Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brother Peter Shields
Photo taken at the Phi Delt lunch inRed Robin Restaurant Calabasas, California November 2013

Brother Pete Shields was born in Los Angeles. He was raised in Tarzana, California and graduated from Reseda High School.  Brother Pete was initiated into the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in the Fall of 1962. His parents are Mr. & Mrs. E.W. Smith. 
In 2013, Pete lives in the Republic of Panama, where he continues his lifelong passion for the invention of sports related equipment. He returns regularly to California to visit with his son Ryan and grand daughter Luna June. 
He snow skis and snowboards, surfs and golfs. His latest interest is in model aircraft and drones.


Br. Dale Alexander at Barone's Pizza in November 2013.
Dale was a member of the 2nd pledge class of the Phi Delta Pis, Fall 1957.


My camera's flash made a glare on this photograph, but I thought our ancient gang would like to see this photo of Br. Rod Davis.

Rod Davis at the November 2013 Phi Delt lunch at Barone's Pizza in North Hollywood. Rod was the Vice President of Alpha Chapter at Los Angeles Valley College.


Among the snapshots of Janne and Jerry Fecht's wedding sent from Tim Jackson in Massachusetts is this one of Br. Kit Slayter.

Christopher O. Slayter 1967


Christmas card from Sally and Richard Ennis. The Ennis family gathered on the beach near Richard's Florida home. (click on image to enlarge it.) Br. Ennis served the Fraternity as President of our Alpha Chapter at Los Angeles Valley College.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More Fecht Wedding 1967

left: Arthur D. Aston Jr., Joseph P. Ells and Richard Box in gray vest. Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake. 1967

Friday, December 27, 2013


Phi Delt Brothers screwing around at Jerry Fecht's wedding reception in `967.

Left Tom Shanley - far right Jerry Olson and Don House. Looks like Bob Marko or John Bogdanoff has put a piece of ice down someone's back.  Click on image to enlarge it. Photo gift from Br. Tim Jackson 2013.  Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 1213-002-6340

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Phi Delta Psi archives from Tim Jackson 2013 - Janne and Jerry Fecht's wedding reception at Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake. (click on image to enlarge it)

left: (with cigar) Jerry D. Cipperly, long time Fraternity friend Ted Stutz, (with glass) Steve Falk, directly behind Steve is Mike Mertens.

Monday, December 9, 2013


It was the best Christmas I ever had. To wit...

It was the Christmas of 1964, a year after the Kennedy assassination. I was spinning the heavy hits in Spokane, Washington; a disc jockey at a local radio station. It featured we announcers playing records while sitting in a control booth in front of a large picture window. We were visible for all passerby's to see and wave to, and, of course, make a few funny faces at the Jocks as well. Well, there was this one kid...

Anyway, it was a cold week and it had begun to lightly snow. I asked the program director that if he would spend the money for a Santa costume, I would dress up and invite the neighborhood children to drop by for some candy. He agreed; a nifty promotional gag, he must have thought and the stage was set.

However, the night before, being Christmas Eve, I decided to put the apparel to a test by going out into the snowy community with a bag of candy and commence to knock on as many doors as I could. I dressed myself to resemble St. Nick, to the best of my ability, then hit the road.

I figured correctly that most folks would be home beginning their celebration, hence little traffic. I assumed the 'old man shuffle' while slinging the large bag of candy over my shoulder and, would on occasion, loudly utter the cherished laugh, 'ho ho ho', in the best impersonation I could muster, as I trugged down the middle of the lantern-lit streets.

Soft snowflakes were falling through the tall pine trees that laced the sidewalks. I felt like a picture in a Hallmark Christmas card. It was an extraordinary sight. Even I couldn't fathom what this night was turning out to be. I actually believed it was like the real thing. I felt blessed.

It was also unbelievable when I knocked on the first door. I was greeted like I've never been greeted before. I had to meet the sleepy kids, drink milk and eat the homemade cookies and, of course, take pictures, all the while keeping in character of dear old Santa in attitude, voice and in spirit.

As I remember, I must have been invited into at least a hundred homes, all with the same results. I believe to this day that faded Polaroid's are still being shown to the siblings and the sibling's siblings, their kids and all the grandkids, including every kinsfolk, at each and every Christmas; thus proving to the nay-sayers that the beloved Man was real!

During those eight hours, or so, I never broke character, even when the many adults kept asking who was I, really?, Uncle Fred?, or whomever they thought might try to pull off a stunt like this. But I never confessed I was the local DJ; the guy they passed by each and every day. Plus the kid that loved to 'moon' us.

To show what a community was like in those days, as I went from house to house, the one I just left would call their friendly neighbors and alert them that Santa was in town, 'wake the kids'! It turned into a grand party.

The surprised children never questioned my role and accepted me for what I was; a pillow-stuffed 'old' Santa that was there merely to discover the best way to deliver their gifts. It was the innocence of times, not counting, of course, the passing of our president in the year before that had begun the country on a collective downslide.

Anyway, the children had great fun feeding me their home-baked treasures through my fake beard that luckily never came off. I must've gained a few extra pounds during this journey. I could've thrown away the pillow and gone au`natural, but it wouldn't have been the same.

It truly was the best Christmas I ever had and one I'll never forget..a mental Christmas card firmly stuck in my mind of the evening I pretended to be old Santa.

Ho ho ho!..

Friday, November 22, 2013


This is a processed slide of Br. Dave Hinz. The photo, found by Jerry Fecht, was probably taken the summer before Dave transferred to San Jose State University.
Br. Dave Hinz (in white) watches as fishing boat worker adjusts line during deep sea trip. Please leave your comments below. Archive photo of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, number:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


This picture was made from a slide found recently by Jerry Fecht, and processed by Gary Fredburg. I believe Roberta was a graduate student at UCLA when the picture was taken.  (Click on image to enlarge it. Leave comments in space provided below).

Roberta Cerveny

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Br. Alan Aquino - Roaring 20s Party
Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 1013-002-6319
From slide found in 2013 - Processed by Br. Gary Fredburg.

Brother Alan Aquino was born on the 11th of April. He is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California.
Br. Aquino was initiated into the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in the Spring of 1959. He served the Fraternity as Vice President and Charter Member of Beta Chapter. Prior to his retirement, he worked in special effects in the motion picture industry. He was a member of the United States Air Force Reserve. Al lives in Grass Valley, California.


Br. Brad Hight and unknown woman.
Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - 1013-002-6312

Brother Brad Hight was born on the 24th of January, 1940 in Pasadena, California. He graduated from Birmingham High School in the San Fernando Valley. Brad was a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve and he attended military meetings during his time as an active Brother in our Fraternity.
Brad Hight was initiated into our Fraternity in the Fall of 1957. He was the Pledge Captain in his class. He was the 46th. initiate into our Brotherhood. Brad served the Fraternity as Pledge Master and Vice President. He was a Charter member of our Beta Chapter. He was a tall, easy going man, much loved by his Fraternity Brothers.
For many years Brad worked as a car salesman in Reseda and later in the credit department at Sears.
While at Pierce College, Brad worked with Br. Bill Westmyer and Bill's father in the swimming pool coating business. All who worked with the very toxic chemicals in the confines of hot, empty swimming pools suffered early deaths. Brad died of cancer in 1988.
On the 15th of April ___ Brad married Virginia Ann Phillipe at Saint Mark's Presbyterian Church in Van Nuys, California. They remained married until the time of his death.  They had several children, whose names are not known by your record keeper.


Judging from the tools displayed, likely a Beta Chapter work party.
Photo from the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley  1013-002-6318
Among slides found by Jerry Fecht 2013 / Processed by Gary Fredburg
(Click on the image to enlarge it, or to display it fully)

(l to r front row)    Missing or unsure names are indicated by number.
Frank Demarco, (2), (3), LeRoy Hunt, Tom Shanley and Jim Reeves
(l to r top row)
Bob Robar, Larry Tunison ??, (4) sunglasses (5), (6) and Don Collins


Among the slides found by Jerry Fecht in 2013. 

 George Snodgrass and Dale Sonnabend Pledge Brothers Spring 1959
Photo 1013-002-6390 The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 

Br. George Snodgrass was initiated into the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in the Spring of 1959. I have no additional record of him, save for the fact that his wife Gail was a Delta Phi at Los Angeles Valley College.

Brother Dale Sonnebend was born on the 13th of April, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan.  He came with his parents and brother Garett  to North Hollywood, California in 1947. Later the Sonnabend family moved to the then-rural community of Hidden Hills in the west San Fernando Valley. Dale played the trombone in the Van Nuys Junior High School orchestra and marched in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade with the Foresters Band.
Dale graduated from Canoga Park High School. There he lettered in swimming, specializing in the breast stroke. Dale was the school's head yell leader in his senior year, 1958. 
Brother Dale Sonnabend was initiated into the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in the Spring of 1959. He actively participated in the Fraternity and was a Charter Member of our Beta Chapter at Los Angeles Pierce College. Dale was a "pitch in and get things done" kind of guy. He never missed a work-party.
After completing his studies at Pierce College, Br. Dale went to trade school and entered plumbing business in the San Fernando Valley, working for the George Kauffman company. Later, after finishing his Union apprenticeship, Dale worked for his father in the Claude Sonnabend Plumbing Company. He purchased the business from his dad in 1977, and was actively engaged in the plumbing business until his death on the 27th of October, 2005.
As a young man, Dale raced Kurtis Kraft flat bottom boats and won many first-place trophies. Dale was the "High Point Champion in the Pro-Stock Class" for five consecutive years, and set three world records. Since the class of racing, in which he held the world's record, was discontinued, he continues to hold the record. Dale's beloved boat was named "Mental Cruelty," number 422.
As an extension of his out-of-doors interests, Dale became interested in aircraft. He earned a pilot's license and purchased, first a Cessna fixed gear aircraft and later a Bonanza V-tail.
  From his Fraternity days, Dale Sonnabend loved to hunt. In 1990 he took his first safari to Africa. There he qualified as a big-game hunter. Dale also went on hunting expeditions to Australia, Canada and throughout the United States. A photograph of an enormous elk, killed by Dale, was displayed among other pictures at his memorial service.
Our Brother Dale Sonnabend is survived by his wife Dianne Lucille, a daughter Lynn Sonnabend Leferve from his first marriage.  He also left a step-daughter Sandra Christin Rebbie and grandchildren Candace Nate Lefevre, Amanda Nicole Lefeve and Jacquelyn Irene Lefevre.
To our lasting joy, Dale and his wife Dianne attended the 2004 reunion of the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in Las Vegas. He was supportive of the Maple Leaf Endowment Fund and attended both annual meetings of the committee. Dale was the kind of man, who if you called him late in the night for help, would not make excuses, but be there for his Brothers.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Damon Fecht, youngest son of Jerry and Janne Fecht, with our new grand daughter Emily. Damon is an editor working on Nickleodeon productions.


This photograph of a Phi Delta Psi party was among the slides found by Jerry Fecht in 2013.

ALAN GOLDMAN  (center)
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)  Refer to photograph number 1013-002-6310
Archive of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

I do not know the identity of the young man holding the Phi Delta Psi mug, at the right, but assume he is a Phi Delt.  I also don't know the names of other people in the photograph. JF

Brother Alan Goldman was initiated into the Phi Delta Psi Fraternity in the Fall of 1957. In 2004, he was a partner of the law firm of Goldman & Kaplan, Ltd., a Professional Law Corporation.  Brother Goldman is an attorney certified by the Arizona State Bar as a specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and New York, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Arizona Supreme Court, New York Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Brother Goldman  is a member and former Board Member of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Personal Injury Trial Lawyers Association, and American Board of Trial Advocates. The focus of his practice has been on personal injury litigation. He also does private mediation, arbitrations and serves as a pro tem judge for Maricopa County Superior Court. Alan earned his law degree from Syracuse University in New York.


Frank J. Demarco
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Archive image - 1013-002-6310

Other than Br. Frank's birthday in 1942, little more about his education or professional career is known.


Among the slides found by Jerry Fecht last month is this picture of Donald B, Taggart, founder of the Phi Delta Psi. Don is seated between parents attending a Mother Chapter event. The man and woman may be the parents of Brad Hight who appears facing them to the right. c. 1959 or '60
Click on this image to enlarge it.
Refer to image: 1013-002-6311 Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The presence of the Phi Delta Psi ritual candle was already in place before the pledge class of Fall 1959 came into existence. Here Br. Gerald Buttaccio, the newly elected president of Beta Chapter accepts his chapter's candle and holder from President Rowland LoBianco. This candle stick is in the archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

(l to r)  Jerry Buttaccio, Ed Hart, John Valvo, Roy LoBianco and Jerry Cipperly  Living room (meeting space) at the Oxnard House in Valley Glen. (click on image to enlarge it. Refer to photograph number 1013-002-6309 of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.) Image processing donated by Br. Gary Fredburg 2013.


Aladdin Zarrinpour and Michael Padden at the Oxnard Street Fraternity House, about 1959. Aladdin would be among the organizers of Beta and Gamma Chapters. Michael would become the 7th president of Phi Delta Psi.
(Alpha Chapter - L.A. Valley College - Spring 1959)

Thursday, November 14, 2013


7 of the 13 pledges of Fall 1957.
(l to r) Bob Robar, Dick Radcliffe, Eddy Brickman, Al Goldman, Johnny Valvo, Mike Padden and in front Don Barnhart. (click on this image to enlarge it.) Check out the t.v. antennas. (refer to photo 1013-002-6307 - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

I was sorting through a box of my slides from my years as a teacher at Moorpark College, when I found a trove of very early Phi Delta Psi images. The color on the slides is badly faded but with the help of Br. Gary Fredburg who got a dozen of them printed, and photoshopped by me, the pictures are pretty clear.   Jerry Fecht

Nov 2013 Phi Delt Lunch

The next Phi Delt lunch meeting will be at Barone’s, 13720 Oxnard Street (corner of Woodman), Valley Glen, CA, (818) 782-6004, next Thursday, November 21st, at 1:00 p.m.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Steve Falk

Monday, November 11, 2013


Donald Boyd George was born on the 13th of January. Not surprisingly his birthday has long been considered lucky in Phi Delt standards. Don attended San Fernando High School. He was initiated into our Fraternity at Los Angeles Pierce College in the Spring of 1962. After college he enlisted in the United States Navy.
In 2013, Br. George lives in Ventura, California. 
For many years Don owned and operated Fallbrook Florist, in the Fallbrook Mall in the west San Fernando Valley. 

Don George 
At Phi Delta Psi lunch September 2013


"Dear brothers:
Talked to Tom Shanley's wife, JoLynn. It is with heavy heart that she told me Tom passed away November 6th in the evening. She & Tom's son Ed had visited that day and early evening at the hospital. When they got home, about an hour later, they received a call telling them he had passed. Tom saw the people he wanted to see and then let go.
JoLynn said to be sure to tell Leroy Hunt that Tom had read his letter, and probably others also.

He has been cremated on his orders! He didn't want to give any money away on a box. God bless Tom - in command until the end.

JoLynn will be at the Colorado address until Thanksgiving if anyone wants to send a card.

Jerry Olson"

Friday, November 8, 2013


"FED EX STOPPED HERE TODAY!  The guys wrote me a get-well card from the last lunch.  I want to sincerely thank you all for your prayers and support.
 please pass my thanks on to those brothers that I do not have e-mails for ....Lou  (or as my kids say "Keeper of the Keg")."

 Br. Louie Syre had big time heart surgery at the Hoag Hospital in Orange Country.