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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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The Brande and Entropy house show off their age-old characters, Part II

The current occupants of Entropy House, located at 602 5th Ave., have lived there for over a year now—a long time by Grinnell standards. The tradition of Entropy House travels even further back. AJ Anderson ’11, Johnny Buse ’11, Jake “Stony” McVeigh ’11, Joey Wendel ’11 and Charlie Zimmerman ’11were inspired to name their house “Entropy” after discovering an old Grinnell yearbook.

Entropy Cribs
Joey Wendel, Johnny Buse, Jake McVeigh, Aj Anderson and Charlie Zimmerman - all 2011 - pause in a rare moment of a calm amid the usual bedlams of Entropy House - Daniel Penny

“We found a Cyclone from 1991, and there was a picture of [the campus event] Alice captioned, ‘Members of Entropy House play their bongos,’” McVeigh said.

When the boys researched further, crazy stories emerged—one alumnus claims that a member of the class of 2013 was conceived in the original Entropy House, which was located on Park Street, across the street from Carnegie Hall. According to another legend, hip-hop group De La Soul may once have smoked at the old Entropy’s kitchen table.
Starting a new Entropy House gave the residents both a daunting legacy to live up to and a worthy ideal to achieve.
“We don’t like order that much,” Anderson said.

“We hate synergy,” Buse added.

Consequently, Entropy House has no rules, but instead has principles.

“My biggest principle is no playing ‘Kids’ by MGMT,” Anderson said.

The house strongly believes in one chief principle, and that is to always “Be the duck.”

In addition to the intriguing history behind Entropy House, all its dwellers believe the best thing about Entropy House is its superb location.

“One thing that’s really nice is being on this side of town you see more than just college students,” Buse said. “Kum & Go property is only 99 steps away.”

The nearby Hardee’s is also a big part of life at Entropy, whose refrigerator is covered with love notes and extra coupons from the restaurant.

“You can hear the music from Hardee’s at all hours,” Anderson said.

Entropy House also ironically enjoys good relations with the very manifestation of order in society—namely, the Grinnell Police, who have their headquarters in the facility across the street.

“We do a lot of porch-sitting,” Zimmerman said. “It’s where we watch our neighbors [the police] and say hello when they change shifts.”

Touring through Entropy House, every new room seemed to introduce a new roommate.

“This is where our seventh and eighth roommates—DH Shin [’12] and Charles Netzer [’11]—live,” Buse said while pointing at a living room couch.

Later, he presented Party Barack Obama, a cardboard cutout and tenth roommate wearing a costume pimp hat. Emblazoned on the cutout was, “Scaring the crap out of you!”

“He spent the summer in an outhouse in northern Minnesota,” Wendel said, referring to the figure.

The highlight of Entropy House, according to its denizens, is the Man Cave—a garage converted into chill space where residents hang out and listen to the radio, most frequently tuned to Iowa Public Radio or 100.3 The Bus. The Bus is a house tradition with great sway.

“You don’t jump off a bus while it’s moving,” McVeigh said, explaining that no one could leave the Cave until a commercial or song break.

Entropy House’s residents’ year-plus reign of fun and chaos ought to make members of the original Entropy proud. For their part, the house’s current occupants hope its legacy doesn’t end with them.

“There weren’t students living in this house before us. We hope there will be more after,” Wendel said.

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