The Hunting Scene - the Full Story
In May 2008 we published Brother Ned Brownley’s (1953) recollection of how the infamous hunting scene came into existence. Shortly after sharing this story through one of our electronic newsletters, Brother Freeze wrote in with the details behind the story and granted permission for the story to be shared. Below in their own words is the full story of The Hunting Scene.
The painting of the "Hunting Scene" began in 1951 at Stahley Hall. The brothers decided to remodel the basement recreation area for dancing, darts, cards, pool table, and a small bar. It was done in knotty pine paneling. To hide the bar, when not in use, it was decided to attach a large framed painting (3' x 7') over the opening. Someone found a picture of a hunting scene and Brother Wilson (Gary) Freeze who had artistic ability agreed to do the painting. Gary started the painting, but was unable to finish at least half of the painting and left college. I took the unfinished painting down to my home in Havertown and showed it to my sister's mother-in-law Edna Haley Winter. Edna was a professional painter who taught art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA and she completed the painting and side sections of the fraternity shield and Phi Kappa Psi. To my knowledge, the painting remained in Stahley Hall and was transferred to the basement wall in Weiser Hall 1960. It is now in the living room of Phi Kappa Psi. (as reported by Brother Ned)
Brother Freeze reports:
There is more to the story about the creation of the picture of a hunting scene.
I am the one that started the picture and never able to complete it. I attended Gettysburg on a football scholarship, was pledged as a freshman, an accepted into the fraternity in 1951. The fraternity was extremely good for and to me. In that period of time scholarships paid only student basic tuition. I still had to find ways to pay for my books, room and board. My family was not in a position to help me financially so I had to find employment to pay my own way.
I worked in a Spudnut Shop off campus from 4 until 8 in the morning at fifty cents an hour to buy books. I resided in the home of Professor Wolfinger, the Golf coach, and received free room for cleaning the halls and bathroom daily and making the beds for six other students that resided on the second and third floor. I also washed dishes at lunch and dinner at Ma Sheely's house for meals. This kept me rather busy. My major was in Chemistry and I had labs several afternoons each week. Football practice started at 3:30 in the afternoons and many times I didn't leave a lab until four o'clock. I had to run laps for every five minutes I was late for practice. I mention all this so you can understand how busy my days were. Still I found the time to complete all my pledge duties.
When it was near the time of initiations I was concerned that I would not be able to raise the money. I discussed this with my big brother and the work in the basement came into play. The picture might be something that I could accomplish and in turn be excused from paying the initiation fee. I began working on the picture whenever I could find a spare minute and it was coming along pretty good. But I broke my left leg playing football against Lafayette and wore a cast from my hip to my ankle. This hindered some of my money earning efforts. I was also told that I would never play football again. I left school shortly after that and went to work at Merck chemical drug plant in Riverside, Pa. It was a job arranged for me by Jack Shainline, the schools line coach.
I did not know until fifty years later that my initiation fees were paid by my big brother. Brother Ned's relation finished the picture and it hung in the house with my never knowing it had been finished.
The maturity of the brothers and fellow pledges were always supportive of my efforts to keep pace with the brotherhood. It was something very special to me. I never forgot. And when I was able financially to repay some of the debt I owed to Penn Epsilon, Phi Psi, and Gettysburg College, I did so gratefully. Not everyone attending college is financially able to do so without extreme efforts. I am proud to be a brother of a fraternity that continues to live up to its founder's ideals. Hi! Hi! Live ever, die never, Phi Kappa Psi!!
Now you know the rest of the story.
Brother Wil' (Gary) Freeze '51