February 28, 2006

Dean de Freitas - BoDeans & Chickenscamera.gif

There is one musical group that I associate with Ray because he introduced me to them during a memorable moment in my college life, and that group is The BoDeans. More specifically, their "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams" CD.

One of the traditions our fraternity held dear was the Pledge Prank. Every class had to do one, and every class tried to outdo the last one. The pledges believed that they had to pull the prank off in the house, in the middle of the night, while the active members were there. What they didn't know is that the actives were aware of exactly what night the prank was to be pulled off, and we were specifically forbidden from interrupting them. The idea was to get them to work together towards a difficult goal, and it would have been far to easy to ruin it for them. The other thing they didn't know is that we would clean up the prank before they showed up for lunch and pretend that nothing happened the night before.

My sophmore year was my first living in the house, and when the time came for the Fall '86 pledge class to perform their prank, they pulled off a masterpiece. They filled the bottom floor of the House with a layer of hay, hid eggs all around the house where we would step on them, and left us a flock of chickens that numbered exactly the same as the guys in their pledge class.

When we came downstairs to see what the pledges had done, many of us were overwhelmed. How the heck were we going to clean this up before lunch? Naturally, Ray didn't blink an eye. He ran upstairs, got his boom box, and started cranking the BoDeans to motivate our work. The album had a distinctive country rock flavor, and was well suited to the occasion. I clearly remember chasing chickens around the house with Ray and others to corral them inside the downstairs bathroom before spending the rest of the morning trying to force all that hay into any and every garbage bag we could find. Somehow, we got everything cleaned up in time, except for those dang chickens. At lunch, to the pledges frustration, we simply pretended that there were no chickens in the house, even though the we could hear them in the bathroom clucking away.

This became one of my all time favorite CD's, and I think of Ray everytime I hear it. This past Saturday night I cracked open a beer, cranked the BoDeans up loud, and drank a toast to Ray.