Omega Mu Voices
Gregory M. Scott,
Gregory M. Scott
Omega Mu, 1981
Living in Chadbourne Hall the fall semester of my sophomore year and getting to know the crew on third floor Chad was an experience. The guys stuck together naturally, like their own small fraternity. I was glad to be part of it and introduce many of them to Fiji. Several of the guys became Fiji brothers: Buddy Cote, Bill Shaboski, Chip Chapman, Steve Farrar, Chris Skillma, and, yes, Ricky Bean from Rangeley, Maine.
Buddy Cote and Bill Shaboski
Chip Chapman and Steve Farrar
Chris Skillman and Ricky Bean
Ricky was light-hearted, smiling, enthusiastic, and always positive. It did not matter if he just missed an important prelim, lacked beer money for the weekend, it would turn out fine. There was no need to worry. Ricky did not just believe this for himself but would encourage others who might be having a bad day, bad week, or an entire semester.
When Ricky pledged the house, he carried this same positive attitude with him as a pledge. It did not matter if he had wake up duty or it was hell week, Ricky had a genuine smile on his face. He became a brother and a good friend to many of us.
1982 picture of the Castle
Cedar tree to the left, next to the second floor window
Ricky invented what we called tree jumping. It involved leaping from a second story window into a pair of cedar trees located about 10FT from the house and climbing down to the ground. After several of us mastered this small feat, Ricky upped the ante and started doing it after midnight in nothing but his ratty blue bathrobe. Of course, many of us followed his lead, bathrobes and all. It lost it’s appeal one night, in the pouring rain, with several sharp broken branches adding blood shed to the challenge.
Rick was not a morning person. Well, that would be an understatement. He could be found snoozing in the Ram after three attempts by a diligent pledges to wake him, or he would be wandering around in the kitchen barefooted in his dirty blue bathrobe 15min before an 8AM class in Stevens Hall. Several of us signed up for 8AM classes on purpose, needing to get certain requirements completed. If Rick had an 8AM class, we would gang up on him to join us for the cold hike onto campus. Our success rate was probably less than 50%.
The cold hike to campus
Ricky was incredibly sharp. If he put his mind to it, he could earn an A in any class, or on any paper he wrote. If he was disinterested or distracted, forget it, his mind was elsewhere.
Then along came the Air Force ROTC program. It was new to UMO and Ricky joined. It was like someone flipped a switch. He had a direction and a goal. He was going to serve his country and be an Air Force pilot. No class schedule, course requirement or grumpy professor was going to get in his way. I remember when he received his dress uniform. He showed us how to put it on, situate the insignia and even how to properly tuck the shirt in the pants! What happened to the happy go lucky brother we all knew? Well, he had a dream and a goal. We were all proud of him. His enthusiasm for the journey ahead was infectious.
This made the news of his passing all the more painful. Fiji was well represented with several brothers making the trip to Eustis ME for the graveside service complete with an Air Force fly over.
We had a remembrance for Ricky at the Newman Center. His family made the trip from Rangeley because they knew how much the brotherhood meant to him.
The last time I saw Ricky was the last time for many of us. It was the day he and Deborah became man and wife. On the way to the wedding, Steve Swan stopped by LL Bean to buy a wedding gift. We still laugh about that huge cast iron frying pan that Steve bought. He bundled it up in LL Bean paper shopping bags, a card, and a ribbon, and plunked it down on the table with all of the nicely wrapped wedding gifts. Classic. The frying pan was a hit. Ricky and Deborah loved it.
Now time has passed. All of us that knew Ricky are pushing 60 years old, plus or minus, and I wonder what would Ricky Bean be like if he was with us now, say at a Pig Dinner? The answer is simple: same smile, same positive attitude, same brother that we enjoyed being around. The only change would be a few gray hairs and some real good stories that he would enjoy telling. He will always be remembered for his great spirit, his true love for his family and our Omega Mu brotherhood, and for serving our nation in the United States Air Force.
“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