Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"It remains and shall remain"

Last Friday afternoon, Shane and I drove to Lincoln, Neb., for the re-installation of UNL’s Kappa Sigma chapter — where my dad was initiated in 1951.

On the way up there, it was kinda cool (for a native) to go through Nebraska City on Arbor Day. It is a national holiday, isn’t it?

After arriving at the landmark Cornhusker Hotel, we had some time before meeting up with others for dinner, so I set out to find the old Kappa Sig house that Dad took me to once, when I was a teenager. It was a beautiful afternoon and I walked straight to it. The building’s a law office now, but the Kappa Sig crest is still above the door (photo courtesy of The Daily Nebraskan).

The Nebraska state capital is caddy-corner across the street, which I hadn’t seen in years; that's me in the white shirt, below. I felt like I was on my fourth-grade field trip!

Incidentally, here’s a photo of my great-grandfather helping place The Sower statue on the very top of the capital, circa 1932.

All day Saturday, we helped initiate more than 50 new Brothers and re-install one of Kappa Sigma’s legendary chapters. (Dormant for the past couple of years, this Alpha-Psi chapter was originally founded in 1897.)

At the cocktail reception that evening, I met several men who had known Dad for years. One was Ron Wachter, president of Alpha-Psi’s housing corp. Upon introducing myself and asking if he knew Lowell, instead of answering “yes,” he immediately launched into a litany of stories about roadtrips, Grand Conclaves, late-night hijinks, mutual friends, hometowns and other memories they shared together. I soaked it up.

After the dinner banquet was over, Shane and I drove back to Kansas City and got home at 12:30 a.m.

I then ran to the grocery store for a few things and woke up four hours later so Shane, his girlfriend and I could do the Trolley Run early Sunday morning! It's an annual four-mile road race from Waldo, through Brookside, past UMKC and ending on The Plaza. I finished in 32 minutes, 13 seconds.

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