I’ve been up in the attic this week going through dusty cardboard boxes looking for my old Delta stuff. Delta Gamma Sigma, the social service club to which I belonged during my four years at Oklahoma Christian College — heavy on the “social” — is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend and I need to be prepared. My great friend and former roommate, Oklahoma state representative Mike Osburn, and I have been selected to M.C. Saturday’s anniversary dinner at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City and to provide the bulk of the entertainment. So I’ve been digging around in the attic.
I have located my official letter from Delta President Todd Mead declaring my acceptance as a Delta freshman rushee in the fall of 1985. Not much to it. Looks like a second grader drew the Greek letters at the top. I remember opening my campus mailbox — #602 — after chapel that morning and finding the letter and receiving it as a glorious work of literary and historical significance. Not to mention the physical representation of both the high honor and meaningful achievement. The induction dinner was at Casa Bonita. Todd Adkins and Doug Hooten each ate something like 37 sopapillas and tied for “Sopapilla King.” Todd puked his guts out near the tennis courts about 30-minutes later. Hooter claimed that broke the tie and pronounced himself the sole winner.
I have found the disciplinary letters from more than one college dean and the letters I wrote appealing the various probations and suspensions. One letter I wrote to Dean Mock claiming I was only being punished because I had the biggest car. The articles from the school newspaper and the Daily Oklahoman detailing a late night excursion onto the campus of Southern Nazarene and a certain Bush rally on the steps of the state capitol. The papers from the ensuing ACLU lawsuit. About seven sheets of the maroon and gold Delta stationery I used, as club president my senior year, to post official club notes on the Delta board in the student center. A cassette tape of a disciplinary meeting with Dean Pratt. An editorial Mike and I wrote to the school paper about the OCC basketball rivalry with Langston University. Two Spring Sing programs: the jailbirds show my freshman year and the egg show my sophomore year. The letter Mike and I penned to the club during the summer of ’88, mainly asking for delinquent dues and money for the First Day of School t-shirts.
And, finally, yes, the speech I gave at club night in the fall of my senior year. This is what I was looking for. These immortal words would help me as we write the bits we’re putting together for this weekend. There they are! Six note cards on which I scribbled the speech I gave in Hardeman Auditorium that night, extolling the virtues of Delta and inviting qualified young men to “crush people on your way to the Delta booth to sign your name in the golden pages of Eugene’s notebook.”
Turns out, the speech is not very good. And not very helpful.
There are a couple of good lines.
“I can introduce you to Delta and let YOU decide. Not your roommate. And not your roommate’s mom.”
“Delta’s not for everyone and everyone’s not for Delta.”
Truth is, those lines are not original. Those are historical, traditional, Delta mottos. Creeds. Words that dear club has lived by for 50 years.
Mike and I have some really good bits lined up for Saturday night and I can’t wait to deliver them. I’ll share some of them, and some pictures, in this space once the weekend’s done. In the meantime, just know that I have had a blast this week sharing those crazy stories and reliving those formational times with Ozzy and Bates and Keymaster and Adair. And I can’t wait to see the Haworths and Scott and Dave Butts and Paul and Pops and all the rest.