A Special Night for An Old AGR

Barn Dance AGRSometimes opportunity and action line up to create a special situation. That was the case for me on my recent trip to Pullman, Washington - home of the Washington State University Cougars. I was in town for the annual Murrow College of Communication Symposium and Advisory Board Meeting. As luck would have it, those two events were taking place during the same week that my old fraternity - Alpha Gamma Rho - was holding the annual Barn Daze celebration. 

But that's not all. You may recall that I also have two daughters, Abby and Amelia, who are sophomores at WSU. Amelia is studying to teach foreign language and Abby is a Communications major. 
Murrow Rod
Because of her major, Abby attended the symposium panel that I was on as one of three featured speakers. She made me feel pretty special when she posted this picture and status on her Facebook wall.

Later that evening, I had a similar opportunity to express my pride in Abby. She was one of a dozen girls who were competing in the AGR Barn Daze talent competition. It was a cold snowy night and the event was held on the fraternity's font lawn with about a hundred AGR's and sorority women huddled around a small bon fire. By the time it was Abby's turn to sing, we'd stood in freezing conditions for about 2-3 hours. There was no way that I was going to miss this opportunity. Forty years after living in the AGR house, my daughter was on the front porch singing up a storm. The cheers from the crowd for her remixed version of the Lee Greenwood hit, "God Bless the USA," brought a huge smile to her face... and mine!


After the competition (Abby took second place) she asked if I could show her where I lived in the fraternity. We went in, roamed the halls, and partied with the AGR's and their guests until midnight.

We talked, sang songs, drank beer, and threw back a couple whiskey shots for good measure. Some parents might have questioned that more than I did. For me, it was a night to make memories with Abby. A night that wouldn't come around a second time. We got a little crazy, especially when I taught the AGR's some of the songs we sang in the 70's - all of which they had never heard before.
BARN Daze with Ab
  • Saint George's Riders
  • The Aggie and the Maiden
  • The Old Green Goblet
  • (Beta House) We're From AGR
The next night, after I had returned home from Pullman, Abby and I exchanged a few text messages. I knew it had been a night with a memorable edge when a few special lines appeared. I think I'll keep those between the two of us.

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  • Peter Anderson
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    I'm sure I speak for all my fellow brothers when I say that we enjoyed the company of you and Abby. It is always nice to know we have alumni such as yourself that haven't lost that special bond between the AGR house and the memories that are made here. You are welcome back anytime to show us how it was done back in the day.

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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