There was a nice article in my college town newspaper about Brother Jed and my college days.
Here’s an excerpt:
And if entertainment executive/author TOM LOPINSKI (left) hadn’t crossed paths with one JED SMOCK (right) during his years at the UI (off and on, 1976-81), his most recent novel would have one less colorful character.
For the Georgetown-born Lopinski, now director of music licensing for the Disney/ABC Television Group, the most memorable campus personality wasn’t a coach or a professor but rather a preacher — though not the traditional presiding-over-Sunday-services variety.
“Reverend Jed entertained students every spring and fall with his fiery sermons and a relentless desire to save us all from ourselves,” Lopinski says. “I spent many an afternoon sitting on the campus grass watching a crowd form around him as he spun tales about spiritual enlightenment and captured our hearts. He ignored the subtle slurs, constant giggling behind his back and in-your-face direct rebukes that followed him everywhere… READ MORE
It’s believed that in ancient times, people toasted as a form of protection from being poisoned. They would clank their glasses together, purposely spilling one drink into the other to insure that each person was drinking from the same “well.” Over the years, it’s become a symbol for spreading goodwill or honoring a person at weddings, events and dinners. In college, it became a way of life and anyone wishing to partake in that life eventually had to make a toast.
Thus, the phrase “To you mother” came into being. Even though this saying is a big part of my novel “The Art of Raising Hell,” I can’t take credit for coming up with it. No, that goes to a fellow living on my dorm floor by the name of Sully. He was a gentle bear of a man with a deep baritone voice and more hair on his back than a Bactrian camel. We spent many a night drinking liquor, playing foosball and toasting our mothers. If you don’t know what foosball is, well, then you really need to get out more.