Tim Holder ‘68: “A true Chi Delt story”
The names in this story have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, but rest assured this is a real event that took place in Leonard Hall and surrounding grounds in 1967. Herrmann Heidelberg was a Chi Delt who was not a stellar student. He spent his time for three years and seven months playing cards all through the night and slept through classes. He earned his way through college by winning at these games against fellow students who were of some wealth and could afford to lose. The only class Herrmann attended was statistics because the examples were often card games hinging on probabilities of winning and losing. Somehow, he managed to get a C on his classes but how remains a mystery to this day.
But then came the reality of trying to graduate, which involved taking comprehensive exams of over everything over the last two years of his major, economics. He was in fact panicked and everyone knew he would be because of his failure to attend classes. There were less than 100 guys in the graduating class.
It was a stupendously wonderful mid-May day, trees in blossom, the warm air cutting off any remnant of the chill of winter’s air. Herrmann, contemplating his future, strolled down the fourth floor from Middle Leonard (the Delts) to South Leonard (Betas). He chanced to peer out of a south window and see Chauncy Pimplenail, lying on a blanket sunning himself. This was nearly oxymoronic in that his skin was so pale that he could have gotten sunburnt in the Arctic in the winter. He also because of the nature of his gait appeared to be the missing link between man and penguin. In a word he was not virile. The third and most important characteristic to the point of this story is that he had was that he was very, very serious about everything. His seriousness was exceeded only by his deep booming voice. A nice guy with some idiosyncrasies, but you might say, dead serious.
Herrmann, not so distressed about comps to have lost his sense of humor, stood up in the window frame overlooking Chauncy and exclaimed, “I can’t take the pressure, I am going to flunk, my parents will never forgive me. Four years, down the drain. I am going to jump!” Chauncy gets up on his feet as best he can and yells in his deep, booming, authoritative voice up to Herrmann,
“Don’t jump, don’t jump!! I will come up to save you!!” Whereupon Chauncy went as fast as he could to the Beta stairwell and ascended forthwith.
Herrmann, quick of wit, ran over to the Delt stairwell, clambered down the stairs, ran out to the spot on the ground that he would have landed on had he jumped AND THEN he laid SPREAD EAGLE. Chauncy going up the Beta stairwell and finally arriving on the fourth floor, well after Herrmann had departed, looked around, and saw no Herrmann. Chauncy went to the window in question, looked down, and there was Herrmann deader than a door nail, spread eagle. He yelled to anyone who might be listening,
“Oh my God, he has killed himself!!!”
Now in real panic, Chauncy is really hustling down the Beta stairwell and mid-way runs into, you guessed it, Herrmann. Chauncy splutters, “You just killed yourself! What is happening?!!”
Herrmann replies, “I just stunned myself, I am going to jump again!!!!!”
Monday morning, Chancy was into see the Dean of Students to discuss the matter of students jumping out fourth story windows and not killing themselves—seriously.
Hermann barely scraped through economics but got an A+ in drama. The incredible thing is that he turned out to be a successful businessman in Chicago. Chauncy went into a career in library science, fitting himself quite well, working eventually the Library of Congress, serious business. For the most part we hope he didn’t run into such pranksters as there were at Kenyon.
Submitted by Tim Holder ’68.