Thomas Kenneth Abraham started selling keepsakes to sororities and fraternities, traveling house to house with sample cases as a junior at Texas Tech University. The Greek organizations wanted his wares, including paddles carved with a house insignia, elaborately sewn crests and other items, his attorneys say.

That was nearly 47 years ago. These days the Lubbock, Texas, man and his company, Paddle Tramps, is considered one of the last “recalcitrant” outfits selling Greek gear without a licensing agreement.