The Scoop on Creamery Ice Cream
I’ve heard on a few occasions that the reason Penn State creamery ice cream isn’t sold away from campus is because the fat content is too high to meet FDA standards. Is there really any truth to this?
Alexander Suero ’03
New York, N.Y.
Berkey Creamery Manager Tom Palchak ’80 responds:
This is by far the biggest urban legend affecting the Creamery. The FDA establishes standards-of-identity for every food item in the United States. Regarding ice cream, there are minimum standards for milk fat and composition. There are no maximum standards for milk fat content, so the truth is the exact opposite of the urban legend! We don't sell the ice cream off-campus because that would be competing with companies in the dairy industry.
I always thought one of the more humorous myths was that the (Pennsylvania geology) obelisk standing between Willard and Sackett buildings would topple and fall if a virgin ever walked by it. Still standing after all these years.
Lew Jury ’63, ’73
Simon Bronner, Penn State Harrisburg’s Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore and author of Piled Higher and Deeper: The Folklore of Campus Life, notes nearly every college campus has structures that will reportedly crumble or statues that will come to life should a true virgin pass by. Bronner said this form of campus folklore dates to when women (“coeds”) first arrived on college campuses in significant numbers. A small group of women at Penn State in the late 1960s staged a protest at the Obelisk, demanding that it crumble, to show the sexist nature of the legend, which was generally applicable only to female students. In today’s more liberated era, many students have never heard the legend of the Obelisk’s purported powers.
I loved the Campus Legends: Fact or Fiction? feature but I am appalled by the mistake in the “Ghosts Among Us” story. I have been away from campus for many years but, unless someone moved him, I am certain that Atherton is buried alongside Schwab Auditorium. While he was a great academician, he was not “Penn State’s first president.” That honor will always belong to Evan Pugh.
Michael J. McLaughlin Jr. ’82
Penn State’s seventh president, George Atherton, is indeed still buried next to Schwab Auditorium and it is his ghost that allegedly roams the building. One of the many advantages of e-newsletters like AlumnInsider is that the error was fixed as soon as Mr. McLaughlin brought it to our attention.
More Adventures with Stand Up Joe
I was a junior at Penn State when the Stand Up Joe came out. I knew immediately it would be the perfect birthday present for my dad, Allie Eichelberger. At the time, I had a class with his daughter, Diana Paterno. I didn’t know her well, but of course everyone knew who she was. I summoned the courage to ask her if she would be willing to take my newly purchased Stand Up Joe to her father to autograph. She was more than happy to oblige and told me she went home on weekends to do her laundry. So I brought my Stand Up Joe to her dorm room in South Halls, and she returned it to me a few days later. The real Joe placed his signature right on the football.
Katy Eichelberger Gallagher ’85
Camp Hill, Pa.
When “Joe” was stored off our basement rec room, we placed him in the shower, which has frosted glass. While we were away once, the security system went off, summoning the police. As they were checking the house for intruders, one officer came into the basement bathroom. Seeing a figure behind the shower door, he drew his pistol and ordered the person to step out. Fortunately for “Joe,” the officer did not shoot but he later told us it scared the daylights out of him.
Jeanne Myers Krimmel ’59
Gary Krimmel ’59
My husband and I met at Penn State in 1993 so it seemed only natural to bring our Stand Up Joe to our wedding reception. We put him in the trunk of the limo and with all the craziness forgot to bring him out at the reception. The next day (on our honeymoon at Disney), we realized we had forgotten JoePa. I immediately called my father and told him we needed Joe back. He called the limo company and said, “My daughter left Joe Paterno in the trunk of the limo!” The woman on the phone said, “Excuse me … you left who in the trunk?” Later, my uncle ran into Joe Paterno (the real one) at the Pittsburgh airport and told him our wedding story. Joe said, “What are they crazy… bringing me to their wedding?” He is so humble and beloved by us all.
Lisa Specht Ackerman ’93
My best friend told me this one when he was in grad school at the University of Maryland in the early 1980s. During a College Park practice session in the week before an impending Penn State game, someone put up a Stand Up Joe on the sideline. Prior to Joe’s arrival, it had been a normal practice. But with Joe in attendance, many of the Terrapin players appeared to be distracted and were dropping passes, jumping offside’s and generally fumbling and bumbling. The coaches had seen enough and had Joe removed from practice. Needless to say, Penn State went on to win the game that Saturday.
James Gray ’77
My husband, Bill Hartleb, is an ever-faithful ’76 graduate has enjoyed many Penn State football trips since moving to San Diego. In 1992, we went to Utah to see the Penn State versus BYU game. Bill was overjoyed when he discovered the Penn State football team was staying at our hotel. We spied Joe at the reception desk and he graciously agreed to pose for a picture with Bill. Naturally, Bill sent copies to his family in Erie, Pa., where his mother proudly displayed it on top of the cash register in the family’s store. Many people commented on it but the funniest observation was, “Is that a photo of your son with a Cut-out Joe?” I guess Joe takes very consistent pictures!
We bought a Stand Up Joe when they first came out, ages ago. But after awhile in our tiny condo, Joe ended up relegated to the storage area in the bowels of the building where, I’m afraid to say, he was promptly forgotten. I went down to retrieve something one night in the dimly-lit basement, and Joe stood there scaring the crap out of me, as I thought we had an intruder trapped in our chicken wired storage cage! I sure felt stupid once I realized it was only JoePa.
Jenny Gardiner ’84