Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LCA Alumni meeting again @ Belle Meade

If the reader will go back to May of last year on my blog you will read a post about my attendance at a Lambda Chi Alpha Nashville-Area Alumni meeting in Belle Meade Country Club, a building I never dreamed the doorstep of which my shadow would ever darken. I title that earlier post "The Body of Christ, Part 3".

Well, I was back in the same building, for the same Alumni group meeting last evening. It was held in an upper-floor hall this time, rather than the main-floor hall of last year. This gave those who cared to look out the windows a great birds-eye view of the links on the golf course and the duffers playing there. But this was a minor distraction. Certainly, the mingling with men of all ages who had experienced the teachings and Ritual of Lambda Chi Alpha holds far greater interest than what might be going on on the links!

I was given a ride to the country club by Brother Carter Bondesen, alumnus from our Mercer chapter. As we approached the country club and I was reminiscing on the joy of last year's LCA meeting there and meeting Bro. George Spasyk, Bro. Carter allowed that he himself was old friends with Bro. George. To which I replied, "Can I touch you?" Then I added that when last year the first man I greeted in the country club identified himself as our Brotherhood's renown former chief executive (one of only three international leaders of LCA of the 1970s whose names remain prominent in my memory), I didn't want to wash the hand that shook his ever again!

Bro. Carter also revealed that he knew Spanish somewhat, partly due to three years residence in Zaragoza, EspaƱa (working overseas for GMC). Then, once we were mingling in the upstairs hall, it came out that he'd met el Rey Juan Carlos, who at the time hadn't been King of Spain for long! Again I asked if I could touch such a lucky Brother!

But even before the revelation of Bro. Carter's meeting with royalty, while picking up my name tag and affixing it I ran into the Brothers from our international headquarters in Indianapolis. They were Bros. Mark Bauer (Education Foundation CEO) and Dan Hartmann (from Alumni Relations) whom I'd met before, and Executive VP Bill Farkas. After a goodly time of mingling and chatting, and some delicious, indeed elegant, country-club buffet food and drink, all three of the Brothers addressed the assembly. Bro. Bill's speech was a report on the state of our Fraternity in this the first year of our second Century of Brotherhood on campuses and after graduation. He had good news about the re-establishment of my home Zeta, Epsilon-Gamma at Idaho, and I repaid this good news by affirming from personal example the value of the Brotherhood's magazine, Cross & Crescent, going to an on-line version. (You see, thanks to my many moves I kept losing my subscription to the printed magazine mailed out by USPS; once the e-magazine began, that ceased to be an issue!)

There were four or five Actives from the Vanderbilt chapter present, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we alumni enjoyed ourselves and the undergrad brothers' presence. I got to bring away with me some souvenirs, including a window decal proclaiming "LCA alumnus", and a very nicely-printed booklet covering the Centennial of our Brotherhood. This booklet began with an affirmation about the very spiritual nature of our Brotherhood, several heartfelt observations about the meaning of Lambda Chi Alpha in the lives of members, and a complete list of all the Zetas. This was so good that I sensed my eyes misting up, ready to shed a few tears of joy about being a part of this wonderful group.

Bro. Bill Loyd, who lives off IH 24 northwest of Nashville, gave me a ride to my residence after the meeting. We talked non-stop about our mutual Brotherhood. Indeed, I got so involved in this that at one point I paused to see where in the city we were and found myself disoriented. This embarrassed me somewhat, because I pride myself on knowing the city in which I live and how to get around in it. Leave it to a Brother Lambda Chi to put me in my (well-deserved) place!

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