John Brown ’67: Special Memories Formed at DX
I remember The Michigan Delta Chi Fraternity as a relatively small chapter, which allowed for very close ties between the Brothers. Activities were always well-represented by the Brothers and often, by some Alums that kept the traditions and bonds strong. My best memories are of the informal times that we spent together; playing cards, watching the original Star Trek, dancing to the Wombats, singing songs in the back basement room, watching Cazzie Russell make Michigan a national power in BB, trips to the Big House, etc.
Living in the house for three years lead to lots of special memories; Mike Novak ’69 (and Kemmie) introducing me to Susan who has now been my wife for 50 years; spending endless hours with Carl Rohbach ’67 figuring out how to straighten out the world, going to BB games with Chuck Esler ’68 and learning from an expert on how to correct the refs, eating cold pizza with McGoo (Mike McGuire ’58) who had of course spent the night on the sofa, learning the greek alphabet forwards and backwards from big brother Roger Premo ‘65, etc. All the memories were not happy, we also learned some hard lessons in life when we had to be Pall Bearers for my first Delta Chi roommate, Larry Medow ‘68 (a sharp news hawk for the Michigan Daily) who died way too young from Leukemia.
As a small house we could always do things in a unique way. I remember having a Hawaiian luau party complete with Leas we strung ourselves from fresh orchids provided by the families of some of our Hawaiian brothers. That may have been the start of my current love of Hawaii where we spend some wonderful time every year now.
As far as my life after Delta Chi, I finished my BS in Mechanical Engineering in ‘67 and went on to get a MS in ‘69. After that Susan and I moved to Illinois where I went to work for Bell Labs. At the Labs I moved from engineering to technical management and had lots of fun assignments in developing telephone switching systems and computers. In 1990, I left the Labs and went to work for Motorola, where I headed a small software R&D group in Champaign/Urbana Illinois. Along the way Sue and I had two children who each have had two children. We retired in 2002 and soon after moved to our lake house in Southern Wisconsin. Now I wonder how we ever had time to work. Lots of work in maintaining a 100-plu-year-old log cabin (I’ve managed to learn all sorts of new building skills). We really enjoy spoiling grandkids, traveling, a little golf and lots of time on the water. In Hawaii I did some work with the state organization that builds and maintains hiking trails, In Wisconsin it’s mostly helping our local yacht club run sail boat races and maintain the building.
After 50 years since leaving the University, its great to see the new Chapter house and see the great young Brothers heading for a life which will produce lots of good memories of the good old days. It’s great to see the old gang whenever I can make it to Ann Arbor when the Alumni are doing their thing at the new chapter house.
My hope for the new house is that the brothers realize what a great opportunity they have to get one of the best educations in the world and develop life skills and friendships that will always be with them.
John Brown (or, as F calls me, Monty)
email: [email protected]