Fish and Friendship Beyond Measure

Posted by: Laura Douthitt - April 24, 2019

After fifty years, members of Delta Pi Chapter at the University of Southern California continue an annual reunion that started with a fishing trip. “The success and persistence of our annual gathering is based on a tight bond of friendship and respect that we developed together from age 17 to age 22,” said Pat Fuscoe (University of Southern California, 1972). “In those formative years, we all learned together and helped each other along. Many of the skills and personality traits we all have today stem for the four or five years we shared as Delt undergraduates.”

Jim Graham (1972) and Clint Roberts (1972), started the annual fishing trip in 1969 and within a few years, 10-12 friends were meeting every June for “Opening Day” of the fishing season in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains.

Fuscoe, who joined his Delta Pi brothers on their third or fourth fishing trip, and he has loved catching up with old friends from his Delt chapter every year since then as they navigate life’s journey.

Now, roughly two dozen Delta Pi brothers who graduated in the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, travel from six states to gather together. A 30-acre ranch near Mammoth Lakes in California is the setting for their Thursday through Sunday reunion.

In 2018, the group celebrated their 50th reunion. “We had a huge catered dinner at a ranch with jokes, stories and camaraderie,” Fuscoe said. Fuscoe created a 20-minute video of slides and photos from 1964-1982 that he shared during this special reunion trip. “Everyone loved seeing themselves as kids and their old girlfriends,” Fuscoe said.

“The trip persists because it evolved from just a fun fishing excursion to dinners together and storytelling around a barbecue,” Fuscoe said. “The bond is simple: we all grew up together and love to relive those emotional, transformational years.”

“My favorite thing about the annual trips is retelling our school-era stories,” Fuscoe said. “I am the group’s ‘storyteller,’ and they laugh hard every year.”

Fuscoe encourages all Delt alumni to build their own reunion traditions. “It’s never too late to take the lead and organize a gathering of brothers. The benefits of strengthening lifelong friendships are beyond measure,” said Fuscoe.

He recommends starting with meeting for dinner or drinks at a home or restaurant, then organizing a day outing and eventually planning a two or three-day get-away with planned activities. Dinners together in evenings are best for sharing stories and reminiscing.