Family Album: Dancing with the Chambermaids


An international student dance at Davidson’s first International/ Intercultural Festival worked like a charm: Today there are twice as many international students on campus as the 55 the college counted in 1986! But who is that dancing woman? If you know, contact John Syme at or 704-894-2523.

Students dancing in front of Chambers building

Summer 2014: Old as Dirt

The featured Family Album photo “Old as Dirt” in the summer 2014 issue provoked several responses.

“Definitely an F&M/FIJI headball team, presumably from the Greek Week headball tourney in either ’83 or ’84,” wrote Bill Hall ’84. “That’s Paul Price ’86 heading the ball, with Jim Kelly ’87 looking on.  Right behind, on the edge of the page is my former roommate and FIJI brother, Jay “The Tos” Toslosky ’84 (with a relatively full head of hair by Tos standards). If it wasn’t from the text in the box coving faces, I could probably identify the others fairly easily (but don’t dare try to do so on torsos alone!).”

“The person heading the ball is Paul Price ’86,” agreed Jim Kelly ’86 himself. “The guy with the garden hose is me, Jim Kelley ’86. As with any Davidson picture showing students between 82-86, the other faces look familiar but, sorry, I can’t put names to them.

“A few of us have been kicking around which year the picture was taken. The consensus seems to be 1983. Do you know?

“And ‘Old as Dirt’?  That really hurts.  But I see you’re class of ’85, so you get a pass.

“Thanks for taking me back to some very memorable times…”

Ed note: Archives reports the picture is listed as “ca. 1980,” and since 1983 is circa then, close enough: Kudos, Jim and all! —John Syme ’85

Bryan Tuttle ’89 confirms, more or less, the accounts above.

“Having experienced this event several times not sure should be placed in ‘family album,’” opines Matt Matthews ’88.

“The game was called ‘MudBall.’ You could only use your head, no hands, no feet, nothing else. Games were to 21 points, believe you had to lose by 2, double elimination. And, oh yeah, every time you lost a point you had to imbibe a Solo cup of ‘beverage.’…

“Taken in the back yard of the old Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house down the railroad tracks off campus. We had no problem keeping the back yard muddy year round—it was at the bottom of a slight hill and behind it was thick forest/ swampy…

Gregg Smart ’81 adds: “The dude holding the beer cup is Albert Potter, Class of 1981, my freshman hall.”


About Author

John Syme '85

Senior Writer John Syme graduated from Davidson with a French degree in 1985. After gigs in newspaper, advertising, translation in France and cross-country travel writing in the United States, he returned to alma mater in 2001. He has no immediate plans to graduate again.

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