The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Written by Grace Angst - Kansas Alpha, Abilene - April, 1941

 In April 1931, a man set out from Kansas City, Missouri, traveling westward. Where was his destination?

 Miles passed, as did highway signs bearing names of approaching cities. And then, a sign with the word-"Abilene." Perhaps he wondered if the pioneers of this city had taken the word from the Bible where it meant a "grassy plain." It sounded cool, and the day had been very warm; evening was approaching, but he was not too tired to admire the beauty of the trees hemming both sides of the highway toward the city's business district. Perhaps youthful smiles seemed to welcome him here, or the large bright sunflower sign on a clean looking hotel seemed to bid him stop and rest.

 The stranger did stop for the night at our Sunflower Hotel.

 Perhaps, after dinner, he strolled about town. It was a clean looking city.

 Time to retire, as he wanted to leave early in the morning. He took a look at his road map-here's Abilene-almost in the center of the United States. Yes-he must begin somewhere-he must make contacts in order to start interest in his idea for a non-academic Sorority, a social and cultural organization of lofty ideals for young women. Why Not start in the middle of the U.S.A.? Abilene! Surely there were just as many young women here who would be interested and eager to broaden their cultural and social interests as anywhere.

 Oh well. He'd think it over in the morning.

 Morning, and fully rested, he hurried down to the lobby to discover an acquaintance in the desk clerk. They visited a few minutes and in the course of the conversation he told the clerk of his plan for a Sorority. The clerk became interested and introduced him to a young lady working at the desk. He ventured a few casual questions in regard to clubs and societies in Abilene. She told him that most of the organizations were for older women and for those who were at home all day.

 He told her of his plan for an organization for young women, of the study program, and the social aspects. He knew she was interested by the eager light in her eyes, but she wondered if such a wonderful dream could come true. "Go talk to my sister" she said, "and I'll talk to some of my friends."

 From her sister to a friend-and from a friend to another friend, he went telling of his dream, and a stranger no longer was he.

 And so, Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi came into being in Abilene, Kansas . . . . April 30, 1931.

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