UC Davis Magazine


Far-Flung Aggies

While on a Rotary Group Study Exchange program I ran into a fellow Aggie in Osaka, Japan. I was doing some souvenir shopping in a Japanese department store, got on an escalator and noticed a familiar face going the opposite direction. It had been six or seven years since I'd seen him, but I remembered the nickname "Skipper" he had acquired from a Theta Xi theme party. I said "Hello, Skipper" and received a very suprised smile back. It took Matt Arnold '89 a minute to remember an old Theta Xi Little Sister. We chatted for a bit about other fellow Aggies, our respective visits to Japan and what a small world it is. Matt was souvenir shopping as well and was on his way back to the states after working in Japan for a while.
-- Karen Molinari '90

I ran into fraternity brother Bob Shackelford at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, in October of '95. I was on my way to Israel and Bob was on his way back from Greece. We just happened to start talking. We knew some of the same people, and we discovered that we were both Calphas--and there we were, waiting for our planes in the same place.
-- Dick Jordison '52

On a trip to Europe in '88, I took a cruise ship from Stockholm to Helsinki. I didn't think there were too many English speakers on the boat. I was in the sauna, and the guy next to me asked if I spoke English. We started talking and discovered that we were both Cal Aggie grads. It was especially strange that we happened to meet on this big cruise ship in Sweden; there must've been 500 people on the ship, most of them Finns and Swedes.
-- Mark Sweeney '85

I was on vacation in October of '95 in the San Juan Islands. I was on the bottom deck of a ferry wearing my UC Davis King Hall sweatshirt. I heard someone on the top deck yell, "Hey, Davis!" She said (shouted, actually) that she had gone to King Hall and graduated with the class of '73. We eventually made it inside and chatted. Her name is Jane Bickford, and she lives in Connecticut.
-- Susan Geanacou, J.D. '92

After we left Davis in '66 we went to Kenya with the Peace Corps. At some point in '68 or '69, we were sitting on the patio of the New Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, and across the street walks Millie McCoo. We immediately noticed and recognized her because, like Kay, she's 5'10" and stands out. Also, we had partied with Millie and worked on a newspaper together at Davis. It seemed perfectly natural that two groups from Davis would run into each other. She was working with the State Department in Washington, D.C., and was visiting Kenya. We sat down and had tea.
-- Peter Mehren '64, M.A. '72
-- Kay Gullikson Mehren '63, D.V.M. '65

My license plate (which visually indicates the two things I'm most proud to be--an Alaskan and an Aggie) played a central role in my notable and unusual meeting with a fellow UC Davisite during the summer of 1991. While on a fishing trip on an isolated stretch of the Kasilof River in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, I decided to leave the water's edge and return to my nearby truck for a lunch break. I had fig bars and a juice bottle in my hands when another angler walked past me heading toward his own truck parked a short distance away from mine. After watching this young man stow fishing gear inside his vehicle and prepare to drive off, I had resumed focusing on my meal when I was surprised to hear him call out, "What does the 'UCD' on your license plate stand for?"

"The University of California at Davis," I said somewhat apprehensively. With an obvious sense of amused disbelief, he replied, "I just graduated from law school there!"

For the next hour or so, two previously complete strangers had an animated conversation in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, centered around their mutual connection located several thousand miles away. Unfortunately, I don't remember his name--but, if I were to see a list of the law school's class of '91, I'm fairly certain that my memory would be jarred back to recognition. Stay tuned: perhaps you'll be hearing from him with his slant on this most peculiar episode.
-- Crandall Mark '73
Juneau, Alaska

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