On the road…again!!!
Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
(Epsilon Alpha Rho)
Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters would likely know that EAP can be sounded out as “Epsilon Alpha Rho” in the Greek language and signify the name of a campus fraternity or sorority in the midst of their college environment. The college fraternity mentality dips ever so slightly into adjunct ways of thinking, including a self-awareness among their members to pledge a life-long bond with the membership of the fraternity (or sorority) and its ideology. They chose to join a certain group and that group chose to accept them as members.
Prominent college fraternities and sororities are found in many states and in many, but not all colleges and universities. Who knows how many Gammas or Lambdas there are at Yale or Stanford? Or Cornell or Michigan State? Chances are they can be enumerated through a social network that keeps track of such things. Thus, finding fraternity brothers and sorority sisters in other states in later years is facilitated by collegial tracking. It might even mean a place to stay on the road. Or a kegger on a Saturday night during football season.
The Footloose Forester was not a member of a fraternity in college but he knew several people who were. And he is grateful to his good friend Dale D. Wade who invited him many times to come and drink at the DU House (ΔΥ) on several Saturday nights at Rutgers. We teen-aged undergraduates were also underaged drinkers in New Jersey, but somehow the fraternities looked the other way and so did the local authorities who knew it was hopeless to keep young and exuberant males in check. There were routine keggers at ΔΥ long before the word kegger was coined.
The other fraternity where he was welcomed was Alpha Gamma Rho (ΑΓΡ), the agricultural fraternity. As an honorary agricultural and social fraternity, Alpha Zeta, whose name presumably was originally chosen to span the Greek alphabet and everything in nature from the A to Z, was a household word among the aggies. Somewhat embarrassingly, those who chose that name may not have been aware that the last letter in the Greek alphabet is Ω, and not Z.
But the Footloose Forester was a kindred spirit in that band of aggies who were also his classmates at Rutgers. Many of them went on to become prominent members of society and internationally acclaimed scholars. Our own little band of non-fraternity aggies also produced internationally recognized scholars and down-to-earth farmers who made the college experience eternally worthwhile on that side of non-fraternity fraternity life. The Helyar Experience: Cooperative Living on the Agricultural and Cook College Campus of Rutgers University (Paperback-1992) by Bonnie J. McCay (Editor) is a book that explains the system and its history in detail. And it sheds light on a non-fraternity fraternity that is a cherished memory of the Footloose Forester.
Epsilon Alpha Rho is the fanciful fraternity name devolved from a dream and the Footloose Forester knew that he would have to play it by E.A.R. to sell it as a story based on facts concerning the other ones.