Dik's Ravings

Dik Saalfeld '80
Washington correspondent
Fall 2003

The Serious Part

I had hoped to include in this report some reminiscences of Kurt Dodd by his brothers and friends, but his untimely passing is still too raw, having occurred less than a month ago. Instead, I ask his friends to send me stories about Kurt, which I will edit into an article for later publication. Tales of his generosity, zest, humor, and even his quirkiness are welcome. In the coming months I will solicit material in person, by telephone, and by email, but I urge those of you I may not reach to take the initiative and send me some thoughts. Tom Berg '80 says that Gibber and Kurt are talking about you over a game of bridge, so don't let them down.

Chris Klyne '78 is the new Commandant of the Navy ROTC program at Cornell, if "commandant" is the word I want. We had plenty of words for Chris back in the day, but "commandant" wasn't one of them, and nobody was saluting him then. When I was a pledge I was slurping brewskis with a few of the boys in the bar, one of whom was my big brother Brad Garrigues '77. This was before Brad renounced booze and broads in favor of Jesus. Brad asked me how many signatures I had in my pledge book, considering that Initiation was only a couple of weeks away, and I responded "counting yours and the one I forged, two." After a mild bout of apoplexy, Brad told me to start getting some signatures, and seeing as how it was nearly dawn, now was a good time to start. Chris Klyne had the misfortune of living in Room 1, the closest room to the bar, so I woke him to get his signature. The look he gave me still haunts my dreams. I still have my pledge book, and he still hasn't signed it.

I see that Frank Koh '79 is right under Chris Klyne in my pledge book, and to get his signature he made me vacuum Room 9, the same request made by fellow Room 9 resident Lee Morton '79 and which, inexplicably, I did. Vacuum, I mean. Flipping a few pages I see that third roomie Bob Dores '79, having surveyed the results of the vacuuming, made me put it all back. It seems the unobstructed view of the hideous shag carpeting was vexatious to the spirit.

Dave Thorson '79 said he would sign my book if I counted his record albums, which lined an entire wall of Room 4. When Thorson was at class I started the heinous project. I was up to around 300 when his roomie Rob Comeau '79 remarked that, in fact, Dave had no idea how many albums he had, and that I could probably take an educated guess. "Educated" seemed like a stretch, but I went with 641 and Dave seemed happy. Dave, if you're out there, I accidentally grooved your Black Sabbath album with a bottle cap, and I'm not sorry at all. "Accidentally" may be a stretch, too.

Dang, this pledge book is no end of interesting tidbits. Chuck Smith '79 said he would sign if I told him his address, and I asked for a hint. He responded that if he knew, he wouldn't be asking me, and could I hurry, as he was supposed to meet his girlfriend (Jane Malter) there by midnight. Chuck, it was 100 Renzetti Place, but I think it's after midnight. Plus, Jane married somebody else. She lives in Pittsburgh. I have her address, if you need it.

Many brothers simply signed my book out of pity, without even assigning me tasks or questions. I call them the "whores." Many signatures are obvious forgeries, and an embarrassing number of signature lines are simply blank. It is a wonder I was initiated. In fact, I wouldn't have been, had it not been for Peter Aufrichtig, whose pledge test I copied verbatim. So blame Friggy.

Remember how we pledges had to carry around bricks that we found on our own? I can now reveal a secret that I have kept for over a quarter century: Brad Garrigues brought me my brick, and warned me not to throw it through any windows, as it had my name on it.

More recently, namely last month, I was in Ottawa on business. I was asleep in my room when I felt a presence. A pretty young lady I had never seen before was nudging me awake. She had a broad smile as she said "let's have a look," and reached for my boxers to pull them down. My first thought was "man, I'm sending this story to 'Penthouse,'" followed closely by my second thought, which was "wait a minute, the last thing I remember was being wheeled into the operating room for emergency appendix surgery." Seconds later I learned a horrible truth: post operative pain medication is often administered via enema. Middle age is definitely not as much fun as college.