Alumni Weekend 2013 Poems
Photo by David Litrenta '58
Photo by David Litrenta '58
Photo by David Litrenta '58
For many years, at the reunion picnic,
it was a tradition.
But in recent years,
it’s noticeably been missing.
Now burgers & hot dogs are OK,
on the 4th of July.
But at the reunion picnic,
they just don’t fly.
So please bring back,
our Maryland fried chicken.
It wasn’t just good,
it was ” finger lick-in”.
In Florida, we have restaurants
named “Maryland Fried Chicken”,
so, if you can’t find local cooks
who know the score,
just order take-out
from the store.
Ode to Washington College
When we first arrived at W.C.
our lives were completely different
than they had been previously.
We were assumed to be responsible adults,
and to behave accordingly.
We came mostly from towns and cities
that were not very far away,
but with only a few exceptions,
they were somewhere beyond the Bay.
So not only was the College
a new reality,
we also became residents of a region
with a unique identity.
We adopted our new locale enthusiastically.
How many times did we sing the refrain,
with gusto if not more,
“I don’t give a damn
for the whole state of Maryland,
because I’m from the Eastern Shore.”
And it was on this splendid shore
that we first spread our wings,
and began to soar.
But over the rainbow we didn’t need to fly,
happily for us
a merry “Bluebird”
At Hubbard’s and the Bird
we were all twenty-one,
our years had increased quite magically.
But as long as Bud and Gibby were happy,
so were we,
and how many among us
possessed a valid I.D.?
On our own for the first time
we did what came naturally,
we became avid celebrants
of the keg party.
Had we been thinking more clearly
as our thirsts we sought to quench,
we would have sung
“ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall”
in Spanish, German, and French.
We joined fraternities and sororities
with their air of mystery,
and quickly discovered
that living at the frat house,
was like rooming with John Belushi.
The fraternity initiation was quite a revelation.
I often wonder what the brothers
would have done
to someone who they didn’t want
in the organization?
For many of us bridge became our passion,
and we toiled diligently,
had it been part of the curriculum
we would have graduated
magna cum laude.
But our lives at W.C.
were not just fun and games,
we had many fine professors
like Nicholas Newlin, Joe McClain
and the irrepressible Norman James.
Since it is not possible to credit
each faculty member of our era individually,
let me simply state,
that the professors who guided us
were uniformly first rate.
The toughest class for me,
and I’m sure others will agree,
was the one that met at 7:30 a.m.
The subject matter was not the problem,
it was the time of day,
for some of us on Friday nights
tended to go astray.
The accommodations at G.I. Hall
were Spartan to say the most,
and the ongoing challenge
was to take a shower,
without becoming toast.
(Flushing the toilet cut off the cold water in the shower.)
The shy ladies
who lived in Midde Hall,
learned how it felt to be a fish
living in a bowl.
Eyes to the east,
eyes to the west,
the only ones with sharper eyes
had been raised in a nest.
(A female dorm between two male dorms.)
Celebrating Spring break at Betterton Beach
tested your tolerance for pain,
the “beach” was more rock and shell than sand,
and the 60° F. water froze your _____ brain.
The submarine races on the Chester River
were said to be mighty keen.
But one of the things
that many of us lacked,
was a submarine-race-watching machine.
The meals at Hodson Hall
were not exactly haut cuisine,
but things got a whole lot better
when Mrs. Hoffecker arrived on the scene.
Then the Hodson meals became
a bona fide revelation,
they began to excite our palates
instead of our imagination.
Many of us have seen
our fair share and more,
of the “slings and arrows”
that life hurls at our door.
So we probably treasure even more
the memories of that brief
but halcyon time,
when every day was sweet
and life was often sublime.
While things may look better in retrospect
than they did fifty years ago,
If we had a DVD of that era
there are few among us
who wouldn’t watch the show.
It wasn’t just the time,
nor the place,
nor the people,
but a combination of all three.
In all of our lives
were we ever more carefree,
than the days we spent
And to those who have sailed on
and are with us no more
may you find a landing
as glorious and peaceful
as the days we spent together
on our beloved Eastern Shore.
This poem was written to celebrate the 50th class reunion of the Class of “56,” Washington College, Chestertown, MD.
Revenge of the Freshmen, Washington College (W.C.) Style
It was hazing time
when the sophomores descended upon
Now G.I. Hall wasn’t really
worth fighting about,
but it’s all we had, so we manned up
and kicked the sophomores out.
One thing about our class
that was easy to see,
is that we had more than our share
of wide bodies.
Among our ringleaders were
Mule Jennings and Roger Smoot,
who led the way
in giving those sophomores the boot.
Then we started thinking of pay back,
doing those sophomores a little harm.
And, as luck would have it,
Roger Smoot had a job at Trusslow’s poultry farm.
The very next day,
Roger came back to G.I. Hall,
with a truckload of eggs,
that were passed out to one and all.
But these were not eggs
you would want to try “over easy.”
In current terminology, they would
be referred to as “WMD’s.”
So we rallied up
with our malodorous weaponry,
and climbed the hill to Somerset Hall,
the sophomore dormitory.
When we reached the front entrance to Somerset,
we started milling about,
chucking eggs at the dorm windows,
while taunting the sophomores to come out.
After several minutes of silence,
the door burst open, and out charged the dorm proctor,
the indomitable Prof. Norman James.
But he had no one backing him up,
so he bore the brunt of our egg fusillade,
we shot him down in flames.
After checking to make sure
that Prof. James was OK,
we proceeded with our mission,
turning Somerset into a smelly soufflé.
Then we ambled back to G.I. Hall,
as proud of ourselves as we could be.
But the next day we learned that Pres. Gibson
didn’t share the same appraisal, of our victory.
In fact, he said that if we didn’t clean up
the mess we had made, there would be hell to pay.
But we weren’t really worried, for no one had a roster
of the participants in our grand foray.
And we knew, most importantly,
that time was on our side.
For in the midst of the slippery, stinking mess we had made,
how long could those sophomores abide?
So before we quite got around to it,
out of sheer necessity, the Somerseters cleaned up the mess.
Allowing us to savor even more,
the sweet smell of our conquest.
Did we experience any remorse
following our “fowl” smelling victory?
Hell no, for as freshmen we had already shown,
it was far better to be the hazer, than the hazee.