Omega Mu Voice
Omega Mu Voice
John M. Kenealy,
For those of us who came of age in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Deliverance was an iconic movie. So, it was no surprise that we would give our end of school year canoe trips that name. The trips were typically three to four day affairs on the West Branch of the Union River out by the Airline Road.
On the first trip was Jeff Brinch, Matt Smith, and myself. Matt, or Scud, as we call him, canoed solo in a cut down canoe, while Brinchy and I used my old, keeled, aluminum canoe. Not the best river canoe on the planet!
Jeff Brinch and Matt Smith
One of the highlights of this trip, besides the three pound brown trout that Scud landed, was the beginning of a tradition: SPAM Stew. Brinchy’s dad had served overseas in WW II, and it seems, one of the most ubiquitous foods served, was SPAM, which is rumored, stands for “Something Posing As Meat.”
It wasn’t just the stew, it was how it had to be made. Sure, the ingredients were the same as beef stew, with the substitution of SPAM. It was a very thick stew, as we would cook it down over the fire, then, the key was to mash it all together with, at first, a Mountain Nectar bottle, but, on later trips, a Bourbon bottle.
Joel Gardiner and Jeff Farnsworth
“Another Deliverance trip comes to mind. On this trip, were myself, Scud, Joel “Sluggo” Gardner, and Jeff “Mr. Wizard” Farnsworth. There were a few highlights to this trip. One was waking up covered with 2-3 inches of snow. Since it was before bug season, we had just covered ourselves in a tarp over our sleeping bags. We were expecting just a heavy dew. We got a little more than that.
Another highlight, was one morning, Scud and I got up extra early, and went out fishing. We had a glorious morning, and kept a few trout for breakfast. Wizard and Sluggo had slept in, so we got the fire going. They didn’t stir until the bacon was cooking. All of a sudden, we noticed Sluggo’s nose begin to wiggle as the scent of bacon wafted over our campsite. Next, we heard him say, “Wooo, Bacon!” Then, he and Wizard were up and ready to eat! On this same trip, though he denies it to this day, Wiz took a wiz in a spring by one of our campsites
After college, I had returned to New York State for about ten years, but on my return, we re-introduced the Deliverance trips with Andy Bradford, his Dad, and Greg “Scooter” Scott. We floated the East Branch of the Penobscot a couple of times, The Big Black River, among other trips. After a hiatus, we have introduced a June fishing trip to the Jackman region. Phi Gam is not for college days alone.”
"Phi Gam is not for college days alone."
“What if the space be long and wide,
That parts us from our brother’s side
A soul-joined chain unites our band,
And memory links us hand in hand.”
(Phi Gamma Delta fraternity song)
Chip Chapman, ’82