Call of the Wild

November/December 2002

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Call of the Wild

Courtesy Ron Wilson

They were eight men in the Alaskan woods, without their wives or electricity. But none of them were grumpy.

A group of fraternity brothers from Phi Gamma Delta has been getting together annually since 1986, when the old friends swapped phone numbers at a Fiji reunion. Most years they travel with their wives to destinations like the Greek Islands and Mexico’s Copper Canyon, but this summer they opted for a change. The guys went fly-fishing on their own in a wilderness area called Lake Marie, 90 miles northwest of Anchorage and reachable only by small plane. They stayed in a hand-hewn lodge on a bluff overlooking Denali National Park, near the confluence of a dozen creeks and rivers.

The waters ran thick with salmon, rainbow trout, grayling and dolly varden, although the conservation-minded anglers threw back most of their catch, says Ron Wilson, ’53. “I did keep one silver salmon,” Wilson says.

How big?

No fish tale here: “Only 8 pounds.”

Wilson, of Portola Valley, is CEO of the Town and Country Village shopping center in Palo Alto. The others live farther from campus. John Steinberg, ’54, is a homebuilder in Salisbury Mills, N.Y. Dave Dorward, ’53, is a retired landscape contractor in San Rafael, Calif. Semi-retired businessman Omer Patrick, ’54, lives in Calgary, Alberta. His cousin, Jon Eaton, ’54, is a retired cattle rancher in Vernon, British Columbia. Douglas Glenn, ’55, former CEO of an accounting firm, lives in Winnemucca, Nev. Stuart Havenstrite, ’54, is a mining consultant in Sandy, Utah. Robert Hoegh, ’53, MA ’54, of Modesto, Calif., coached football for 30 years at Modesto Junior College.

The group also includes five who couldn’t make it this year: Kirk Evans, ’53, of Olympia, Wash.; Jim Gordon, ’54, of Denver; Neel Hall, ’54, MBA ’59, of Tucson; Bob Mathias, ’53, of Fresno, Calif.; and Eugene Shaw, ’54, of Santa Monica, Calif.

Wilson says he’s amazed at how well they all get along. “We’ve never had a cross word. And we’ve been lucky—we haven’t lost anybody yet. That’s going to change one day.”

Next year’s getaway? Houseboating, with spouses, on Lake Powell in Utah. “Physically, it gets a little harder every year,” says Wilson. “But it’s a lot of fun. We’ll keep going places till we drop.”


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