Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Trip down memory (fraternity) row....

Last night on The Food Network my college fraternity was featured on a show called Dinner: Impossible. The host shows up at a location and has all day whip a 'non-restaurant' into shape with a grand dinner occassion.

My fraternity house was chosen and in last night's episode. Of course, the website blurb and the show both prove the fact that 'reality tv' isn't real. It says...

Robert has just nine hours to prepare a cocktail reception and a five course meal for the president of the University of Pennsylvania and 65 distinguished guests. The only problem is dinner will be held in a filthy fraternity house and the sleeping Psi Upsilon brothers will have to help. Can Robert transform the "animal house" into the presidential palace in time, or will this be Dinner: Impossible?

Sorry, but the Castle (what the house was known as on campus, for obvious reasons), is certainly the farthest thing from "animal house" (which is a reference to the John Belushi movie of the same name). If anything, we might be like the neighboring house (all the guys in jacket and tie), not the animal house in the movie. In fact, the rule at our house in the 1980's (as today too) was jacket and tie for dinner Sunday through Thursday! It may not have been pristine, but filthy is a strong word as well.

I contacted the International Fraternity director, Mark A. Williams, whom I worked for as a field director in 1991. He mentioned this to me in an email...

You probably know that there isn't much "real" in reality tv. We figured we were going to take some cheap shots but knew that in the end the dinner was going to be a success.
Matt Carter, the guy who got the most air time on the show, is as fine a man as you will ever want to meet. He is going to write a behind the scenes story about what really happened. The Castle wasn't dirty enough when the crew showed up so they went out, found some empty pizza boxes and threw them around.

Bravo to the men of the Tau Chapter of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity for hosting a great dinner for the President of the University of Pennsylvania. I think I am going to go find my tape of Psi U Fraternity songs and sing along in the car!

The show replays on The Food Network
April 22, 2007 4:30 PM ET/PT April 22, 2007 11:30 PM ET/PT
April 23, 2007 2:30 AM ET/PT May 26, 2007 2:30 PM ET/PT

"Come brothers of Psi Upsilon, who trod these hall of yore, unbar the ivied gates of years and tread these halls once more. The diamond jewel glitters still, the lingering voices call...."