The ancient Greeks were the epitome of civilization. They were known for their democracy, and great reverence for the arts and sciences. The university fraternity and sorority charters here in the United States are supposed to represent all that is good for society. They supposedly house the upper echelon of youth on campus. These young adults are our future leaders.
I remember the fraternities and sororities on Greek Row, which was a cluster of buildings that housed the many charters, back at Southern Illinois University, in 1967. The guys there had names like: Lance, Rock, Rex, and Mortimer. The sorority girls went by: Muffy, Mindy, Ashleigh, and Diana, (pronounced dee-anna). They were a scurvy lot of pampered, mean-spirited, wealthy cretins who could care less about doing any service work for society. Most of them came from fancy suburban villages, and they all had daddies who were bank presidents, corporate executives, attorneys, politicians, or the like.
I staggered through Greek Row during pledge week in the fall of 1967. I wore a greasy ducktail, black leather jacket, jeans, and motorcycle boots. I was smoking Camel cigarettes and had a half-pint of Seagrams-7 whiskey tucked away in my pocket. I didn't look anything like those guys wearing the penny loafers and Izod golf shirts. I sensed immediately that I wasn't welcome. I drank as much of their booze as I could manage, and ate all the fancy hor-de-o'uvres. (did i spell that right?)
Surprisingly, no frat house asked me to be a pledge! I thought I was a pretty cool guy. They didn't want anything to do with my best friend Russ. Right then and there, I knew I didn't want anything to do with them. Later that night in the bar, Russ and I decided to start our own fraternity. We knew we never could get a charter, but we figured we didn't need one for what we wanted to do. We rented a big house off-campus, and hand-picked six other roommates. These guys were all fun-loving sociopaths, who loved to party. All you needed to get into our house parties was three bucks, a good looking babe, and a beer mug. Our parties were legendary.
Word traveld quickly, and we amassed quite an impressive amount of money that we used when we had trouble with bail or court costs. Our group of miscreants became quite entreprenurial, despite the fact that none of us ever passed any business classes. Most of us took the easy courses like sociology and earth science. We quickly learned how to function inside and outside the umbrella of the laws of society. We learned all about values and mores, if yah know what I mean! Heee!
We didn't come from wealthy parents, but soon a lot of fraternity and sorority people were coming to our social events. They were all pretty good "eggs", once yah got to know 'em. The only bad memory I have is when Muffy threw up into my motorcycle boots, after she won a chugging contest. We decided that her punishment would be not only to spit-shine my boots, but to clean our whole ratty house. It was either that, or she would be banned from our parties for a month. I have to admit that she did a pretty good job of cleaning for a sorority girl! Old Muffy was a good kid.
My brothers and I were the new sheriffs in town. We finally had arrived.