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Flashback

Ghetto Rules Old Main

Ghetto dwellers atop Old MainThanks to all of those Ghetto dwellers who came out of hiding and provided responses to our "Ghetto Rules Old Main" photo, including Tom MacMillan '81, Mark "Stew" Stewart '81, John Baxter '83, and Mark Huddle '81. We can now say that most everyone in the photo has been identified.

The four students in the photo are: (left to right) John Nicolau '81, Dennis Murphy '82, Steve Zenker '81, and Warren Krupp '81.

Here's what folks had so share with us:

Tom MacMillan '81 writes: "Those photos were taken in spring 1981. I'm not sure how it is now, but in 1980 the top floor of the Ghetto was a fraternity of its own, with a collection of junior and senior guys. Lots of good times were had by all, including this adventure to the top of Old Main. Most of the wrestling team lived there, along with an unlikely confederation of Betas and Sigma Nus, plus a whole bunch of guys that had a wild side that only their best friends got to see. These were the same seniors who got to plan Flunk Day that year, and they really felt they ran things that summer.

A group, which included more than just these four guys, made their way up to the top to plant this flag, which stayed up for at least a few days simply because it was hard to get at and take down. It was a cloak and dagger, midnight adventure type of thing. (I was not among them, being on crutches at the time, so I'm comfortable talking about it.)

Beyond this adventure, a personal favorite was the swimming pool in one of the Ghetto dorm rooms. It was surrounded by sand, and there was tropical wallpaper behind it covering the wall. This pool could fit about eight people comfortably. While taking a picture of it one day, I asked everyone to ‘skooch' closer, and the sides of the pool caved in, dumping about a hundred gallons of water into the room. The water made its way through the flooring and into the hallway right outside the cafeteria below.

Mark "Stew" Stewart '81 writes: I do recognize the people in the picture. Comments are as follows: Two of them did not live in the Ghetto. One of them was often called ‘Dude.'"

Mark Huddle '81 writes: "It was during my tenure at Knox that Warren Krup and Steve Zenker, along with (I believe) John Nicolau conspired to fly the Ghetto flag atop Old Main. I can't identify the other gentleman, and I don't know who took the picture. Warren is the one who climbed atop the cupola itself, if I recall correctly from extemporaneous accounts. The secret greeting they are directing at the camera was the famous sign of the Woodchuck, which was commonly given among the cognoscenti (chiefly Ghetto dwellers and Betas) during that period.

John Baxter '83 writes: "I was surprised that no one had written in to supply the names of the characters in the ‘Ghetto Rules Old Main' photo. Although I cannot remember the names of the two young men on the right, the two on the left are John Nicolau (standing) and Dennis Murphy (bent down). Incidentally, they hand under the chin greeting they are giving in the picture was popularized from the Three Stooges television re-runs at the time."