early 80’s.  Others eras were represented also.  Speculating on another possible reason for the reunions for a moment, perhaps it has to do with the fact that we’re not getting any younger and we’re retreating to the familiar in some way, you know, an attempt to recapture a piece of our lost youth and all, or reconnect with long lost friends.  Cosmically speaking, who really knows the reason(s).  What was obvious though is that we were enjoying each other’s company and the reunion core group kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger!

It must be obvious to anyone that has been paying attention that even after seeing someone you haven’t seen in 35 years, I guarantee you will still be finding stuff to talk about after the first 5-10 minutes.  I personally can remember Mike Sherk and I discussing this as a real concern back at the 2000 reunion.  I mean, really.  We only spent 2-3 years together at best.  What are we going to have in common half a lifetime later?    Well, we talked and carried on all Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Others who had previously expressed the same concern pretty much had the same pleasant experience that Sherk, Hair, Kohen, Chappin, D’Anna, Brennan, Young, Knoles, Moe, Strands, Girsch and I had, to name a few.

The 2001 Reunion Executive Summary

Yes!! You were there. You played golf Friday afternoon. You had burgers and beer at the Oasis Friday night. You jabbered with long lost fraternity brothers for hours and hours. You got to see the expressions on people’s faces when they saw an old roommate that they hadn’t seen in 20-35 years. You will always remember being with your Brothers when Barry Bonds broke the homerun record. You lost money playing cards with Billeter (hmmmm, is Keeth’s name spelled right this time?). You played golf again Saturday morning. Many of the wives had a wonderful luncheon hosted by Dawn Ostrander at her beautiful home.  You went to the Association meeting Saturday mid-day. You met Dr. Emanuel Esteban, the President of the University and heard how proud he was of the new Lambda Pi. You met the new actives and pledges. You voted  for new officers. You gave Ron Solomon, as the outgoing President, the standing ovation that he richly deserved. Never has one guy worked as hard as Ron did!  You welcomed Mike Strand as the new president. You honored founding member Delbert Raby and were inspired by Sandy Beck.  You strolled the campus down memory lane afterwards. Later you hooked up again with all the Brothers at the new fraternity house. You had a few beers or one of the spicy Bloody Marys. You admired the new paint job. You saw Jack Dufour’s beautifully framed old time pictures. You did group photos.  You participated in some good old-fashioned fundraising. You had maybe an hour to take a breather and then it was off to D’Anna’s house for the tune-up party for more conversations with some of your old best buddies. Then it was time for the dinner dance at the Chico Women’s Club for more magical moments….wine, women and song. And there was plenty of each!! “Brown Sugar” by Sherk and Mario (a new pledge that had as good a voice as his girlfriend was good looking) never sounded better!! There was a lot of hugging and kissing on the dance floor and it brought back some great memories. D’Anna’s hip was fully healed and you could tell – he almost danced every dance.  Sometimes with his wife Judee when she had an opening!  I’m telling you, Pi women love to dance. We had the same great D.J. back again and he was as hot as ever!  No one wanted the night to end but the dance was over and many went to other places to keep partying. Back to the Oasis, the fraternity house, to a room party at the Oxford Suites. It had to be someplace and any place would do. Some didn’t call it quits until 4:00 a.m. For many others, the night ended about 1:30 a.m. or so. Sunday morning included more tale swapping and many extra cups of coffee. Who would have ever thought that at breakfast that morning, I would have been looking into the hung over (but obviously happy) faces of Joe Derrah, Frank Wright, Jack DuFour, Mike and Benny Strand, Mike Sherk, John Hair, Marsh Clark, Randy Mora, Ron Solomon, Fred Knoles, Gary Moe, Don Brennan, Steve Sneringer, Keith Billeter, Dave Girsch and Rod Haas.  Absolutely mind-boggling!  Then the goodbye hugs and handshakes ensued. People had planes to catch. We had to hit the road and go home.

Most Memorable Moments & Comments

“Seeing new attendee Sammy alive and well.  Sammy was my pledge brother and best friend, back when we ran around, tracking and chasing together.  For those of you who don’t know and love Sammy, his real name is Mark Gwen.  The nickname came from the fact he sported a hair-doo back in the 80’s just like Sammy Hagar and definitely was as wild.  The shocker was that he had a family and bride of 14 years! Fantastic.  I only wish I didn’t have to leave to attend a wedding Saturday…but I had a great time Friday Night and Saturday morning and will definitely be back next year.”
-Randy Yergensen

“I was very impressed with the Active Group and the Pledges.  Before long they will outnumber us at the reunions. I was also pleased to see the representation of guys from the very late 80’s and mid 90’s”.
-Randy Mora (F’80)

“My favorite memory was when Joe Belden had a barmaid in the downstairs closet and all we could hear him say was ‘time is of the essence, don’t delay.  Be quick now.'”
-Greg Whitehouse (S’81)

“Don Brennan wasn’t at the reunion was he?  I couldn’t have missed him?  Did I miss him?  No, seriously, was he there?”
-John D’Anna (F’64)

“The reunion was great.  It was great to actually be able to go to a house we can call our own.  I had a great time meeting the new brothers and visiting with the alumni.  We might want to start a guest book for attendance for future events and gatherings.”
-Dave Demek (S’72)

“Sorry I couldn’t make it to the reunion but I am in pilot school and my tests start tomorrow (11/7).  But I hope to be making it up to Chico for Thanksgiving and staying for a while.  I met all the Pledges last time I was in Chico and it’s a small but good group.  I have heard nothing but good things about our Fraternity from some of the Sorority women that I am still in touch with.  They all say that our house is the best house to hang out and party at.  Damn I miss that!  Oh well, I will party with them every time I can get back.”
-Jarrett Kessler (90’s)

“I had a fantastic time.  Three things really impressed me when I first arrived at the new house Friday night.  First, all the pretty ladies…and they kept coming and staying ..these guys are really doing something right.  Second, how welcome I felt in the house.  With all the effort the active body put into the house, it was easy to see why they view it as ‘their’ house.  However, I really got the feeling that it was ‘our’ house too.  Third, in the 80’s we had our Green and White rugby shirts we wore with pride to all events including alumni weekend, so it was no surprise to see the current Actives wearing their shirts with pride.  What did strike me was the fact that they also had coordinated khaki pants.  And the Pledges not only were wearing pledge pins, but also had white shirts and khakis.  The coordinated dress code for the weekend was not lost on this alum.  Overall there was just a great deal of respect shown to all of the alumni…I hope over the coming years we can prove it was deserved!

Stumbling back to my hotel at 3 in the morning really brought back some really good memories…in fact the entire event did!”
-Mark Schue (F’85)

“Everyone involved with the reunion did a great job.  I was not able to participate fully because of my cancer treatment but I assure you, I will be back in great shape next year!”
-Ken Lange (F’64)

“The Lambda Pi’s singing and dancing to the Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar with such Pi spirit.”

“Hearing memorable comments from our Founder Delbert Raby and Distinguished Alumni Sandy Beck and seeing the University President address the annual meeting of the Lambda Pi Fraternity Alumni Association”

“Having Ken Lange show up to the annual meeting and D’Anna’s 60’s Tune Up Party to share his brotherhood, despite suffering from powerful radiation and chemo cancer treatment.  Ken’s action & love of Lambda Pi is the ultimate sacrifice to attend our reunion activities.”

“Hugging all my bothers (even Marsh who was soaking wet from dancing so hard)”.

“The retelling of Rhett Wolfe stories.  There were so many of them.  One in particular goes like this….we were all at this party and Rhett had to go to the bathroom, but first he takes out his glass eye and sets it down next to his drink.  He points the eye at his drink and say’s, “keep an eye on it for me will ya!”.
-Mike Strand (F’64)

“So many funny moments but watching Rhett drive up onto my lawn wasn’t one of them.  I took Mario and his girlfriend out doors to teach him the words to the Sweetheart song.  I held her in my arms and really serenaded her until Mario got the gist of it.  Darn it, he turned out to be a fast learner.”
-John D’Anna (F’64)

“It was great to see old brothers, new brothers, new house, etc.  I was disappointed no one else from my pledge class was there. Awesome, looking forward to next year…”
-Sal Sanfilippo (F’86

“I’ve never seen that side of Delbert Raby before!  Most inspiring to us all!  Why do we have to wait until Homecoming again next year?  How about next weekend? (Comment regarding Delbert (Fall ’44) dropping his pants after auctioning himself off for $1,000 toward the Active fund).”
-Mark Schue (F’85)

“There he was, a legend in his own time – Rhett Wolfe.  Well, he walked right up to me and said ‘You’re nothing Belden.  I taught you everything you know.  I could whip your butt then and I still can’.  My chest is still sore from the stiff finger he put into it to emphasize his point.

Watching the faces of Jumping Dirty Joe Derrah, Frank Wright and Mick Freese when they walked in at the ‘O and saw one guy after another that they hadn’t seen in 35 years.  Their expressions were priceless.

Thanking Ron Solomon and Randy Mora for keeping me out of trouble & getting me back to the hotel that one night after Strand’s award dinner.  Thanks also to Sherk for waiting up for me.

Watching Sherk and Clarke go nuts on the dance floor.  Young kids have nothing on these guys.

Wondering why Mario and his girlfriend didn’t leave right after dinner.  Maybe Mario is thinking about being a dentist or an ENT specialist, cause he sure spent a lot of time checking out her tonsils.  What?  Me Jealous?”
-Joe Belden (F’65)

“When I was a crud, Mick Freese was a legend.  He was one of those guys that we all looked up to.  I recall I was pretty shy whenever he was around.  Some things never change.  As far as I’m concerned today, he’s still a legend and I found myself at the reunion still in awe of him.  So, there we were in the buffet line together at the dinner dance and I took the opportunity to introduce myself.  I presumed he wouldn’t remember me.  Well, he remembered me after all and I was affirmed!  Just about then a noise from the stage irritated me.  It was Belden asking for money.  So I suggested to Mick that he throw a dinner roll at Belden to shut him up.  Damned if Mick didn’t do it.  No hesitation.  Frank Wright would have been proud of Mick’s aim and velocity.  The legend continues!”
-Mike Sherk (S’66)

“We need Lambda Pi tee shirts, ball caps, etc.  Stuff to wear with our Pi logo”.  (Dave traveled from Albuquerque).
-David Mitchell (S’63)

“How about a golf tournament with a best-ball scramble format?”
-Randy Yergensen

“I say we should do it again next year and I think the agenda was just fine.  I especially liked golfing with the Swedish women’s national golf team.  They were gorgeous.  Thanks to Gary Kent for arranging it!”
-Brian Herndon

“Excellent reunion this year!  I especially enjoyed entertaining Raleigh’s mail order bride from Czechoslovakia – thanks Raleigh for blowing off your wife so the brothers could have someone to dance with”.
-John Johnson (S’81)

“Everyone that worked on the reunion did a great job.  I  plan on getting more of  the brothers from my era (’58 to ’64) at next year’s gathering.  Everyone I have talked with thoroughly enjoyed the reunion.  Take care and see all of you next year.”
-Wayne Tarr (F’58)

“Man, I’m glad to be back in the loop again.  It’s been way too long.  Thanks to everyone responsible.  It was like going back in time.”
-Rod Hass (F’63)

“Agenda was perfect.  I liked that there was plenty of free time at the house and O or wherever before and after the meeting.  Nice having food at the meeting and that it didn’t really take 3 full hours and the fact the meeting was positive, structured and accomplished things (review of finances, state of the fraternity, awarding of scholarships, meet the actives, pledges etc.)”
-Mark Schue (F’85)

“Judee wanted me to thank all of you who joined us for our cocktail party.  We had the best time visiting with the many of you and your wives.  I might add, that for some reason the wives looked better than all of you guys. Preparing for this event was a treat.  Judee also loved the luncheon at Ostrander’s. We hope to be able to do it again next year too.

I have one favor to ask in the future; can someone volunteer to bring Rhett so he won’t drive up on my lawn?”
-John D’Anna (F’64)

“Many of us are able to make regular contributions to charitable funds, savings accounts, etc.  through our payroll office.  It works like this: we give the clerk the name and address of the recipient; the computer cuts the check on payday, and the clerk mails it.  I contribute a lot of money that way – in small amounts, which doesn’t hurt much monthly, but adds up annually.  If just a few of us did it, it would still pretty much guarantee the budget a few thousand per year with a predictable cash flow.  I’d like to be the guinea pig.  I’ll have a check sent monthly to the Lambda Pi Alumni Fund at the address on the web site if you think this is a worth while idea”.
-Rod Haas (F’63)

“After seeing how much fun Dick Young’s 17 year old daughter had at the reunion activities, meeting her dad’s old frat brothers, I’m going to bring my 17 year old daughter next year!”
-Joe Derrah (F’64)

“The funniest or most enteraining incident.  John Johnson trageled from Texas.  Upon arriving in Chico he parked his rental car and went to a garage sale and bought a huffy bicycle for $20.00.  Pink handlebar grips that were very sticky for some reason were included.  Just like the old Chico days for JJ and cheaper than the car.  Very cool.  Doug Yeggy showed up and was so jealous of JJ’s ingenuity that he needed a bike of his own.  Doug ‘borrowed’ an ‘abandoned’ bike from the park across the strees from the Pi house.  Now he was cool too!  Did they use the bikes?  No, a sucker came along with a bike rack (me).  They parked their Huffy’s on top of my car and had me to drive them around.  Coming from the bicycle industry they had the added benefit of leeting me know how uncool I looked with their two cheap biked on top of my car.  Not epic in the usual PI tradition, but funny at the time.”
-Greg Whitehouse (S’81)

“The whole weekend was very entertaining.  There were a lot of golf balls but no monkeys and footballs doing strange things.  Belden was civil and coherent with all the ladies he encountered.  Sherk’s rendition of Brown Sugar was awesome again.  Strand and Knoles did an okay job of enforcing a modicum of decorum for most events.  Dufour didn’t get out of control and levy a bunch of fines.  Now I remember why I liked to party with Marsh Clarke so much.  Thanks to the D’Anna’s for a great tune-up party.  Missed Chappin though.  Thought for sure he would do another surprise entrance.”
-John Hair (S’65)

2001 Reunion Attendees

Louis Andreini Larry Bassow Craig Bates
Sandy Beck Joe Belden Keith Billeter
Don Brennan Matt Brewster Grant Codiga
Dale Cooper Dick Cooper John D’Anna
Lynn DeArmond Mick Freese Wally Gibson
Joe Derrah Rawley Douglas Dave Girsh
Mark Guinne Brad Hall John Hair
Rod Haas Brian Herndon John Johnson
Bob Kohen Fred Knoles Tim Kumasaki
Ken Lange Eric Larrabee Jim McClean
Dave Mitchell Gary Moe Sal Monforte
Carl Montelero Randy Mora Rex Mosley
DJ Muzulo Dan Ostrander Mark Pendley
Eric Pettinger Delbert Raby Larry Ray
Chris Rice Sal Sanfilippo Charlie Schaupp
Mark Schue Mike Sherk Steve Sneringer
Ron Soloman Rick Souza Ben Strand
Mike Strand Fred Tarr Wayne Tarr
Jim “Fun” White Greg Whitehouse Larry Wolfe
Rhett Wolfe Tom Wong Frank Wright
Spencer Yarwood Randy Yergenson Doug Yeggy

Ron Soloman Reminisces

“The fraternity and the Alumni Association are in a great place right now.  That wasn’t always the case.  Once we got the non-believers off the BOG and we got our hands on the sales proceeds, I knew we could make it.  The last couple of years have been difficult and a lot of hard work, but the years have also been very rewarding.  I’ve had a chance to work closely with some great guys, Bates, Mora, Andreini, Strand, Dufour and Codiga.  And I especially want to acknowledge Neal Grove and also the Brothers who put up the cash for the house.

Other memories:  ‘going back to Chico, driving at 110 down Hahn road through the rice fields with a road soda in my hands.  The smell, oow oow that smell, the smell in the air of a college campus…Bates pulling Mora into the Treasurers position. I had never met Randy, but Randy was willing to step up, I now count Randy and Joan as good friends…This alone is worth more than I put into it.  Watching the cruds walk into the ‘O’  in white shirts and green ties…Water Ski weekend with the fresh blood at the lake, especially when the boat load of women showed up…it was very interesting watching them wake up in the morning…doing a Keg Stand at the first homecoming and beating the time of all of the actives…crashing the Alpha Chi formal…Drinking Tequila with Joan at the Alpha Chi house…Taking Nick to his first bar, Rielys, and watching him shimmy up to the ladies while Bates, Andreini and I watched the girls at the bar feed each other whip cream with their fingers.’

Can’t wait for next year’s reunion.  In the mean time, I’ll do what I can to support the current BOG and help get the house loan paid off.  Until then, I’m gonna live life, drink beer, get naked and dance in the streets, have fun and stand up for what I believe.  Here’s to Lambda Pi and another 50 years!”

Ken Lange Gets a Clean Bill of Health

As many of you know,  Ken (Fall ’64 & Univ. Distinguished Alumni) was struggling to attend our recent Lambda Pi reunion even though he was in pain and discomfort from chemo and radiation treatments due to his cancer battle.  Ken let it be known that he was going to be at as many of the activities as possible even though he couldn’t drink beer and HE WAS!  That’s brotherhood!  We are happy to report that since the reunion, Ken’s biopsy showed NO CANCER CELLS! The treatments worked!  His family and all of us are so grateful and happy!

Sherk’s Feminine Side

Ever since Mike Sherk has gotten in touch with his feminine side, he hasn’t been able to keep his hands off himself.  As quoted from Sherk…

“You people Rock!  Good party! Please bear with me on the following.  
Bob Dylan entered my body.  Written 10-9-01.

A few days later and I’m still a little sore
But none the worse for the wear
A pleasure to see you all again and I tell those closer to home
That there are no finger people anywhere

Than those I came to know some 30 odd years ago
And so I say your smiling faces, your warm laughter
did then and still help to fill my days

Those were and still are special times
Thanks to you all for being friends of mine.

So if the light’s just right and the moods just right Thru my eyes you have not changed

I love you all.   Can a guy say that?
Looking forward to our next day.”

Mike Strand’s Vision for the Future

Mike has provided us his thoughts and plans with respect to the Alumni group, the active group and the Board of Governors, as follows:

  • Double the number of brothers active in the Alumni Association by October, 2002.
  • Significantly increase representation from all (‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s)
  • Pay off the house (the remaining $50,000 loaned to us by our brother Louis Andreini).
  • Continue our scholarship program commitments to the University to maintain Tax Exempt status.
  • Continue to lead, mentor and develop the Active group in both number of members and quality of the individuals
  • Continue to enhance our website and grow our data-base so that members can reconnect with each other.

Active Group:

  • Grow the active member-ship through quality brotherhood, quality pledges, and quality image.
  • Continue to be receptive to the leadership mentoring and development offerd from the Alumni group.
  • Establish an image on campus with the University, and local community of a quality group that develops leaders and good citizens.
  • Continue to learn and maintain the positive traditions of Lambda Pi.
  • Maintain and preserve the new Lambda Pi Fraternity House.
  • Strictly adhere to the Alcohol Pledge and maintain signed pledges of EVERY active and Pledge member and present those to Dr. Moore’s office.

BOG:

  • Meet quarterly.
  • Increase communication to alumni group.
  • Develop and refine a clear statement of our goals and objectives.
  • Develop and market a campaign to “Reconnect the Brothers” through alumni phone calls, e-mails and database.

Randy Mora’s Treasurers Report (As of October 1, 2001)

  1. Combined cash balances as of October 1, 2000 total $25,068.78.  Funds are in 3 accounts at Wells Fargo Bank.
  2. Cash Flow Report: Cash balances as of the beginning of the year was $131,528.73.  The net decrease in cash is $106,459.95, which is primarily associated with the purchase of the Cedar Street House and disbursements for property and liability insurance.  Purchase of the house was funded with cash of $151,841in cash and a $50,000 Note from Louis Andreini, which calls for interest only payments at 8% for two years.  YTD donations totaled $50,850.00, which has assisted with the purchase of the house, a $2,000 installment towards our original $5,000 pledge to the Jackie Faris Reese Foundation for Student Leadership, and $2,100 in scholarships to members of the active body.
  3. Net Worth Report:  The Alumni Association’s net worth is $169,193.78, which is comprised of the cash balances and equity in the house.
  4. With only 5 of the 6 rooms rented, the positive cash flow is $475 per month.  With a 6th room rented,  the cash flow increases to $775 or so,  Not Bad!!

Contributions Needed:  Mike Strand is Asking for Your Financial Aid

“Brothers…We Need Your Help!  Your Alumni Association has an outstanding bridge loan to one of our Brothers, Louis Andreini, in the amount of $50,000 that we need to pay off.  Louie was kind enough to help out the Alumni Association purchase the new fraternity house (which is GREAT by the way) without having to obtain a mortgage.  As you may know, the house was purchased for $200,000 last June with Alumni Association funds of roughly $100,000 plus a $50,000 loan from Brother Louie, and $50,000 cash donations from the Brothers listed below.

We need to raise at least $60,000 to cover all our capital costs associated with the house and to do this we have established the following donation levels so that everyone, regardless of ability to donate, can contribute.

Perhaps Joe Belden said it best:  ‘I contributed to the Lambda Pi Alumni House fund because to me the relationships I have recently reestablished are worth more to me than any dollars at this stage of my life.  Reconnecting with you guys has, for me, been the best head medicine my ex-Shrink should have prescribed!’

Diamond Level ($10,000+)
None

Platinum Level ($5,000)
Joe Belden (F ’65); Grant Codiga (F ’79); Jack Dufour (F ’66); Donald Johnson (S ’77); Randy Mora (F ’80); Dan Ostrander (F ’65); Ron Solomon (S ’84); Ben Strand (F ’66); Mike Strand (F ’64).

Gold Level ($2,500)
Andy Pollock (F ’81)

Silver Level ($1,000)
Chuck Seuferlin (F ’76); Cliff Bates (S ’78)

Bronze Level ($500)
John Johnson (S ’81)

Brotherhood Level ($250)
Charlie Schaupp (F ’76); Mark Shue (F ’85)

Photos

1 Comment

  1. From the 50;s-1951 I graduated-I never imagined Lambda Pi would still be around. much less I. me(?) Congratulations to all brothers who prevailed and have succeeded in making these fine traditions. ted

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