Pi Epsilon Delta Newsletter, Issue 1, ca. 1917

Transcription of the Pi Epsilon Delta Newsletter, Issue 1 (ca. 1917)


To the Northwestern men everywhere:

The Pi Epsilon Delta legal fraternity, Northwestern Chapter, has decided upon publishing a monthly service letter to its men in the National Service. The plan in brief is as follows: Each member of the local chapter has been invited to write a letter to the men in the service, and these letters, together with such replies as the Secretary of War, the official title by which the officer having charge of the publication of these letters is known, may have received from the men in the service, are to be published in the form of a composite letter at least once a month. The receipt of mail by men in the service is said by all to be a welcome event, and in the hope of contributing in some measure to the entertainment and breaking of the monotony of camp life, these letters are sent forth.  

Believing that much of the matter contained in this, our first number, may prove of general interest and may perhaps serve as a suggestion to other organizations for work along similar lines, we are sending copies of this letter to all Northwestern men in the service.

Trusting that this may prove to be of interest to every Northwestern man, I remain


Paul E. Price,
Secretary of War, Pi Epsilon Delta Legal Fraternity
Northwestern University Chapter

Dear Brothers in Arms:

I have pondered long and earnestly over a title by which our composite letter might be designated. The monthly Bazoo or the Pi Epsilon Delta Clarion seemed too prosaic and commonplace for such a worth while undertaking. It seemed also that this letter or publication (not yet entered as second class matter, although some of the contents may seem third or fourth class) should have a martial or military title; after some hesitation and with very great reluctance, I have decided upon a name which, like railway time tables is “subject to change without notice”. In selecting this title, I was guided by the purpose for which we are sending out these letters, to-wit: to sound a note of kin-ship and fraternal fellowship from the members at home and in the field. Although I am deeply conscious that the name which I have adapted is neither unusual nor unique, yet I feel that it is descriptive of our purpose, and I have outlined it. With this lengthy introduction over, I take great pleasure, as the Secretary of War, in presenting for your approval the first edition of the PI EPSILON DELTA BUGLE. Suggestions for change in name and “improvement in the service will be appreciated by the management.”

In the preparation of this letter I feel that l will have performed my duty if I subordinate my personality and merely present the respective letters, much as the chairman of a meeting or the toastmaster of a banquet presents the speakers of the evening. Before proceeding, however, to assume my persona non grata function, I might add that your Secretary of War, in order to merit so martial a title, felt that he ought perhaps to do something more belligerent than to procure letters from brother members with force and arms, and then proceed to compile them, Your Secretary, has, therefore, enlisted in a company of Illinois Reserve Militia, and every Thursday evening and Sunday morning finds him seeking to imbibe military instruction and drill. But even so martial (?) a status as as private in the Ill. Res. Militia sometimes entails work entirely foreign to military tactics. For instance the State Council of Defense has authorized a solicitation of funds for the purpose of procuring uniforms for the members of our company. As a result, when I have not been busy soliciting letters, from the members of the P.E.D., or answering court calls, etc., for my employer, I have been soliciting funds from the poor and the wealthy for the purpose of uniforming the men of our militia company.

However, I have digressed for the purpose of showingly right to a military title and I must return to editorial tasks. I feel that all of us have reason to be proud of the fact that we have been privileged to attend a University which takes so much interest in our personal welfare wherever we may be. The writer called on Mr. Crossley and explained our purpose in sending forth this publication, and asked if we might be permitted to have the use of the school mimeograph in getting out this composite letter. Mr. Crossley was more than interested in our plan, and not only said that we might have the use of their mimeograph, but offered offered to have the entire letter prepared without cost to us. Mr. Crossley also suggested that inasmuch as much of the matter contained within these pages would no doubt prove of general interest to all the boys in service, that he would like very much to send copies of this number to all of the men. I feel that Mr. Crossley’s siggestion is an excellent one, and have accepted in the spirit in which know it was offered. If anything said in these pages will afford cheer, comfort, news, or encouragement to any of our Northwestern men anywhere who may not be bound to us by the fraternal ties which prompted the writer of these pages to do what he could to lighten the monotony of camp life for our fraternity brothers, each of us is happy indeed to broaden the scope of our work.

I am afraid that I have said more than I am entitled to, but in view of the extreme brevity of the letter of Harry Swan, which I herewith submit, I may be said to have only utilized the space which Harry has waived by his failure to make use of.

My dear Paul:
The treasurer feels that the bubbling spirit of the younger men should fill the sheets of the first copy of the composite letter to the men at the front. Suffice it to say that we miss the men, but glory in the fine spirit they show in being with the colors. Accept the enclosure from Lawrence Johnson as part of the contribution of
Yours fraternally, Harry Swan.

Without doubt the letter from Lawrence Johnson must be said to be the leading number of our first issue. Lawrence, as you no doubt know, won his commission at Fort Sheridan, and is now Somewhere in France. Anyone who is able to write as optimistic a letter, which yet is filled with as much grim determination to make good, will be heard from in the official reporter for conspicuous service. We are all looking for another letter from Lawrence in France but in the meantime I submit the letter already received, which in the language of pleading, “was and is in words and figures as follows to wit”:

Dear Harry and members of P.E.D.:
This is from somewhere on the Atlantic and a darn good distance out, in fact it is a voice from the deep. As yet yours truly hasn’t been affected by the swells and their cradle effect; my appetite is still lusty and my health Al – also I am having the adventure of my life. Here’s some series of events to crowd in a month’s time. After getting married and visiting Niagara on our honeymoon, I bade a sad farewell to HER in Buffalo, and proceeded to New York. There I met swarthy Southerns with a Charleston accent, Cavalier Virginians, khaki New Englanders; Knowall Kansans (no bad reflections), and tough Westerners. I reviewed Broadway and the stay cost me around $10.00 a day. It’s an interesting sideshow but I don’t care a hang to live there. Thence on board ship and the trip. I can’t tell you the route nor anything about the means and modes preserving secrecy. Interesting things have happened on board ship, however, We have an enlisted man who can play like Paddy, and there is lots of other local talent on board. To-night I am going on a debate. Why in h— I consented to take part, I don’t know, but I did. P.E.D. is also represented in a chess tournament and has lively chances of beating out 30 entries for the first notch.
We ran into and interrupted a school of porpoises the other day and watched them flop around in the water. A fellow could hardly abstain from reflecting on the beauties of travelling in a life preserver with one of them nibbling at his feet. From a distance I saw the spouting of a whale, but didn’t see the animal itself. Last night I say the Aurora, a giant search light affair shooting its beams in many directions, and very beautiful. Then, too the majesty of the ocean itself is apt to make one imbued with the spirit of philosophy. Makes me think of Home – the home the girl and I never got a chance to start· the profession I must set aside for a number of years, and lots of other things. Time flies with so much to look after and ponder over.
Greet the Dean for me and give a humble item to him concerning my whereabouts and approaching destiny. I don’t know that myself — it’s all a gamble; one thing, a fleet of destroyers with the Star Spangled Banner, would be a very welcome sight to me. That’s what most of us are looking for right now. Best of luck and wishes to P.E.D., its members and initiate new members it may inaugurate. I wish I were there to break a bed slat on their rear formation. I wish more that I were somewhere in France scrapping like old Nick against that barbaric hoarde of detestible Kaiserites.

To all, and yourself, au revoir, Lawrence.

In presenting the letter of “Louy” Sharf, whom I have described as our own Ring Lardner, I am confident that you will agree that Louis should prove a formidable opponent to that formidable humorist should he go out to journalism. I have been forced to censor parts of Louy’s letter, not that it contained any information of military value, which might be of aid and comfort to the enemy, but due to the necessity of relying upon the good offices of the young ladies of the office, I felt it necessary to spare them the necessity of reading certain passar: es which were certainly intended for masculine eyes only. Subject to these deletions I present the letter unchanged:

Dear Brethern:
Prologue. No doubt, at the outset, you will ejaculate in a rather vulgar efflugence of verbosity, that this missive is going to be good. I shall attempt to write in typical Junior hyperbole.
The writer, at this juncture, after intermission, is desirous of informing his hearers that he is sitting in his room, with a dampened towel encircling, his cranium, and for obvious reasons is as busy as the proverbial one-armed paper hanger with the hives; with all the aforesaid circumstances in mind, the tragedy pursues its impromptu course. The victim, brown-eyed and ambitious, uncertain of the destiny which might befall him, entered the scene, Northwestern University Law School, about a year ago. There he met with myriads of experience, some of which has been hitherto told you, but there is yet a little by little, and bit by bit, to be drawn out from him, which has remained unknown. After several fortnights of bounding recklessly to and fro without any definite purpose, he emerged from his violent dreams, and began to entertain the unusual delusion that the world began when he was born, and will end when he traverses the subterranean passages of Hades and Tartarus, – but alas and alack, a different aspect of life confronted him, and as the first act was nearing its close, and the orchestra was serenely and morosely playing the Swan Song, the inspired soldier of fortune walked out and said to himself, “Well done, but not good and faithful servant.” The writer at this stage wishes to impress upon the readers that he has become rather reminiscent and serious of his past, but tarry awhile and read the second act.
Scene, idem, Time – next year. The writer entered the “rendevouz” well known to you and with well defined and outlined ideas he puts in his “order” to the Powers that Be, and avows that there shall not be a reiteration of what has transpired in the merciless and unrecallable past. Some of his trusty advisers have returned to answer his somewhat hazy and incoherent language, but he feels something lacking, namely, the fraternal sympathy and heartiness which was always forthcoming from the readers – time out for close of episode.
I trust that you will welcome the above as a mere diversion from your monotonous work, and while you hibernate either at your present address or in “No man’s land”, I pledge myself to write but perchance ere I shall have the opportunity of executing such threats, I want to be the recipient of some of your writings. I tried to get into the second O.R.C., but for reasons best known to the examining officers, my application was only appreciated and merely recognized. I shall enlist for the third O.R.C., and have made plans to take military training on Northwestern Campus under a French officer.
The prospects this year for members in the frat are good. I have awkwardly approached two men, ___ and ___, the latter being more favorable considered than the other. We anticipate to g~e at least ten good fellows. If space and time would permit, I would relate an experience which I had after the meeting at Gray’s house. Well how I ever got this far, can only be told by
Yours truly, Lewis Scharf.

I think that I said that the leading number of this issue of the Bugle must be said to be the letter of Lawrence Johnson. But I am afraid that I shall perhaps have to retract this statement, because we have at least two leading numbers. Although Phil Davis may never become an “ambulance chaser” in the legal profession yet he is acquiring valuable ambulance training at Camp Houston Texas. [?]

I fear [Phil?] does us an injustice when he says that we are [not?] interested in the social side of army life. However, he has said so much and said [?] so well, we will forgive him for any mistake in judgment which he may have made in this respect. Possibly some of you may not know that Phil has endeared himself to the hearts of his entire company by blossoming forth as an editor himself. It was his creative brain, I am given to understand, that conceived the idea of a local paper for his company, and as a result the “Ambulancet” bids fair to rival World’s Greatest Newspaper. After you have finished reading Phil’s letter you will no doubt feel anxious as I am to receive another from him. Attention, men, while we hear from Private Davis:

Dear Pep:
Your most welcome letter undoubtedly deserves a readier reply than this, but as I am frequently given to laziness and indisposition to even write, I am afraid I didn’t avail myself of the first opportunity to do so, but be that as it may, I want to register my most undivided approval of your plan as outlined in your letter. To say the least, it will be what people mean when they say “God send”, or as I would put it, most pertinent to the occasion, and a most appropriate undertaking, from our organization.
Next Tuesday will be three weeks since our arrival here, and I am safe in believing that we are all acclimated as though this had been our home for years; and we certainly have fine homes. Each company has its own “street”, on which face a number of tents, large enough for eight cots (comfortably), some boxes, trunks, a table, chair and various hangers. We have wooden floors and wooden sides to our tents, which are electric lighted and heated by stoves. The fuel for which is crude oil and wood. We also have running water and shower baths. Each company, troop or battery, as the case may be, has its own mess shack, cooks and kitchen assistants. I know for a fact that our meals are about the best in the entire camp. Our meals are great, most appetizing, digestive, healthful and palatable. The variety well night surprises me, as did the quality and per capita quantity. Every man has his share, and more if he desires. I have had two and three helpings myself.
I wont dwell on the routine work of which you probably know. · Suffice it to say that we drill, march and rest, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and have three hours of additional drill and instruction in the afternoon. We feel quite fatigued at the end of the day, I assure you. We get mail three times a day, at about meal time, and we certainly are an eager lot at the distribution of feed and mail. Saturday is half holiday and Sunday is inspection and rost day. Taps is at 10:00 p.m., and we are requested to retire at that hour. Saturday general leave til 1:00 a.m. is given, but on other days when liberty is Given (rarely), 12:00 is the latest hour. Houston is five miles away. Jitneys and street cars are the means of conveyance, and as prices are not standardized yet, we are frequently held up when we are in a hurry to get back in time. Generally speaking, the social life of the city is rather difficult to break into, but as for yours truly, he has been rather fortunate with his progress, due largely to his connection with the paper and habit for seeking the best. I have been the guest and almost the adopted son of Judge Dannenbaum of the 6lst Dist. Court of Texas, and have met “the” people through him. The editor of the Texas Herald, a weekly, has also been very kind to me, and his daughter is most delightful company. Of course there are others who enter into my social relationship, but I take it that side of army life is not what you want.
The rules of camp are rather severe, and punishment for violation is dealt out speedily and without regard for past services, being therein very unlike our judicial punitive systern. The army is the one great leveler of men. Your past makes no difference to your comrades; caste, creed and previous condition of consortium have little or no effect on either the powers that be or those that strive to be. Men are measured by their capacity, and willingness to do their share. Of course, there are cliques, and groups, and even individuals who seek special considerations, but they are pounced on, and soon come into disfavor. A show of money or moneyed connections means little more than that the “show-er” is pestered for loans. Gambling is quite extensive and strictly forbidden, but is assiduously practiced. The men talk about everything but the war for some reason or other. That subject is strictly taboo the taboo being self emanative. Some day I hope, because of my close observation and opportunity to see men as they really are, to write a book on men; not war, army, or patriotism, but MEN. I have learned in my four months of service what my years of schooling failed to imbue me with, to-wit: an appreciation of men regardless of their views, material success, failures, creeds, or eccentricities. If the army has nothing else in store for me, I will feel amply compensated for doing my bounden duty for which one needs no recompense.
Please remember me to the boys, to whom I’ll be happy to write when I hear from them. Good luck to your worthy undertaking.
Fraternally, Phil Davis.

After this refreshing news from the front, it is altogether fitting and proper, as Lincoln would say, that we come home again and listen to a resume of the activities of our most worthy brethern at home as outlined by Borther Kirk.

Dear Brothers of P.E.D.: And now for a word from our most worthy (?) ————. Dama Fortuna looked down on me and having some grudge against P.E.D. took Brother Joslyn from our midst, so I fell heir to the job. As a part of my weighty responsibilities, I have considered it my duty to keep an open eye on the boys in their activities outside of the class. Of all the wayward brothers, one Lewis X. Scharf has caused the greatest worry. Louy aspires to be a great actor, preferably a dancer. His success in this line cannot be doubted. At present he is playing, a co-part with Dietrichstein selling fish in the Judge of Balmea for 75¢ per. A short time ago he was notified that Wm. A. Brady would be pleased to have Mr. Scharf take a leading, part in The Man Who Came Home. Our worthy brother tried out at once. The orchestra struck up a two-step and Louis tried to waltz, with the result that Brady politely inquired if he thought the Princess was a theater down in Podunk and gently informed him that he had better get out. So Lewis lost his two dollars per week.
Next, Bro. Gray, who sent the summer months at his usual occupation where he had such poor success that he was forced to take a trip to Texas for his health, and to relieve him of some of his money. While working this summer Bro. Gray came into such close contact with the better side of men, that he decided all men are crooks. Now he takes two hours for lunch every day, and spends the greater part arguing with the cafeteria cashier.
Bro. Swan still floats about with about the same spruce of political schemes. He also remains at the Y.M.C.A. putting the boys in the right path whenever they go astray.
On Oct. 18th, we received an agreeable surprise. Bro. Rohn after celebrating his retirement from civilian life by repeated trips to north Clark St. gave up hopes of being a soldier boy and returned to school. He initiated his return by being elected to the House Committee.
Bro. Lecin will have to give an account of himself. We daily receive reports of his anti-suffragistic activities; e,g. he defeated a lady candidate for the position of secretary of the Senior Class. Gentlemen, if you were to return to N.U.L.S., and enter the Smoking Room you would notice a remarkable change – Bro. Rattner has not been there once this semester. All his spare time is occupied investigating for the U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Co.
Then, too, they say Bro. Hassmann has heavy business interests in South Bend. “They say” you know is always wrong. That is not the cause of his repeated trips to Indiana. I hear he no longer goes so frequently to the north side. Can you connect the two?
I have little to report concerning the activity of the pledges Whenever in my presence they seem overawed. Perhaps it is because of my official bearing and capacity. Who can tell? For myself, I can say to Bros. Johnson and Thorsness that “all’s well that ends well”.
Hoping my brothers spread the glory of P.E.D. in the martial world while we at home uphold the sholastic and legal standing I am
1. F. Kirk.

I am told that I inadvertently offended the feelings of Bro. Rohn by referring to him in my introductory letter, which I mailed to each of you explaining the purpose of these letters, as “the man who thought he was drafted or almost drafted”. Rohn says he not thinks os, but he knows he has been drafted. But let him tell about it in his own entertaining fashion.

Brethern: It affords me great pleasure to write you a few lines at this opportune moment in regard to my very near [approaches?] training camp in Rockford. Mine was the 3858th number drawn at Washington, and because of that circumstance I felt sure that I would not be in the first call. I spent an enjoyable vacation, and it was while I was in Iowa that I received notice to present myself for physical examination.
The very next day I motored home and took the examination. To my great surprise I passed. I expected to be rejected on account of my nearsightedness, but such was not the result. When I inquired when I would leave for camp, I was informed that I would leave Oct. 3. That was in August, on the day I was examined. When I learned that the men who were called after me were leaving much sooner, I again inquired as to my standing and was told to keep myself in readiness to leave on Sept. 19. I already had my blue card by this time and when I did not receive notice to report Sept. 19, I inquired and was told I would positively leave Oct. 5. I decided to have a good time before going to the training camp and this week before Sept. 19 and the week before Oct. 19, I was out every night “painting the town red. I was determined to have my share of “chicken”, caberet, etc., before going to Rockford, where, I am told, such things do not dwell. Hell, I was disappointed a second time. I had a good time those two weeks of revelry, but it put an awful crimp in the “jack-sack”, not mentioning the effect it had on me physically.
Because I was to leave the 1st of Oct, I did not start school I then lived in hopes of leaving Oct. 17. I did not receive the long sought notice so I started school on Oct. 17, and with the aid of Bro. Gray’s timely nomination I was elected a member of the House Committee on Oct. 18. Bro. Lecine was elected secretary, making two representatives in the third year class. I will not undertake to make you acquainted with the affairs of P.E.D., as there are others who, no doubt, are in a better position to do so.
With the fondest recollections of the time spent with you in the past. I hope that we will again meet within the very near future, with even a greater happiness than in the past. Wm. H. Rohn.

Just before going to press the following letter from Brother Joslyn complaining of the life of indolence and ease which the Government compels him to lead was handed to me.

Dear Walter:
I was somewhat surprised to receive your letter addressed to me at my Elgin address. I have been at Camp Grant for a month and supposed of course you fellows knew it, as I told Rattner and Allen that I would be here this fall. I am in Co.B., 342nd Inf. in Barracks 806, but do not know how long I will be here, for rumor has it that we will go to Texas soon. Kryda and Thorsness are located about one block from our barracks, but I seldom have time to look them up for they are drilling us 9 hours a day, and giving us instruction by movies at night. The rest of the time we have for recreation. Consequently we don’t “recreate”. With best regards to all the fellows and best wishes for the frat, I am, Paul M. Joslyn.
The brothers have all responded in such a hearty fashion to appeals for assistance in the compilation of this letter that I find I have almost sufficient material on hand for a second number. For this reason, I have divided the material which I possess and am a holding interesting letters from Gray, Hassman, Kalin, Lecin, et al, which I shall forward soon if this number meets your approval. It has been very difficult to decide which letters to include in this first issue of the Bugle, and which to retain for the next issue. I have consequently resorted to a method which rumor has frequently said is adopted by a certain well known instructor in N.U.L.S. in determining how many A’s shall be distributed to those who take his examinations and who shall receive them. Please understand that I do not guarantee that any such method is actually used by any instructor. The method, however, is absolutely impartial, though somewhat inaccurate, and for that reason it recommended itself to me in this instance; especially since the letters I received were equally entertaining and well written. Pursuant to the system described in the well defined rumor just referred to, I carefully attached the sheets of each letters into the air. The letters which arrived upon the floor face up, I arbitrarily decided to include in this issue, reserving the balance for the next. As an added reason for limiting the size of each number, Mr. Crossley suggested that if the issue be too long, you may not be able to read it all at one time, and be forced to lay it aside it may become misplaced and the pleasure of finishing it completely lost.
Trusting that the Bugle meets with your approval, and that I may have a letter from each of you to include in my next number, I am

Paul E. Price, 440 – 29 S. LaSalle St.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *