The Philo Phacts was the official newsletter of Phi Mu Delta, starting in the late ’60s. Created on purple “ditto paper” (this was before photocopies), each semester a new editor would be appointed. These included Barry Doran, Randy Dobbs, Buddy Esper, Dan Schlafer, Tom Hyde, Steve Hyder, Ken Tippins, Ran Coney (and Long Hare), and Tom Tabor. The Phacts usually included info on pledging, outings, banquets, house parties, fraternity sporting events, and paying dues, but it also contained (sporatically!) crossword puzzles, poetry, Christmas gift lists, and even scripture verses (Carson-Newman was a Baptist college, after all!).
Some of the editors chose to present the Phacts in a matter-of-phactly way, while others treated the news with sarcasm and brevity. Ran Coney relied on his alter-ego, Long Hare, a tall, skinny cartoon rabbit, for help with the Phacts.
Below are some excerpts from the Philo Phacts from the early-to-mid ’70s (thank you Tom Tabor!):
A Single Candle Burning
With darkness all around you, and none to light your way,
You may come up to my window and there, you’ll find a place to stay.
A single candle burning to light your way at night, and soothe away your fright.
A simple little gesture to give you peace and quiet.
—John W. Walker, III
1971 Philo Christmas Gift List
Steve Hyder: A new blue denim jacket
Howell Clyborne: A new pair of saddle oxfords
Kenny Hudson: A new driveshaft
Phil Tallant: A new rod and staff
Graham Spencer: A new Christmas Carol
Mike Lewis: A fake mustache
Steve Batson: A new lease on life
Adrian Baird: A new roommate
Tom Tabor: A new flea collar
Rick Helton: A virgin cow
John Walker: A revoked
Ken Tippins: “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Tom Rose: A new Jock
James Young: A 10-pound sack of potatoes
Buddy Esper: A new rumor
Tim Bennett: A new philosophy
Virgil Adams: An “N” (instead of an “L”) for his name
David Skinner: A paint-by-number kit
Mike Murphy: A new pair of socks for a man
Ken Siddons: A new hometown
Jim Hale: A new first name—”Go To”
Sherrill Eddelman: A free meal at McDonald’s
Jim Myers: A new set of balls (tennis) and a walking Cane
Robin Gilstrap: A new strap for whatever he needs to keep in place
Dan Ewton: A new pledge
Fred Welch: A new grape drink
Mike Frye: A new spelling book,
Fred Lewis: A southern accent
George Moody: A set of crooked golf clubs,
Ran Coney: A Baby Ruth bar
Bruce Brandon: A nose warmer
Mike Hill: Something to talk about
Rod Tallant: A Cannon Ball
Perry Morris: An IQ
Dave Butler: A senior cap and gown
Dean Griffin: A book of basketball rules
Filmore Strunk: A“Get Naked and Slide” kit
1973 Philo Christmas Gift List
Ran Coney: A “HARE” cut
Greg Dyess: Some “GOLF” balls
Dean Griffin: A one-way trip to Massillon
Tim Grills: A pack of “BENSON” and “PLEDGES”
Andy Harbin: A certificate of Honorary Disloyalty to the Society
David Hatmaker: A Datsun 240Z
Joe Holbert: A chance to direct the Vienna Boys’ Choir
Daniel Hyder: A little brother named “STEVE”
Steve Hyder: A trip to Washington
Allan Lane: A broken date
Fred Lewis: An important student government office
George Moody: A pack of “RUM CROOK” cigars
Mike Murphy: A “NEW MAN”
Richard McMichael: A Texaco credit card
Doug Overbey: A trip to a nudist colony
Rob Prevost: A new “BARK”
Gary Riley: A new fraternity
Tom Rose: A book on “How to Coach Football”
Bucky Rosenbaum: A second date
Ken Rowley: A “MEMORY”
Dan Schlafer: A copy of raising pledges for fun and profit
Ken Siddons: A new “HAT”
Chuck Sexton: A copy of the cartoon “The Adventures of Owen Bee”
David Skinner: A newspaper joint
John Slusher: A “GREEN DONKEY”
Graham Spencer: A new rowboat without oars
Tom Tabor: A “WHITE CHRISTMAS”
Phil Tallant: A new Polack joke
Ken Tippins: A pair of shoe “LACES”
John Umberger: A “Hey, Hey, Ba Ba Re Ba”
Bill Vuillemot: Van Gogh’s left ear
Ken Tippins’ Philo ‘Phax’
Welcome back to Carson (Good Ole) Newman, brothers. I imagine you all had a nice Christmas. I imagine you all had a fine New Year’s. I imagine you all got the classes you wanted in registration. I imagine you all are getting bored with this small talk, so I’ll get down to the real news.
This week will be a busy one in old Philo Hall. All week we are having “SMOKERS” to acquaint prospective pledges with Philos. At the end of this week—Friday, the 19th, we will assemble in the Hall to vote on applications. His “Pledge Chairmanship,” Ran Coney, has designated January 21-27 as “‘THUSIASM WEEK.” The official flag of the city of Kingsport will be flown at half mast.
Being back at Carson (Watch-Your-Step) Newman involves many tediously-planned experiences. But, the meanings of the experiences are often not equal to their careful planning. One must always carefully choose to concentrate on the experiences of his life, which holds the greatest meaning. On considering this, I have come to the conclusion, that regardless of opinions, and impressions, gentlemen, there are preciously few things in this school more valuable than our Philo brothers.
I remain yours humbly,
Brother Ken Tippins
I do humbly appreciate the warm reception with which you all met the last issue of “PHAX.” I hope that I may always be of service to my brothers.
This week’s business meeting will be reverently held on Wednesday the 28th at 7 PM. The meeting will be used to discuss the “Budget.” Deadline for completion and presentation of the budget is this Friday.
Brother Ran Coney regretfully announces that Hell Weekend has been canceled due to the unseasonably warm weather in Pokeepsie Falls, Montana. To take the place of the regularly scheduled event, Brother Ran has created “HELL NIAT” to be held from 12 o’clock midnight to 5 o’clock AM on Saturday morning of this week. Mr. Coney has given our large “PHAX” staff and core of reporters the inside scoop on the nature of “HELL NIAT,” and let us tell you one thing—if you are a pledge, you should commit yourself to the infirmary indefinitely to avoid this event, and if you are an active, you should make every effort to attend “HELL NIAT”, for it promises to be a classic event in the annals of Philomathean history.
Lastly, it has been discovered that Gary Riley’s birthday falls on March 6, but that Gary thinks that this is too early in the year to have his birthday. Perhaps if Gary stands on his head, his birthday will fall on March 9.
Your humble servant,
The annual Spring House Party approaches. The yearly fete is to take place on this weekend, April 14-15. Perpetrated by Vice-Prez Danny Schlafer, the event will occur at Bell’s Wa-Floy Lodge, snuggled high in the Smoky Mountains. Sweet dreams everyone.
Brother Dan Schlafer, acting in the highly-unofficial capacity of “Friend and Brother” has displayed unparalleled kindness, and inviting each and every one of his brothers to a slumber party following this season’s Stag Banquet. Dan, I’m sure I express in words, the unbounded gratitude of all your brothers when I tell you, “Oh wow, man. Thanks a million.” Anyone wishing to attend Dan‘s party should pay the $3 breakage and jail bail fee by next Friday.
Special Notice: Brother Petie Eddleman is proud to announce the birth of a 348-pound elephant, “Priscilla,” to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold the Elephant, of Knoxville Zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Sneak Preview: Guess the name of the theme for this year’s stag banquet and you may win an all-expense paid vacation in Straw Plains, Tennessee. Here are the three possibilities:
1. My Old Kentucky Gnome
2. Literary History of the U.S.
3. What I Really Did Last Summer (Joe Holbert)
Send your answer in immediately to find out if you have won, lost or tied.