Rho Lambda Newsletter
The ΔKE ΡΛ Literary Association, established in 1990 by Frank Gatewood, Rex Beckenhauer, and Doug Lyle has been resurrected.
Its goal is twofold: to facilitate the interaction among our brotherhood and to energize our future with the goal of re-establishing a DKE colony at OU.
The gateway into that future is this, our remodeled website: https://oudekes.org.
We’ve established an executive board and a few committees to make it easier for members who want to join us in this endeavor.
See the “Members Only” tag in the ribbon above? You’ll need the password we emailed you recently to see that private information. Don’t have it? Contact us here, and we’ll resend it.
If you get lost, use your back arrow, or return to oudekes.org/News & Gallery.
The 2021 Reunion/Tailgate Party
The pandemic kept several brothers home, but Dekes always party like it’s 1969, right? Let’s drink a toast to the brothers who created this annual party in 2013: Rich Burns, Dennis Clowers, George Otey, Bob Pickup and Fred Streb. They’ve got a small army of supporters now, and it shows.
After dinner October 15th at the Interurban in Norman, Streb issued his annual awards to those brothers who always seem so unaware they have notable fame. Then Jim Griffin, on a Zoom call, awarded the annual Goal Post Award to Jim Reed. Read more about Brother Reed below.
The Tailgate party at 700 Elm on Saturday definitely had an effect on the Sooner/TCU winning score, didn’t it? After nine years, the Events crew has that shindig down to a science.
See all the photos from our Reunion and Tailgate Parties (2021, too) in News & Gallery. Do you recognize anybody? (Click on a photo to enlarge). There’s a delightful PDA in the 2021 photos. Perhaps a smiling Mom Moran sees it from the sunroom window.
The Goal Post Award
It’s fitting that Jim’s award includes a small copy of the goalpost torn from the 1956 Texas-OU football field. He remembers watching that game on live TV at the age of 10.
Of course, he knew that OU also beat Paul Hornung’s Notre Dame team that year. 40-0. In Notre Dame’s stadium. The only time we’d ever beaten them, until 2019.
Reed was at the OU-Notre Dame game the next year when unranked Notre Dame broke #2 OU’s 47-game winning streak. In OU’s stadium.
He said it took the stunned crowd a half-hour for it to sink in, then leave. Reed has OU football running in his veins.
As we caught up on the last 50 years, it was as if we’d seen each other yesterday. We laughed at me, a neophyte, and he, the member running our initiation’s infamous “V-8” dining-room-floor polishing crew, both ending up as combat infantry platoon leaders in Vietnam, running different crews.
The last part of his tour included supplying medical supplies to children’s clinics, which, we agreed, was a more worthy contribution to Vietnam by far.
Jim’s life has been full. We were surprised to discover that, as the Continuing Education Librarian at Rice, he became good friends with Dr. Gayle Stokes, who later became one of my poker pals in Colorado. Small world.
At the end of our hour and a half call, we both agreed we should just pick up the phone more often and call our brothers from 700 Elm. After all, we all started our adulthood there.
“We’re brothers for a reason.”
Ron Sorter (with Griff’s help on background)
The ΔKE ΡΛ Literary Association
I’ve been condemned, I mean appointed, Chairman of the RLLA. Brothers Rex, Frank, and Doug incorporated the RLLA to organize the Oklahoma Deke Alumni.
After their passage into the Mystic Circle, it languished. With the lawyerly help of George Otey and a dozen or so other members, we’ve resurrected the RLLA to again empower our Rho Lambda brothers. We’re also working with the OU Chancellor’s Office to re-establish the DKE chapter in 2025.
The members of the RLLA Board are listed here, along with the other members of the five committees who make our organization function.
Would you like to help? Call me at (281) 961-9723 and I’ll give you the lowdown. We’re always looking for more members to man the sails. We’re at that point where we can make a huge contribution.
Don’t forget November 11th is Veterans Day, when we place a wreath on Randy Morrison’s Columbarium. Thanks, Dennis. (See the photo at the end of the newsletter) Also, it’s Men’s Health Month, so be good to yourself.
Kerothen, Bob Tierno
ΡΛ Brother of the Month – FRED STREB
Wait, a balloon?
Yep. In winter, in Wisconsin. Fred’s in the red T-shirt above. And yes, that’s Fred’s fire engine. Of course, he designed that “Bar Cannon,” too, for the express purpose of “letting everybody in a bar know the Red Barons have landed.” That’s Fred Streb in a nutshell.
Fred and Bob Pickup are from Wellsville, NY. Bob’s dad is an OU alum, and that influenced their choice. Fred’s dad gave him some good advice, too. Fred said, “He told me to ’Take ROTC.’ I’m glad I did.”
When it came time to choose an Army branch, Fred showed them his Math Education major and the Army said, “Great! We’ll put you in the Corps of Engineers!” So Fred made the most of his 21+ year career in the military, in Korea, Europe, and around America. He got a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering Management while teaching ROTC at Florida U. Making him a Sooner-Gator Deke.
In Los Angeles, while supervising an LA River repaving contract for the LA District Corps of Engineers, he learned that an architect who had worked for him, John Lackens, had a Hot Air Balloon.
The Red Barons
“Later, in, maybe, 1984,” he said, “I was at Nellis AFB in Nevada, and John called me and said, ‘How’d you like to be a member of the Red Barons?’ Turns out, they’re a bunch of great guys in Wisconsin who do good deeds, fly around in balloons, bar hop on snowmobiles and play “Catch a Parachute Flare.” (I took notes. That’s what he said.)
“They have an annual “Stomp” (“Party”) in February; turns out balloons are more buoyant in frigid air. Anyway, I flew up there from a warm Los Angeles and landed in Minneapolis. It’s minus 18 and exactly 100 degrees colder!! My jackets were in my suitcase.
“I get initiated, we go to bars in little towns, have a great time. I’ve been to 25 of the 39 Stomps since then. We’ve also been invited to Lake Tahoe’s Winter Festival, too, to help them enjoy that a little more.”
In 1987 he hooked up with his Significant Other, Anita and they’ve made the most of their life. That includes him finding the coolest barn find ever, his childhood dream, a 1950’s firetruck. He has it shipped to a pal in Wisconsin who repaints and restores it, so now Fred drives his bar-hopping Baron buddies in style, with flashing lights and siren for all. That’s him above, hanging onto his firetruck.
The “Bar Gun”
I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I think he said plastic pipe, hairspray, and something else. It’s a privilege to know someone so knowledgeable about his local cannon-store inventory. Check out the photo on the top right. The gun has some punch, doesn’t it? Just the thing to snap the local barstool denizens out of their stupor.
And it gets better. See the “Little People” skit below? Fred arranges the whole thing: the hidden guy behind shaves the guy in front, whose head is sticking out of the sheet. That looks familiar, right?
And the middle guy in the hockey mask, down below? That’s Fred, wearing his “Crazy Eyes.” One year, he brought 25 of those masks to help enliven one bar scene. I’ve seen him wear those eyes somewhere, too. (cough, Reunion).
I’m often thinking about our brotherhood these days. Fred and I talked about the Deke house and the good times we all had there. It seems we’ve spent a lifetime having the same good times with other friends. We learned how to do that at 700 Elm St. in Norman.
Fred told me, “I try to have a good time most of the time.” I’m convinced Fred has the best time when others are having a good time, too. That’s why Brother Streb does what he does. He engineers good times for everybody.