Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fish Final Review

One of the best things about Final Review was getting to put on the uniform for the next year. The transition from freshman to sophomore wasn’t very noticable to outsiders, but to us it was a very big deal. Sophomore uniform shirts were essentially the same as freshman shirts, but you were allowed to have military creases ironed in which made them look much sharper. Sophomore biders had the brown trim which was what stood out the most in distinguishing fish from pissheads. But the belts too were different. They were made of nylon, instead of cotton, and were easier to take care of. Also, the sophomore belt buckles were one piece, instead of two, easier to shine and generally looked better.

Soon-to-be Pisshead Mike Thomas practices his “serious” look to use on next year’s freshmen.

Bryan Todd looks sharp in his new pisshead duds.

Fish finals

During finals week the Corps was essentially on hold and we were allowed to do whatever we wanted. One thing I wanted to be able to do was study in bed. For this I needed something to prop my back against so I wedged this piece of plywood up there as a makeshift headboard.

David Johnson tries out my new invention.

The Corps did not allow freshmen to study in bed because they were afraid that they would just fall asleep - as Bryan Todd aptly demonstrates here.

But I had my own methods for getting comfortable while studying during the regular semester.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Christmas Party '83

Squadron One’s annual Christmas Party was always a racuous affair with lots of beer, drinking games, etc. Basically, a bunch of guys away from home for the first time getting to do whatever they wanted. But it was also a chance to get to know the upper and lower classmen outside of the corps. Freshmen were instructed to perform skits that would make fun of the pissheads. I can’t remember what kind of skit we did so it musn’t have been very memorable.

Senior Keith Neumann and juniors Jay Buzzini and Steve Yndo mug for the camera. Also, seated just to the right is Mike Eckley, Class of 82 frog. (h/t Mark Taylor)

Freshmen gather around a table to watch or partake in a drinking game as Buzzini and Yndo look on.
L-R: Dean Neeley, John Basila, Brian Watson (seated), David Lewis (standing in back), Brian Neumann (back turned), Jay Buzzini (wearing white hat, partially obscured), Richard Jackson (standing in back wearing cowboy hat), Robert Galindo (seated), Steve Yndo, and Curly Johnson (hat backwards).

Duane Looka is clearly having a good time. Robert Galindo (below) looks downright menacing.

Pullouts were very common and generally overlooked by upperclassmen at the Christmas Party.
L-R: Duane Looka, Mike Thomas (in back), Brian Watson and Joe Prochaska.

I can’t make out everyone in this picture. Robert Galindo is in the immediate foreground followed by seniors Todd Little and David Merkin. Tim Donohue is next and John Doherty is in there too. Jay Buzzini and Steve Yndo are still mugging for the camera in the back corner.

Mike Thomas, Dean Neeley and Troy DeHart.

End of semester hijinks

Things got real laid back during finals week of the first semester. Freshmen were granted junior privileges and the Corps was pretty much put on hold.
Someone made a makeshift guidon out of an outfit t-shirt and a broom handle one evening and Greg
Hilgenburg started marching up and down the hall pretending to be a guidon bearer.

Of course, the corps never really goes away entirely. Here pisshead Kurt Vandewalle was having fun harrassing Bryan Todd and myself when one of our fish buddies (David Wilson I think) had the misfortune of calling us on the phone. Vandewalle answered the phone and instructed Wilson to drop and do a class set (87 push-ups). I don’t think he was really pushing at first until Vandewalle ran down to his hole to check.

Later that evening we all walked down to a local convenience store just because we needed an excuse to get out of the dorm. Hilgenburg never let go of the mock guidon. I think he knew he wasn’t going to be coming back the next semester.
L-R: John Basila, Bryan Todd (in back), Greg Hilgenburg, David Wilson.

Fish phone numbers

The best record I have of everyone that was in Huslin’ One Class of ‘87 that first year is scribbled on this phone list I kept on the bulletin board in my hole. Here you can see the ebb and flow of people coming and going, quitting and joining, and switching holemates throughout the semester.

Formal Fish picture

This was our formal class picture taken shortly after we came back from Christmas break at the start of second semester. We had 14 left out of 20 and two more would leave before the year was over.
First Row, L-R: David Johnson, Jose Castro, Dean Neeley, David Wilson, Brian Neumann, Troy DeHart.
Second Row, L-R: David Lewis, Duane Looka, Mike Thomas, Greg Mendenhall, Brian Watson, Bryan Todd, Mike Miller, Joe Prochaska.

Sully photos

After we took our formal freshman class photo we walked across campus...
L-R: Greg Mendenhall, Bryan Todd, David Johnson, Brian Watson, Joe Prochaska, Mike Miller, Duane Looka, David Lewis.

and eventually ended up at the Sul Ross statue where we took a few more pictures.
L-R: Mike Miller, Bryan Todd (up), Duane Looka (in cowboy hat), David Lewis (kneeling), David Johnson (on statue), Dean Neeley (center), Brian Neumann (on statue), Joe Prochaka (red hat), Greg Mendenhall, Mike Thomas (up), Brian Watson.

Mike Thomas looking introspective in front of Sully.

Dean Neeley and Brian Neumann link arms with Sully and salute their bright future that lies ahead.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sharp Fish, Part II

Fish Thomas looking sharp in his winter Class A’s.

Fish Castro gives his interpretation of an unsharp fish in his Class C’s.

Kiss attacked

I had the privilege of being “Kiss Attacked” one evening at Duncan Dining Hall during the spring semester of my freshman year. I found out later that Jose Castro had ponied up for the Fowler Foxes’ fundraiser and tapped me as their target.

Christmas decor

We were allowed to put up some Christmas decorations in our holes toward the end of the first semester.
L-R: Bryan Todd, David Wilson, Greg Hilgenburg, Greg Mendenhall.

Mr. O'Lantern

During Halloween week the upperclassmen put a Jack-O-Lantern in the hallway and required all the fish to speak to it. (Howdy, Mr. O’Lantern, sir!!!)
Mike Thomas gets his picture taken with the privileged pumpkin and Bryan Todd attempts to whip out to Mr. O’Lantern during a break from the Corps when we were temporarily granted junior privileges.

Bumper stickers

The one and only time I got my picture in The Battalion. Here I am at the Memorial Student Center taking my turn selling “Aggies Hump-It Better” bumper stickers as part of an outfit fundraising project. Senior Todd Little was the white belt sitting with me.
The bumper stickers were kind of lame and we didn’t sell very many of them. We did much better the next year when Cliff Bland came up with the “Hornbusters” sweatshirts, which was a takeoff on the Ghostbusters’ theme only with a t.u. longhorn rather than a ghost with the circle and cross through it. Those shirts proved to be very popular and we made a lot of money selling them.

Fish congregate

This is one of the only pictures I have of John Doran who was my holemate for a short time during the first semester of our fish year. He quit before the semester was over.
L-R: Mike Thomas (wearing a robe), Brian Watson, David Wilson (back), Bryan Todd (back), John Doran.

Pull-out time

Bryan Todd and Brian Watson pull out some junior privileges while the upperclassmen are conspicuously absent. Needless to say, freshmen weren’t allowed to be in the hallway in their underwear. Nor could they wear hats in the dorm.

Corps Trip

Huslin’ One fish whooping it up in a hotel room during our Corps trip to Dallas.
From L-R: Bryan Todd, Brian Neumann, Greg Mendenhall, Joe Prochaska, David Wilson, Dean Neeley (standing), Greg Hilgenburg (kneeling), Mike Miller (bottom).
We got kicked out of that hotel shortly afterward and had to sleep on the floor of a room rented by some of our Squadron 17 buddies that night.
Outside the hotel, L-R: David Wilson, Mike Miller (back), Greg Mendenhall and Bryan Todd.

Sharp fish

Fish Thomas in Class A’s ready for a Corps March In.

Getting ready

Bryan Todd and Mike Thomas preparing to fall out for a uniform inspection.

Bagging It

Bryan Todd is passed out on his rack after another eventful day as a fish. Freshmen would typically sleep on top of their beds in sleeping bags rather than make and unmake their beds everyday for inspection.
Note the freshly shined shoes underneath the rack on newspapers to keep the fresh coat of heel and sole from making any marks on the floor.

Dress Right

These are some pictures my parents snapped as we were getting ready for the Corps March In before the t.u. game during my freshman year - Fall 1983.
Dress Right is a military command where you look to your right to make sure you are in line with the guy next to you while you extend your left arm out to check for spacing.
In the far left foreground is fish (Richard) Jackson. It is one of the only pictures I have of him. He was one of six guys from our class who dropped out after the first semester.
In the next row, L-R, is Sophomore Tony Colwell, fish (Curly) Johnson - who we also lost after first semester, Mike Thomas and Joe Prochaska. Immediately over my shoulder is Sophomore Raley Marek, and behind Prochaska you can see David Lewis and Brian Neumann.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Baby Zips

The gang's all here at final review in 1986 as we all don our senior boots together for the first time.
L-R: Brian Watson, Greg Mendenhall, Troy DeHart, Mike Thomas, David Lewis, Jose Castro, Duane Looka, Bryan Todd, David Johnson, Dean Neeley, Brian Neumann and Mike Miller.

Proud white belts

Our first time to wear the white belts at final review in 1985. Life was goooood from then on.
L-R: David Lewis, Mike Miller, Bryan Todd, Troy DeHart, Greg Mendenhall, Jose Castro (kneeling), Duane Looka, Brian Watson, Dean Neeley, Brian Neumann, David Johnson and Mike Thomas.

Final Review '86

Squadron One made the front page of the Bryan-College Station Eagle during Final Review for 1986. You can see me at the far left of the picture just cut off. The picture centered on Cliff Bland and he was so delighted by it that he went around autographing everyone's copies.
To our great sorrow, Cliff was killed a few years later when the plane he was co-piloting crashed during the early stages of Desert Storm. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Giving the fish their corps brass

As juniors, we had the privilege of taking the freshmen out and giving them their corps brass in the spring of 1986.
Front row, L-R: Jose Castro, Brian Neumann, Greg Mendenhall, Mike Miller.
Back row, L-R: Dean Neeley, Brian Watson, David Lewis, Duane Looka, Mike Thomas and Bryan Todd.

Midnight Yell Practice

I'm not sure who took this photo, but they got some great shots of our class at Midnight Yell Practice guarding the football field. This was in the fall of 1985 duing our junior year.
I don't know who all of the dates are either with one exception (and I'm not talking about my date).
L-R: Brian Neumann, Greg and Karen Mendenhall, David Johnson, Troy DeHart (in back), Brian Watson, Jose Castro, Mike Thomas (in back), Bryan Todd, Dean Neeley, Mike Miller (in back), and Duane Looka.

Huslin' One Ski Trip

Two of our buddies had boats, so sometime between our sophomore and junior years we all got together for a ski trip to Lake Conroe.
L-R: Troy DeHart, Bryan Todd, David Johnson, Mike Miller, Brian Neumann (on the boat), David Lewis, Brian Watson, Dean Neeley, Mike Thomas (on the boat), Jose Castro, Greg Mendenhall.

March to the Brazos

March to the Brazos, the annual Corps march down to the Brazos River, is a all-day crapout session for pissheads who are earning their white belt (junior) privileges as a result. I had fractured my wrist playing basketball and was thus spared from doing a lot of the bear crawling and push-ups that my buddies had to do. I didn't miss out on all the running, though.
Front row, l-r, Jose Castro, Bryan Todd, David Lewis (lying down), and David Johnson.
Back row, l-r, Mike Thomas, Dean Neeley, Brian Watson, Greg Mendenhall, Brian Neumann, Mike Miller and Duane Looka.

Informal pose at the flagpole

An informal pose at the base of the flagpole following our formal Sophomore class photos in front of the Systems Administration Building. We asked one of our Zips to step in - Tim Donohue - to see if he really was taller than the "littlest cadet" (the cadet blowing the bugle sculpted on the side of the flagpole).
Front row, left to right, Jose Castro, David Johnson, David Lewis, Dean Neeley, Troy DeHart and Duane Looka.
Back row, left to right, Greg Mendenhall, Mike Thomas, Mike Miller, Brian Neumann, Tim Donohue, Bryan Todd and Brian Watson.

Pop to, fish!

Pisshead Mike Thomas steps into a fish hole causing all the freshmen to pop to attention.
From left to right, Mike Lyssy, Pat Brown, Sudjit Hemsorah, and Jeff Gardner.

Goofing off

Huslin' One pissheads goofing off in a dorm room sometime in late 1984.
From left to right, (top bunk) Bryan Watson, (bottom bunk) Greg Mendenhall, David Johnson, Mike Miller, Duane Looka (seated), Jose Castro and Bryan Todd.

Corps Brass

The Squadron One Class of 1987 earns its corps brass.
This photo was snapped shortly after our crap out session for our corps brass. We were all quite pleased to have survived the experience.
On the first row, kneeling, from left to right is Jose Castro, David Johnson and Troy DeHart.
Second Row, with the hats, Dean Neeley and Brian Neumann, David Lewis (without the shirt), and Mike Thomas.
Back row, left to right, Bryan Todd, Brian Watson, Joe Prochaska, Duane Looka, Greg Mendenhall, and Mike Miller.