Sylvia Monti Anderson ’66, Joe Anderson ’67
I distinctly remember my first sight of Sylvia. She occupied the third or fourth chair
from the door along the east wall of the basement of the old Theta Chi house, at 714
N. Main (now a Bro Menn parking lot). The occasion was a ritual called a “pledge exchange
sweater dance” which I recall because I was a “townie” on scholarship and I had to
run down to Al Baskin’s men’s store as I did not own a sweater before that afternoon
event which was mandatory for pledges.
Some time passed before our first date -- an arranged “pizza date” with Bill and Clemmie
Ackermann following a performance of “The Pearl Fishers” in which Sylvia had a lead
role. (We still see the Ackermanns, who reside in Champaign.) We went to Casella’s,
which was an early Bloomington pizza joint – now a sports bar of mildly dubious character
owned by a golfing buddy.
Dating spots then included Ted’s Caboose, the Lucca Grill, Hubbard’s Cupboard, Bob
Johnson’s Brandtville, Cotton’s Village Inn downtown and of course, the Polar Lounge
and Mabel’s Hi De Ho although Sylvia wasn’t much for the latter two as even in those
days the smoke was a bit much for a voice major! Fine dining was not in vogue among
Theta Chi’s at the time, but I seem to recall a couple of meals at the Illinois House
dining room and the new Terrace Restaurant on Main. The tradition of fraternities
serenading couples who had taken the ostensibly “pre-engagement” step of becoming
“pinned” was still observed in those simpler, almost idyllic years. The Theta Chi
“Dream Girl” and a parody of “Don’t Fence Me In” titled “Don’t Take My Pin” were staples
of the house repertoire.
Marriage came after we left campus, so I don’t have an IWU proposal story. It seems
to me, however, that Lake Bloomington or the borrowed apartment of a townie fraternity
brother (including mine next to the Fred Young Field House) were popular spots to
pose the question.
Sylvia and I treasure equally the social aspects and the liberal arts educations from
the IWU years. We also agree that romance probably has a better chance to bloom among
the beauty of today’s campus than in the rather bleak grounds crossed by fairly busy
city streets of the mid sixties! — Submitted Joe Anderson ’67 (wife is Sylvia Monti