Spotlight: Dave Avesian 1975

Submitted: 2017-08-27 13:43:35


Dave Avesian

Why did you join Chi Phi?

I joined in the Anti-Establishment Era of the 1970's, when fraternities were looked down upon as establishment, so there were 7 or 8 of us living in the House, and I could have a triple room to myself. Yes, really! People in the dorms were saying, "You're thinking of living in a F-R-A-T-E-R-I-TY????? You're nuts! Nobody lives in a fraternity, except maybe ROTC guys!" I was one of the 2 or 3 total rushees the Fall OF 71, and our Rush class was 3, after we mugged a few guys on Washtenaw, and when they woke up, they found out they were now CHI Phi's.

With whom do you stay in contact?

Sadly, very few. Currently only Bob Klaffke, sometimes Tom Witten. There should be more, but I disappeared, they disappeared, for no legitimate reason.

Did you live in the house?


If so, who were your room-mates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.

You don't want to know! Back then, everything was a fog, ask any brother 1971-1975, they'll tell you.

Can you tell us about your career?

Taught in Ann Arbor Public Schools until 1978, then went into the book printing and binding business (along with some publishing) for the next 36 years, then took early retirement.

Geographically, where are you now, and where have you been since leaving Ann Arbor?

Currently live in Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C.,where I've been since moving from Ann Arbor in 1980. Hey, please don't blame me for the Donald. He's around. We cringe. Most who live here who didn't cringe before, now do.

What do you miss about living in Ann Arbor?

It really is a nice "town" offering a bit of everything. Of course, Ann Arbor is much more interesting and influential than what we have here in Washinton, D.C.

Why is it important to you that Chi Phi remains at 1530 Washtenaw for years to come?

It must. We almost lost the House to Ann Arbor Sheriff's sales of the House for non-payment of back taxes for 6 years in a row, I think? We kept it alive when, really, the House just about died. Carry on!


Other Musings From Dave


Hi, Everyone. Yes, it's really me.

So what really happened? It's been so many years since I've communicated with you, so let me start in 1997. I thought I was in a "satisfied, though not perfect marriage" to Holly, then surprise (total), I felt I got hit by a 2 X 4 on the side of the head - she handed me a 20 page separation (wow, had she prepared!) splitting everything (even my airline miles!) which was to automatically convert to a divorce agreement after VA's required one year separation. She told me "we had done what we needed to do in life (having the 3 daughters)," and it was time to move on to the next phase (whatever that was supposed to be). I was stunned. I said no. Marriage isn't perfect, but why give up 18 years? But I did realize our marriage had been one of timing and convenience. Tried counseling. Didn't work. I wouldn't move out. We lived basically peacefully under one roof for 2 years. She couldn't find a real reason for the divorce - I felt our situation was not irreconcilable, and I had done nothing outwardly wrong. Finally I agreed. Kids actually felt it was better. Divorced in 1999.

I've lived on my own for the last 18 years, but did have 5 relationships of more than a year, 2 of them were live-in. So I wasn't alone. Thought I'd remarry, never did.

I continued to work in the book industry for 33 years, the last 13 with Canadian printing companies on the European system (man, do they have a bunch of holidays, and up to 7 weeks vacation a year), so I "took" early retirement at 59 (I'm 63 now). Actually it coincided with the recommendations of 2 mental health physicians - I was killing myself with success and perfectionism, making the big bucks, pressures of being a sales manager, taking things personally, alcohol became involved since much of my job was entertainment, and I started this field in the 3-martini lunch days of 1976. Had a "minor mental breakdown" and 3 TIA's (mini-strokes, but you'd never know) and it was "strongly suggested" I retire (while I was still alive). No loss of brain cells, so Tasty is even more dangerous than before.

Anyway, I'm now happy with retirement, income is adequate (not a fortune), I'm "safe" for life but won't go on any around the world cruises. So what? I'm happy, satisfied, and do part time teaching, counseling, and help people with their books, for that little extra income. Don't need much, don't want much, and I'm just happy and at peace. I work if, when, and where I want. It is nice.

So I spend my time in VA, going into D.C. 1 or 2 days a week for interests, and take regular classes in exercise, aquatics, yoga, meditation, spiritual (not religious) discussion groups, book groups. I do enjoy the freedom - no traffic, obligations, serious issues to weigh me down. I'm free, although I admit occasional loneliness not having had a good sharing relationship for 2-3 years. But I am the opposite of "worrying about getting a date, worried about not being in a relationship, worried about dying alone." I'm free, and sometimes life is actually better not being in a relationship. But we'll see.

To finish up, Holly is happily remarried to a great guy, actually much better for Holly than I was.

Emily, 36, is my pride - happily married in Richmond, 2 daughters, Director of the Richmond Symphony after two M.A's in Music and Business. Kelly (33, Head Charge Nurse in an ER) and Carly (29, Condo Managerin Charleston, SC) have sadly disappeared. I don't get it. Enough said.

I sincerely hope to hear back from all of you. The last 3-10 years have been a "haze" for me, but I solidly moved forward.

NOW to my Fraternity Brothers - YES, Dave WILL be at Homecoming in Ann Arbor 10/28. It's been TOO long! I was supposed to come each of the last 2 years, but a "Friend/Brother of our's had something come up at the last minute and cancelled, so we couldn't go. Ugg! This time the ticket is in my hands as we speak!. Coming in to Ann Arbor for some U business on 10/26 & 10/27, then leaving on 10/29.

Please be there. This is not a request. It's a demand. Actually, I'd love to hear from each of you, and wonder if you will be there. Furthermore, since I'll be there Thursday and Friday nights as well, any chance some of you could make it for a round of Whale's Tails? Please let me know. Now that I've been out of practice for 15 years, some of you guys may stand a remote chance against me. The Actives still play, don't they? Otherwise I'd be so upset I would consider not coming, and shame! We could all meet at the House first, then go out?

I have much to say to each of you individually, so I'll communicate when I receive replies from you. I just wanted to let you know NOW to be sure it's on your schedule. We can even talk about our Divider in Chief, since here in the D.C. area, The Donald is forbidden dinnertable talk. Hey, I'm here. I see.

Look forward to hearing back from each of you, and from the "To" Box above, if there's anyone you don't see from 70-77, please forward this along. I thought you guys might like a few laughs below and a couple of photos of me and my daughters (photo with all my daughters is 4 years old, the last time we were all together).

And I can't find Mike Silverstein, Jim Seals, Jack Wagner, Joe Camp, Lynn Adamson, Doug Joslin, Robert Pack, Ken Tarbell, Bob Hasse - can anyone help and forward this to them? Please let me know. Anyone I've forgotten? They're probably all still pissed at me after more than 40 years.