David Keller's History of the Spring 1967 Pledge Class
This exists in one typewritten copy
in the "Chapter Histories" file and is stapled together with a two-page
ditto entitled PLAN 10 and a program of the Spring, 1967 Pledge
Recital. It is entitled History of Spring 1967 Pledge Class. [--
On Feb. 17, 1967, the fifteen members of
the spring pledge class of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, Kappa
Sigma chapter, were initiated into their pledgeships in a short
ceremony presided over by President Schnack. Immediately after this
pledging ceremony, a short meeting was held at which our esteemed
pledge master, Brother Eich, informed us of the duties and
responsibilities of the pledge.
Song practice on the next monday [sic]
was our first official duty as pledges. Of course all pledges
faithfully attenede [sic] all of the song practices during our pledge
period. Our first perfermence [sic] with the choir was April 9 when we
sang parts of a Villa Lobos mass in chapel. It is my personal feeling
that these song practices contributed much toward the friendships
between the pledges and actives, for this was almost the only time when
all the pledges and all the actives were assembled en masse.
Our first business meeting was held on
Tuesday, Feb. 21. Our first order of business was the election of
officers. Ralph Schmoldt was elected president, Paul Wolf was chosen
for the important office of music chairman, and David Keller was
elected secretary. It was decided at this meeting that all future
pledge meetings would be held on Tuesdays at 6:30. Finally, in the
closing hours of the meeting Brother Prante told us a few things about
the music program with music chairman Tom Schmidt filling in a few of
the details now and then.
During the next week and of course all
of the following weeks the pledges spent quite a bit of time at the
house. This was a very valuable thing for all of us, for it not only
gave us a chance to know the actives really well but it also gave us a
place to go when we were sick of studying at the dorm.
A number of strange things began to
happen in the house during these first few weeks of our pledge period.
Beds were found short sheeted, furniture, ashtrays, shower curtains
usw. were found to be missing. It is unfortunate that a
number of the actives thought that members of the pledge class were
responsible for these acts. This would seem to show that we are not
really worthy of their trust--well, we aren't.
Our second meeting was held as planned
on Feb. 21. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 by president
Schmoldt. The first and most important order of business was the
pledge recital. Music chairman Wolf scheduled a number of rehearsals
for the choir in the next week. Following this, President Schmoldt
outlined a few of the parliamentary proceedures [sic] we would be
following in our meetings. Later, however, it was found more to our
advantage to conduct the meetings in a more informal manner. A motion
was made at this meeting that our next test cover the next three
chapters in the pledge manual so that we could get to the national test
sooner. Finally, a number of small details were covered. There would
be basketball practice for the pledge team on Saturdays at 1:30. We
discussed the work we were required to do and fees we had to pay. The
meeting [w]as then adjourned and the scheduled test was taken.
The next week was a busy one for our
pledge class. Besides having to attend recital practice our pledge
work began in earnest. All of the walls, floors, ceilings, and windows
had to be washed spotlessly clean. However, the work went fairly
quickly and we were able to finish it within three weeks. We worked on
Saturdays in two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The pledges also had to wash dishes and shovel snow during this week.
The reason for the former task was because someone broke into the house
one night and buried all of the dishes in the snow. Of course the
actives suspected the pledge class to be the perpetrators of this foul
deed and meted out correspondingly foul punishment.
On Mar. 7 the pledge class met again for
our weekly meeting. Again the recital was the most important order of
business. Rehe[a]rsals had been coming somewhat well, but we were
still not quite perfect. A number of practice sessions were set up for
the following week. Next we discussed our pledge paddles. We decided
to appoint a committee of three, Springman, Pleuss, and Keller to come
up with an appropriate design for the paddles. Gouker and Zechser, the
two artists of the class, were assigned the task of creating a sweat
shirt design. Pledge work, basketball, stolen things, and expenses for
the upcoming year were discussed and finally the second test over the
last three chapters of the pledge manual was taken.
That next Saturday was one of the darker
days for the pledge class. We were beaten in a basketball game against
the Cosbys by a score higher than we care to admit. However, all
enmity [w]as forgotten that night since a card party at the house
followed the game.
At our March 14 meeting the big item on
the agenda was the national test. Previous to this in a short business
meeting, we discussed the progress on our pledge paddles. We had been
working on them in the Altruria basement, and most of them were nearly
finished. They were to be completed by the recital.
The recital, which was held the next
day, was a complete success. Besides presenting an excellent, varied
program of music, we were able to find a few of the things that had
been lost from the house. (For the complete program of the recital see
the attached sheet.) This was our last big event before Easter
After vacation everyone came back
refreshed and full of vigor. Brothers Keller and Gouker and later
Gouder, Schneeweiss, Springman, Zeckser, Helmreich, and Keller spent a
few nights walking off some of their vigor on their journeys back from
Kouts and other remote places. But evil plans were hatching in the
minds of the pledges also.
At our first meeting after Easter we
discussed the formal which was to be held in May and our sweat shirt
design which was submitted by Brother Gouker. Brother Eich informed us
that we were to be present at the house for a half hour each night for
the next week and furthermore that on Monday we were to be at song
practice with our pledge notebooks and paddles, all wearing suits.
President Schmoldt appointed a committee to prepare a program for the
WVUR radio program.
As I mentioned before, evil plans were
hatching in the minds of the pledge class. However, none was so evil,
so foul, or so brilliant as plan 10, the product of Brother Wolf's
fertile mind. It would take up too much space to go into the
intricacies of the plan (see attached sheets for details), however, it
must be said here that the plan came off better than the most
optomistic [sic] of us had expected. No one
interrupted us woke
up until after the record player had been truned [sic] on. And then...
It would be impossible to describe the pandemoniusm [sic] that
followed. This was indeed "our greatest hour."
Having appeared at song practice the
next night, we were separately subjected to all sorts of brutal
grilling and questioning by the actives. Demerits were also meted out
to be worked off during the next two days. The night was not a total
loss however, for we managed to overpower Brother Kurs[c]h and take him on
a short one way trip in Brother Springman's car.
Our final pledge meeting was held on the
next day. At that time it was our feeling that ini[ti]ation was not
too far in the future and it was the general consensus that our pledge
period would not have been worthwhile had we not kidnapped our
Pledgemaster, Brother Eich. The meeting was somewhat uneventful. We
discussed the impending "Roman Orgy", the expenses for our paddles,
deposits for living at the house next year, and the demerit system. We
were informed that we were to wear coats and ties to all classes for
the next two days and that we were to be at the house at 9:45 Thursday
evening, wearing suits and ties. As a parting gesture of affection
toward our dear Pledgemaster we took him on a nice ride in the country.
President Tom Schmidt recieved [sic] the same treatment the next day.
Our expectations were correct. Thursday
was our ini[ti]ation. All of the members of the original pledge class
were greeted into membership that night at the impressive secret
initiation ceremony. President Schmidt presided over the ceremony.
The only absence was Roger Schneeweiss who was in bed with the measles.
He was inducted at a later date however. Thus on April 13, 1967 the
pledge period of our class passed into history and the rest of the
brothers greeted us as fellow actives.
D. Charles Keller
 German abbreviation: und so weiter, "and so forth",
"etc." [--Patrick Feaster]
Appendix: PLAN 10*
2:30: Pick up machine; drive by house for short check. Springmann, Rider,
3:00: Meet at Altruria basement (quietly), synchronize watches, plan check.
A. See if anybody is up.
B. Dispose of anyone who is1.
A. Tie upper three doors together. Gouker
B. Blockade fire escape.3 Schneeweiss
C. Let air from one tire of each car. Keller
D. Pull fuses.4 Wolf
E. Cover up sockets,4 heat ducts, speakers.5 Rider
F. Rig hi-fi.4 Wolf
G. Bring up boards from basement for entrance A.6 Schmoldt,
Melang, Springmann, Helmreich
H. Move furniture, rug, and pictures into room No. 1. Bernthal,
Gouker, Schneeweiss, Schmoldt, Keller, Pleuss, Nuttall,
I. Unscrew light bulbs.7 Schmoldt
J. Remove drapes, take into room No. 1. Christianson
K. Remove papers from bulletin board, take into room No. 1.
L. Unlock and open window C wide.8 Rider
M. Hang up flypaper, apply shaving cream to bannister. Springmann
N. Wire sliding doors B together.2 Christianson
A. Move piano against boards at entrance A.9 Everybody
Stage IV--flood house
B. Plug in extension cord.7 Schneeweiss (SOCKET 2)
C. Connect hose. Keller
D. Tie front door shut. Schmoldt, Pleuss, Christianson.
Stage V--as soon as house is flooded
A. Pack up machine, cord, hose. Rider, Springmann, Helmreich
B. Run up fire escape with sulphur hydroxide bombs, dispose of
them,10 bar door again. Gouker11
C. Pull fuses.4
A. Watch the fun!12
*: This is the schedule that will be followed some weekday morning
in the very near future. The only thing holding it up is a special
adapter ordered from Pennsylvania that is being delayed because of a
trucker's strike. Be prepared to complete Plan 10 on a day's notice.
The tools we will need are: rope, shaving cream, plastic--Springmann;
Bubble machine; sulpher [sic] hydroxide bomb--Rider; coat hanger wire--
Christianson; screwdriver--Keller; tape and flypaper--Springmann; and
hose and extension cord--Springmann. Remember, the key to success is
not to wake them up, so for heaven's sake, BE QUIET! Wear
tennis shoes and don't speak as you work. Memorize your duties, and
help others after you've done them. Work fast, swiftly, because if
we're caught you know sure well Larson, Esala, Eich, Schmiege, and
Stevens will beat us to a pulp. STAY QUIET!
1: We will plan this on the spot. If there are too many, etc., we
may postpone it, but I'm not looking for anybody to be waiting for us.
If we can handle it, we will tie the person up and put him in
2: All these things will be occuring simultaneously, except for
Stage II N, which will be last.
3: This is done simply by laying the pickhammer (by the side of the
house) flat on the fire escape, the butt at the door, the head at the
4: The fuses are these:
1 · · 2 1 · · 2
3 · · 4 3 · · 4
Left: 1, basement and first floor west (including Socket 2); 2,
basement and first floor east; 3, TV; 4, furnace. Right: 1, second
floor; 2, second floor; 3, coke machine; 4, kitchen and northwest
bedroom. At stage
IID II D, fuses 2L, 1L, 1R, 2R, and 4R
will be pulled. At Stage V C, fuse 1L will be pulled; fuse 2L will be
plugged in. Fuse 2L will turn on the hi-fi, which will have been
readied at Stage II F. Only the fuse 1L will stay in until Stage V C,
since the machine will run off it. The sockets in the flooded room
will be the only ones covered, because it will be the only "live" room.
During the fuse pulling pulling, a note will be taped to the box
warning that all bubbles should be removed before plugging back in.
5: The heat ducts (all of them) will be covered because eventually
the bubbles will seep into the rest of the house. (and speakers)
6: These two boards (Springmann knows where they are), measuring 7
1/2' X 4', together will be used (upright) to cover entrance A,
measuring 7' 4 1/2" X 5' 3 1/2".
7: The light bulbs will be unscrewed (after we have need of them)
because at various times the fuses governing them will be on. The
cord, measuring 60', will be plugged into Socket 2.
8: Be careful! This window is a real noisemaker.
9: The piano weighs roughly 700 pounds. Although this is a
difficult step, it must be moved, quietly, against the boards.
10: These are two liquid solutions to be mixed. A can of one will
be poured into a
d can of the other and placed under the bed.
The fire escape door can be clawed open with fingers.
11: The door will be barred again. Whether Mr. Gouker would like to
be locked in the house or out of it is his prerogative.
12: The general effect should be this: The hi-fi will blast them out
of bed, and for that reason, puls a growing sense of nausea, they will
charge, more or less downstairs. The three tied doors will further
their confusion, and by the time they struggle past that, and engage
the flypaper and shaving cream en route, their feelings will be mixed.
When they hit the bubbles (at least five feet), panic may very well
ensue, especially as they will find every door barred. Watch the
windows for flying glass, and stand by the rope on the front door so
they don't pull the pillar over and collapse the whole front porch. Be
prepared to run!
A floor plan of the house is also
included. [--Patrick Feaster; the map & the pledge recital program have
since been lost --Joel Hahn]