The Yarns of Wabash – At Big Bash

Thanks to the vision and efforts of Wabash staff members Marilyn Smith, Steve Charles, Jim Amidon, and Beth Swift, the 2008 Big Bash include an NPR-like story telling session called Scarlet Yarns.

The Scarlet Yarns is an opportunity for Wabash men and their families to tell their favorite stories. When the reunion weekend was over, we had over 30 men tell their stories in over 10 hours of video. I have seen some of the stories – they are unbelievable. Our guys reminisce about Dean Norm Moore, Willis Johnson, Joe O’Rourke, Vic Powell, Ed Haenisch, the Crawfordsville Police Department…and other staples of a true Wabash education.

The Yarns are here to stay – a home run! I hope you’ll make plans during your next Big Bash to tell your favorite story…

Alumni Groups Enjoy Reds Baseball

The Indianapolis Association of Wabash Men (IAWM) joined their counterparts from Cincinnati to take in a Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals baseball game last Thursday. The IAWM provided a bus for the ride down and back from Indianapolis – a good time was had by all.

In the photo, courtesy of Hugh Vandivier ’91, are John Bridge ’72, Jon Pactor ’71, and Professor Melissa Butler.

The Glee Chums – American Idol Here They Come

They called themselves the “Glee Chums.” They sang 1960s music after the Big Bash reception and dinner last Friday night. Alums from the Class of 1968 (from l to r) were Bruce Gras, Bill Vander Haar, Van Butler, Buzz Madsen, and Jim Roper. Obviously, a couple of lovely wives also played in the group. The Class of 1968 knows how to have a good time, for sure!

Beatles, Beach Boys…it was a great evening. By this time the branches had all blown down, the thunderstorms had stopped (for the evening) and we were sorta back to normal.

Many thanks to Bruce Gras who lugged all the equipment to the campus and back home.

1968 might just have been the beginning of the Golden Years here… 

Big Bash 2008 "Fun Run"

Let me set the stage…

The Friday evening of this year’s Big Bash we had over 400 people dining in the Knowling Fieldhouse. It’s a beautiful location with a great view on three sides – floor to ceiling windows make it superb.

However, the view suddenly changed when we combined Severe Thunderstorm warnings with a Tornado watch and forecast straight line winds in excess of 80 miles per hour. We made it through the evening, however, without getting 400 people in the locker rooms downstairs!

So, driving in to work early Saturday morning, I thought we had “weathered the storm”. Little did I know!

Saturday morning the heavens opened up with thunderstorm after thunderstorm – the day’s schedule changed in a heartbeat. This photo shows our Big Bash Fun Run! We went from a nice morning run around campus to…well…you see.

Big Bash 2008 – one we’ll all remember.

Back In The Good Old Days

That’s Tom Bambrey ’68, former Dean of Students and now Athletic Director at Wabash, pointing out a picture in the year book to Michele Tatar, coordinator of Alumni and Parent communications at Wabash. Van Butler ’68, Tom’s classmate, looks on.

The Class of 1968 really turned out in great numbers for the Big Bash – 80 in all. That’s a new record for a single class, surpassing the previous record by over 20%!

Another record set at this year’s Bash wasn’t so good – record bad weather for the weekend. We survived and the weekend went well, thanks to a lot of understanding by the participants.

Time now to begin planning for the 2009 edition of the Big Bash.

Big Bash 2008 – Perfect Storm?

Well, the Big Bash 2008 is in the record books. 318 alumni signed the reunion book. Down a little from last year (356) but still the second biggest reunion on record. The Class of 1968 carried the day with a record 80 attendees.

This tree (with Yandes / Detchon Center in the background) may be the new logo for the weekend. Our area experienced 80 MPH straight line winds on Friday evening that almost drove 420 of my best friends into the locker room at the Allen Center!

Over the span of 24 hours, a lot of Central Indiana received up to 10 inches of rain. We could have used canoes for the campus tours.

In the end, everyone had a good time, I think. I certainly didn’t hear anyone of our reunion attendees complain.

From Carl Kelley, Perry Lewis, and Paul Honan with the Class of 1943 to Kip Chase’s son Jack “programmed” for the Class of 2030, the smiles said it all.

I’m beat, dead tired, and I didn’t do any of the work! I can’t imagine how worn out the folks in Bon Apetit and Campus Services are after the weekend.

I’ll try to post some more photos and stories in the coming days.

Thanks to all who were here.

Without Them, We Simply Could Not Pull It Off

We’re just in the wind down of 12 separate meals on campus, in 12 different locations, serving in excess of 500 meals. That only works if you have a talented catering team who can pull it off.  Led by Mary Jo Arthur and Kecia Tatman, the Team from Bob Appetit made the weekend work.  Despite almost 10 inches of rain falling in 24 hours and almost continuous Thunderstorm and Tornado watches, they made the entire weekend work.

The picture shows some of the Bon Appetit team getting the “pre mission brief”.

Our crew from our Campus Services team, led by David Morgan, also busted their bottoms all weekend.  We must have moved 10 different events and they never said anything other than: “We can make it happen!”

We owe these folks…big time!


Big Bash 2008 – Off and Running

The Big Bash 2008 is off and running. †I’ve talked to alumni and their families from California, New Jersey, Michigan, and of course Indiana thus far this morning.

It’s toasty hot and will be so for the weekend…I just hope the storms will stay away through the Chapel Sing tomorrow.

The “Glee Chums”, the Class of 1968’s entertainment for tonight, practiced for several hours last night and have reported ready to entertain.

Should be a lot of fun this evening.

Gotta run…a couple of thigs to do…hope you’ll follow the reunion on the web site – Jim, Steve, Howard, Kim, Brent, and Karen do a wonderful job.


Big Bash 2008 – 24 Hours To Go

We’re 24 hours away from the start of the Big Bash. Tomorrow at this time we’ll be starting the Colloquium sessions, getting ready for golf, doing campus tours, etc.

Of course, once it starts, it starts. We’ll then be able to measure our success by the number of smiles. That’s the real measure in our eyes.

Our reunion returnees, as it stands today, will span 60 years. Class of 2003 back to the Class of 1943.

Can you imagine the conversations between these two groups? War? LinkedIn?!? War Bonds? Facebook?!? Liberal Arts? Monon Bell? Mud Hollow?

Gotta run…