There is a great deal of mystery shrouding the history of PPSA (but scientists are going to do Carbon-14 dating of Raman’s underwear to find the truth.) But the truth of the matter is, PPSA was formed as the Polkinghorne Palace Student Association by myself and The Nor in the fall of 1984. [The organization was actually formed in the fall of 1983, but not registered as a student organization. -ed] Who or what the Nor is, is a whole separate story – but, suffice it to say, once I fully overcome the emotional feelings involved and the memories of the Nor-hole, the Nor’s ghost, the annual Spring beating of the Nor-flakes out of the couch, and maybe when I forget exactly what appendage of the Nor’s body was used to paint part of the house painting, I may explain more.
Back to our story. The esteemed Dean Meese was retiring and we (the founding fathers) had decided that there was an advantage to being a registered student organization. We began showing movies later that year. As a matter of fact, PPSA decided that there was money, and contraversy, in showing a little old movie called Deep Throat, on campus. Alas, the sweet profit came out to be several hundred dollars. This paid for a few pizza’s (yes, Domino’s is the official pizza deliverer of PPSA), and a big ski party at Mont Ripley.
In those days, along with the Nor and I, the Palace was home to God Emperor Dave Linnington and Vice Emperor Warren Wells, one Vice Emperor with a lot of vices. Dave, the holder of the Bork, was a chemical engineering student at MTU. Warren, The Master of Nomenclature, was an electrical engineering student. In fact, Warren loved being a Michigan Tech so much that he stayed “extra long” (nuf said). Of course, porn flicks were the least of what PPSA did that year; we also helped out with MTU’s first Alcohol Awareness Week. (We introduced a bunch of college students to lots of alcohol!) Dave wrote a computer program that tested response time of drinkers. The program would print a letter on the screen and measure the time it took for someone to type the letter on the Timex Sinclair membrane keyboard (spill proof, get it?!?) So we held a big party and all got really drunk (all in the name of science) and Warren carefully chronicalled the evening. Needless to say, after such a display of civic responsibility, it was clear that we quickly became one of the University’s favorite clubs.
The “Palace” part of PPSA, if I may digress, originates from the way the Nor used to answer the phone. See, the house we lived in (still PPSA headquarters in 1988) was once owned by Wilfred Carlos Polkinghorne, head of MTU’s Civil Engineering Department. He had “passed on” but the house was an historical landmark because it had belonged to him. O.K., so it’s a hokey story, and we even made Wilfred our advisor “post mortem” as it were.
By the Fall of 1985, the Nor had been expelled from PPSA, Dave had graduated and Ray Swartz and Paul Joitke moved into the Palace. These people had rooms. Raman, who moved in later, was privileged enough to have his own “cubbyhole” in the attic. Of course, the University encouraged Warren to take an “extended vacation” that Spring and Chuck Lucky moved into the “cubbyhole”.
Subsequently, we all graduated and I moved down to MSU for grad school. In 1988 PPSA was officially registered at MSU. Ray went to grad school at the University of Illinois and never registered the group there. Dave moved to India, working for United Oil Products building chemical plants (does Bhopal ring a bell?) Warren…?? No one is quite sure, we think he’s in Green Bay. Chuck is working at a resturant in Grand Rapids, and Paul Joitke is rumored to be married and doing ion welding in Bay City. Raman finally graduated, in 1987, and went to Florida State University. He was soon convinced that he wanted to go to Michigan State – for reasons only he fully knows.
After saying a lot, I haven’t really said much have I? I guess my intention has been to tell you a little of the why and who of the early years of PPSA. I will try to include historical articles in future issues of the newsletter. I think all the old articles are now historical, because they happened in the past, and a lot of water has passed under that bridge. I hope that knowing the cast of characters from the early days and a little of the lore will help to make things clearer to the layperson. Although, I think it will probably make things even worse. [John, December 1988]