The Fighting Red Onionhead, a.k.a. Roger, a.k.a. Ode de Capa  Dedicated Idiocy, A personal history of the Penn State Monty Python Society by Alyce Wilson

School Year 1988-1989

The Mall Climb

(page 1 of 3)

The final glory of my first year with MPS was the annual Mall Climb, on April 29, 1989. Here's how I wrote about it (I've excised the non-relevant flotsam):

This afternoon was the Mall Climb to the twin peaks of Mount Pattee. My brother, Andy, came up this morning at around noon so he could [...] come along to the mall climb.

He'd brought some props with him that he hoped would come in handy, like a canteen, a gardening claw, some ski goggles, and a Santa Claus hat. We met the others down in front of Willard. Actually, we ran down from Sparks together, just because we felt like it.

Down there were Matt [Pyson], Damon [Buckwalter], Paul [Farkas] and Scott [Kane]. I introduced Andy to everyone. Scott handed out the new T-shirts, after we paid him. They're really cool. Damon put his on right away, but I kept mine in my backpack, which I'd brought for mountaineering purposes. I put Andy's in there, too.

Matt went off to check the route, or so he said. Gradually, everyone else showed up and I introduced them to Andy. Jen Hoffman, Ian Podraza, Paul Farkas, L.J. "Trotsky" Sparvero, Damon Buckwalter, Scott Kane, Jennifer "Jake" Spangler, Will Wong, and Dave Hrencin. There may have been more, but that's who I remember.

While we were waiting for Matt and everybody else, Damon got the idea of tying me up, so a few guys came over with the rope and wrapped it around me. I just sat there acting annoyed. [...]

Eventually, we drifted over to the grassy area, a few of us. I was standing there with Ian when I saw Dave Hrencin in the distance, running up like Ken Cool Air System from the Monty Python boxing sketch. He looked just like him from a distance — EXCELLENT! Don Klees showed up and started joking with Andy and Damon.

Damon was fascinated by the gardening hook. He put it in his sleeve and acted like Freddy Krueger. I wouldn't have minded except that it was really sharp! [...]

Will Wong wasn't really joining us, but he'd brought a camera to take some pictures. I'm not sure, but I think L.J. did, too.

Eventually, Matt returned, and he began filling us in on the expedition plans. By this time, Fred Walter had showed up and was watching us from the sidewalk. He actually watched us the entire time. [Note: It took two hours to scale Mount Pattee.] Talk about devotion!!

We crossed Pollack and gathered on the grass just on the other side of the chain to go over the map and the course. Matt showed us the base camp we were aiming for, while Ian held the gravity so that we were still in normal relation to the ground. While we gathered around looking at the map, Damon got silly and attacked it with the gardening hook, while Will took pictures.

Once we were all set and had talked over the first leader and anchorman, we were ready. Ian threw out the gravity, turning it ninety degrees. We all fell to the ground, our feet heading down to Pollack and our arms holding on for dear life to the sweet sod.

Mall Climb 89 (Click to enlarge)

Front (from left): Jen Hoffman, Paul Farkas, Matt Pyson
Ian Podraza, Dave Hrencin, Jennifer "Jake" Spangler, Andy Wilson,
Alyce Wilson, Don Klees, Damon Buckwalter, L.J. Sparvero, Scott Kane

I had a dream, a dream of contents, living together in peace  For those who just can't get enough of Alyce G'day, Bruces and Sheilas!  Step inside, step inside  Twit of the Year 1989 - page 2 Mall Climb 1989 - page 2  e-mail: