So he invited us to attend the reunion and at first I dreaded going but was going to attend because Mama wanted to. I felt like it would be boring and just one of those things were I felt on display as the child of my late father.
However when we arrived at their hotel, Gerry was outside waiting on us. A gave us hugs as if we were family. We sat in the lobby and a few minutes later Mr. Murrell came in. Together they told me stories of what they used to do with my daddy at DSU. Ruf Turner stopped by to speak as well. Gerry even went to high school in Greenville with him. He told me a few high school stories too.
Apparently, my father was a fun loving guy. He had a good sense of humor and liked to be silly. He also liked the outdoors. But they emphasized that when it was time to hit the books he was dedicated to his education. Which I had an idea of since he graduated from pharmacy school at Ole Miss later.
They were interested in what my life was like. Asked me what kind of work I did and where I was living. They thought my son, Crawford, was adorable, while Mama told them how much his personality reminded her of Cris. Gerry said he could see a resemblance in me as well.
Gerald had some photos of my Daddy at the time he was a Delta State. There was one were he and his friends were posing and he had a striped shirt on and a funny hat. I imagine that they were doing silly stuff in the dorms like my Tri Delta sisters used to do when I was at DSU. You would be amazed the things you will do when college kids get bored.
They wanted to see the Pike pictures and found out that everything to see had been set up at the party area, so we went there.
I saw pictures of Pikes that were at DSU when I was there but most interesting was seeing the charter. There on that official document, the top name on the second column was my father’s name. Wow, he will be forever immortalized on this document. Forever he will stay at Delta State University in a small place where he made great friends and was loved.
His name was in an old chapter book too.
I always thought that the friends I made in my sorority at DSU were special. Some I see on Facebook. Some I keep in touch with and some are my best friends. But seeing and talking to these men brought home just how special these friendship are. Even though my daddy has been gone for 43 years, he is still loved by people other than my mother and me. His spirit is engrained in his Pike brother’s memories and on that charter that hangs in the Pike chapter room.
How true the statement is, “Once a Pike, Always a Pike.”
Caroline Crawford Laster is an employee of The Bolivar Commercial.