Here Comes The Fun!

Hello Brothers and Sweethearts! It sure was a fun time down in Florida at Seralago.   President Chris Lawrence and his FL Alpha Lambda brothers made sure everyone and everything was well taken care of. There was plenty of delicious food and beverages to keep us all wet and well fed. The best part is still the fun of sitting around listening and talking to so many different brothers. One thing a Phi Delta Kappa brother can do is tell a story that can keep you captivated.

The Saturday morning meeting had 51 brothers in attendance! Wow that is absolutely fantastic! It was a great meeting, fun and informative. Thank you for letting us Yanks attend this great weekend event. Brother Chris Lawrence told that this weekend used to be called the “Yankee Retreat” I will say to get out the cold Indiana winter, even if just for a long weekend, is a true blessing! The love, fun and most of all the brotherhood is what make PDK so special.

At one point late in the afternoon on Saturday Brother Pat Martucci turned the music down and got everyone’s attention. He said something along the lines of “Hey look around! Nobody has their nose buried in the cellphone! Just groups of people sitting around talking and laughing!”   By God he was right! Granted this was not a small crowd of people either. This type of fun is why I love PDK!

Early in the morning on February 9th Sarah and I along with Brian and Chiquita Blunt took off in Brian’s van and headed South and East to Winchester for “The best all you can eat breakfast in America.” We were not disappointed one bit. This was a twofold visit. Later in the evening Beta Eta was hosting their annual Sweetheart Dinner and Dance.   After breakfast we dropped our dress clothes off at Scott and Diana Dull’s “And the Horse You Rode In on Ranch”.

We then took off exploring East Central Indiana. We had fun chatting, jamming to some music and ended up in Muncie at a pawn shop. We did get back in time to rest and then attend the evening event. As they always do Beta Eta hit it out of the park with the evening festivities. The prime rib dinner prepared by PNP/Emir Scott Dull and his crew was delicious!   The party was in honor of our National Sweetheart, Beta Eta’s own, Brenda Woolf!

The after dinner program began by introducing all of the dignitaries in house. This included all of the past Chapter Sweethearts at Beta Eta. Heck even their past princes were also introduced. Congrats to all! After the program the Sean Lamb Band had everyone up dancing.   It was another fun and fantastic night of PDK love and brotherhood. I am so blessed to have PDK be such an important part of my life.

Sarah and I love the fun we get out of traveling to different cities and different Chapters. We always have a good time with our brothers and their sweethearts. If you get a chance please get out to another Chapter for one of their events. I bet you will have FUN too!

Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!

Happy New Year Brothers and Sweethearts

Hello and Happy New Year, brothers and sweethearts.

Sarah and I had a fantastic trip to Mississippi Alpha, The Hospitality Chapter. We left on Thursday afternoon after I got off of work. We drove and got south of Nashville, TN and then found a descent hotel to sleep for the night. Friday was a day I was looking forward to on this trip. Most of you that have talked to me understand my love of music.

The side trip was to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The 3614 Jackson Highway Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was our destination. This was/is the home studio of The Swampers. These guys recorded some of the best music ever recorded. We had a tour of the facility and the recording studio. It is Rock and Roll Heaven, Man. I was surprised at how small the studio actually is. Ask me details when we meet and I can fill you in. Google The Swampers and you will understand my obsession with checking this place out.

After this side trip we journeyed on to Meridian for their Chili Cook Off. Friday night was spent at the Chapter House catching up with old friends and making some new ones. Beta Eta, Winchester sent a good group of brothers and sisters down to Meridian too. Dang that was a fun night! Saturday was the cook off. It had been raining in Meridian for several days. The back yard was kind of a muddy mess. All of us Indiana folks had to get some boots or cheap shoes to slop around in the mud. The tickets allowed us a chance to sample every different chili there. There were some interesting flavors made by the chefs. I liked all of them. Outer Guard Nate Moore and his wife Hannah won the completion based on votes by all of those who sampled the chili. Congratulations, Brother! White Trash Chili was the ruler of the day. There was a band playing some Southern Rock, country and straight up rock and roll. It was a fantastic afternoon. We stayed at the Chapter House until late in the evening. Thank you so much to all of the brothers and sweethearts at Mississippi Alpha for such a wonderful time. You deserve the title of The Hospitality Chapter. It was bittersweet not seeing PNP Greg Trombly’s smiling face at his Chapter House. R.I.P. brother Greg, we really do miss you.

The following weekend we had our first Northern Brotherhood Meeting in years. Kokomo, Beta Nu hosted the meeting. I wanted to get this meeting back up and running. The attendance was about what I expected because of the less than one month notice. I think everyone enjoyed the meeting and the brotherhood. The discussions were worthwhile and the time was well spent. We will keep this going! Thank you Beta Eta for all of the brothers that traveled to Kokomo.

I waited until our We Care Weekend was finished in Kokomo to write this. This year our collection total was a bit off from last year. The total collected was $11,600.00! Of that $1,892 was in change, yep, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Thank you to PNP and Emir Jim Myers for all of the planning and get the brotherhood involved. I sure wish more Beta Nu brothers would do their part and help out.

We lost brother Don Hicks to a fast acting cancer. Don was a great brother at our Chapter and was also a brother of PNP Otis Hicks. Don was such an upbeat and cheerful man. He will be missed by all of us. Beta Nu did the funeral ritual at Don’s funeral. This is such a moving ritual to see and hear. My Beta Nu brothers did a very beautiful and heartfelt reading for Brother Don. You did a great job, brothers.

I hope everyone out there had a blessed Christmas and the start of a Happy New Year! God Bless you all and your families. And God Bless PDK! Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!

Merry Christmas and All That Jazz

Merry Christmas and All That Jazz

By Bruce Smith, PDK National President 2018-19

Hello brothers and sweethearts. Sarah and I had a wonderful trip to Florida Alpha Lambda. We flew in early enough on Wednesday that I was able to attend their business meeting in the evening. President Chris Lawrence ran a great meeting.

The Chapter was putting the finishing touches on the Pasco County BBQ event for that coming weekend. Every brother at the meeting volunteered for a task to make sure everything was covered for the weekend. I was able to sit back and watch the brotherhood take on such a monumental task with ease. e brotherhood working together in unison made me very proud as National President.

This was my first trip out of Indiana since the National Convention. I cannot accurately describe the feeling one gets when they are treated with such respect and pampering. All of the brothers made sure that Sarah and I were well taken care of. It is almost embarrassing for a man like me. I have never been in a position to receive the truly kind, caring and loving treatment I received at Alpha Lambda. Thank you brothers, I really felt the brotherhood and the love from you all.

The cooking event on Saturday was unreal. Emir and PNP George Taylor will have a full report on the event. One of the bonuses of being the National President is that I got first dibs on the meats after the judges were done with their sampling. My God, those teams sure did cook up some of the best chicken, ribs, pork medallions and brisket I have ever eaten. I would recommend going to this event to any PDK brother or sweetheart. Again, thank you Florida Alpha Lambda for making this humble Indiana guy feel like a King for several days! You guys ROCK!

It was so sad to hear about the passing of PNP Greg Trombly. I spent five years in the SEC chairs with Greg. It would be hard to find anyone that loved to travel more than Brother Greg. His enthusiasm and love for Phi Delta Kappa was off the charts. His smiles and hugs will be missed by all who ever took the time to get to know him. R.I.P. my brother, my friend.

Christmas will almost be upon us when this magazine gets to your hands or computer screen. This is the time of year that families get together and share their love of each other over meals, drinks, caroling and present-opening. If you know of a brother or sweetheart that may be alone on Christmas please open your heart and your home to them and show them some love. God Bless you all and your families. And God Bless PDK!

My article next month I will fill you all in on our trip to the Hospitality Chapter in Meridian Mississippi. I know the brothers and sweethearts will show us a great time. I love traveling to PDK events and meeting old friends and making new ones. What could be better than that?

Bruce Smith

PDK National President 2018-19