By Yishi Liang
1010 High Street, aka Phi Slama Jama: Texas’ Tallest Fraternity, is known by most Grinnellians for being home to basement dance parties nearly every weekend. Most students don’t know, however, that Phi Slama Jama is also home to a group of six guys that met over Libertarian literature and bond over a variety of unusual traditions.
Tim Greenfield ’13, Victor “Oochie Wally” Kyerematen ’14, Dylan Naylor ’13, Alex Phillips ’13, Jake White ’14 and Clint Williamson ’13 all live in the house. They met three years ago when Kyerematen (Oochie Wally) started a reading group for Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, and they were the only ones who showed up. From that point on, the housemates found more common interests.
According to Williamson, “a love of 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’” has been one of them.
When the members of the house first moved in, none of them had a bed to sleep on. But White quickly came to the rescue.
“Jake found mattresses for us all. But he only found four so, like the captain of the house, he went down on the mat,” Naylor said.
“Now I’m really into rugs and carpets,” White added.
In addition to self-sacrifice, the residents have also based their house on many traditions, all of which have mandatory attendance.
One of these traditions is Friday night potluck, which everyone from the community is welcome to attend. Some of their favorite dishes have been gumbo and Ghanaian pancakes.
Another tradition is Sunday morning homework sessions at ‘West Mex Saint’s Rest’ (known by non-Slama Jamas as Taco John’s), where the cheap coffee, free wifi, and Potato Olés keep the clan coming back every week.
For Greenfield, who is the only science major of the bunch, making it to all of these mandatory get-togethers is not always easy.
“When I’m not working, I’m baking. When I’m not baking, I’m knitting. When I’m not knitting, I’m in Noyce,” Greenfield said.
The house also hosts Booty Jams Dance Parties where the only rules are no dubstep or beer pong. Despite going against the norm, they have yet to hear any complaints. In fact, for their Southern Hip-Hop Dance Party, the housemates had trouble getting guests to leave after it had ended.
But as great as the dinners and parties are, the members of the house like to switch things up from time to time.
“We occasionally host anarchical feminist pornography photo shoots in our attic,” Naylor fondly reminisced.
If anyone finds this hard to believe, contact Phillips for definitive visual proof.
Their ideas do not stop there, though. Over Spring Break, the group plans to go hunting in Montana for wolverines and elk. All of the members are also self-proclaimed amateur taxidermists who are hoping to get a chance to practice their art this spring. Recently added murals in the living room, of a ferocious monster trout on one end and a grizzly bear on the other, add to the Hunting Lodge vibe that embodies Phi Slama Jama.
The next residents of 1010 High Street may not have any beds to sleep in when they move in, but they will have some big shoes to fill when it comes to creative recreational activities and overall swag.
Finally, the residents of 1010 High Street would like to dedicate this article to Tyrone Greenfield ’11, a recent graduate and beloved rap star.