August. 1987. I was no longer a boy; I was a man. How did I know this? I could drink in public without fear of discovery. I could hit on the fair maids of the town and have my face slapped without embarrasment. I could sleep, and sleep, and sleep…
In short, I was in college.
Today, Washington & Lee has a wimpy Rush. In my day, Rush started the first week of class. Every freshman was scrutinized by each fraternity. You only had a couple of weeks to make up your mind. After that, pledgeship could last until the end of the school year (I didn’t initiate until my sophmore year because my grades were poor. Duh…).
Nowadays, Rush is easy. You don’t begin until the winter term, and pledges must be initiated after only a couple of months. Gone are the lengthy pledge training sessions, the studying for the pledge exam, & etc. I can’t go into detail because my fraternity brothers are sworn to kill anyone who reveals their secrets.
Anyway, I pledged a fraternity made up of members who were, for the most part, from north of the Mason-Dixon line. No mean feat for a Louisiana kid at a southern school. One brother happened to be from somewhere on Long Island (I had to memorize this, but I forgot about 12 years ago); his name was Dan Walsh. Typically for a New Yorker, he was very obnoxious, but a good guy once you got to know him. Every time this man saw me, he’d stop dead in his tracks and shout "Boog!", referring to great Baltimore Orioles first baseman Boog Powell (note: I played first base in high school. Check out my bio). While this grew quite tiresome after a while, it caught on to a certain extent, and when they handed out pledge nicknames, this was mine. Other winners included "McFly" (George Karavias; from Back to the Future) and "Spalding" (Bill Hirshman; from Caddyshack).
While nobody ever calls me this, I thought it would come in handy as a handle (snicker) online. So, that’s how I became Boog.