Frat brothers reunite at the Republican National Convention
Back in the early 1970s, delegate and MSU alum Norm Shinkle was known among his Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers as “Fireman.”
“He runs around like his (butt) is on fire,” said fellow fraternity brother Tom Dusseau, a Homosassa, Fla., resident.
Shinkle, the Ingham County Republican Chair, currently is serving as a delegate in the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and brought some of his old friends and fraternity brothers along for the ride.
Tallahassee, Fla., resident Terry Schulte, Carmel, Ind., resident Paul Obolewicz and Dusseau, all MSU alums, came to the convention to visit each other.
“It conjures up a lot of old memories,” Dusseau said. “We see each other and things pick up like we last saw each other last week.”
At a law firm party, the four stood around, bouncing between talking about the convention and reminiscing about their college days. The time they stole a pig. The time they convinced pledges to throw flour and water on one of the brother’s car. The times when they watched “Star Trek” as it was a study requirement.
Mary Stasek, an alternate delegate from Ingham County, said she loves watching the fraternity brothers get together.
“They’ll always be frat brothers,” Stasek said. “It’s just the way they are.”
She said when the group gets together the jokes start flying.
While standing outside the Embassy Suites, 513 S. Florida Ave., awaiting their shuttle, the boys ripped on one another.
As Schulte paused to recall his memory, Dusseau jumped in with a quip.
“Terry’s the oldest, so it takes him awhile to get the memory back,” Dusseau said.
For Norm, who worked to get guest passes so his brothers could attend convention events, having his fraternity brothers has enhanced the experience.
“It’s great having them around,” Shinkle said. “They’re like family.”