2009 BL Teke Reunion


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April 25, 2009, Birmingham, AL:

Hello Fraters!

A small group of us got together with a great BBQ lunch in Birmingham, all to the thanks of Mac and Emily McGiboney and the Stogie Club.  The weather was nice and we had a great time. It is always great to see the guys from decades ago. Jim Dykes managed to roll down the hill out back (we had fun getting him back up).  Jim did not let on, but I found out later he got pretty well banged up....but hopefully he will recover well.  He wrote in his weekly newspaper editorial a great write-up concerning his mishap...I have included it below for your enjoyment.  Pat Burkholder once again graciously brought door prizes for many lucky Fraters and wives.  Once again, current Frater Evan Daily (BL 1311) came, and he updated us on current events. All together, it was a great day! Most important...we started the plan for our MAJOR TEKE REUNION BACK IN AUBURN!  See all the details on the previous REUNION page.

That is it for the 2009 reunion....scroll on down for photos and Jim’s write-up:


Click here for Photos of our 2009 reunion


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Fraters and wives at the April 2009 Reunion (17 total):

Sitting left to right:

Bob Beiswenger, Pat Burkholder, Carol Burkholder, Cheryl Dykes, Emily McGigoney


Standing left to right:

Jim Dykes (15 seconds from rolling down hill!), Luke Prescott, Tom Dunlap, Jim Dunlap, Mac McGiboney, Tom Sawyer, Pat Connick, Dave Mitchell, Lewis Page, Even Dailey, Bruce Sprague, (not pictured: Jim Blackmon)



email from Jim Dykes, April 28, 2009:


This is my weekly editorial that I just submitted to the WALTON TRIBUNE in Monroe, GA. I have been writing a weekly editorial for them for fourteen years. I thought you might enjoy it since you were in the midst of the eight pairs of arms helping. Hope you enjoy it.

Your's in the Bond,

Jim


There was a television commercial for a medical alert company several years ago that had an older woman lying on the floor saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up." That line became a catch-phrase used by comedians and the public at large. It never achieved the status of "Where's the beef?" but it was prevalent enough that late night talk show hosts had fun with it. I was younger at the time and had some humor with it also. Little did I know!


This past Saturday several of my fraternity brothers and spouses met in Birmingham for our annual get-together. We gather at a rented venue around eleven AM and stay until five PM. One of the brothers lives in Montevallo, just south of Birmingham, and he and his wife prepare a barbeque meal for everyone to eat. The food is always fabulous. The best part of the day is sitting around remembering all the times we shared over forty years ago. The wives enjoy the time together because they find out those stories that they have heard through the years really happened. We truly were and are a band of brothers.


One of our traditions is to have a group photograph made. That is normally done in the middle of the afternoon to afford those who are arriving later to be there for the picture. The picture is your typical group picture. The front row is made up of the wives sitting on a bench along with some of the brothers who are kneeling. Behind them is a standing row of brothers. I was in the standing row and had set my crutches aside so that they would not be in the picture. After several pictures were taken, I retrieved my crutches and took a step. My left crutch sank into a hidden hole most likely left from a fence post being removed. I was right on the crest of a steep embankment that fell away to a creek below. The creek could not be seen because of the trees and foliage in the way. When my crutch went into the hole in the ground, I was pitched forward downhill. There was no way to prevent falling and all I was concerned with was protecting my spine that is still healing from the fusion surgery that I had. My football instinct kicked in and I shifted my body to fall into what appeared to be the clearest place to land and made sure that I was totally limp. I hit the ground face down with a huge thud and a large oomph as the wind was knocked out of me. I imagine it registered a 7.8 on the Richter Scale somewhere.


There I was, face down with my head downhill from my feet. My face was buried in pine straw; my breath was knocked out of me; and my hand was bleeding from scraping over the hardware of my right crutch. My left crutch was sticking up out of the ground rather forlorn looking as it has twisted and bent when I fell. As I regained my breath, I thought of that old commercial. Had I been alone, I would have been in a rough predicament. I was not alone. I was surrounded by men who were genuine brothers. We had shared all the trials and tribulations of fraternity initiation, sweating grades, road trips, fraternity athletics, social events, and the genuine fun of the college experience. We were there for each other then and they were right there for me on Saturday afternoon, Before I could even say anything, two of them had jumped down beside me and began sliding my legs and feet so that they were downhill. Then, eight pairs of arms had me and lifted me to a vertical position and carried me up to level ground. One ran and retrieved a chair for me as another brought my good crutch to me. They worked trying to straighten the crutch that was bent and got it into some semblance of utility. They cleaned my hand and put an ice bag on it. I do not think professional rescue paramedics could have treated me any better or any quicker than they did. Once they determined that I was not damaged, the jokes and the kidding set in. The only problem was that with everyone working to help me, no one took a picture of me face down on the ground for our archives. They already had captions for the picture that never was. Most had to do with the fact that I finally was face down on the ground at a fraternity function. That had to do with the fact that I was the bouncer for all our parties. It was my job to maintain order by discouraging party crashers and taking care of my brothers who were feeling a little too happy. They trusted my judgement and we had a great time together even though I did not drink.


As they worked dusting me off and picking pine needles out of my arms we began to think of some of the funny occurrences associated with being face down on the ground or on the floor. Some suggested that I was doing a very poor imitation of the "Alligator," a dance illustrated very well in the movie Animal House. Others thought I was doing a poor imitation of one of the initiation stunts that we were required to do, the details of which shall not be divulged, except to say that it involved belly crawling through a cow pasture.


We all had a good time joking about my fall but in retrospect, I was most fortunate to have them there. Certainly my wife would have been unable to help me up since I am almost four times her size. I then got to thinking about the folks that I have known in life who were on crutches or in wheelchairs and who lived alone. Were they to fall, what would be their recourse? I am developing a list of people that I know who are alone or in an impaired mobility situation. My plan is to do my best to give them a call daily just to check and see that they are all right. That activity would be a great project for a church, social, or fraternal organization. I do not know what happened to the company or the product that had the line, "I've fallen, and I can't get up." I do know that I have been in that situation and it is not one I desire to repeat. We can look out for one another if we just make the time for it. You just might save a life.