What was the point of learning cursive writing? In the U.S., oldsters remember learning how to print letters, then later learning how to write the same letters in cursive. Why? That’s like learning how to speak English, and then learning “Ohioan,” which is close to English but includes words like “warsh” (wash) and “sweeper” (vacuum cleaner), or “pop” (soda).
Like this: “Before I do the warsh and run the sweeper, I’m going to have me a pop.”
Ohio University has long been known as a party school. True, it has world-renowned teaching in journalism, broadcasting, business, engineering and other disciplines, but the school’s partying ways herald back to its very founding.
Over the years, seven bars have emerged as legends among some very stiff competition.
Klippie’s Cold Room – 1880s
Klippie’s started out as a back room operation where the proprietor sold shots out of paper cups to students and faculty. In those days, it was still considered blasphemous by good citizens to drink alcohol, so Klippie kept it on the down low in the back. According to Klippie, “The more conservative members of the town and university were my biggest customers.”
Muddy’s – early 1900s
Named for the mud fest that the whole town became after the spring rains and subsequent flooding of the the Hocking River, Muddy’s was renowned in Uptown Athens. One story talks about the dean of the business school driving his new Ford Model T into the back door in the alley at Muddy’s. The wall caved in, so the owner just set up tables and kept serving. An alumni later remembered, “It stayed that way for 40 years till they sold the place and it became a donut shop.”
Bobcat Walk – 1920s
Bobcat Walk was at the far end of Court Street, Athens’ main drag where most of the bars are located. In the mid-1920s, Chester Jergens from Cleveland created a tradition named after the bar. At closing time, students stumbled up Court Street toward the College Green, singing the school fight song as loudly as they could, stopping occasionally to set fires and roast hot dogs in the middle of the street. The Bobcat Walk tradition died out only a few years later.
Bumper’s – 1930s
Like Klippie’s before it, Bumper’s did its best business when alcohol was frowned upon by society at large. During prohibition, Bumper created an underground bar that included gambling tables, dancing girls, and even stand-up comedy. Students and faculty in the know descended the stairs to the secret room for fun and laughter until the sun came up the next morning. One nationally-known professor racked up huge debts at the poker tables. Bumper and his cronies held him upside down by the heels from Memorial Auditorium before his wife came to the rescue, rushing across the College Green with wads of money in her hands to save his life.
Cat’s Claw – 1940s
As the country’s fighting men and women came back to campus after the war, they immediately went to Cat’s Claw to catch up on lost partying time. Known for its rowdy mix of Greeks and jocks, Cat’s Claw almost burned to the ground after two fraternities got into a rumble over a young blonde from Pittsburgh. “She was the girlfriend of one of the guys from the biggest fraternity on campus, and this other kid from another fraternity started getting too chummy with her, I guess,” said one bystander. “They started shoving each other, and the whole place erupted into a rumble and fires broke out. The next thing I knew the Athens police were outside, storming the place with billy clubs. I still have a welt on my head.”
Banker’s Hours – 1950s
Set in an old bank that went out of business, Banker’s Hours appealed to poor students and faculty members alike. The bar was shut down when a freshman was inadvertently locked in the bank vault turned VIP room in May, and wasn’t found until the following September. Remarkably, the student survived on Jaegermeister and bar food he found in the vault, but soon transferred to Rutgers.
Raddy’s – 1960s
Raddy’s was one of the first Athens taverns to appeal to the growing counter culture movement that was sweeping across Athens and the country in the 1960s. Raddy was known to grow a particularly strong strain of plant favored by locals and students alike. Raddy’s closed after he was busted for selling his potent brand from behind the bar, and allowing smoking of it on his back patio. Neighbors complained about the noise and the billows of smoke wafting through the alley made them constantly hungry and paranoid.
Ohio has some dicey weather. The winters are nasty — not as severe as say, Canada — but wildly uneven with rain, snow, sleet, hail, and ice coming and going in the same week, sometimes the same day. You need a special school bus to cope.
A local married couple recently forgot what elementary schools they attended. In a discussion on what schools they attended over the years, both were accurate in reporting the name of their middle and high schools.
Things broke down when they mentioned their elementary schools.
“I went to Carver. I remember because they knocked it down four years after I left,” she said.
“You didn’t go to Carver. You went to Hudson like the rest of us,” he said. “You just acted like you were too good for the rest of us, even at 9 years old.”
“You DID NOT go to Hudson. That’s where the juvy kids went. You went to Lincoln! Don’t you remember they called your parents who had to come and get you when you had an accident?”
“What are you talking about? I never had an accident.”
Wow, these busses are cool! I definitely would have looked forward to going to school if I was able to go in one of these babies.
The Fast and Furious
Cut from the famous movie series, this bus was made to travel at over 275 mph on surface streets. It didn’t make the final cut of the movie, but is now in service every school day with Vin Diesel as the bus driver in select cities.
The Van Halen
The Van Halen bus features a full concert performance by the band every morning and afternoon on the way home. In between songs, kids turn to another kid on the bus every day and ask, “Who are these guys again?”
The Go Pro
The Go Pro school bus is fitted with 4800 Go Pro cameras that follow the bus as it jumps off cliffs, skis down mountains and goes surfing in the Pacific Ocean. A popular bus with kids, it has over 2 million subscribers on its YouTube channel with over 960 trillion views.
The Ohio school bus is specially made to handle sudden changes in the weather at any point in time. The roof has a special giant umbrella that pops out at the first sign of rain, and retracts in under 3 seconds.
The Kanye West
The Kanye West bus is driven by the pop superstar. For the two-hour trip to and from school, he reminds the students that he is the biggest star in the world and that he is a genius.
The Family Vacation
The Family Vacation bus makes it easy for kids to go rapidly from school to summer vacation. It transforms from a regular schoolbus into a family road mobile that includes 5600 bags of Cheetos, 4800 beef jerky packages and 6500 movies on DVD for kids to enjoy on the unbelievably boring ride from their hometown to their smelly uncle Jeb’s house in Mossy Bottom Tennessee.
Ohio University is a state university in Athens, Ohio that has highly-regarded educational programs in communications, journalism, engineering, sports management and other disciplines.
It’s also a world-class party school.
Why? You have to consider where it is located. It’s in the middle of remote Southeast Ohio, nestled in rolling hills. The heavily-wooded area was the perfect setting to create a college that is on many lists of “Most Beautiful Campus.”
But its isolation means there is not that much to do after you are done studying than to party like the world is going to end. For example, the town’s famous annual Halloween bash takes over Court Street, the main street of bars and restaurants. Thousands of witches, warlocks and Elvises, most from out of town, lose their minds for one night. For the regular students, it’s like any other night uptown with the only difference you can dress up like Dracula and spit blood on people.
The crack research team at JoeDitzel.com went back in time to find the craziest parties at this wild party school. Here are the 10 most epic parties in Ohio University history.
Founding Bash – 1809
Ohio University’s party heritage was set at the very beginning. The University was the idea of a guy named Manasseh Cutler, who met with a bunch of other people with funny names in the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on March 1st, 1786. After many tankards of ale, they got down to business.
Cutler: Gentlemen, I want to start a University in the new Northwest Territory.
Drunk #1: Will there be girls?
Cutler: What? It’s a place of higher learning! The focus is on education!
Drunk #2: As long as there are girls, I’m in!
A vote was taken and it passed unanimously. A new college would be formed. The packed tavern started doing beer bongs made from the intestines of calves. They got so loud and crazy, two divisions of constables were sent to break up the chaos. Several men were found the next morning passed out in a nearby stable.
First Graduation Party – 1815
The first graduating class proudly accepted their diplomas in 1815. Since the college was founded in 1804, it meant it took them 11 years to graduate. Partly this was due to spending an inordinate amount of time searching for food to eat. Mostly it was because the students were partying too much, and several had to repeat junior year four times.
After commencement, the wine started flowing. Congratulatory cheers and toasts rang through the Athens air. A fight broke out among several drunk uncles of graduates, which started a fire which burned the first floor out of Cutler Hall, the main building on the budding campus. The University voted to expel several students, but action was never taken as they had already graduated.
Suspension Years 3-Year Party Marathon – 1845-1848
The University had to suspend operation for a few years due to lack of funds. Undaunted students just hung around and partied in nearby warehouses the entire time until the school reopened.
Margaret Boyd Bar Hop – 1873
Margaret Boyd became the first female graduate in 1873. Fellow students carried her on their shoulders through town, up and down Court Street, stopping in all 46 bars three times over two days.
Baseball Keg Blowout – 1892
Ohio University joined with several other schools in 1892 to form the Ohio Athletic Union. Baseball became the first official school sport that same year. Team members celebrated by hosting a 200-keg blowout near Jefferson Hill. Someone bounced 40 empty kegs down the hill, killing two freshman and injuring 75 other students.
Pi Beta Phi Party Marathon – 1889-1908
Pi Beta Phi was the first sorority established at Ohio University. Since there were no other sororities at the time, they were invited to every fraternity party for many years until Alpha Gamma Delta sorority arrived in 1908. As a result, “Pi Phis” partied every day and night non-stop for 19 years, a tradition some try to uphold today.
Marching Band Columbus Road Trip – 1923
Stuart Homer Baird organized the first marching band in 1923. Known ever since for their wild on-field dancing and formations, the original band set the tone with a week-long march from Athens to Columbus, playing homemade instruments and pounding Huckleberry Wine the whole way. The entire Tuba section was lost during the trip somewhere along Nelsonville.
Spring Riots – 1970s
One spring in the late 1960s, students took to the streets to protest the Vietnam War. After the war ended, spring riots continued each year as students took over Court Street and clashed with police. Without the anger of an unjust war to motivate them, students relied on Jack Daniels, tequila and cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon before the brand was taken over by hipsters.
Halloween Block Party – 1974-present
Ghouls and goblins descend every year on Athens for the annual Halloween Block Party. It started as the alcohol-fueled shenanigans of some uptown partiers in 1974 who stopped traffic on Court Street and smashed bottles all over the place.
In 1975, nothing happened, but in 1976, students again blocked the streets and clashed with police. The next year, the University could see the writing on the wall and blocked off the street for a formal celebration.
Today more than 10 million people attend the Halloween bash in Athens every year. Over 5000 stages present every musical style known including Icelandic Zydeco and Russian Folk Hip Hop. Famous guests have included Michael Jackson, U2, The Rolling Stones and the only known reunion of the remaining Beatles.
Palmerfest – 1991 present
Many Ohio U. students make Palmer Street their home during the school year. Almost every house along Palmer and side streets is filled to the brim with college students.
A casual party in May of 1991 among several of the homes in close proximity grew over the years to become the biggest block party in the nation. Dubbed Palmerfest, more than 5 million people come from every nation on Earth to see if they can survive a 48-hose, 3-story beer bong filled with the equivalent of a tanker trunk of suds.
Palmerfest really began as an after-party of the famous Springfest, a monster celebration every year in the mid-to-late 80s that was basically like spring break in Ft. Lauderdale if it stayed in Athens on the banks of the Hocking River: massive alcohol consumption, top-named music acts, herbs, naked people and Ultimate Frisbee.
The school made the fatal mistake of making Springfest alcohol free in 1990, and the only people attending that year was a lost busload of Baptists from Bent Creek, Kentucky. Palmerfest rose from the ashes of Springest in 1991, and a new campus legend was born.
Ohio University is often called “Harvard-On-The-Hocking” due to its ties to Boston in the 1700s, the picturesque campus and respected academic achievements. As these 10 parties shows, its also an epic party school that was born in a tavern and continues that tradition to this day.
Mr. Not-Doctor-Doctor has called himself “Doctor” since the day he got his PhD in Organizational Communication or Western Culture.
In the real world, the only people that are called doctors are actual doctors. Don’t make people call you “Doctor” unless you can perform open-heart surgery. Don’t sign your emails and letters with “Doctor” unless you can take a bullet out of someone’s shoulder.
When someone passes out on the plane and the flight attendant yells, “Is anybody here a doctor?”, we don’t need you jumping in saying, “I can help organize a staff chart!”
I graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The university has an area on their web-site called Class Notes. Alumni can update their friends on what they’ve been up to since graduation. I eagerly entered my information:
Hello, fellow Bobcats! What a time I’ve had since graduation in 1983. During our graduation ceremony I was spotted by a modeling agency and whisked away for test shots in New York. I didn’t even have time to pay the $5,000 in parking tickets I had accumulated since freshman year.
Soon I was People magazine’s “World’s Most Handsome Man”, dating princesses and filling in as guest host on Entertainment Tonight Weekend Edition.
After 5 years of existing on cigarettes, I sat on the beach in Cannes and thought about my next career move. From the beach I could see a woman screaming for help as she thrashed in the surf. The lifeguard was busy ordering a baguette from a stand near the Palais de Festivals. I raced out to save her. At first she struggled. Then she realized who I was and relaxed while I dragged her to shore. I turned her on her side and 15 gallons of ocean water and 2 gallons of oil from the Exxon Valdez poured on the sand.
She turned out to be the mission director of a manned space flight to Mars. She believed I could help the mission because my high profile would be good for publicity. I trained for 1 ½ days and joined the Mars team. We landed on Mars, got out, and looked around. It looked a lot like Palm Springs. So we made arrangements to develop Mars into a planned golf community complete with houses with little garages for golf carts.
Seeking a new challenge, I had some fraternity brothers hack into the Ohio University computer and change all my grades to A’s.
Armed with a new GPA I enrolled in Harvard Medical School. We learned about the Jarvik Heart, the world’s first man made heart. Inspired by the story, I developed the Ditzel Liver. It was first tested on Ohio University seniors. However, it did not have the intended result. Equipped with brand new livers, the seniors decided to start over as freshman and party another four years.
And now, you too, can enjoy the benefits of a brand new liver. Just log on to www.ditzelliver.com and fill out the questionnaire. Your new liver will be shipped Next Day Air from our lab in my spare bedroom. You’ll get complete self-surgery instructions. In no time at all you’ll be back in the Dog Pound cheering on the Browns.