Page 1

BETA-RHO BULLETIN Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

California State University, Northridge

Volume 38, Issue 2

Spring/Summer 2010

Subways have never been involved with any of Beta-Rho’s alumni events—until now. Six alumni and sever al family members convened at the Metro Red Line Station across the street from Universal Studios near Hollywood for its first “Walk and Rail Across L.A.” event on May 23. Two of the par ticipants, board members Scott Press and Rick Childs, had been pitching this alumni event idea for about two years to the corp. board. Brother Press brought along his wife Sue and Brother Childs showed up with his daughter Megan. Spencer Schmer ling arrived at the same time with his sons Ethan and Chad and parked his car alongside theirs before walking over to the subway station entrance. A few minutes later, Cesar Ayllon, Ricky Trevino and Anthony Pinkett drove up just as the group was about to ride the escalator down to the ticket dispensers. Once the entourage bought their day passes, they hopped on a subway train for a 25-minute commute to Union Station. The cloud-dappled skies resembled the picture-perfect conditions

Spencer Schmerling

Alumni hit the rails to rediscover downtown L.A.

Somewhere below the Hollywood Hills. Riders on the Metro Red Line commuting to Union Station included (from left): Megan Childs, Rick Childs, Scott Press, Sue Press, Anthony Pinkett, Ricky Trevino and Cesar Ayllon.

depicted on (infamously) smogfree L.A. postcards. “We started doing this to celebrate our 50th birthdays,” Sue Press confided. “The first time we did it we took along 20 of our fr iends.” The group followed Courtesy of Brian Megginson

Barry Megginson, 1953-2010. Services were held for Barry J. Megginson (BP 42) on June 18. He passed away on June 7. He is shown with his niece, Grace.


roughly the same route as the Press Family did to downtown Los Angeles, and then they started with a visit to the historic Olvera Street section. The group ducked into the Avila Adobe for a brief free tour of a building that had stood since 1821. A docent gave a short talk about its construction and the t r a d i t i o n s o b s e r ve d by a relatively wealthy family almost two centuries ago when Spanish ranchers were homesteading Los Angeles. Philippe’s, downtown L.A.’s most famous French dip sandwich destination since 1908, wound up as the lunch stop. The entourage commandeered a private room upstairs before heading over to Chinatown. An hour-long detour in a Chinatown flea mar ket on Broadway segued into another stroll along Olvera Street, but this time the group headed into

the historic El Paseo Inn for drinks, chips and salsa, a restaurant that has entertained locals and tourists since 1930. Back on the Red Line, the group backtracked to Hollywood and Highland. Brothers Ayllon, Pinkett and Trevino split up and returned to the Valley while the others enjoyed watching some of the costumed superhero buskers in front of the Hard Rock Café store before making a beeline to Hooters across the street from the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. After another leisurely hour of socializing, the group split up again as some returned to Universal City. However, this writer and Megan took the subway to Hollywood and Vine and walked over to Amoeba Music where they watched a short concert by Texan country singer Lynda Kay while browsing the CD stacks. As the old Pink Floyd album title read, “Wish You Were Here.”

Courtesy of Jose Fregoso

Rain, what rain? It didn’t keep the brothers away. At the May 18 commencement ceremonies, CTVA multi-media graduate Jose Fregoso is joined by (from left) brothers Steven Torres, Tim Gibson, Drew Singer and Benny Adams.

Wet weather dampens grads, but not spirits, during May commencement exercises Occasional rain might’ve dampened their gowns and Lambda Chi sashes, but it didn’t stop five more Beta-Rho initiates from graduating during the week o f M ay 1 7 - 2 1 a t v a r i o u s commencement ceremonies around CSUN. Among the degree recipients were Matt Ahmadi (BP 551), Darren Arrieta (BP 533), Justin Bloomfield (BP 529), Jose Fregoso (BP 517) and Bodhi Severns (BP 570). The graduates bagged degrees in business administration- finance (Ahmadi, BS), civil engineering (Arrieta, BS), cinema/television/arts-multiCourtesy of Bodhi Severns

Bodhi Severns

media production (Fregoso, BA), CTVA-photojournalism (Severns, BA) and biology (Bloomfield, BS). Morning showers – a first for CSUN commencements in over 50 years – did not dampen the e n t h u s i a s m o f t h e C T VA students during their graduation ceremony in front of the Oviatt Library on May 18. Despite the rain, students kept up with time-honored antics. “I’ve never seen so many beach balls in the rain,” Brother Fregoso texted on Facebook. “That was fun, but the new student orientation leader s would pop them because it would get loud and it made it difficult for people to hear students’ names.” Before Brother Sever ns transferred to CSUN in 2007, he had attended North Seattle and Edmonds Community Colleges for a year each. Now that he’s back in Seattle, he looked ahead to future education plans. “I want to attend Berkeley, USC, UCLA or NYU to get a masters in student affairs,” he wrote. [Editor’s note: Alumnus Chris Dyer (BP 500) walked in the May ’09 School of Business and Economics commencement, but he finished his final class in August.]

Chapter hosts Alumni Appreciation Night in May Marcus Murrieta (BP 560), Beta-Rho’s High Rho, dar ted around between the living room and other parts of the house in Northridge where alumni mixed with chapter members at the Alumni Appreciation (Blackjack) Night on May 1. Brother Murrieta confessed that he could’ve done a better job publicizing the first alumni-active mixer of the year. Nevertheless, five alumni mingled and shared pizza, tortilla chips, various salsas and soft drinks with around 17 undergrads, including several live-ins. Alumni Drew Singer (BP 545), Mahdiar Karamooz (BP 549), Rick Childs (BP 83), Spencer Schmerling (BP 288) and Brian Megginson (BP 79) dropped by between 7 and 11 p.m. at what the live-ins refer to unofficially as the ‘Chipotle House .’ The residence was named after the nearby Chipotle Mexican fast food restaurant off Reseda Boulevard on Dearborn Street. While some of the chapter’s recent social events have taken place at the Chipotle House, it hasn’t ser ved as an official fraternity complex, and the chapter continues to meet on campus at Sierra Hall on Sunday evenings. Early arrivals saw a blackjack table set up for card sharks after dinner. However, a casual poll of brothers indicated that virtually everyone preferred to ditch the card games in favor of the Floyd

“Money” Mayweather Jr.–Shane “Sugar” Mosley welterweight bout on HBO pay-per-view at 8 p.m. Right before game time, several actives broke down the blackjack table and hauled in the furniture that had been placed on the back yard patio. No one at the house seemed to mind that Mayweather stretched his unbeaten streak to 41 with a unanimous decision by the fight judges. Alumni listened intently to former chapter president Neil Sanchez’s (BP 573) campus leader ship involvement commentary. Currently the IFC president, Brother Sanchez indicated that he wanted to continue next semester as its vice president. He is also pursuing a seat on the Grand High Zeta as either the General Fraternity’s Psi or Nu. Students hold both positions. High Alpha A.J. Jaegle (BP 543) discussed the chapter’s hugely popular Golden Ticket Raffle held on campus in the USU’s Pub on April 28. A member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority won top prize: a $500 gift card. Although the chapter didn’t make any money on the fundraiser, it collected over 100 cans for the fraternity’s National Food Dr ive . The chapter has been banking canned foods at var ious events throughout the year to obliterate its previous mark for Lambda Chi Alpha’s food bank charities.

A little TLC for some alumni. For the “unofficial” photo at the Alumni Appreciation Night, there were (from left) Drew Singer, Mahdiar Karamooz, Rick Childs, Spencer Schmerling and Brian Megginson.


Spring/Summer 2010

Giovanny Pernudi

Noteworthy alumni announcements Courtesy of Alfonso Stogden, Jr.

Plans are in the works for a trip to Australia in 2011 for their one-year anniversar y. Brother Stogden and Ms. Kepley met at the Lancaster Sheriffs Station where they went through training at the same time. “Over the years everyone predicted we would eventually get together except us,” she continued, “but luckily we decided to give it a shot and things worked out well.”

Pernudi family addition

Alfonso & Angela Stogden

Stogden-Kepley nuptials

Crescent bawls made a limited return engagement when Giovanny Pernudi’s (BP 473) wife Ofelia presented him with Giovanny Alexander, their first child, at 6:55 p.m. on April 30. The baby weighed in at 9 lbs., 9 oz., and he was 20 ½ inches at birth. Some of Gio’s recent Facebook posts: “Having my son fall asleep in my arms gives me a whole new per spective in life.” (May 12) “ ‘Li’l Man’ is a l r e a d y w a t c h i n g M i c ke y ’ s Playhouse... and so begins a life addicted to TV.” (May 29) The family wasted no time introducing their infant son to Disneyland on June 4.

‘Li’l Man’s’ first visit to Disneyland. Giovanny Pernudi wasted no time turning his newborn son into a House of Mouse fan. He and his wife Ofelia visited Disneyland with their six-week-old son Giovanny Jr. in early June.

Alfonso Stogden (BP 477) and Angela Kepley were married on April 17 in the Classico Chapel at Caesar’s Palace . According to Ms. Kepley, they “decided to have a moderatesized wedding in Vegas.” For their reception, the families and guests moved to a VIP section at Treasure Island’s Chr istian Audigier Nightclub. ‘Fonz’ and his bride took off to Maui for their honeymoon a few days later. Br other Vegas reunion, baby. Mark Widawer emailed some photos to Spencer Schmerling

Chapter composite is a wrap for 2010 A fairly large cross-section of the chapter and a few corp. board members dropped by at one of CSUN’s classrooms on March 7 for a composite session. A composite photo company known as set up their equipment at the chapter’s current meeting place on campus, Sierra Hall 182. It was like déjà vu for this writer when he stepped inside. This was the very same classroom where he had spent two semesters sitting in on the late Dr. Mike Patterson’s U.S. history lectures back in 1975.

from one of his occasional get-togethers with fellow alums in Las Vegas. This time out, the guys reunited on the weekend of March 12. One of their orders of business/pleasure was tracking down Lloyd Cristobal (BP 280), a casino dealer at Harrah’s. The entourage in this snapshot were, from left, Brian Quint, Mark Swedelson, Brother Cristobal, Howard Sapper, Mitch Silberman, Jon Gardner, Jay Friedman and Brother Widawer.

Composites star ted to become a chapter tradition in the mid-1980s. Up until that time, the only way the chapter had been photographed together was at crescent or White Rose formals, charter day celebrations or after chapter meetings in cramped quarters like the living room at the Cantar a House . Beta-Rho’s chapter group photos at that time mostly resulted from Sunburst committee requests, and the membership appeared in several university yearbooks between 1976 and 1992.

Courtesy of Mark Widawer

Ready for his close-up, Mr. DeMille. Travon Dixon (right) strikes a pose. Beta-Rho Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity


Dues drive assists in bringing this newsletter to fruition

Directory Revisions Michael R. “Mike” Bennett (A) BP 165 10587 Petunia St. Ventura, CA 93004-3589 (805) 647-4495 (805) 525-0061 Arbee, Inc.

Publication of this Beta-Rho Bulletin was made possible by the generous support of Beta-Rho alumni and affiliates. The 2010 dues drive has received $1,387 from 14 alumni since its first solicitation in July. Contributors provided between $25 and $500 each, and the average contribution came in at just over $99, a record high. Donations to help support the alumni activities and publications fund were derived from just over 4 percent of Beta-Rho’s alumni and affiliates. The Housing Corporation’s treasurer, Giovanny Pernudi, is still accepting donations throughout the year. The corp. board wishes to acknowledge and thank the following contributors for their generosity: Phillip Abbenante, David Adelman, Eric Bossuk, Howard Brightman, Donald Ellis, Richard Greenberg, Phillip Griggs, DDS; Josh Lodolo, Brian Megginson, Jerry Plotkin, David Primes, Pat Schaefer, Spencer Schmerling and Tim Shannon.

Kevin J. Daum (A) BP 226 295 Greenwich St. Frnt 2 New York, NY 10007-1091 Peter W. Fields (A) BP 202 12350 Adams St. Mount Morris, MI 48458-3207 Courtesy of Erwin Avendono

Steven L. Finkle (A) BP 49 Email:

John Gezelius (F) M 1082 337 S Violet Ln. Orange, CA 92869-4760 (714) 609-9873 Emails:

Daniel J. Grammier (A) BP 443 2464 Fenton Pkwy, Apt. 103 San Diego, CA 92103-6705 Jerry R. Herskovitz (A) BP 157 38800 Hastings St., Apt. 41 Fremont, CA 94536-6113

Beta-Rho’s newest trio. Bernardo ‘Bernie’ Gavidia (BP 592), John Leynes (BP 590) and Erwin Avendano (BP 591) were initiated on April 23.

Jack H. Keleshian (A) BP 347 1586 W. Clark St. Upland, CA 91784-8800 Email:

Beta-Rho formals & special occasions Event



Charter Installation Banquet Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Crescent Semiformal Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Founders Day Celebration Crescent Ball Founders Day Celebration Crescent Ball Charter Day Banquet -10th Crescent Ball Charter Day Banquet -11th Diamond Anniversary/Crescent Ball Crescent Ball/Founder's Day Crescent Ball Crescent Ball Charter Day Banquet -15th White Rose Formal George Spasyk's Retirement Banquet White Rose Formal White Rose Formal White Rose Formal White Rose Formal Charter Day Banquet -20th Founder's Day/Lawrence Retirement White Rose Formal White Rose Formal Pacific Conclave at CSUN White Rose Formal White Rose Formal Charter Day Banquet -30th White Rose Formal Date Party/Formal (not White Rose) Charter Installation Banquet #2 Date Party/Formal (not White Rose) White Rose Formal White Rose Formal Charter Day Banquet -35th White Rose Formal White Rose Formal

Sheraton-Universal Hotel Castaways Castagnola's Lobster House Proud Bird Restaurant Sheraton-Universal Hotel Calabasas Inn The Onion Westlake Inn

Universal City Los Angeles Burbank Los Angeles Marina Del Rey Los Angeles Inglewood Los Angeles Universal City Los Angeles Calabasas Los Angeles Sepulveda/North Hills Los Angeles Westlake Village Los Angeles Marina Del Rey Los Angeles Westlake Village Los Angeles Van Nuys Los Angeles Woodland Hills Los Angeles Northridge Los Angeles Chatsworth Los Angeles Universal City Los Angeles Studio City Los Angeles Encino Los Angeles Granada Hills Los Angeles Los Angeles Los Angeles

Westlake Inn Longfellow's Restaurant Woodland Hills Country Club Beef & Barrel Restaurant Porter Valley Country Club Sheraton-Universal Hotel Sportsman's Lodge 5334 Lindley Ave. Odyssey Restaurant Los Angeles Marriott Hotel Ports 'O Call Princess Louise/Cruise Sheraton-Universal Hotel Lake Arrowhead Hilton Riviera Club Anaheim Marriott Hotel

San Pedro Universal City Lake Arrowhead Brentwood Simi Valley Anaheim

Sheraton Universal Hotel Women's Club Radisson Hotel Long Beach Harbor Cruise University Club, Satellite USU Disneyland Resort Hotel Dakota's Sheraton-Universal Hotel Disneyland Resort Hotel Canoga Hilton Odyssey Restaurant Queen Mary Odyssey Restaurant Encino Glen Monterey Rm. Carla's Café/CBS Radford Studios Sportsman's Lodge Hyatt Regency Suites

Palm Springs Universal City Van Nuys Simi Valley Long Beach Northridge Anaheim Simi Valley Universal City Anaheim Canoga Park Granada Hills Long Beach Granada Hills Encino Studio City Studio City Palm Springs



9/2/72 1973 Nov-74 11/22/75 11/20/76 Apr-77 11/11/77 4/29/78 4/28/79 May-80 3/22/81 5/1/81 3/21/82 4/3/82 9/4/82 Apr-83 9/3/83 3/3/84 3/30/85 1986 Los Angeles 4/3/87 Los Angeles Sep-87 San Bernardino 3/12/88 Los Angeles 3/11/89 Ventura 4/1/89 Orange 3/30/90 1991 Riverside Apr-92 Los Angeles 8/30/92 Los Angeles 3/20/93 Ventura Mar-93 Los Angeles 4/23/94 Los Angeles 3/11/95 Orange 4/22/95 Ventura 5/10/02 Los Angeles Sep-02 Orange 4/19/03 Los Angeles Oct-03 Los Angeles 3/27/04 Los Angeles Oct-04 Los Angeles Apr-06 Los Angeles 4/20/07 Los Angeles 12/1/07 Los Angeles 4/12/08 Riverside 3/28/09


Coordinator(s) Bill Greene, Joe Coyne Marshall Trager Jim Wirosko Mike Brown Robert Scher Rick Childs Brian Megginson Brian Megginson Bruce Marks Lanny Silverman Rick Childs Lanny Silverman Dave Huhn Jeff Friedman Bill Greene Daniel Sovetky

Gary Goodstein Bahman Farahnik

Ron Taix SoCal !XA Alumni Assn. Mike McKelvey Mike Gregory

Eric J. May (A) BP 268 His mailing address zip code should be 91360-3138. It was misprinted in the Winter ’10 newsletter. Dustin T. Mirochnick (A) BP 461 12728 Moorpark St., Apt. 21 Studio City, CA 91604-4533 James M. “Jim” Roberts (A) BP 214 (561) 542-2170 Email: Auto Dealer Finance Services Representative Sundance Dealer Services Bodhi Severns (A) BP 570 2613 205th Pl. SW Lynnwood, WA 98036 Patrick A. Sheeley (A) BP 118 7759 N. Silverbell Rd., Apt. 22103 Tucson, AZ 85743-7222 Christopher J.“Chris” Wirosko (A) BP 101 (623) 680-8912 Email: James A. “Jamie” Wirosko (F) ΔN 158 22321 Mandarin Ln. Saugus, CA 91390-4097 (661) 803-4615 Student, UC Riverside Email: A = alumnus F = friend/affiliate Volume 38, Issue 2

Version 2.9

Editor, reporter, designer & photographer: Rick Childs The Beta-Rho Bulletin is the official publication of Beta-Rho Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha, Inc. at California State University, Northridge and is distributed at no charge to all of its members and affiliates whose mailing addresses are current. Articles, directory revisions, weddings, bir ths and professional info should be snail mailed or emailed to the editor at 44044 Engle Way Apt. 65, Lancaster, CA; 93536-6660 or, respectively. MS Word, Excel, JPG, PDF, TIFF files, press releases and photos are accepted. All other correspondence to the corporation should be sent to P.O. Box 280311, Northridge, CA 91328-0311. The next deadline is Nov. 15, 2010. Made on a Mac Mini with iWork Pages ’09. Last revised on Sept. 23, 2010. Editor’s phone number: (661) 948-3260

Toby Reyes Beau Fournier

2010 Corporation Board of Directors: President Spencer Schmerling VP, Communications Rick Childs VP, Activities Scott Press Secretary Anthony Pinkett Treasurer Giovanny Pernudi Alumni Directors Robert Press Tim Pena Chapter Adviser Cesar Ayllon High Alpha A.J. Jaegle High Tau Steven Shapiro High Iota Steven Zavala High Rho Douglas Centeno

Anthony Pinkett Hamid Jahangard Sue Press Sue Press A.J. Jaegle A.J. Jaegle

On the Web: Headquarters Chapter Website Franternity Journal

Mike Cooperman Mike Cooperman Thomas Quek/Darin Barton Sue Press

Lambda Chi Alpha - Beta-Rho Beta-Rho Alumni Page

Spring/Summer 2010

Paul DePascale

to the south, and there they have two super mar kets, m ov i e theatres, fast food. For clothes, you have to go to Fresno or Merced which is anywhere from 60 to 100 miles. It just depends on what you’re looking for. When you go to the grocery store, you buy for two or three weeks. [I do] a lot of online shopping too, and that works quite well. I’ve ordered everything from car bumpers to clothes, furniture, and just have everything sent here. The internet is the way to go for a lot of shopping when you live here. What has changed at the Yosemite since you started working there 20 years ago? We’ve had some floods and fires which have done some natural remodeling. Not too much. Things don’t really change too much here. Most of our staff are seasonal, so they come and go. As someone who monitors park backcountry trail maintenance and construction, what's the biggest challenge keeping the trails open? For the trail crew, they always have to go out and usually log the trails every spring. A lot of trees come down over the trails. Erosion is always a problem. Drainages will wash out trail sections, or they might get undermined. And my job is to work with the trail crew to insure that when they do repair the trails – and particularly when they construct their trail crew camps, which involve placing 20 people in one location for months at a time in the backcountry – I have to make sure that these camps don’t end up on archaeological sites— which they always do. Trail crews like to camp in the same place that Indians liked to camp: on raised, well-drained soil, near water, southwest-facing aspect. And so nine times out of ten I have to help the crew relocate and put their trail camps off of archaeological sites so then they can do ground disturbances without adversely affecting any cultural resources. Are there currently any opportunities for brothers to work for the National Park Service right now? What should they do to prepare for a career like yours? A four-year degree is essential. It depends on what they want to do. The first step with getting a job with the federal government is going onto the internet and going to That has a listing of all federal jobs in the country. They can do a name search for what they’re interested in. When getting a federal government job, just plan ahead six to eight months in advance. The hiring process is slow. When generating an application, use the language of the text that is displayed in the government announcement because, when you apply for a government job, your application doesn’t go to your supervisor, it goes to a human resource office. Do you have any tips on or general information about Yosemite National Park for visitors? What’s the insider scoop on having the best chances for getting into the Yosemite Valley? Whenever you have a warm and sunny weekend combined with spring when the waterfalls are at their peak, and the Tioga Road has not opened yet, then the Yosemite Valley becomes a very congested place. I would recommend waiting for Tioga Road to open because that releases a lot of traffic into the high country and across the Sierras. When does Tioga Road open? We did get more of our share (of snow) this year, so it is possible that Tioga Road will be delayed. Sometimes that delay can be several weeks into June. And the warmer the days on the weekend are, the more crowded it’s going to be. So weekdays or cooler weekends, you’ll get less crowds. But if you’re willing to hike, if you get just a mile out onto a trail, it won’t be crowded.

The Beta-Rho Bulletin Interview


n archaeologist for the National Park Ser vice in the Yosemite Valley, Paul DePascale (BP 198) transferred to CSUN from Santa Monica College. A longtime resident of El Por tal, a tiny community near the west entrance of Yosemite National Park off Highway 140, he is an avid nature photographer when he isn’t overseeing backcountry trails and construction monitoring programs. He is beginning his third decade working in Yosemite. The editor phoned him on May 16. A recent self-portrait at right appears on his Facebook page. You joined in the fall of 1981. What were your first impressions of the chapter? What made you interested in the fraternity? I was friends with Melinda Kelly who was a little sister at Lambda Chi. I was rushing, and she said, “Come by this house.” So I did, and it was probably the wildest house, but also the friendliest. It had such a nice cross-section of people. It just felt like home. What was the chapter house’s location at that point? I rushed at Halsted 1, but they had just gotten [a rental agreement for the former house on the corner of Zelzah and] Merridy. I was the first person to move in, actually, before the lease was even signed. Merridy was the first place where I had any experience with the active chapter. Did you hold any offices or work on any specific projects while you were active? Yeah. I was the historian, scholastics chairman and social chairman. Have you been having regular reunions with brothers from your era like that picture you sent to (the BP Bulletin) last July in Santa Clarita with Mike Diamant, Roger Marte, Mike Bennett and Jeff Gardner? Nothing regular. That was just a very random thing, but it just happened to work out. I was in town. I called Roger. We kind of spread the word around to see who was interested in getting together, and it just happened. How did your course studies at CSUN get parlayed into a career as an archaeologist for the National Park Service in the Yosemite Valley? When I originally came to CSUN I had an AA degree in psychology. From Santa Monica College? Yeah. And then I was actually going towards biology when I was in the fraternity. But eventually I ran out of funds and energy, so I left CSUN, and I didn’t return until about 1989. When I did, I returned as an anthropology/archaeology major, having no intention to use it, but with the plan of just getting the degree and then figuring out where to go from there. But the summer when I graduated, there were some advertisements on the CSUN anthropology department board that were advertising for these federal jobs as archaeologists in various locations. So I applied to all of them, figuring I could do this for the summer, make a little money, pay off some loans, and then figure out what to do. And as I was chipping away at the desert concrete in Eastern Oregon on my field school—this is before graduation—I said one thing to myself: “I don’t want to do this for a living.” But it turns out that’s what I did. I took a summer job in Yosemite and just never left. And that was 20 years ago. Since you live so close to the Yosemite Valley in such a small town, are there times when it's difficult to find provisions during the winter months? We have a very small store and one restaurant in the town I live in. You can find some of the things you need in the Yosemite Valley – for a price. But normally I’ll drive to Oakhurst which is about 60 miles Beta-Rho Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity


Remembering ‘Jimbabwe’


rothers, friends and family mourned Next at the dais, Jamie Wirosko continued, the loss of James S. (Jim) Wirosko. “Whenever he did something, he never did it While taking a day off after complaining halfway. He took it to his own personal level.” of stomach pains, according to Mark Cody Wirosko added, ”His personality and Eskander, he suffered a massive heart charisma are unmatched by anyone I’ve ever attack at his home on Feb. 4. He was 56. come across.” Brother Wirosko’s former wife, Melanie, sons J a m i e W i r o s ko a d m i r e d h i s f a t h e r ’s James (‘Jamie,’ a Lambda Chi legacy at UC commitment to helping his high school’s baseball Riverside) and Cody, brother and fellow Lambda team as a coach and major supporter. His Chi Chris, his longtime companion, Ve Neill, barbecues for the team at home games using a stepfather John Miller and uncles Gary and Loren 20-foot grill that he brought were legendary. Cummings survive him. Their dad could distill many of his life Among the more than 150 people in experiences into highly amusing anecdotes. attendance at Jim’s memorial service and (or) Whether he was describing how he dodged reception on Feb. 27 were Brothers Tom water-dropping helicopters during a fire that Lawrence (AI 620), Howard Brightman (EΣ 528), came perilously close to his home or reminiscing about the absurdities of living in the fraternity Dr. Joe Coyne (BP 6), Brother Eskander (BP 18), house, Brother Wirosko could get a chuckle out Dennis Crain (BP 22), Robert Kacic (BP 23), Jim of the most jaded observer. Greene (BP 38), Doug Green (BP 39), Jeff Flocken (BP 43), Steven Finkle (BP 49), Wil Krug One of his earliest recollections about rushing (BP 50), John Harmon (BP 52), Scott Press (BP the fraternity went like this: “I graduated high 55), Mike Sorenson (BP 70), Jon Rice (BP 82), Rick school in June of ‘71. Mark Eskander and Denny Childs (BP 83), Chris Wirosko (BP 101), Spencer Crain came over to my house after graduating. They called me, and then they came over. First Schmerling (BP 288) and James A.Wirosko (ΔN 158). they sold my mom. My mom would’ve disowned In recent years Brother Wirosko had divided 1953-2010 me if I didn’t join Lambda Chi.” his time with managing Ms. Neill’s make-up design company, family and his passion for big game About the diets of live-ins at the Cantara hunting. He came up with the idea for incorporating Ms. Neill’s House: “We hardly ever cooked. [One of the live-ins] worked at the Academy-Award winning film make-up artistry into a business and Jack in the Box around the corner and gave us free food. Back then overseeing it to escape the grind of working up to 20 hours a day on there were no computerized registers. They kept track of meals sold film productions and spend more time with his sons. From the late by counting all the cups. Whenever he gave us free food, he took the 1970s until early this decade, he worked for Warner Bros. as an used cups out of the trash, washed them [and re-used them]. That’s assistant lighting supervisor (usually a best boy) for TV and movies. how he got away with giving the live-ins food.” Among his TV credits were The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Heart to During the Ranch Fire that swept across the Castaic hills in Heart, The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. and China Beach. Film credits October of 2007, Brother Wirosko refused to evacuate his home as included 1941 (1979), Moving (1988), Batman (1989), Batman Returns the flames drew near. At one point a helicopter dropped several tons (1992), Dave (1993), Demolition Man (1993), True Lies (1994), Batman of water on him while he dodged the flames. He seemed more Forever (1995), Executive Decision (1996) and Batman & Robin (1997). amused than terrified as he noted that water weighs eight pounds per Brother Wirosko joined the Beta-Rho chapter of Lambda Chi gallon when he recalled the incident and said, “You haven’t lived until Alpha in the fall of 1971 and became its 27th initiate. He graduated in you’ve had 4,000 gallons of water dropped on your head.” the spring of 1976 from CSUN with a bachelor’s degree in history. Brother Harmon’s dad, a longtime movie actor who understood Although he had intended to pursue a career in law after graduation, how studios worked, was driven to distraction as Brother Wirosko he went to work as a studio electrician after his father passed away. peppered him with questions during dinners together. Friends and family gathered at the St. Francis High School Chapel “It’s interesting that [the minister] mentioned the 23rd Psalm in La Canada for his memorial service. The location held special because I remember the first day Jim went to work over at Warner significance for Brother Wirosko’s two sons: they had both attended Bros,” Brother Harmon said. “He was absolutely terrified. We actually the Catholic high school and played on the baseball team. prayed the 23rd Psalm. And it worked. And he did very well after that.” Showers had preceded the noontime service, but a break in the Since there weren’t enough parking spaces for visitors at Brother weather prevailed at midday. Not 15 minutes after the entourage left Wirosko’s home, they were shuttled in a van from a property about a for the reception at the rural Castaic home Brother Wirosko and Ms. quarter-mile down the road. As guests entered the long driveway up Neill shared, lightning and a brief downpour converged on the to the house, they could see the name ‘Jimbabwe’ printed on his chapel. A large tent had been set up in the backyard for the mailbox, a nickname he picked up while on safari in Africa. reception’s celebrants, and guests dined on a Mexican buffet while a According to Brother Eskander, Jim’s ashes were placed in a special deejay played plenty of ‘70s classic rock and country music. hunting trophy urn provided by the San Fernando Valley Eulogies and reminiscences highlighted the church service and chapter of African Safari Club International. At the time of his death, reception. During his remarks the presiding minister, Fr. Tony Marti, Brother Wirosko had been the chapter’s president. For his big game revealed what Brother Wirosko’s son Jamie remembered most about exploits, he traveled to the Rockies, Canada, Mexico and Africa. his father. He quoted Jamie saying, “His passion for work, his affection Between 2003 and 2008 he visited Africa four times on safari, and his for us – for Cody, and for me, the calls that he made every day.” sons James and Cody accompanied him on most of them. Ω

Jim Wirosko


Spring/Summer 2010

Courtesy of Tom Lawrence

Courtesy of James Wirosko

Courtesy of James Wirosko

Celebrating Jim’s life. (Clockwise from above.) At the chapel on Feb. 27, front row: Dennis Crain, Howard Brightman, Steven Finkle, Rick Childs (seated), Robert Kacic, Chris Wirosko, Cody Wirosko. Second row: James Wirosko, John Harmon, Tom Lawrence, Doug Green, Wil Krug, Spencer Schmerling, Jeff Flocken, Dr. Joe Coyne; James Wirosko’s Facebook photo; one of Jim’s hunting safaris; Mark Jacobs and Cliff Topel take a break with Jim during an initiation on April 25, 1976; Jim with Ve Neill in 2008; the trophy from Jim’s Safari Club Int’l chapter that holds his ashes.

Courtesy of Bob Welch/Paschall Family

In Memorium: Jerry Paschall A longtime resident of Valencia, Jerry K. Paschall [BP 99] passed away on Nov. 6, 2009. His wife Mary Ann and three children, two boys and a girl, survive him. Brother Paschall had been battling colo-rectal cancer. He was 51. According to his stepfather, Bob Welch, Brother Paschall worked with him at his Valencia insurance agency in the loan business after his college years as a mortgage broker. In 1994 Brother Paschall became the owner of J P Capital Funding, part of Mr. Welch’s agency, Pinecrest Insurance Services. His undergraduate career at CSUN lasted for less than two years, and he did not finish his bachelor’s program. A business finance major, Brother Paschall rushed Lambda Chi Alpha in the fall of 1976 and was initiated on Nov. 14 of that year along with six other brothers. In the years following his marriage to Mary Ann, Brother Paschall took up fly fishing, hunting and sport clay shooting under the mentoring of his stepfather. They took several fishing and hunting trips together in Montana. Ω —Special thanks to Mark Swedelson for photo and liaison assistance. Reported by Bob Welch.

Beta-Rho Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity


number who attended, but it was a real nail-biter. This wasn’t the first time that Brother Press or his wife had suffered from a bad case of RSVP disorder. Two of that year’s alumni events were sabotaged to the point of cancellation when alumni failed to make reservations. The golf tournament’s demise in April of 2008 garnered too few takers to tee off. A summer walking tour of downtown Los Angeles using the Metro Red Line never left the station, either. (It took two years to get that event back on the alumni event calendar.) While the

The event that almost never arrived. Scott Press looks over as the Metro Red Line train arrives at the Universal City station. This event had been postponed twice.

golf outing’s cost might’ve taken a swing at many alumni members’ pocket books, the Red Lineassisted shopping and dining tour’s cost was not an issue. It made me wonder how many alumni even realized that there’s a subway system in Los Angeles. Maybe that Missing Persons song from the early 80s, ‘Nobody Walks in L.A.’, still rings true. In recent years, RSVP disorder has also laid siege to Jethawks baseball games, Annual Meetings, Bowling With Brothers and May’s Alumni Appreciation Night. Unfor tunately, RSVP disorder clobbered a Jethawks game sequel scheduled for July 17. E-vites and Facebook notices only attracted four alumni as of mid-June. While there are no known cures for RSVP disorder, all I would ask is this: call or email our event coordinator when we have an event so that we know if you’re attending or not. And if you have any ideas about alumni events that would maximize your interest, let us know. We’re constantly looking for alumni events that are bug-proof.

Address Service Requested Beta-Rho Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity P.O. Box 280311 Northridge, CA 91328-0311



Nov. 30 Oct. 17 Nov. 4 Nov. 6-13 Nov. 19

In the Dec. 7, 2008 edition of Parade, a syndicated magazine in my local Antelope Valley Press newspaper, there was a riveting ar ticle about an insidious bacterium (“A Deadly Bug Invades Our Town” by Dr. Ranit Mishori). The bug—a bacterium called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA —made me think of something that’s been infecting our alumni e v e n t s f o r s e v e r a l ye a r s : something I call RSVP disorder. In advanced cases apathy sets in, the rigor mortis of participation. Unlike MRSA, RSVP disorder isn’t deadly – yet. Here is its main symptom: alumni event coordinator(s) suffer near nervous breakdowns because alumni and active members of the chapter don’t call or respond to phone tree voicemails, letter campaigns, E-vites, Facebook event notices or paper invitations to tell us that they’re planning to attend upcoming alumni events. At the 2008 Annual Meeting,

Scott Press’s wife Susan confided with me that she was recuperating from the lingering effects of RSVP disorder. It turned out that only about half of the attendees phoned in or mailed back responses to let them know that they were going to be at the Golden Hunan Restaurant. Since she had booked the restaurant for the corp. board as Scott’s delegate (they’d known the owners for several years as neighbors), she had to keep guessing as to how many people would show up. Her final estimate came very close to the

EVENT SCHEDULE Alumni-Active Softball/Northridge Park, noon Alumni-Active Bowling Tournament North American Food Drive Drop-off Fall Initiation/contact Douglas Centeno, High Rho Annual Meeting/Northiridge, Golden Hunan Restaurant, 6:30 p.m., $25 each

Editor’s journal

All aboard. Alumni and their families hopped on the Metro Red Line in Universal City for stopovers in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood on May 23 during its first Walk & Rail Across L.A. >>page 1

Spring/Summer 2010 Beta-Rho Bulletin  

Several alumni accompanied Scott and Sue Press who led a tour of downtown Los Angeles via the Metro Red Line subway. It was the last of the...

Spring/Summer 2010 Beta-Rho Bulletin  

Several alumni accompanied Scott and Sue Press who led a tour of downtown Los Angeles via the Metro Red Line subway. It was the last of the...