Omega Mu Voice
Stephen G. Perry,
Pledging as a second semester freshman, I remember Steve Dunwoody, Billy McLean, Ken Bartlett and Tim Ames actively recruiting Hicksy and I. They would all make regular visits to Gannett Hall to sell us on Phi Gam. Tom and I went to a few other fraternity rush parties, but we both knew our decision came down to either Phi Gam or Sig Ep. I think what drove us to Phi Gam was the quality of individuals we met – we felt very comfortable being there plus the house was a big seller. I believe our Pledge Class – 21 – was the biggest that Omega Mu ever had and probably still is. We basically out-numbered the brothers who were active in the chapter.
Things I remember about pledging – how tight our pledge class was – we all got along pretty well. Carrying around that pledge pole, early morning runs which resulted in stopping at Girl’s dorms (particularly Balentine) to sing, carrying girl’s books to class, pillow fight that pitted pledges against brothers – we basically kicked the shit out of the brothers but Dunwoody was a beast – his will to keep things going kept the brothers in the fight much longer than they should have been. Dunwoody ended up being my big brother – we always had a good relationship – even to this day, it is tragic what happened to him but always admire that he shows up for Pig Dinner. I am grateful for the number of brothers we had, and that our pledge class really started the renaissance of Omega Mu in the early 80’s. The quality of pledges we recruited really propelled us to great things.
Steve Dunwoody is wearing the rugby shirt.
A Few Brothers of the 1979 Omega Mu
Living at the House – I remember hanging in the living room waiting for dinner to be served. Everybody re-capping their day and telling war stories. Having ‘JT’ as cook really enhanced our experience at Omega Mu – I think everyone agrees with that. The man was a character – fun to talk to plus he was an excellent cook. Faculty Dinners that we had once a semester were a hit with the professors – JT always put on a show that was memorable. JT always had one of the dinners in the fall feature lobsters – one of those dinners actually led into meeting Pam. It was Friday night party early in the fall semester and I headed down to the basement to see a typical dance party going on with Pi Phi. As I stood there, I looked to my right and there was standing Pledge Pam. I did not look great but I said what the hell and asked her to dance. The rest is history – walked her home that night and asked her out on a date for Saturday night – we went on a double date with Billy McLean/Annie Couture – saw Caddie Shack. Couple of other memories about JT – spectacular dinners he put on at Christmas and at our formals, and that he came to my wedding.
Going back to dinner time – remember the pitchers of ice cold milk and the hot loaves of bread served at every meal – my god! I remember Billy complaining when the milk budget was slashed – that boy can drink milk. Milk Machine always acted as the house information center – many things related to Homer were pinned to that Milk Machine. House Jobs – everyone hated getting Pots and Pans for the week – that was an awful job – JT always used many dishes which did not help. I remember Razor Ray getting caught cleaning his underwear in the dishwasher – he has never lived that down.
Sleeping in the Ram – probably some of the best nights of sleep I have ever had – alcohol may have contributed but just the plain cold made me sleep well. The Mental Ward – Bart, Buddy, Rocky, Billy, Tom, myself, and Chappy. We had some crazy ass conversations led by Bart and Buddy; they were incredible. I remember snow coming in that open window, trying to get out of bed on a cold winter morning to get to class – ugh! I never understood why the Ram fell out of favor as far as brothers sleeping there – so good to hear that repairs have been made and that the Ram is again becoming a place where the brotherhood sleeps. Who will ever forget Homer setting himself on fire with his electric blanket or Phil finding a pigs head in his bed.
Ken Bartlett, Tom Hicks, Buddy Cote, Matt Smyth
Parties at Omega Mu – 11-2 will always have fond memories – that was our signature party every week, but it did not help with my 8am classes on Thursday. Everyone on campus knew about that party and wanted to get in. Formals and Christmas Party were always great. Halloween Party was always great – I remember dressing up as Frankensteins bride for first Halloween party in house – October of 1979. We had a Pearl Harbor party one year, and Hicksy and I dressed up as destroyer; so much fun. There was the infamous Popeye story about putting a meatball in his ear after too many old fashions. Lots of laughs with Ellen and Francis, at the Oronoka, on trivia night. We were never lacking for social committee money due to excellent leadership form of Fuller, Joyce, and Brinch. They ran it like a business. I remember Saturday morning wake up breakfasts with sororities – particularly Chi Omega and Tri-Delt.
Miscellaneous - we had some good leadership that drove us to success – from Buddy to Hicksy to Joel as president – their cabinets were strong and propelled us to do good things. We always did well on campus – House of the year a couple of times. We were active in campus activities: IFC, Student Senate, Senior Skulls, etc. We did well in intramural football, softball, basketball. Remember the Fiji Hockey team – fun to watch.
Pig Dinners – I believe we had Sean Walsh as guest speaker one year – he was fantastic. It was amazing to see how much Piggy grew while we were there. One year we had it outside of the house at Hilltop – thinking was we needed more room but that was a one year experiment – everyone hated it. Of course, our ritual now is to stay at UMI, go to pre-piggy lunch, and then Pats after Piggy. Dysarts the next morning. We all know the drill; it is tradition.
Fiji Marathon – I had the privilege of being the chairman of that event for its inaugural debut – Jodi Arie was my co-chairman. We put in a lot of work for that event but it was all worth it. I re- member doing a news conference with a local tv outlet to promote the event – great experience. I
don’t even know how many years Fiji Marathon lasted? I believe I ran in it a couple of times. I will always remember returning to school in the fall – would always come up to campus probably a week earlier than when classes started – totally enjoyed that time of year – seeing everyone again and catching up – parties at the house to get the semester rolling.
Steve Perry and Buck Banks
Omega Mu Brother
"Dick Upham (Omega Mu Brother, '56) of Waterville, state Crusade Chairman for the Maine Division of the American Cancer Society, presents a plaque of appreciation to the members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity."
Dick Upham, Omega Mu, '56
L-R: Chris Skillman, Steve Perry, Joel Gardiner, American Cancer Society representative,
Tom Hicks, Jodie Arie, and Tom Ladd.
One thing we did a couple of times was for a bunch of us to meet up at Hicksy’s house in Sebago for a night before heading to Orono. Wiffleball, lake, grilling – great combination. Thinking of some of the roommates I had at the House: Chip Chapman and I and Hicksy roomed together one semester. We borrowed each other’s clothes. I roomed with Hicksy and Dad Caldwell when I initially moved into House. Another semester I roomed with Buddy and Scooter. Remember Bart living in cat piss room. Lived in the house three years – enjoyed every minute of it. Homecoming to me never really took off – maybe because tailgating at the football games was always ok. I look at now how the South tailgates and realize how weak our tailgates were - we had fun but never really established much of a tradition there. We had events at the house but they were ok – nothing memorable.
Chip Chapman and Matt Caldwell
Fiji Island – my undergrads that I advise at South Carolina are always blown away that we
actually had our Islander on an island. Most of the time you hear that Fiji Island takes place at the House or off campus somewhere – we were unique. My first Fiji Island was a pledge in the spring of 1979 – we worked our asses gathering firewood, setting up tents, etc. Weather was not great but we still had a great time. Who will ever forget going to the island in Reggie’s lobster boat – Reggie was a character. I remember taking Pam a couple of times to Fiji Island – she still remembers going.
Caravan of vehicles ready to hit the road for Stonington to board the Palmer Day for Fiji Island.
Tom Hicks, Jeff Brinch, Jim Rizzitello, and
Steve Perry on the island.
In Front: Carrie Dunbar and Joel Gardiner;
Steve and Pam, behind.
Getting tattoos at Buddy’s Tattoo parlor in Newport, R.I.. Chappy, we will never forget putting the wrong fuel in your Volkswagen in Swampscott, MA then finding a garage to siphon the fuel out – classic. I think there were about 25 of us who got the ankle tattoo that night. Walking into Buddy’s, I remember seeing a biker type dude getting an eagle tattooed on his chest; he was holding on to that chair for dear life and I am thinking what am I getting myself into. As it turned out, the ankle tattoo was nothing and displays our pride in the fraternity we all love so much to this day. Another memory I have is the relationship we developed with Fiji Chapter at University of Rhode Island. We developed a relationship with Fiji URI Chapter – good bunch of guys – I believe Bob Marshall was a URI Fiji. We ended up taking a couple of road trips there plus they came and visited us at Orono.
“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