For decades, Biola students have been hunting for the Biola Egg, a mysterious mass of concrete that only a small minority of students can claim to have ever had in their possession. Last year, Biola Magazine asked alumni to share their stories and photos of the Egg’s appearances and disappearances. Here are some of the top submissions.
(Do you have a story or photo? Submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Locked Behind Glass
Attached is the best picture I could find of the Egg. The cast from left to right is Don Hoffman, Jim Johnson, Walt Hamilton, Steve Slack, and Tim Rogers. Jim, Walt and I were the most involved with the Egg and had custody for most of 1968–70. Jim and I were student council officers and Walt, Jim and I were all bus drivers, so it was pretty easy to coordinate Egg activities.
During our senior year, we decided to make a display of the Egg for school spirit purposes. Most Biola students had never seen the Egg in the flesh. So one day during chapel (when Dr. Sutherland was speaking as I recall), we wheeled the Egg into chapel on a hand truck (right in the middle of the service) from the doors facing the track, around the floor and back out, then we moved the Egg up to the second floor of the Student Union Building and put it on display behind a locked, sliding glass door next to the student council offices for a week. That way, many of the students could walk by and see the Egg in person. At the end of the week, we removed in after the building was locked up and deposited back in one of our hiding places.
Sometime during the spring of 1968, several of us went on an Egg hunt over in La Mirada park east of the campus after 10 p.m. one night and apparently were making some noise and one of the neighbors called the police. An officer responded and came up the group and said, “What are you guys doing?” Somehow, I was the spokesman for the group and replied, “We were looking for a 300-pound concrete egg.” He gave us a very funny look, and said, “When I was your age, I was out chasing girls.” Not to be outdone, I replied, “They lock our girls up at 10 p.m. in the dorm.” He thought that was funny and said, “There are other girls” and then said to go chase the egg somewhere else and we made a mad dash for our car.
Don Hoffman (’70)
Withdrawn From a Bank Safe
Here is a photo of the original Egg (a concrete monstrosity which weighed about 500 pounds) being withdrawn from the safe of the Crocker Citizens Bank in the La Mirada Shopping Center in 1967. In the picture: Gerald Murphy (son-in-law of Tim LaHaye), Dave Beckwith, Walter Barnhart, Gary Oliver and Crocker Citizens Bank President Bill Morgan.
It took five to lift the Egg unto a truck bed. The withdrawal from the bank safe was staged to create the effect that the Egg had been kept there. The article appeared in The Chimes and the community La Mirada Lamplighter.
For a time, the Egg was kept in a garage in Yorba Linda by Howard Parker, junior class treasurer. Through a tip, we discovered the Egg in the Yorba Linda garage, and the Egg was recaptured by the sophomore class. The poem below appeared in the campus paper as a taunt to Howard Parker and the juniors.
We know how bad you feel,
Since the big Egg we did steal.
So we give this small one back,
It even has the crack.
But you will see again,
The product of the hen.
You juniors will take gas,
From the pride of the Sophomore Class.
We have the Egg today,
And with us it will stay.
So Howard, Happy Birthday.
Dave Beckwith (’70, M.A. ’73)
A Getaway in a VW Van
It was great to see the article on the Biola Egg. I am Baxter Swenson’s brother and was used a couple of times to transport the Egg. Initially, I was in high school and went on to Biola’s sister school, Arizona Bible College.
Part of the tradition of the Egg was that it had to stay in the city limits of La Mirada and be stored in a public place. A public appearance of the Egg was required at least once a month. It was hidden in Neff Park at times and occasionally at Jack Cedarholm’s (’69) uncle’s house, just a few blocks from the school.
I recall one occasion where I drove the VW bus past the front of the chapel as the service was ending. The side doors of the VW were opened to expose the Egg and then it was spirited off campus. Several co-conspirators were stationed at the exits of the school to block the road preventing anyone from following.
As you can see by comparing the two pictures of the Egg, the original was much larger and heavier. It required at least two to lift and move the Egg. I have often wondered if the legend was still alive and where the original Egg is. Great tradition that provides wonderful memories.
Cedar City, Utah
Dumped Off the Huntington Beach Pier
What you are about to read is true ... at least 95 percent true. It’s been 32 years and I might be off on a name or two.
It was in the spring of 1977, maybe late spring. I think I remember most names: Dave Frederick, Mark Gellinger, Carmen Mayell, Bob Burris, Brent Hart, Glen Volkhardt and myself, Chuck Kelley. There was probably another guy or two, maybe Jim Saunders or Pete Vander Meulen.
Somehow one of the campus clubs or clichés or frats, called the Red Rollers, found the Egg and announced that they were going to display it in chapel...I think on a Friday. They even prepared a special pedestal for it and I think it was put there for a few hours the day or days before. But the Rollers were especially careful that it was guarded at all times. Frankly, I don’t remember most of their names, but I think Bob Thomas was one, and maybe someone named Bruno and a big guy with a full blond beard who always wore overalls. I think he was a wrestler. I don’t remember most names. Anyway, the Rollers were pretty popular and they appeared to be a bit too full of themselves. They also had an intramural football team that was quite good.
Our group, which really wasn’t labeled as a group, per se, also had a football team, Wolfpack, and we were also pretty good. We had only allowed only one touchdown all season until … I think there were two leagues in the IM football scheme and toward the end of the season Wolfpack and the Rollers were undefeated and we played each other. The Chimes covered all the games, including that one. The Rollers crushed us. And they gloated a bit too much.
So when we found out the Rollers had the Egg, one of our guys, not sure who, but probably Bob Burris, came up with the idea of stealing it.
But how? It was always guarded. Well, one of our guys was a friend of a friend of one of the Rollers. And he discovered that the night before the Egg was to be displayed, it was going to be kept in the trunk of a car that belonged to, I think, Rick Sanchez. I don’t think Rick was a Roller, so he was probably considered to be a safe hiding place.
So, we devised a plan to sneak into Rick’s room at night, get his car keys, pop open the trunk, wrap the Egg in a heavy blanket so it could be lifted by several guys (it was shaped just like an egg, had some chips or gauges in it, was freshly painted red and extremely heavy. We had heard that it was the second Egg made, as the earlier one had disappeared in the late 60s or early 70s. So we took the Egg from Rick’s car and put it in the back of my light green 1959 Dodge Sierra station wagon, a car I bought from a soccer player for $150. We covered it with the blanket. Then we drove the car off campus for the night. The key was returned to Rick’s pants and Rick just kept on sleeping ... in his birthday suit.
The next morning when chapel started, there was a group of pretty frustrated Rollers, an empty pedestal and a freshly prepared sign indicating that the Egg rules had been broken and the Egg was stolen. We loved it.
While chapel was going, our group put the second plan into action. I drove the Sierra and parked it right in front of the gym. We rolled the Egg to the back of the station wagon and opened the back window and pulled down the gate. Several guys stood around the car and the Egg, kind of mockingly imitating how the Rollers were guarding the Egg the previous day. When it appeared that the Rollers and/or some of their friends were going to try to forcibly take it, I started to drive away. They ran for their cars, but we had guys in their own cars situated near every exit from the campus, and when my car left the campus, our guys parked their cars perpendicularly at each exit blocking the streets. And then they opened the hoods of their cars and peered at the engine wondering why in the world had their car stalled just at that moment.
No one followed my car. I drove it took it to a home near the campus where one of our guys had an aunt. We used the same blanket to remove the Egg from the car and placed it in the open toward the back of the property.
The next day, The Chimes had an article about the stealing of the Egg. We were all silent about where it was until we told Rick Bee that we had it and wanted to know if he wanted to take a pic of it. He did. So we agreed to take him to the Egg if he would agree to ride to the place with us blindfolded. And he did. We got there and he took some pix and then wrote an article for the Chimes and showed the pic.
Because the Egg rules stipulated that it was supposed to be on public property, we made sure that we put the Egg on the easement of the back of the property of the house where it was kept. By definition the easement was the de facto property of the city. Thus the Egg was technically on public property. But I don't think our thinking was embraced too warmly by the powers that be.
I think the Rollers didn’t like us very much, but that was just fine with us. We kind of enjoyed that.
Well, soon it was June and most of us graduated and went our separate ways. The guy in our group whose aunt accommodated the Egg was Brent Hart. He was only a freshman so he came back the next year.
After that, most of us lost interest in it. I know I did. I graduated June 4, got married to Nancy Heidebrecht on June 11 and we moved to Dallas where I started seminary in the fall.
Later that year, when my wife and I came back to L.A. to celebrate Christmas with my family, I learned the rest of the story.
Brent Hart had a younger brother, Chris. They both were great guys, but Chris did have a bit of a wild streak. I knew them well since I was their youth pastor and, during my last semester of Biola, I lived with their family in Buena Park. Anyway, Chris had a group of high school buddies who had nothing to do with Biola, but they decided to have some fun, so they went to his aunt’s house, loaded the Egg in the back of a pickup and drove it to Huntington Beach where they dropped it off the end of the pier.
Does anyone have scuba gear?
Charles David Kelley (’77)
Lounging in Stewart Hall
Here is a photo of the real and first Biola Egg (the one that was the cement-coated wrecking ball) that was misplaced in the late 1960s and found again by the quadmates of Stewart Hall in the 1970s. Here you see Jeri (Ladd) Cress sitting on the Egg at a men’s open house in Stewart Hall. The Egg was noticed and people attempted to come and steal it later that night but in the dark of the night the quadmates (Scott Warren, Rick Easton, Rich Lackey and Mark Struck) had already dropped it over the balcony of Stewart Hall and driven it to a safe place on campus.
This photo appeared in the Biola newspaper on Friday of that week so "ALL" the campus could see the Egg. Hundreds had been in the room that night but very few noticed the Biola Egg sitting there.
A more extensive story was placed in the stories for the Biola 100 Years Web site.
Dr. Mark E. Struck (’78, M.A. ’85)
The New Egg is a Fake
The Egg that I stole three times in my Biola years was much bigger and much harder to maneuver than the one I see in the magazine. The one I stole was almost double the one shown on page nine. I hope this new Egg has a good run with an old tradition.
Ken Sheets (’79)
Rolled Into a Creek by a Gorilla
Here is a photo taken in the late ’70s (I'm getting old and memory fails me for the exact year right now). In the picture are the Biola Egg, Lindel Moe and Mitchell Dobrenen. The Egg was painted by Todd McLaughlin. Larry Short and his VW were responsible for obtaining the Egg.
Miss Inc. was a group that provided a variety of services including amarital counseling (how to avoid marriage — not very successful since all the group has married). Larry Short, Michael Evans, Mitchell Dobrenen and John Veale were card-carrying members.
My cousin, John J. Dobrenen, was in possession of the Egg in the ’60s and my brother, Steven Dobrenen, in the ’80s.
Larry can tell the story of how we came into possession of the Egg from, I believe, the front lawn of the late Dr. Mitchell’s home. Lindel can tell the story of the showing during which he wore a gorilla costume. I believe the Egg was rolled into the creek that day.
Mitchell Dobrenen (’80)
It was the last year we were there at Biola and we were graduating, which means it was the spring of 1979. They were having an assembly outside on the old bleachers that looked out over the soccer field. The gym floor was being redone, so we were outside for chapel. That day was some generic assembly, versus a speaker. We didn’t want to disrupt chapel, if you remember. We “couldn’t hold on to the Egg anymore” but we had possession of it for roughly two years if I remember. So we dumped it over the hill into the creek and drove off. We were all masked or hooded if I recall correctly, and I think I did wear the gorilla mask.
Dr. Lyndel “Lindy” J. Moe (’79)
Stuck in a Cement Pipe
My best memory of the Egg was carrying it in my VW bug (it crushed the bottom pan) over to the park, and dropping it down one of those vertically placed cement pipes, then watching hundreds of students trying to figure out (for hours) how they would get it out, and who it would belong to once they did. That has to be one of the best ways the Egg ever changed hands.
Larry Short (’81)
A group of friends from Stewart Hall had it for about a week or so, as I recall. We had heard rumors that someone thought they saw it while jogging along the creek. We found it over in the creek and hid it in a garage while we decided what to do with it. As I recall the Egg “rules” back then, the possessors of the Egg had to show it to the student body in a public venue to let the college know who had it. I hate to admit it now, but we chose chapel. We had a guy with a station wagon drive out on the old track, back it up to the doors of the gym, throw the doors open in the middle of chapel (you can imagine the distraction), and then race out. I used my car to block the road out of campus so he could get away (using CB radios back then). I can’t remember where we hid it — but someone got it quickly. I also remember that one of the rules was that the Egg had to be visible from a cardinal point — north, south, east or west — and it had to be accessible (no hiding it in a backyard). Neff Park and the creek seemed to be popular stash points.
I’ve attached a picture of the “eggs-tras” who were also involved with the caper (and the station wagon used to pull off the showing). I’m glad to see the Egg back, but the current one does look more like a Tylenol capsule than a 300-pound concrete egg! On the roof of the wagon is Phil Milke who is pastoring in Alaska the last I heard. It was his station wagon. Gordon Hoffmann is inside leaning on the Egg. I heard he is a CPA today. The rest I don’t remember — although the guy with the blue T-shirt (lower right) was the R.A. for our section of Stewart Hall (Backside of Stewart).
Dr. Greg Behle (’82)
A Hot Pink Betrayal
My friend Bill Bush came to me my first week at Biola as a freshman to tell me that I had an opportunity of a lifetime if myself and some friends would help him out. He had discovered where the Biola Egg was, but needed some help lifting it into his truck. It took six of us to steal the Egg from some bushes in front of Biola where the business building now resides. We rolled it onto a doubled-up blanket and took it to my parents house in Yucaipa, Calif., for one night over the weekend to give it its new paint job: Hot Pink! (It was 1989 after all.) We then wrote, “The Stew Boyz claim this Egg of fame” and each signed it.
We took the Egg back on campus that Sunday night and paraded it around campus in back of Bill Bush’s Toyota pickup. We then proceeded to hide it — only to have been betrayed by one of our floormates in the lower Stewart quads (near Hart). The Egg reappeared briefly the next week before being placed into the Biola pool and being rolled into the deep end. My understanding is that it took some real hard work to get it out of there, but where there is a will there is a way.
To say the least, “proof is in the picture” and it was quite a story for four first week freshman at Biola. Thanks to Bill Bush, a sophomore at the time, for cutting us in on the action.
David Massongill (’93)
Abandoned Near a San Diego Bike Rack
I’m currently a Talbot student but I did my undergrad at Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian College) in El Cajon back in the early ’90s. Next to the bike rack, against a tree (where I parked my Honda Spree) was a giant concrete “egg” with untold layers of pealing paint. Someone informed me that it was the “Biola Egg.” It had apparently been hijacked from Biola in some elaborate scheme only to be abandoned by the bike rack at CHC for months — maybe longer. It looked like it had been there for a really long time. This recollection was from circa 1990.
Hibernating in a Hedge
I just read the article about the Biola Egg in the Fall 2009 Biola Magazine and decided that I should tell you about my experience with the Biola Egg. Since I could not remember all the details I had to ask my family for their memories. The following is our story.
I graduated from Biola in 1977. I am one of five children, and all of us attended Biola. My father, Dr. Robert Koontz, also taught at Biola for several years. I had heard about the exploits of the Biola Egg for many years, but had never seen it, and I was not even convinced that it even existed any more.
In 1987, my family bought my parents house in La Mirada, and I moved back into the house I lived in while I attended Biola. We lived in that house for another 18 years.
At some point before I moved back into the house in 1987, my father took my older brother out to the back yard to show him something my dad had discovered. It turned out, to my father’s delight, to be the Biola Egg. We have no idea how the Egg got in our back yard, or who would have put it there. I don’t believe anyone but my dad and my brother ever knew the Egg was there.
During the late 1990s or early 2000s, my husband decided to take out an old hedge in the front of our house that separated our house from our neighbors. Imagine our surprise when we found a huge, cement Egg! We found the Biola Egg on our property under our hedge! We can only assume that this is the same Biola Egg that my dad found in the back yard many years before. How it got to the front of the house is still a mystery. It was really too big for one person to move very easily, but maybe he did.
We called my younger brother who worked at Biola and told him about the Egg, and he told someone at Biola that he knew where the missing Biola Egg was. It didn’t take long for a group of students to show up and collect the Egg.
That is the last time I saw the infamous Biola Egg. It is still a mystery as to how or why the Egg was put in our yard. I have no idea how many years it was there. And, I don’t know what happened to it after it left our property.
Kathleen (Koontz, ’77) Dalafu, for my family:
Carol (Koontz, ’69) Schatz, Shirley (Koontz, ’72) Holland, Bob Koontz (’71), David Koontz (’79)
An Egg-Harborer Suspects Identity Theft
I am suspicious about the Biola Egg … I think there may be more than one Biola Egg in the possession of our esteemed alumni. I never saw the Biola Egg while a student at Biola (1976¬–1979), though I desperately wanted my dorm floor to have the Egg in its possession; however, while working as faculty at Biola (1996 to present), I enjoyed viewing the Egg on three different occasions.
The best view of the Egg was when several feverish students rolled the Biola Egg into my office! This was back when the education department was housed in the president’s house (where Crowell School of Business currently stands). The Egg was covered in signatures of proud alumni and more football-shaped, definitely bumpy from all the wear and tear, and extremely difficult to move because of its size and weight.
I enjoyed a treasured 15 minutes of the Biola Egg in my office (a dream come true), while students huffed and puffed as they recovered from the strenuous rolling of the Egg that was surreptitiously moved from the bed of a truck, to the grass, and then rolled into my office from a sliding glass door.
Now, I firmly believe that there are two or more Biola eggs lurking about. I am suspicious of that sterile white pill-shaped Egg that was presented at the Spring 2009 graduation as well as the photos just received in the attachment. Our student body leaders need to put out bench warrants for the Biola eggs, hold court, put the eggs on trial, determine the true identity of the real Biola Egg, and destroy the imposter(s). There are consequences for identity theft!
June Hetzel (’78), Ph.D., Dean
School of Education
A High-Speed Car Chase
That papier-mâché pill thing in your Fall 2009 magazine is a fake. I would know: The real Egg was a 400-pound concrete monstrosity that left a dent in my car trunk when a group of us from Sigma Chi intercepted and stole the Egg from Emerson back in 2000.
Word was that the Egg was going to resurface after two years in hiding, and the brother of an R.A. on our floor (Drew Bennet) was going to let us know when and where it was. Well, that night came, and a group of us found it outside a dumpster by the storage building at the back entrance. Thankfully, I had the foresight to run to my car (a four-door Saturn) to try and load it in there. That didn’t work however, because the Egg was so heavy that it took more of us to lift it than we had room to fit around it.
So we ended up using a blanket, wrapped over itself several times, and then setting it half way into my trunk! At this time, unbeknownst to us, someone in our dorm let it slip that we knew the Egg existed, and so the guys from Emerson came speeding back down the hill our way in a black SUV. Seeing this, Josiah Vencel (’01) and myself hopped in my car and took off.
What ensued then was a car chase around La Mirada with the Egg sticking out of my trunk the whole time. Thankfully, we were able to finally lose them and we dropped off the Egg at the safest place I could think of: my church at the time! That is where we ended up having to leg push the Egg out of my trunk because the two of us couldn’t lift it ourselves, and “the crew” we got to transport it to a more secure location is in the picture below.
Carved in the side was the words “EMO” for the Emerson floor that had been hiding it and we had taken it away from. As you can see, it is MUCH larger and heavier than whatever is in that photo the President’s Office showed off. A plastic stand wouldn’t hold it up and there is no way one person alone could move it. An unfortunate thing since the whole tradition has been tampered with ever since the Student Association has tried to get involved with the Egg.
Eddie Jensen (’02)
A Clue from the Current Captors
Waiting for it to hatch.