The Red Baron Rides

Location: Oak Park House 1966 timeframe

Featuring: Brother Don Brennan. Fall, 1965

It was a warm spring Saturday and the brothers were gathered around the fraternity house pool, playing volleyball, and enjoying a keg when Brother Don suddenly stood and raised his index finger to the sky to ‘check the wind’. Quietly the other brothers stood at attention and began chanting ‘Baron’, ‘Baron’ as he made his way into the fraternity house.

A few minutes he emerged with keys and hopped on his 1958 Royal Enfield motorcycle a.k.a. “the Beast” in the parking lot and drove along the driveway amongst a double line of brothers and pledges as they shouted ‘Baron’ ‘Baron’. The Baron stopped at the house entrance and nodded; a pledge produced a quarter and ran to the coin phone in the lobby and begin calling the Craig Hall girls’ dorm front desk and a list of sorority girls in Craig Hall announcing: ‘The Red Baron Rides’ ‘Spread the Word’.

As the Baron roared off on the back roads through the orchards to Craig Hall, the brothers cheered him on. Meanwhile, Craig Hall girls poured out of the dorm onto the sidewalk to await the arrival of the famous Red Baron because he had been there before. Minutes later the girls cheered as they saw the Baron arrive and stop at the end of block gunning his motorcycle. Suddenly the Baron gunned his motorcycle, did a ‘wheelie’ and drove down and back in front of the dorm a couple of times as the girls cheered wildly.

You see the Baron rode by the girls’ dorm in an original World War I leather fighter pilot cap, black boots, fur lined pilot goggles, a flowing red scarf around his neck, and nothing else! That’s right his swimsuit was still at the Pi House. As the dorm front desk staff began calling the police, the Baron rode off through the orchards back to the Oak Park House.

Upon his arrival back at the house he drove immediately to the back shed where pledges were waiting with a tarp to hide his motorcycle, handed him a beer and his swimsuit. He quickly joined the brothers around the pool as the police arrived and asked: ‘All right, who was the Red Baron’? A designated Pledge stood and answered the officer’s question with the following response: ‘Officer, I believe I know the answer to that question: The Red Baron was a famous World War I German Fighter Pilot who was best known for 80 kills.’

The officer was pissed at this response and said: ‘Not that one wise ass’. The officer left after failing to discover the identity of the Red Baron. Meanwhile, the girls of Craig Hall looked forward to the next visit from The Red Baron, a true Lambda Pi legend of the 1960s!

Submitted By: Mike Strand – Fall, 1964

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