Now that the election is over, we can go back to liking the people who voted for the people we can't even believe are allowed to exist. You know who I mean. How could Brother Whozit possibly support that corrupt, lying weasel? And why would he mention it on Facebook? Pick up the phone and give Brother Whozit a call. He's not so bad. He held your head while you prayed to the porcelain god. You brought him a pizza and a six pack when he was broke and mourning his faithless ex-girlfriend, the tramp. Some things are bigger than politics.
Brother Friggy has joined the Choir Eternal, and now they're singing Grateful Dead songs. You can hear them if you try. Peter Aufrichtig '80 died of a heart attack October 2, and he leaves many, many people to mourn him. Present at his funeral were brothers Frank Koh, Jim Dake, Marc Rockford, Neil Best, and Paul Wessel. I have written of Friggy many times in these pages, including the true story of how he helped me become a brother in the fraternity. I'm going to miss his chuckle and his zest for life. Frank Koh and I talked at length about Friggy and his appetites, and we concluded that you have to love people the way they are, right now and without hesitation or regret or a need to change them, which is another reason to call Brother Whozit.
This past summer Brian Pickerall and I had a sudden and immediate need to email pictures of ourselves riding a cable car over the confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel rivers to Ed "Tool" Conti in California, knowing that he is a fellow aficionado of German beers and wines. He immediately emailed back that he had a similar photograph of himself and Paul Linskey at said rivers. Who knew this was a thing?! Brian and I were on a river cruise with our spouses, during which we also visited Steve and Lisa Crump and their daughter Paige at their home in Basel, Switzerland. Steve has maintained his studly college physique, and took us all hiking in the Alps. "Alps," in case you don't know, consist mostly of "up," and oxygen is plentiful only if you bring your own. If you visit Steve, Lisa, and Paige, feign a leg injury or they will find an Alp, scamper up it, and leave you begging for mercy on the last great day.
Next year is Gibber's 100th birthday. I'm now of the age where I read the obits and "In Memoriam" notices in the paper, and I think it's kind of dopey that some of the latter wish their respective decedents a "happy birthday," given that it's hard to be happy when you're under the sod, but we can still celebrate on Hughie's behalf. It'll be a grand, king hell party! To keep out the riffraff, we can call it the Beta Theta Centennial, or some such folderol, but secretly it will be the One Hundredth Annual Gibberfest. Chow will make tee shirts, an offer he made while reading this sentence.
Gibber was deeply philosophical. I occasionally had dinner with him at the retirement home, and one time another resident at our table told us she was 102 years old. Later I told Gibber she didn't look like she was over a hundred, and he said "how would you know?" When profoundly hungover guys would bemoan the amount they had consumed, he would say "nobody held a gun to your head." I guess you had to be there - with Gibber, much of the profundity was in the means of expression, and his notable face and deep baritone is what manifests itself when I'm in need of succor. Once I was going on about a couple of girlfriends that were giving me fits and I asked him for advice: "I think you need to grow up" was all he said. Maybe there's still time for that. Screw it! Let's have a party!