Work Party – 2011

Work Party – 2011 August 18-23

Thursday, August 18

4 p.m. Visit with Former Chapter Advisor, Chris Gribbin ’96, with Bob “Barney” Shortle, President of the Order of Constantine (OoC) ’74, Thom “Klit” Kouletsis ’76, and myself, Ruff ’71. Had a 1.5 hour visit with Chris. He was a little tired and was going the next day to the special Lyme Disease Hospital in Connecticut to have some of his blood, which was taken earlier in the week, put back with stem cells in an attempt to get his body moving back to “normal.” He still lacks the ability to speak clearly and use most of his muscles.

8 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn, Hoosick Street, Troy – Welcoming Cocktail Party. I didn’t attend due to a prior dinner engagement with my nephew, Patrick Hutnick, who now lives in Albany. He’s getting married April 14, 2012, at Siena College, to Ms. Laura Mazzaferro. Both are Siena graduates though Laura now works and studies at Russell Sage in pursuit of her Masters. Dinner was held at Delmonico’s in Albany on Central Avenue (exit 2 off the Northway, Route 87) and Laura’s parents and grandmother attended. EXCELLENT FOOD!

Friday, August 19

10 a.m. Golf at Troy Country Club, Troy, NY @ 10 a.m. After two breakfasts (the first at the 76 Diner in Latham and the 2nd at the Hilton Garden Inn – all you can eat AND coffee for $6.49! AND Alan “HJ” Hanbury Jr. ’74 picked up the tab! I LOVE America. It’s been berry, berry good to me), HJ, Barn, Paul “Cos” Cosgrave ’72, soon-to-be-inducted President of the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA), Jim “Twinky” Manocchi ’75, Jim “Dart” Board ’75, and myself headed over to Troy CC for golf. We were joined there by Paul “Mr. Ed” AKA “Percy” Persico ’75 (thank you to Beo & Twinky for reminding me of his nicknames), Alex “Trebeck” Manocchi ’12, Matt “The” Miller ’77, and Collin Haynes ’10.

In the premier skins game, both Ruff and Barney won key 2-hole wins, twice, but it was PJ Cosgrave’s putt on the 18th that supposedly tied the match. In a review of the scorecards, it appears that the Barney-HJ team was ahead by 3 skins going in to the 18th and that Cos’ putt, with the press, was only worth two skins, giving the Barn-HJ team the victory. I guess we owe them a beer, Cos. The match was marred by some Troy CC members having the “marshal” come on the course and order us to play more quickly. I couldn’t figure out if it was HJ, Cos, or Barney who were slowing us down! HJ shot a day-best 81 with Cos a “soft” 87 and Ruff @ 92 & Barney @ 112. We retired to the Hilton Garden Inn where instead of buying Barn & HJ a beer, Cos drank a beer and then ran, leaving HJ and Barney with the tab!

6:30 p.m. Alumni-Undergraduate Dinner @ Carol’s Place, 536 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY. (518) 271-7700. The bad news: Carol’s doesn’t have a liquor license; the good news: we brought in our own beer! Food was good and company great at 33 alumni joined 33 undergrads for dinner.

7:45 p.m. Work Party assignments – See below for what was accomplished.

8 p.m. House Corporation Meeting @ Carol’s Place. Election of Bob “Beo” Bedard ’75, “Little” John Murray ’07, and Jim Rossetti ’79 to the House Corporation Board joining Bill “Turk” Wurst ’71, President, and “Gentle” Ben Tashjian ’07, Bob “Justa Pledge” Eckart ’74, Chapter Advisor, and Ken Sobel ’12, Consul. (They told me his nickname and I forgot it!) Most important agenda item was that the House Corp is looking into the possibility from a “risk management” perspective of deleting the positions on the Board for the Chapter Advisor and Undergraduate representative, the Consul, so that they are not liable for Board actions or inaction.

Saturday, August 20

8 a.m. Work Sessions @ 58 Pinewoods

Following a super breakfast by Chris, the House’s new Chef, the Sigs installed 8 new lofts in 4 bedrooms. Reinforcing the remaining lofts, adding new ladders, etc. (House of Hanbury, lead Project Manager, with an assist by Jack “Titty” Belletate on Saturday, and Collin Haynes ’10 Saturday & Sunday); Purchased new clothes washer. Redesigned/clean-up the washer/dryer area. The undergrads now have two washers and two dryers installed in the basement with raised platforms: Electrical work was performed by Bill Wurst and plumbing work performed by Gary Stottler and Jim Rossetti, Lead Project Managers. Painted wainscoting in Dining room/conservatory – Led by Jim “Campbell Cabs” with assistance from Alex, Delta Psi’s Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, plus, as usual undergrads. However, this being an alumni recap, their names are being withheld to protect the innocent.

Interior work sessions were led by the Gym’s – Board and Manocchi. Foreman assistants were Klit and Dan Zuber ’10. Repainted front porch deck; Stripped/refinished bar; Clean kitchen; Repaired Sanitizer; Repairs front doors; Washed walls throughout the house; Trimmed hedges and bushes outside – installed mulch; Cleared-out brush and weeded throughout the yard (Ruff jobs!); Repaired pot holes in driveway; Make repairs to garage floor, window; Cleaned out entire garage; Cleaned-out entire basement; Installed fax/phone in study – Foss Hooper ’66 Project Manager; Installed door in Quaestor’s Closet; Repaired trim on Study Room Door; Installed more powerful heater in Study Room; Repaired showers in old house bathroom (Gary?); Installed new fan in old house bathroom; Installed front and back door bells; Repaired foundation masonry – Larry Heininger PM; Repaired holes in sheetrock; Repaired/painted house siding; Bleed/balanced heating system; confirmed that Tom Hey and Al Arbeiter had seniority over Paul Cosgrave & Foss Hooper had seniority over Bill Pomeroy!

Hobie ’72 was seen working hard with Bob “Justa” Eckart keeping the boys supplied with the essentials – especially the beer. Bob “BJ” Jones mowed the grass and made runs to get supplies also. Barney worked a crew of undergrads on Sunday, did “his thing” on Saturday and Cos and Evil worked Saturday but I’m not sure where! First timers Bill Pomeroy and Steve “Eagle” Mumbler ’74 helped out both days. Pete “Zurst” Wurst, soon-to-be-father in November headed the work crew on Saturday to Chris Gribbin’s and was assisted by Mssrs, Ben Tashjian and John Murray both ’07 plus undergrads. If you’re ever in the area, stop by and see Chris. Chris Gribbin info: 518-312-6018 (Nora’s cell) 113 Wood Road, Ballston Spa, NY ; Exit 12 off I-87, Northway. Route 67W / Denning St. & West High to Wood.

8 p.m. Ritual Meeting @ 58 Pinewoods Avenue, Troy, NY Can’t tell you about the ritual meeting – unless we were in the “Cone of Silence.” However, we had some great good of the orders again and Foss Hooper ’66 got the coveted #1 seat.

Sunday, August 21

1 a.m. Fire alarm goes off and house is evacuated! Luckily, it still gave me 5 hours of restful, pledge sleep!

8 a.m. Work Sessions @ 58 Pinewoods (11 a.m. work sessions for church goers) After sleeping on the 3rd deck for the 6th consecutive year (Yes, Cos, I AM getting too old for the 3rd deck) with Crambell and Ben, and hitting St. Augustine’s in North Troy with two undergrads, Phil and Jamison, both Knights of Columbus officers, I was ready for Day 2 of work sessions still aching from Day 1 of work sessions. Though our alumni ranks were depleted as alums exited Saturday night and throughout the day Sunday, all the work was completed. We were fed VERY good all weekend as the house has hired a new cook, named Chris. He likes to hunt and fish and cooked breakfast on demand just like Ruthie did! Ruthie and Arch’s plaques are still in the kitchen and new addition, respectively. HJ, Justa, Turk, and I spent Sunday night in the bar exchanging fraternity stories with the undergrads.

Monday, August 22

Back to reality and alumni exit Troy for home. After spending the final night of the exhausting weekend at the Hilton courtesy of HJ, I had my “all-you-can-eat” $6.49 breakfast and departed for Long Island. HJ stayed the day until the RPI inspector came over to Sigma Chi to inspect the new bunk beds that HJ, Titty, Collin, and undergrads constructed. It was a great weekend and packed with camaraderie, old stories, work, food, drink, and a lot of laughs. You can really feel “brotherhood” and friendship pervade our House.

The undergrads believe that Sigma Chi has become one of if not THE number one house on campus. They worked hard and played hard (beer pong) over the weekend. They are motivated to have a great rush class as it begins and ends in early September (over a 2-week time). Rush is a little different nowadays because the fraternities have to go to campus and the dorms looking for brothers rather than the Frosh coming out to them for “smokers.” Each fraternity hosts some event(s) which has food involved to draw them out to the Chapter House. To say the least, I think the House is doing VERY good and is filled to capacity with doubles in many of the rooms.

Under the leadership of Consul Ken Sobel, I think the House is going to do super this year! There are a lot of good men in the House and over the 3-day work “party,” I was able to meet many of them personally. I HIGHLY recommend coming up next year for our alumni-undergrad work sessions – its brotherhood at its best. Just ask any of the guys who attended this year. I have email addresses of all alumni, if you need any.

It was great having first-timers Foss Hooper and Bill Pomeroy ’66, PJ Cosgrave ’72, Eagle Embler ’74, and Jim Board ’75 come and see for themselves what the House is all about. Next event is the Alumni Rush banquet on September 17. The House needs 6-12 alumni to return and say a few words as to what Sigma Chi is about and why should a young man join Delta Psi. A great rushing event. Contact Ken Sobel @, for more info or to volunteer. I think it was Crambell who said to me once that although we come up for work sessions and give of ourselves for the undergrads, its amazing how much more we get than give. So kudos to all – the alumni for returning and making it one of my special weekends of the year and the undergrads, for your hospitality. After the Alumni-Rushee banquet September 17, there is Homecoming. Delta Psi Classes of 1966 (45th Reunion) and 1971 (40th Reunion) are both organizing and returning for the weekend. Highly recommend this for any class whose graduation year ends with a “1” or a “6.” Homecoming is October 21-23. Whew!


And, of course, I’m proud to be a Sigma Chi. In Hoc, Ruff (Bob Hutnick ’71)

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