Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pi Lam

"It's a far gone lullaby
sung many years ago
Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come
since I first left home"
- Robert Hunter

Yes, I was a fraternity boy. But a pretty mellow fraternity at that. My brother was a Fiji at Pitt and he visited me at Drexel right before Christmas break, where I'd been a Pi Lambda Phi brother back in the mid-eighties. I remember leaving the house and closing the door to my room (I think we called it Third Front Old, versus the 'new' side of the house - it was a double located on 35th and Race in the mixed West Philadelphia neighborhood) to make the drive up the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike to go home to Clarks Summit.
"You're not going to lock it?" he asked.
"No, why?" I replies, "someone might need to borrow something."

It was that kind of fraternity where you trusted all the brothers in the house. But I'd unfortunately only been an active brother for a few months and then left Drexel to finish my undergraduate studies at the University of Scranton. Come to think of it, I don't even think I was registered at Drexel when I was living in the house. But it was a typical fraternity room with four guys (and one's girlfriend) sleeping in a 350 square foot room on the top floor where you slept in lofts and your nose was literally inches from the hot tar roof radiating residual heat following a hundred degree Philadelphia August day.

But I still keep in touch with a handful of friends (brothers?) there. I always say that the only two things I gained by attending Drexel were Pi Lam and learning how to become excellent at parallel parking in the Philly.

Time marches on.

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