Sigma Phi Epsilon Reunion

36th Annual Reunion in Reno, NV.  

More general fun :  June 24, 2006

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View of the crew: classes of 1968 forward. This is a very motley crew. Click here for large photo.

See this shot annotated with names. Click here.

The Experience

Every 2 years for the past 6 years, Rich LaPrairie has been hosting a full chapter reunion for the Colorado Delta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. This group was based at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado. I attended Mines for several years, leaving in 1973 to change to EE rather than geophysics which was my declared option. Rich was nice enough to invite Kathleen and I to attend. There was a good turnout this time, perhaps a 100 folks including spouses and partners. We did our best to consume the 8 kegs that were purchased to wet the whistles of the group. We had brothers here from most of the classes from 1968 forward. These parties have served to keep the bonds between us tight and the friendships strong. The photos below show the group.

We stayed down at Casino Row in Reno. Reno is an interesting town, claiming the moniker of "biggest little town in the west". I am not sure about that, but it has really grown since the last time we were there just 2 years ago. This photo is looking to the west from our hotel. Note the dry hills in the distance. We saw several brush fires on our flight into Reno from Seattle.

One of the more interesting things about Reno is that the main line of the railroad goes through town in a trench. I am pretty sure that this is to provide the easy ability to get over the tracks as opposed to having to build overpasses at each street. Or provide so-called "grade crossings". Grade crossings are cheap, but they cause a lot of deaths as folks do not pay attention. And, in Reno where liquor is plentiful, I can only imagine the carnage that resulted. In the photo above, the train tracks are in the concrete lined trench.

Reno is undergoing substantial renovation. On our way to the party, we encountered several detours, so our directions were hosed and we were navigating on instinct. On one of our off-map forays, we came upon this 1300L Unimog with a knuckle crane. We could not resist stopping and attempting to contact the owner. Sadly, he was unavailable, but we did get photos. Here we have the beauty and the beast.

The back of this fellow's truck. Note the license plate "MogWild". Cute.

We get the party rolling. Plenty of food, friends and liquor. And a pool which will be instrumental in future punishment for cheap behavior.

The first victims. Sadly, they did not remove their cell phones or wallets before the dunking. Many phones were drowned before the day was done.

Mark's wife fell and injured her ankle but she attended in a wheel chair. I think that she did it so we would wait on her (only kidding).

As the liquor flowed, more folks got dunked. Here more victims emerge, some with beer glasses in hand.

Rich LaConte before his dunking.

Duncan seeks another keg.

Tim Marsh, on left, flew all the way from Bejing China to attend. Here Kathleen seeks more beer as Duncan tends the keg in the specially equipped refrigerator.

Kathleen got her beer, so what is the problem?

She was getting belligerent after a few beers. Ha! The tequila made me belligerent.

The group shot at the end of the pool. I am in the front row on the left in the brown hat.

More dunkings, most with beer in hand. In the back left, you can see some poor soul climbing out only to be thrown in again. And again.

Note the cell phone on the table drying in the Reno sun. And fresh beer. Life is good.

Duncan and Don contemplate the meaning of life and a nearly empty beer.

Some folks tried to stay out of the sun. Here, Rich talks with John and Vic about the pathetic state of their beer supply and nearly empty glasses. But, note the nearly empty bottle of tequila on the table.

More than a few liquor bottles on that table. Who knows what Rich was saying.

Some of the wives catch up with Kay Lee and Rod.

Speedy talks with one of the girls. His tee shirt looks like chinese, but it really says "show me your tits". An novel presentation of a sound principle.

Koi and Randi listen to some line of shit from one of the brothers. Body language says she is not buying the line. I had one of those shirts years ago, but it fell apart after too many washings.

Glen chows down on a pork rib. The food that Rich prepared was excellent and there was plenty of it.

Kathleen indicates her approval of a great time while Mike Ward laughs.

We had a great time as always. The brothers are just as much fun now as they were 35 years ago. A bit more sedate, but not much. Clearly, the thirst has not abated. Tim Marsh gets the "most distance traveled" award since he came from Bejing to attend. We just flew from Seattle, so we were light weights in the whole scheme of things.

Kudos and thanks to Rich LaPrairie and Bob Cuffney for organizing and executing this party. And special thanks to Rich's wife Deb who worked her ass off to insure that everyone had a good time. Thanks Deb.

I should note that the Mines experience was a once in a lifetime thing. I made friends there that have transcended both time and distance and events like this demonstrate the strength of the bonds that were formed while we were in the fraternity there.

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