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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. [-- Patrick Feaster]

        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.[1] 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 vacation.

        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.

resp. submitd.   
D. Charles Keller

[1] 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.

3:15: House

	Stage I:

		A. See if anybody is up.

		B. Dispose of anyone who is1.

	Stage II:2

		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,

			Zeckser, Jank

		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

	Stage III

		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

	Stage VI

		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 Springmann's car.

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 railing.

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]