“The roads you travel so briskly. Lead out of dim antiquity, and you study the past chiefly because of its bearing on the living present, and it promise for the future”
From multiple angles, our QTV and Omega Mu brothers have richly contributed to the civic body of the University of Maine since our founding, and this due to one of our hallmark traits: we like to succeed. In addition to all of our Omega Mu athletes and campus leaders, many brothers enlarged and enriched the meaning of what it means to be a fraternity brother in Omega Mu in writing beautiful music. We are proud of their dedication, creativity, and commitment in adding such a joyful historic angle in our fraternal history at the university. Their many musical compositions to pay homage to the University of Maine and our fraternal brotherhood. In musical thought, chromatic rhythm of language, and historic pride for the University of Maine, these brothers’ composed an immeasurable body of work that we are justifiably proud of as a brotherhood. These brothers enlarged and enriched the meaning of what it means to be a fraternity brother in Omega Mu. In compositional thought, style, and historic-fraternal context, we are immensely proud of these brothers, and there will no closing line, coda, chorus, or measure on our continued success as a brotherhood at the University of Maine. Proud to be Fiji, always.
Musical Brothers in the Castle
Omega Mu, 1969
Until about two weeks ago I still had my ticket stub for the Pete Seeger concert. Finally tossed it.
Robert C. Mennealy
Omega Mu, 1971
Mennealy, Goudey and O’Leary drove to Lewiston to see a Jimi Hendrix concert that was cut short because he blew the sound system twenty minutes into it.
Mennealy, there were five of us in Cliff Gowdey’s VW Bus. I remember Cliff had a little notched wooden rig so the bus wound not pop out of 4th gear. My memory is that Hendrix played a full set. I know he played most of the Are You Experienced album. Played behind his head, played with his teeth on “Hey, Joe”. He finished the set with “Purple Haze”. He encored with “Wild Thing”. He came our alone and riffed for a couple of minutes using only his right hand on the neck. Mind boggling. I think the cost was $2 or $3.
“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
Andrew T, Soloby
Omega Mu, 1971
I remember when you guys came back. O'Leary was doing "sets" on the bed in the Purple Room for most of one nite !! And yes, I played "back up" for him once in a while.. ..1969!!
“Purple haze all in my eyes.”
John L. Collins
Omega Mu, 1971
“Sets” refers to O’Leary playing air drums along with the records of Hendrix tunes. He would close his eyes, and really wail on the invisible drums with a huge grin on his face. I was too stoned to be able to tell whether he was any good at it or not, but it sure looked like he was enjoying himself! I think he also played along with Ginger Baker with Cream songs. Those are the ones I recall specifically. The purple room may have been off the living room behind the fireplace - not sure, though.
“…I’m standin’ at the crossroads, babe, I believe I’m sinking down.”
Here’s another personal story related to concerts in that era. See link below for the poster for the Supremes performance at the gym. I was a pretty “straight” guy in those days, and felt we all should play by the rules, pay our way, etc. But a rebellious side of my personality seemed to be coming out. So, when Mennealy suggested we try to sneak into the concert, I eagerly agreed! We crept around the field house in the dark till we found a window that wasn’t locked and climbed through it. From there it was easy to walk around to the halls leading to the gym and get in. We got front row seats, too! Other than Mennealy, I’m not sure who else participated. Maybe Greg Papasodora. It was a great concert, I thought!
Robert W. Doyle
Omega Mu, 1972
I recall the John Sebastian concert. He came on by himself and explained that the backup band was late due to a bus breakdown. He played solo all night. At the end he explained that he didn’t have a band. Great goof.
Gary R. Sawyer
Omega Mu, 1967
Also, a great Bob Dylan concert. Even though it was in the old Memorial Gymnasium; and two visits by the Brothers Four. I mention the later concerts not only because they were quality and fun, but because they were so-named because they were four Fiji brothers. On both occasions they came to the Castle after their concerts.
Andrew T. Soloby
Omega Mu, 1971
The Turtles at the Fiji Castle
Oh, yes, what a beautiful night! On a fateful fall night in 1969, I had a front row seat at the Tur-tles concert that was held at the University of Maine: “So Happy Together”!
Drinking and other embellishments had occurred earlier, and during I screamed loudly, obnoxiously, and frequently to the band: “Fiji, Fiji, Fiji”. Once they played their last number, everyone rushed the stage, including me. The lead singer, Howard Kaylan, asked me, “You have been screaming Fiji, Fiji all through the show, what the hell is it?" It was explained to all of them in detail, and we invited them to the house, and they showed up an hour later, a memorable night in Fiji history. Being normal guys, they wanted to know what fraternal living was all about, and we showed them. “No matter how you toss the dice, it had to be.”
Chip Chapman, ’82
The start of the school at Maine always begins with a feelings of enthusiasm, joy, excitement, and celebration to be moving back into the Castle to begin another year filled with fraternal routines and traditions that have defined our Omega Mu brotherhood for over one hundred years. There is a distinct feeling of pride and satisfaction in living in the most beautiful fraternal house at the University of Maine. Moreover, there are many other markers that have defined our successful fraternal focus, energy, and success through the decades: academic, athletic, social, social service. All these accomplishments give all Omega Mu brothers’ cause to smile and be proud. But we are also deeply proud of the career accomplishments of our Omega Mu brothers’. That is the Omega Mu way as we enter this new year academic year. It is our nature.
Our brothers’ careers have been productive, constructive, spirited, and prosaic. They displayed impressive skills, talents, and abilities They were, and we continue to be, a beautiful and lively expression of our enduring fraternal beliefs, and that underlying harmony is far-reaching in expectation for all brothers’, undergraduate and graduate. It is the core of what our fraternal founders asserted in 1848 and 1874 and 1899: to live active, commendable, and responsible lives, and to build up community. Clearly and compellingly, they added, and continue to add, positive value at the local, state, national, global, and fraternal level because they engaged life fully and responsibly. In short, they were and are exemplary in their citizenship, character, and their sense of dutiful responsibility, and in many instances they were leading voices in their career fields. These things, above and beyond everything else, are the underlying rooted connections that make us proud to be Omega Mu Fijis for the past 120 years. Unreservedly, these Omega Mu brothers’ are worthy of emulation because of who they were, what they achieved in their respective careers, and in their fraternal dedication in providing timely, relevant, and practical advice through many years of brotherly service to our Omega Mu chapter. Each of them were a vital component advocating for the good of fraternal life throughout their respective lives because they believed that fraternal life can be a life-changing experience for the good for all young men, always. Due to their authentic and genuine character, and the unreserved nature with all of their commitments, these Omega Mu brothers are witnesses to our proud fraternal history at the University of Maine. In fraternal doctrine and practice, year-after-year, their actions had a far-reaching effect in sustaining our deep-rooted fraternal kinship at Maine. They are telling portraits of the life-long good of fraternal life, and they continue to shine for us today, and we say thank you again and again for their manifold achievements and the indispensable role they each played in our history. They prove that success of any kind does not occur by luck or accident, and we remember them because they continue to provide that message for our time.
Omega Mu Pictorial