561 The Reunion of the SLOBSLast night we attended the 50th anniversary of a high school social club called the SLOBS (they aren't supposed to tell their wives what the acronym stands for). The club was "chartered" (they kept a scrapbook and minutes of their meetings) in 1954 and my husband was the first pledge. The last meeting appears to have been in 1959 with the class of 1961, the class of 1956 being the largest and most active of the members. This all male club now has female members, the widows of some of the members, some of whom attended wearing their husbands' SLOB pins, and a sister of one member.
Entertainment after dinner was reading from the minutes and the scrapbook which included a lot of paper memorabilia and photos. With a few guys chiming in with the memories, the minutes were really hilarious, and I paraphrase a 15 year old secretary (they changed officers every quarter), "I'm not sure what happened because I was in the kitchen eating sandwiches." After dinner when the guys went in the next room to have their photo taken, I leafed through the scrapbook and found photographs of my mother-in-law who must have been about 39 years old, blond, leggy and glamorous as a movie star, with all the boys at my in-laws cabin in Brown County, Indiana.
I wrote about Arsenal Technical High School in 540 "Two Classes One Reunion," however, I learned last night that after a few years, the boys began pledging guys from other high schools in Indianapolis, like Washington, Manual and Scecina and a some lived out of the district but attended Tech. Considering the distance they all lived from the school (my husband rode a city bus) , a once a week meeting with fines for not attending seems pretty ambitious for a teen-age boys social club.
The schools sponsored many clubs for many interests--but these were under the radar. The main activity of the guy social club was having "exchanges" with girls' social clubs from Howe, Broad Ripple, Shortridge and Tech, and apparently the Indianapolis Star of that era included a column for "subdebs and squires" where they printed up the events the groups had. These little clippings were carefully pasted in the scrap book. The groups had names like PIMZ, CHIX, ZEBZ, SPARKZ, KIMZ, JINX, ZEALZ, PRIMS, MICAS, EBBZ, ALGES, ELITES, HUNZ, TARAS, TYTANS, CROWNS, COUNTS, FAROS, and BARONS. The dues for the SLOBS were a quarter a week, and with this money they had parties, and a few philanthropic events, and even bought one share of stock in the Indianapolis Indians baseball team.
After all the laughs, the men went around the table and in 3 or 4 minutes each told about their lives after high school--and being typical guys, careers were the story, not family, church or hobbies. It was a wide range--two architects, a few engineers, an airline pilot, an actor/poet, a civil war historian you can see on TV, the mayor of the town where we met, television and radio, and sales.
A really nice bunch of SLOBS.
Update 2007: The 1957 class reunion.