You Can Go Home Again

by Brother Jerry Segal


This story originally appeared in the 1992 Purple and White Yearbook

After being active in Sigma Alpha Rho in the mid 60's and having experienced great gratification from it, the last thing on my mind in the early 1980's was our Fraternity.

Having recently moved into Dresher, PA, our thoughts and concerns were fixing up our house, meeting our neighbors, and enjoying our new environment.

One day, our next door neighbor knocked at the door, and as always he was invited in. He was excited. He said he was pledging for the Sigma Phi Chapter of SAR; had a handbook he had to read and memorize; and wanted to know if I was the person in the book who was a member of the "Royal Order of the Gleaming Eye." As I told him yes, my love and enthusiasm for those Sigma Alpha Rho days, which will be with me the rest of my life, came out and we talked for hours. I encouraged him to get involved and wished him well.

Approximately two months had passed when my neighbor and his friend once again visited me. He told me that he had been inducted into SAR and introduced his friend as the Sigma Rho of their chapter. After talking for some time about the Fraternity, I was told that the next Chapter meeting was scheduled at my neighbor's house and they invited me to attend. I agreed.

The day of the meeting came and I was a bit apprehensive. I hadn't been to a Sigma Alpha Rho meeting in over 15 years. What would I say? What would they want to hear from me? What message could I give them that would be meaningful? What were they expecting? Since I could not answer any of those questions I figured I would just "wing it."

I was not in the meeting more than 15 minutes when I became totally comfortable. Nothing had changed. The Sigma Rho was trying to be the dictator; the clown kept getting yelled out by the parliamentarian, committee reports were given; and social events were being planned. A part of the agenda of the meeting, that I had forgotten about, came next - Visitor's messages. That's me, I said to myself. I spoke to my brothers. The message I left with them was to work as hard as they could in pursuit of the Edward Ross Abramson Award, the best chapter in the Fraternity, as I had done successfully many years ago. That challenge was given to each and every brother in the room that night.

That year, more meetings took place with my neighbor, the Sigma Rho and myself. I advised on their newspaper, social, athletic and religious programs. I enjoyed it and they seemed to enjoy it as well.

Sometime after Labor Day, there was a knock on the door. It was my neighbor and the Sigma Rho again. They came in and presented my wife and me with a gift certificate to a fine restaurant, as a gesture of thanks. Sigma Phi had won the Edward Ross Bramson Award. I cried in joy as I had done 20 years earlier for the same reason.

Perhaps Thomas Wolfe got the title wrong. "You can go home again."