MWL…my fraternity brother...son of a preacher man…father…of daughters…God gifted him too with daughters…the resultant condition of our college debauchery. I’m convinced of it. His daughters are older so he’s already shared with me what many of you have regarding the ensuing years with LFG.
While I’m sure MWL had Weejuns, we all did, you couldn’t manifest the Kappa Alpha Order (we are an Order-NOT a fraternity….blah blah blah) in full without them; I can’t recollect him wearing any. He was a Bucks man. Dirty…hell they all became dirty…bucks in the cooler months and white ones in the spring.
Saddles as well—and I remember the red rubber heels being worn down so angularly on one corner that you’d conclude the boy MWL had "gait issues”. But he didn’t…other than a little touch of what we all had by 3am… something I’ll call “malt rickets.”
I’ve tried to find a clearer photo of what MWL exacted on my head one night but alas, thank goodness nothing exists any better than the photo above. If you look closely above my left eye and just to the right, a skid mark remnant, courtesy of MWL is in the final stages of healing. You see, we used to have parties. Parties that began with a reasonable level of decorum and would end with the evening’s events featuring impromptu activities. Mantle Diving never caught on at our fratty like it did on other campuses. The trauma-funny index didn’t seem to net out enough appeal for my group of Knights.
Gatoring certainly did but what seemed to be a consistent late night Olympic event for us was Stair Surfing. After enough malt lube to be rickety but also loose and fairly anesthetized, we’d body surf down the staircase in House Fratty. MWL was an expert—I was a novice.
So one night we caught the same wave and in tandem, headed to the hardwood floor-reservoir catchment area at the end of the stairs. Butcept MWL, instead of passing me, surfed over me and I essentially became his surf board for descent. I sported a carpet burned-scabby forehead, certainly for weeks to come. The scar’s gone now, replaced with other badges of less acute, lifestyle blemishes. A Google search provided evidence that we weren’t the only Stair Surfers butcept we went down on our bellies. And I was a lot better dressed than the fella in the example above. And we didn't harness ladies to our waists till later. Years later.
So MWL was the Buckmaster…dirty, saddle and white. And of course MWL surfed. But the bad boy also possessed PhD caliber skills in one other area—napping. The boy took napping to a sublime level. Walk in the TV room on any given afternoon and MWL would be neatly, cadaveresquely, laid out slab-like on one of the sofas. Listen, you can’t be the funniest guy in the fratty house without maintaining your sleep. And our boy MWL wasn’t going to do a damn thing later without before manifesting his REM antecedent. He made Napoleon look like a rookie.
Fast forward twenty five years and folks I haven’t heard from in at least that many begin to drop an email to me here and there. Somebody reads a blog story and sends it to someone else and, well you know how it goes. So MWL drops me a line and of course we reminisce about all the things aforementioned. We talk Bucks and he even sends me the above photo evidence that he’s never given up that shodding proclivity. We’ve all given up Stair Surfing but I betcha MWL still knocks out a nap with fervency and zeal.
We talk about daughters and we catch up on the various. But what really resonated with me were the cahoots that MWL and his daddy go into as a bit of a boondoggle, based on Rev. Marvin’s barbecue sauce hobby. MWL’s dad’s day job was in college administration but his afterhours passions were and are God and barbecue sauce. An ordained minister, Rev. Marvin would serve as interim pastor or guest minister in various pulpits when called. But he also spent time hovering the coals that he raked people over on Sunday. Butcept the aroma and sizzle wasn’t sin-centric, it was pork. I’d had some of Rev. Marvin’s sauce laden ribs years ago but forgot how good they were. But MWL was soon to fix that with a quick delivery of two bottles of Rev. Marvin’s sauce. I cracked the seal on the spicy version and put a test-slather on a piece of chicken. I roll somewhat spicy as a general rule so it just seemed right to give the tangy contrivance first go. And it's tangy...tangy in a good way. Roxanne Burgess tangy. Send me a private email and I'll further define Roxanne Burgess tangy. It's outlawed in three states. And finally, all of my food groups as usual, are manifest in the MaxFridge. And shut up. I don't tell you where to keep your damn Bucks.
Seems that folks began to request batches of Rev. Marvin’s sauce with enough consistency that MWL and his daddy started a saucy entrepreneurial endeavor. While Rev. Marvin purveys the Word on Sunday, he purveys his sauce 24-7. Let me say unequivocally that this story isn’t a set up for me to shill sauce for the MWL clan. As a matter of fact, I don’t want you to spend your money on their sauce. I’m gonna ask you to spend a little dosh otherwise.
I’m not sure if you read my story about Ernie, a Vietnam veteran who worked with me in the old Trad clothing store of my youth. But I’ll never forget the story he told me about being in Vietnam and getting those little handy wipes from his mom. Here’s how I recalled it… “By November Ernie was walking point somewhere in Southeast Asia. As I listened to his stories I realized how lucky I was-having been too young for this war. He told the story of loving the letters that his mom sent him that contained those little packets of moist towelettes from Kentucky Fried Chicken. He had written home telling her that the heat was really bad and that he could never get relief. Ernie said that those little handy wipe packets offered thirty seconds of liberation from the jungle. He’d wipe his face and the back of his neck with them-it was home-it was mom-in a little packet from Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
“Ok ADG, you’re really back to your old self again…this story is an ADD one in full.” Hang on; I’m getting to my point…maybe. MWL and his dad are doing their part to send a little bit of “home” to our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan. My nephew, with LFG above, has navigated two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan so I was especially interested in learning about Sauce for the Troops. It seems that MWL sent a couple of bottles of his sauce over to a friend in Afghanistan and the response was great.
It’s that little bit of home…a modest gesture of support that was so appreciated. Read more about it here.
MWL and Rev. Marvin began Sauce for the Troops in an effort to scale up their ability to send additional free sauce to the troops while covering the shipping costs. Barbecue sauce in glass containers or even larger plastic vessels en route to Afghanistan incurs steep shipping costs. I rarely use my modest blog as a platform for fundraising but I am this morning.
Bottom line is I want at least twenty of your bucks. Please consider donating twenty bucks to Sauce for the Troops. It’s not the two-hundred and fifty that I try to shame some of you to pop for a cleft palate repair. Do it for the troops, regardless of what your politics and ideas are regarding Afghanistan and Iraq. PayPal will accommodate your benevolence as soon as you click on the Troops Sauce link. And a thank you note in your name accompanies the parcel. If you want your twenty bucks designated for a specific soldier, MWL will accommodate this more precise option as well. Read about it on their site and please, pop for at least twenty bucks so that MWL and the Rev. Marvin can continue bathing our men and women in some tangy-tasty reminders of home.
Onward. Saucily. Bucks Begging.
Oh and Ps...Dusty Springfield...Son of a Preacherman