Friday, October 31, 2014

Straight from the Heart

Since we’re at the end of October and we all know what Holiday starts the Holiday season off. I thought we could talk about some Eta Kappa History that is dear to my heart in many ways and keeps our Sigma Nu principles out Front.

I always remember David West teaching my pledge class local history. Chapter Eternal was on the agenda with Eugene L. Rathmann HK60 and Steven L. Blakeley HK142 as the two members in Chapter Eternal for Eta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Nu. Eugene had served and made the ultimate sacrifice in the Viet Nam War. Things have changed a lot since 1975. Our Chapter Eternal now has 33 members. Seven were actives when I was a pledge.

I believe we are all blessed in some way.  Our gifts can be very unique or very ordinary, yet we all have something special we give, for which we should be remembered.

I knew Dave West HK13, not as well as many of you Alumni that came before me. What I remember though is David’s passion for Sigma Nu. He was such a history buff and this was how he showed his love for Sigma Nu. His history lessons were dreaded and possibly scary to some young freshmen college pledges. He had a very dry personality but could be very personable if you showed you cared and listened to what he was teaching you. After his session on local history you truly had a grasp of how our chapter began and for most it probably gave you a true feeling of belonging to something very special. This was a pivotal point for me. I knew this was something of which I really wanted to be a part.

Steve Harwood HK224 was in my wedding party. He was a true friend and good Sigma Nu. He loved everything about being a college student. My recollection of Steve was just to have fun, enjoy every moment. After graduating Steve went to Los Angeles and began working in the Television Industry. Many of you can add to my comments.

 I hope to make this blog interesting, enjoyable, educational and interactive. So, please add your comments and help me memorialize our journey as Sigma Nu’s for life.

Steve lived a life of Love, Truth and Honor as did all our chapter eternal members. Share with me and all of us what these brothers meant to you and we’ll keep them alive in our thoughts and memories.

Curt Kruger HK25, was one of the Holy Eight, if I remember my history lesson correctly. Jeff Giarde has some great stories of Curt Kruger in his Early History of Eta Kappa Chapter. He loved to hang out with the boys. He was always up for a good card game, cigars and all. Steak and Beer was a time I remember always seeing Curt. He’d show up in the early afternoon and usually was the last one to leave. Many times not until the next morning, after sleeping off the results of the card game the night before.

Walter Stallings HK196, was another one of our 1970’s brothers. His Carmen Ghia could always be seen in the parking lot or blocking the driveway in front of the parking lot. Walter was my best party prop ever. Saint Patrick’s Day Spring 1977, (my semester as Social Chairman) how can you not have a Party for Saint Patty’s Day? I think it was Walt’s idea to have a Wake.

So we planned a wake, coffin and corpse included. Walter climbed into that Coffin and performed the best ever, dead Irishman. As long as I kept his glass full he just laid there. Throughout the evening we partied and celebrated life to its fullest.

It took me two weeks searching. I remember going to what seemed like every distributor in the county, no Google back then, looking for a Keg of Guinness. As it turned out Guinness of course was imported from Ireland and it only came in a Cask. This was all part of my college education. I found my Cask of Guinness and added a Keg of Michelob Dark, for a fantastic Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration that still get’s talked about, with Walter Stalling as my Guest of Honor. Walter went on to be a La Mesa Police Officer for many years. We have more to remember Walt, on our web site.

David Missy HK167, David Sandifer HK154, Greg Nielsen HK169, Steve Kaser HK171, Kevin Monroe HK189 and Tim McCarthy HK258 these are members of Chapter Eternal that I knew personally. I spent time with all of them. They were all part of my Sigma Nu Fraternity years in college. I know something very special and some very special stories about each one of them. One was my business partner for two months one summer. One taught me how to put fun into going to the laundry mat to do my laundry. Others taught me about diversity and tolerance. We all learned from each other and I am a better man for it. No classroom could ever replace the education experience and skills I leaned by becoming a member for life in Sigma Nu Fraternity.

I am still growing and learning as a Sigma Nu. My daily interactions with my Eta Kappa Brothers strengthen my resolve to live a life of Love, walk in the way of Honor and serve in the light of Truth.

I am so blessed to be able to interact with the founders of our Chapter but also the many young Eta Kappa Brothers that came in after me: Chris Schon, Seth Au, Kevin Darchuk, Christian Theissen and many others. You have all enriched my life.

I feel many of us wandered in the desert for 40 years; maybe we had to go through that. We now move to a new chapter for Eta Kappa and Sigma Nu at San Diego State University.

Remember all our Brothers that have gone on to Chapter Eternal. Celebrate their life and the contribution they all made to who we are today. Grab the moment and reach out to those that make a difference in your life. If we all do this we will enrich the life of many young men and our life will be enriched for it as well.

If you’re in San Diego next week Saturday November 8, 2014 get your ticket to the Aztec game for Homecoming. Meet us at G-4 for a Tailgate. Bring your own food and beverage. We will have a couple Barbecues’ hot and ready. Join us for the Brotherhood and enjoy the KGB Sky Show after the game.

I look forward to all your stories and comments. 

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