Posts Tagged ‘Zeta Psi’

This is a post intended for Stanford Zetes… about the passing of a brother.  Feel free to read but you’ve been warned.

Bill Buckingham, my Grand Little Bro in the Zete House at Stanford, passed from pancreatic cancer after almost a five year battle.  He was just 57, a youngster as far as many of us are concerned.

The service was stunning, an outpouring of love and respect for Bill… we should all have such a well-deserved send off.

Of course I wasn’t surprised by it, Bill was a stud. Pledge Putnam said it best, he really was the definition of SoCal cool.

My Great Grand Little Bro Pledge Burke Dempsey was also stud enough to send a family portrait… see below… five generations at the Zete Luau… like it was yesterday, eh?

Zete Lineage -- 5 generations!

(Pictured above:  Knowlesey, me, Kip, Bill, and Burke.  Is that Mordy and Cubes in the background?)

Bill’s children gave a heart-wrenching send off… and included in one of the stories was our infamous Zete “eeeeeewwwwwwwww” call… apparently Bill used it from time to time (as I think we all do)… and when I asked his daughter after the service if she knew where that came from, she said she didn’t. She gave me a HUGE smile when I told her it was a Stanford Zete thing. “Now it all makes sense, he loved his time at Stanford and he always used that sound when something really happy happened.”

A final thought: Sitting in this cavernous, cathedral-sized church, with all the religious significance present in abundance and a holy, biblical spirit enveloping us all… as the service was concluding and the conclave of holy men beckoned us to look toward the heavens and raise our voices in a final, glorious hymn… all of a sudden, like out of no where — and I’m dead serious about this — a different song popped in my head… one that I haven’t thought about in a very long time. It was irreverent and blasphemous… and risking eternal expulsion, I said fuck it and sang:

A Zete he died, he went to hell
and climbed the fiery hill
He perched himself on a red hot coal
and smoked a lousy pill
And when the devil saw him there he said ‘be of good cheer,
for you’re among your brother Zetes
we’ll open a keg of beer!’

It just seemed like the right way to send off a good Zete… and a good man.

Bill’s passing shall not be forgotten.  We came into this world as a bunch of Zetes… we’re damn well sure going out as a bunch of Zetes, too.

In TKΦ.

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