Monday, March 10, 2014

The Ax is back !

What do these two axes have in common?

Answer: One is for building log cabins and one is for building brotherhood.
The smaller of the two was made by me during the 1968-1969 school year as a pledge requirement for being accepted into the Chi Lambda fraternity on the campus of Stout State University. All members went through the process of carving out a battelaxe to specific specifications in just three nights.  Over these three nights and the following five days the bonds of brotherhood were forged as each pledge worked to gain the signature of each active member on his ax. Many a camp fire story can be told about the process of this task. As the years go by after graduation many may loose touch but the brotherhood gained is strong and never forgotten.

Several years ago I got the idea to get communications going in anticipation of the fraternities 50th anniversary. I carved out another ax and built a fitted shipping box for it. On Sept. 10, 2001 I mailed it to fellow Chi Lambda alumni Wayne Fjerstad with the instructions for Wayne to sign the ax, write something about his life to date in the log book and then mail it off to another Chi Lambda alumni of his choice. This was to continue for five years until the 50th anniversary in 2006 when it would be brought or shipped back to the fraternity house at Stout and be opened at the anniversary celebration.

For Chi Lambda members reading this, here is where and to whom the Ax went:

10-25-01 to Wayne Fjerstad '71 Rocherster, MN
12-04-01 to Steve Gusa '71 Rochester, MN
01-04-02 to Norm Comero '71 Maple Grove, MN
02-07-02 to Dennis Fangmeyer '72 Nashville, Kansas
03-08-02 to Ken Latourelle '77 Richmond, VA
03-19-02 to Russ Plagemann '71 Wisconsin Dells, WI
04-29-02 to Mike Kubacki '71 Fridley, MN
05-17-02 to Galen Fitzel '71 St Paul, MN
06-07-02 to Brian Krusko '70 Baraboo, WI
07-26-02 to Darell Larson '71 Mt Pleasant, WI
11-05-02 to Wally Drees '70 Rosendale, WI
12-11-02 to Phil Busse '74 Ripon, WI
12-23-02 to Bill Uhlenbrauck '76 Waukesha, WI
01-01-03 to Steven Koehler '76 Suak City, WI
02-19-03 to Tom Glunski '76
02-26-03 to Mark Nevins '75 Plymouth, WI
03-09-03 to Len Juneau '76 Plymouth WI
04-04-03 to Ray Petersohn '70 Sheboygan, WI
05-05-03 to Deloran Peterson '57 Elkhart Lake, WI  - Charter Member
09-21-03 to Mike Siegmund '76 Rockford, IL
10-24-03 to Dick Summers '75 DePere, WI
10-14-03 to Jerry Mellin '72 Green Bay, WI
11-11-03 to Todd Engel '81 Eagan, MN
12-10-03 to Mike Swanson '79 Eagan, MN
01-01-04 to Mark Moltzan '82 Prior Lake, MN

At this point the Ax went M.I.A. to the dead letter office of the U.S. post office. After searching for a year and the passing of the 2006 50th anniversary I held out little hope the Ax would ever be seen again. Then after more than three years in the U.S. Post Office on 10-10-07 it came back to me in Darlington! I had great plans to make copies of the log book entries and mail them out to the guys and send the ax out again. It only took me five years, until 2011 to make it happen. Time goes fast when you're having fun!
 - Restart -
07-07-12 to Ken Reader '72 Mellen, WI
01-01-13 to Arnie Oswald '73 Lake Geneva, WI
03-08-14 to Dick Frohmader '70 Germantown, WI

So there you have it. After 13 years the Ax is in Watertown, WI. Hopefully Dick Frohmader will mail it out soon and let me know to whom and where. As I get the information I will post it to this blog and keep you informed of it's travels.  Maybe it will be back to the fraternity at UW Stout for the 60th anniversary in 2016.

Keep checking the blog to follow the travels of the Ax in a Box and keep in touch with your comments.