What a great time I had at 58 Pinewoods last weekend. This was the seventh Alumni Work Session, and believe it or not we had over 40 alumni and over 40 undergrads.
On Friday morning, I met Ruff (Bob Hutnick ’71), Cos (Paul Cosgrave ’72), Matt Miller ‘78 and two other brothers who had just graduated at Troy Country Club for a round of golf. It’s a beautiful old course and was a fun round. We had lunch and a few drinks there, and after a shower we met at the house for cold ones and camaraderie. Besides Ruff and I, Turk (Bill Wurst ’71) represented the class of “71. Cramble, ’70 and Cos and Hobie, ’72 were there. The rest of the old guys were Larry Mentz, ’68, Foss Hooper, Walt Kluz (Captain Klutz) and Bill Pomeroy (Jolly Green), all from the class of ’66. Ed Kellogg, ’60 had the most seniority and worked as hard as anyone there. Dinner was at a place on Pawling Ave. called Carols. We took over the place and served us a nice buffet which was paid for by the House Corp. After returning to the house, it became an early evening. People were staying in local hotels, in tents in the back yard and in various places in the house.
Supposedly, breakfast was available Saturday at 7 AM and work sessions started at 8 AM. The major projects included installing 3 sets of garage doors (Turk’s crew) so we could securely store things for the next year, clean out the house and do as much demo work as possible, primarily in the old house. This involved taking the walls down to the studs and removing the hardwood floors (living room halls and library), linoleum (dining room and conservatory) and tile from the kitchen. Jim “Cramble” Campbell ‘70 was the crew chief for the kitchen, and they first had to remove the equipment, including the vent hood, a big job. If there is to be an MVP for the weekend, Cramble would get my vote. Although a lot of brothers worked long and hard, I think Cramble wins by a nose.
Lunch and dinner was provided by Chris, Delta Psi’s cook. What a great job he did. He used a 6 foot long gas grill in the back yard and gave us hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, with appropriate beverages, of course. Dinner was steaks, baked potatoes, and vegetables. What a great job he did. We gave him a lot of scrap metal to sell, including all the cast iron radiators.
There were 3 of the largest construction dumpsters (40 cu yds) I have ever seen in the backyard, and by the end of the day, Saturday, they were full, partially due to the efforts of Ruff. When I first saw Ruff on Saturday morning he was toting a 55 gallon garbage can filled with plaster, lath, wallboard out of the dining room to the dumpster., where I was assigned to help knock down the walls and ceiling to the studs. After he dumped the mung into the dumpster, he brought it back into the house, grabbed another full one, or filled up an empty one and repeated the process. He did that all day long and was still doing that till at least 5:15 PM, after most had quit for the day.
After our steak dinner on Saturday, we had our last ritual meeting, held in the chapter/party room of the “new addition”. With over 80 brothers, it was a little crowded. We circled the room 2+ times. It was a very inspirational meeting, and I can report to you all that the chapter is in good hands. It seems that they won their third Peterson Significant Chapter Award in a row and they were named the number one Greek house on campus. The school’s latest policy is that freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus (our house will be considered to be “on campus”), so the current sophomores have been able to get rooms together in the dorms. The school helped the juniors and seniors get apartments together in 3 buildings on 10th street near Peoples Ave. They are very excited about rush and are looking to get a pledge class of 20 or more, that will live in the best accommodations on campus next August.
Guys, I’m convinced that alumni participation is the deciding factor in the current chapter’s success. Without your continuing support, starting 7-10 years ago, none of this would have been possible. Besides the pleasure and fun to see and talk(email) to you guys whom I met almost 45 years ago, it is very clear to me that your involvement will insure that the best virtues of the white cross will continue at 58 Pinewoods in the coming years. So let’s make the effort to get together during the next year.
There will be an alumni/pledge dinner in Troy on September 16th. This has been a very successful event over the last few years. It is a real life example to the rushees what we mean about a lifelong commitment. The current Consul told me that they wrap up 20 -30% of their pledges because of this event. Unfortunately, Ruff and I had already committed to playing golf at Dusty Lewis’ ‘70 place in North Carolina with the Burt’s, Banghart’s and others. The good thing is that we have plenty of brothers that can fill in for us. We will have the opportunity to get to Troy and support the actives many more times in the coming year.
I have a lot more to share with you all about last weekend and what is being created at 58 Pinewoods, but I’ve probably babbled on too long for this email. But I do have one more important thing to request of you. First, we have accomplished a great goal in our fundraising. We have pledged over $1.5 million. Bill Pomeroy has upped his pledge to $300,000.Because everything has fallen into place so quickly, our contractor, Duncan and Cahill, will start within the next 2 weeks. This acceleration will save us as much as $240,000, however, we will have a cash crunch over the next 4-6 months.
John Leroy Pfaff ‘71
You guys are an amazing group! We did an astounding amount of work both last weekend and over the past 7 years. It’s a pleasure working with everyone and I look forward to our 1st Work Party next summer in the new chapter house. Thank you all very much!!!!
Bob Bedard ‘75
I just wanted to extend a big “Thank You” to all those alumni that participated in last week’s Work Party 2012. We had a record turnout with over 40 alumni returning to Troy to take part in some or all of the weekend! We worked hard, had fun, reminisced a lot, and made another batch of great memories. The builder’s rep was impressed with the amount of demolition work we accomplished. She commented on her walk through with HJ on Monday that her foreman had doubts whether or not we could get all that demo work done over a weekend. I guess with about 75 to 80 determined alumni and actives working together, a lot can get done in just two days! Once again, our foreman, Bob “Beo” Bedard, was able to extract our best efforts with a little gentle prodding.
Rumor has it that the demolition of the 1972 “New Addition” may begin as early as tomorrow, 8/27… Cool beans!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Homecoming 2013 when the completed house will be dedicated. You won’t want to miss that!
Thom Klit Kouletsis ‘76
Attached is my recap of the annual undergraduate-alumni work session just completed. Please distribute to your classmates and edit as necessary. Demolition of the “new 1972 addition” may begin as early as tomorrow, Monday, August 27. We are hoping that the new Bill Pomeroy Chapter House will be completed and fully operational by the end of August next year so our undergraduates can live there during the entire 2013-2014 school year. Hope your summer went well. Have a great fall. Oh, the undergrads have found housing for this year with RPI helping, yes helping, us to find housing. Half of the undergrads will be living relatively together in RPI dorms (sophomores, I believe) and the upper classmen wil be housed in RPI apartments in downtown Troy. Not sure about Homecoming 2012 as yet. But Homecoming 2013 will see the dedication of the Pomeroy House. In Hoc, Ruff
Work Sessions August 17-19, 2012
Recap: Well, Delta Psi’s 7th work session is in the books and the wrecking ball is about to come down on our 1972 “New Addition” to make way for the Bill Pomeroy Chapter House (BPCH). Destruction of the “New Addition” may start as early as Monday, August 27. The Pomeroy House is scheduled to be completed by the fall semester 2013. I’ve heard that we are saving an estimated $240,000 by starting two years earlier than first anticipated. This is yet another reason that our brothers involved in fund raising and planning of the BPCH should be commended. It was also “bandied about” that Alan Hanbury’s ’74 review of the plans with our contractor saved us another $100,000. Ah, an urban legend or truth? I’ll pick the latter. Altogether, these are exciting times at Delta Psi. FYI: RPI Homecoming is scheduled for October 5-7, 2012, but with no Chapter House available to us, I’m not sure what the plans are for the weekend. I’ve contacted the undergrads to let us know what their plans are regardless. Also, keep your donations coming. Due to the aggressive building schedule, we need everyone’s pledged money as soon as possible. Thanks.
As for work session weekend, I arrived in the Tri-City Region on Thursday afternoon and decided to pay a visit to Chris Gribbin ‘00, our former Chapter Advisor. Nora, his wife, was at work, so I joined Chris and his aide for an hour-long visit. Chris’ Lyme Disease has left his muscles very weak. However, he has a new computer that enables him to write by eye recognition and then “speak” by looking at the “speaker” icon. Pretty cool. Chris’ spirits are still up as he told me he had recently gotten back from Pennsylvania where he was honored to be named the Godfather of Heather and Peter Wurst’s ’04 new daughter Emma. I had dinner with my nephew, Patrick, and his wife and in-laws at Delmonico’s in Albany (5 Stars) and over-nighted with them.
On Friday morning, six Sigs gathered at Troy Country Club for golf. With our “RPI discount,” it was only $50, including the cart. Adam Weltz ’11 shot 96 and with Colin Haynes carried our team on the front nine (with one stroke handicap per hole for each of the two youngins). But Paul Cosgrave ’72 shot an 88 that led the charge on the back nine with Matt Miller ’77 and Leroy Pfaff ’71 so that the match ended up in a virtual tie: 81 best ball net. After lunch, we retired to 58 Pinewoods for a few brewskis before going to Carol’s on Pawling Street for dinner, the House Corp Meeting, and work session assignments for Saturday.
After Saturday breakfast by Chef Chris Burdett, our cook at Delta Psi for the past year or so, 43 alumni and almost 40 undergraduates began working on our final pre-Pomeroy House work session. We needed to empty the house of all furniture and kitchen equipment and knocked down ceilings, walls, and floors in back rooms of the old house (kitchen, conservatory, dining room, and back upstairs rooms (forgot their names [ticket booth] but they were once inhabited by Dan “Spurt” Burt ’69/Joe “Sark” Stefens ’69 and the one by the fire escape by “C-Ray” Allshouse ’70 and Dave “Dusty” Lewis ‘70). Jim Rossetti and Crew also tore up the old house living room floor and hallway while Jim Cambell ‘70, Rob Stone ‘82, Gary Stottler ‘82, and Thom Kouletsis ’76 worked on the kitchen and dining room. I never saw much else, being tied to garbage removal in the kitchen/dining room. We ended up filling three HUGE dumpsters with debris and junk. Al “HJ” Hanbury ’74, Bill “Turk” Wurst ‘71, and Paul “Mr. Ed” Persico ‘75, led another team as they installed three automatic garage doors for the outdoor garage. Tom “Hobie” Hey ’72 was excused from ripping up the industrial, McDonald’s-type tile floor he installed in the kitchen a few work sessions ago and Ken Sobel ’12 also was excused from ripping down the wainscoting he put up only two years ago in the dining room. Chuck Shuey ’75 manned the jackhammer for the kitchen tiles.
We stopped working at 5:30 p.m. and Chef Chris cooked lunch (hot dogs and hamburgers) and dinner (steak, baked potato, and corn). At 8 p.m., we had our final ritual meeting in the new addition, right above the Sigma Chi letters that Jim Rossetti ’79 put in 3-4 work sessions ago. It was well attended as almost 80 Delta Psi Sigs participated. Former Grand Consul Bob Jones ’73 was there. Ed Kellogg ’61 had top seat followed by ‘66ers Foss Hooper, Bill Pomeroy, and “Captain” Eric AKA Walt Kluz, possibly not in that order.
We had 27 alumni from the Classes of 1961 – 1982 and another 16 from 2007 – 2012. PJ Rohan ’78 had another 15 Sigs from ’77 – ’80 at his place in NH for a get-together the same weekend. So I think the alumni base is strong. Concerning the undergraduates, they too look VERY strong as they have excelled in every category at RPI and Sigma Chi. Delta Psi is now the undisputed “best fraternity” at RPI and Delta Psi has now won three straight Sigma Chi Peterson Awards. The Consuls of Delta Psi for the past seven years or so have been outstanding, each one trying to out do his predecessor. I’m happy to say that our brotherhood is strong and the state of Delta Psi is in VERY competent hands from our alumni down to our newly crowned Order of Constantine Chapter Advisor Bob “Justa” Eckart ’73 and our present Consul Joe Pumper ’13, email@example.com.
The cast of characters responsible for building up our brotherhood, working at our seven work sessions, attending the rush banquet in September, working on the fund raising project, and for planning, designing, and getting us to this point of constructing the Bill Pomeroy Chapter House, are many. I’ll leave that list for another time. For now, I’ve just listed the cast of characters for work session ’12. However, great job by Thom Kouletsis ’76 on public relations, ice, beer-on-ice, and dining room floor; Bob “Beo” Bedard ’75 for running the work session; Bob Eckart ’73 Bobeckart@gmail.com, and Jim “Twinkie” Manocchi ’75 for moving us to this point of construction and HJ for reviewing the plans; Bill Pomeroy ’66 for his generosity and his great “Jolly Green Giant” humor; Foss Hooper ’66, Twinkie ’66, and Paul Cosgrave ’72 for driving this; Larry Mentz ’68 for his lawyering; and, all the following 2012 work session alumni crew:
Ed Kellogg (’61); Foss Hooper (’66); Bill Pomeroy (‘66) & Captain Klutz AKA Eric AKA Walt Kluz; Larry Mentz ’68; Jim Campbell III (’70); Paul Cosgrave (’72); Bob Hutnick (’71), John Pfaff (’71), and Bill Wurst (’71); Tom Hey ’72; Bob Jones (’73); Bob Eckart (’73); Bob Shortle ’74, Steve Embler (’74), and Alan Hanbury (’74); Bob Bedard (’75), Chuck Shuey ’75, Jim Manocchi (’75) and Pam Manocchi, and, Paul Persico (’75); Thom Kouletsis (’76); Matt Miller (’77); Jon Merz ’78; Ken Miller ’79; Jim Rossetti ’79; Gary Stottler ’82; Rob Stone ’82; John Murray ’07 (House Corp Meeting); Ben Tashjian ’07; Josh Gilbert (‘09) and Ms. Alexx Smith: Sweetheart; Colin Haynes (’10); Jeff Christianson (’10) Dan Zuber ’10; Adam Weltz ’11 (Golf); Ken Sobel ’12; Mike Hanson ’12; Alex Manocchi (’12) & Chelsey; Roddy Yagen, James Schneider, and Chaz Goodwine ’12, and all of the 240+ Delta Psi Sigs and others who contributed one way or another to our new Pomeroy House.
Hope you are putting October 4-6, 2013, on your calendars for the dedication of the Bill Pomeroy Chapter House at Homecoming 2013. I have an email in to Joe Pumper about Homecoming 2012. Well done my good and faithful brothers. Well done.
September 16 – Alumni Rush Banquet in Troy, NY. Contact Recruitment Chairman Vincent Kocher firstname.lastname@example.org or Tribune Andrew Greenstein email@example.com. Hobie spoke last year and said each alumni has about two minutes to discuss Sigma Chi and its impact on their life.
October 5-7 – Homecoming 2012. Contact Tribune Andrew Greenstein firstname.lastname@example.org
I stopped in on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. to say goodbye to my brothers but no one was up so I headed south to Long Island and eventually back to Virginia.
In Hoc, Ruff