Monday, March 17, 2014
St. Patricks Day 35 years ago
Thirty five years ago today I got in a car with five guys (all of whom I knew) and headed due west. We left Charleston our destination being Lafayette, Louisiana (875 miles away). The friends I was with were members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and had been invited the infamous "Green Party" being hosted by the Kappa Sig chapter of SW Louisiana State University.
This was an annual event the fraternity had on St. Patrick's Day and they invited their brothers from across the country to join them. Never being ones to decline an invitation, and it being our spring break, we accepted and were off. I was very surprised when I told my father about my plans and he gave it his blessing since he knew the guys I was with.
Looking back on it, this is one of those life experiences you realize you were lucky to live to tell about. You know you are on a wild ride when your first stop is Savannah, home of one of the largest St. Patrick Day celebrations. One of the guys was from there, so we made a pit stop. Then, we drove straight through - stopping only to eat and change drivers. Often the places we stopped were so sketchy the guys would not even let me out of the car, knowing full well they would have to face the wrath of my father should something happen to me in the bowels of southern Alabama and Mississippi.
There were copious quantities of alcohol consumed along the way. Finally we arrived at our destination - it was hard to miss - a fraternity house with a couch on the roof. There were kegs of beer, bottles of rum, a zydeco band, hundreds of new friends, and this was the year before Animal House was released.
After two days of debauchery and fun, it was time to turn east and head home. That was a long drive home fueled by tales of the weekend.
Then twenty five later my youngest daughter, in a fit if anger, commented, "What do you know? You've never done anything?"