Throwback Thursday – The Zoo Crew

Zoo Crew 1

Some of my greatest memories from college are wrapped around my fraternity and the great friends I had there. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding, so there will be a big celebration in late April that I will be attending – and as a result my times at the fraternity have been in my mind quite a bit lately.

Theta Xi fraternity was founded at my alma mater (RPI), making our chapter the Alpha chapter and making us feel connected to not just the history of our chapter, but also the overall history of the organization.

But that isn’t why we’re here …

I have a bunch of pictures taken through the years, many on my classic Kodak Disc camera. I also accumulated a few from others, and since two of my best friends (Ken and Jeff) were really good photographers – and Ken took a photography class that gave him access to a darkroom and development equipment – I ended up with even more.

The ‘collage’ at the top is a set of those, and was hung on my wall for a while, and has been safely stored since. You might notice at the bottom right a set of evenly-spaced holes on a tear-off strip. If you don’t know what this is, please setop – you’re making me feel old!

Here are the pictures one at a time:

Zoo Crew 3

My caption was ‘The Big McNugget’ … yeah, not a small guy, and really in need of a shave.

Zoo Crew 2

Ken being Ken. We all know those people who CAN actually pose for a nice picture, but has much more fun putting on a bit of a show. I would say that ~75% of my pictures of Ken featuer ‘personality in action’.

Zoo Crew 5

Jeff – or JT as we called him – could grow a major beard back in high school, and sported one throughout college. He also had a green jacket and overall look that earned him the ‘terrorist’ label back before that was something you just wouldn’t say.

Zoo Crew 4

The crew and the Zoo Mobile – this one Ken took of us out shopping in the Albany area. It is JT, myself and Nigel. Nigel transferred in and quickly became one of our best friends, and the group of us – including Pete K and some others – were inseparable. He definitely played up his British accent for the ladies, and so it is too bad that he left owing the house a decent debt and has basically not been heard from since. I had a brief exchange several years ago after I found him online, but that went cold as well.

We are leaning against what we called the Zoo Mobile. It was a little beater that Ken bought, and it really needed some help in terms of appearance, so we decided to really do it up! It was over summer break and … well, you can see the results.

To this day most of us are still in contact, and many of us will be back in Troy in late April. That particular weekend is overflowing with other family things (Proms, music events, etc) which makes leaving more stressful, but I am completely ready and excited to get to hang out with old friends, none of whom I’ve seen in 5 years, and many of whom I haven’t seen in more than 25 years!

So what special college memories do you have? Do you do any reunion things?

10 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – The Zoo Crew

  1. That is going to be so much fun! I love these pictures. You guys look like a fun bunch to hang around. (That car is awesome too.)

    I still hang out with people from my old college crew pretty frequently. (I actually met my husband through my old college roommate.) A couple of them were at Betty’s birthday with their kids. As we were eating cake, I was talking to my old roommate and neither of us can believe that we are all grown up with kids now. 🙂

    • Awesome that you still hang out with your friends, good to maintain those connections.

      And that is SO true about ‘how did we get HERE’ Lauren! Ken’s son is now within a year of our age in the pictures!

  2. I was a strange girl in college. I didn’t know anyone starting out, and had a tough time getting to know people. My roommate was actually so crazy the Ricki Lake show called her and tried to get her on. I ended up working full time and going to school full time, and didn’t make friends until a few years in, when it was all work friends. I wish I’d been more extroverted and tried new things, but the experience I had was the only one I get, so Yay I graduated will have to do!

    • I totally get what you are saying – I have alwys tended to be introverted, especially when I was fat. The funny thing I didn’t mention is that Ken and I were only acquaintences in high school and had no idea the other was going to the same school … and ended up in rooms 225 & 226 of the same dorm! That immediate connection really helped both of us get through the transition, and has kept us friends for the >25 years since!

      And like you say – we only get one chance at this stuff, and I know there are things I look back and think ‘what if …’ – but it is totally unproductive.

  3. I love these pictures! Some of my fondest memories are from my sorority days, and my best friends from that time are all Greek. Have an amazing time at the reunion!

  4. Love the pictures! I have so many great memories from college, I wasn’t in a sorority but I loved meeting so many people! Plus that is when Wes and I met and I love thinking back to the early days of our relationship. Where I am from College Sports are HUGE so I remember going to so many games and celebrating! Lots and lots of tailgating too 🙂

    • Thanks Sara! I have to admit to not really ‘getting’ the adoration of college sports by non-college people. Out here Syracuse is huge – personally I like to cheer on the local high schools in our town and the surrounding towns. I seem to always know a name because I have worked with one of the parents (shows how huge of a presence Corning has in the area)!

  5. Yay! I was excited for these! It’s so admirable that you’re still in touch with these friends. I am sad to say that most of my HS friends and I are out of touch (although, truthfully, I was so much of a different person in HS while I was ‘finding my way’ and I think we’ve all gone such separate ways in life), but I hope to keep the bonds with my college friends for a long time! HAVE FUN at the reunion!

    • Thanks Megan! The reality is that only a few of my high school friends are people I would consider friends at this point – one comments here, and two others are in these pictures 😉 Mostly it is Facebook friends – but the funny thing is that people I haven’t talked to much have made contact and we’ve really gotten close as a result of my running. It has been great!

      It has also been great keeping up with college friends – and amazing how they have supported me through weight loss and everything else.

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