Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My Fraternity Group Picture From 1963.  I Am The Handsome One At Bottom Right.  Ha.
The year was 1963, and I was a freshman at Furman University in Greenville, SC.   I decided to join a fraternity.  I was recruited heavily by one frat in particular---Pi Kappa Phi, or "Star and Lamp", as the school referred to it at the time.

Above is a picture of our group from 1963.  I am at the bottom right.  Handsome, no?  Ha.

To be accepted into this fraternity, the new pledges were required to court favor with the upperclassmen in the club.  This meant there was a lot of running errands for them.  Typically, these errands involved going to get food for them in the evening.  College guys generally eat a helluva lot of food---mostly hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and sweets---not to mention everybody's favorite, beer.

Also, I was asked on many occasions to see to it that their beds be made up in the mornings, and little things like that.

After a couple of months of this harrassment, there was an evening of torture and belittlement.  If we got through that ordeal all right, we became full-fledged members of the fraternity.

I recall our night of torture very vividly.  Three of us were taken under cover of darkness to a private place atop Paris Mountain, which towers over the campus.  There, around a campfire, we were forced to be paddled. Then, we were stripped down to our underwear and forced to do things like dance and act stupidly for the upperclassmen we were entertaining.  The final (and VERY painful) indignity was when we had to submit to having wintergreen squirted on our private parts.  I never hurt so much in my life.  We howled in pain.
Paris Mountain, Next to the Furman Campus, Was the Site of a Major Harassment
You may be asking yourself, "Why would these guys submit to going through that in order to join a club?"  Believe me, that is an excellent question.

Then, around midnight, in our underwear, we were set loose to find our way back to campus as best we could.  Fortunately, before we were seen in our skivvies by the general public and hauled off to the jailhouse, one of the upperclassmen (Earl Prevost---his name is misspelled in the picture) took pity on us and picked us up in his car and drove us back to our dormitory.  

It was a lot of fun being a member of that group for four years.  I am in semi contact with only one person now from the club---Harold Reed (bottom left).  Sure would like to know what happened to the other guys.  I do know that John Howland died about 10 years ago, but the others I have lost track of.


  1. Oh my goodness, I think there are some details in this blog that I had not known before. Ouch!

    Some of the silly things we have done in our youth ... good we can look back on them now and laugh. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, this episode must have made you much stronger! :-D

  2. Those were pretty tough customs. Are there similar rituals today? Sorry, you lose in time the people of his school days in mind. A pity, right?
    Greetings from the cold old Germany

  3. Great picture :) good ole Frat stories. They make for great memories don't they?

  4. Sabine---Today, there are rules and laws against "hazing". But back then, there were no laws and it sometimes got pretty ugly.

    Yes, it is a pity we lose track of our classmates.

    Greetings from warm Texas!

  5. Meowlissa---They make for great stories and memories, but I'm not sure I'd go thru that again!

  6. Most abosrbing to read Clint, I love reading people's memories.


  7. Have you tries using Facebook to contact your old frat brothers. It might help. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. Too funny! Some things never change! I was in a sorority but they didn't do that stuff to us - more mind games than anything! Memories... :)

  9. Too bad that you have lost the contact and that has made me think of people from my past.

    Have a beautiful day


  10. Wonderful memories! I enjoyed my visit to your blog. Wishing you happiness Hugs, Katherine

  11. men... i'll never understand them.

    but i must say hubba hubba to your picture.=)