the Mall Climb had a special goal in mind. You see, Jon "Kzin"
Kilgannon had been taking a year off school when I was a freshman, but
he was legendary in the minds of the Pythonites. So my freshman year,
the joke had been that we were climbing the mall in order to find out
what happened to Kzin.
April 21, 1990
[Wilson, my brother] came up today for the Mall Climb. In the morning
it was a little wet, but it dried off in time for the big event. We
went down a little early and waited in front of Willard Building. Pete
Uoth was the next to show up. I introduced him to Andy, and we sat on
the ledge and we talked about interesting ways to kill yourself during
["Trotsky" Sparvero] arrived then, wearing his old Monty Python
Society shirt (the orange-yellow once). He'd brought his Trotsky garb,
saber included (or foil I can never tell these fencing weapons
Next was Damon [Buckwalter], I think. He gave me a hug and some noogies.
[Note: Damon and I were a lot like Todd DiLaMuca and Lisa
Loopner... except way, way cooler.] We decided to make a provisions
foray into town. Andy, Damon and I set out.
some good stuff at Murphy's Mart. [Note: In those days,
Wal-Mart didn't exist and we had a department store conveniently placed
downtown on Allen Street, in the same space where Chili's and Ambercrombie
and Finch are today. Imagine! We could buy cheap watches for a dollar
that would break within a day! Without taking a bus!] Good for price,
if not necessarily nutritive value. And Damon was gentleman enough to
pay for it all, too (well, actually, we had to pin his arms behind his
back and shove his face into a New Kids on the Block display, but the
point is, he did eventually agree).
hiked back to the foothills of Mount Pattee, where our expedition was
shaping up. Over time, we obtained such diverse elements as Abner Mintz,
Holli Weisman, Jenny Hoffman, Meg Jeffery, Brian Tepper, Peter "Pierre"
Stanton and Sadie O'Deay.
disappeared into Willard Building, and Trotsky emerged as our squadron...
uh... expedition leader. He briefed us on the dangers of the climb,
and we prepared ourselves (but not before Abner had fulfilled one of
his childish fantasies and tied Pete and I up together with the climbing
This was the second year that someone tied me up with the climbing rope.]
Buckwalter, me, Pete Uoth
We all got our grips and then...
shifted 90 degrees! Sadie struck off as our leader, fastening an anchor
rope and securing it up above. We hesitantly started up. So far, so