HISTORY OF THE GLUTTONS
Many successful organizations began on a shoestring. This is true of The Gluttons. The shoestrings on which we began were the blue ones that we used to lace our Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star basketball shoes.
In 1964, most of the people who would later band together under the Glutton shield attended Beaumont High School. Beaumont is located in North St. Louis Missouri, not far from the site of Sportsman’s Park, then the home of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The Beaumont attendance area extended to the northern boundaries of the city and included neighborhoods such as Walnut Park and Baden.
During the 1950s and 60s, many organizations outside of the public schools provided recreational activities for youth. Besides the Scouts, the Catholic Youth Council (CYC), Baden Youth Association (BYA), and many Protestant churches sponsored social and recreational opportunities for young people as well.
One such church was Epworth Windsor Methodist Church. Epworth Windsor sponsored a basketball team for teens, but did not have enough teens in attendance that could play on the team. To solve the problem, the church offered the following option: a non-member of the church could play on the team if he agreed to attend one youth function a month.
It was through church member Bill Cameron that Beaumont students learned about the opportunity to play on the team. Playing on a team composed of friends seemed like a good idea and Dave Brink, Larry Glenn, Dan McGuire, and Jim Temme joined Bill and Blake Foster (another member of the church) to form the team.
Games were played early on Saturday mornings at the old Visitation High School Gym, now Ivory Perry Park, which was at the intersection of Cabanne and Belt Avenues in St. Louis. It was at the end of one of these games (a victory, no less) that one of the many spectators, classmate Larry Luke, remarked- “You guys play like a bunch of gluttons.” With those famous words, the name “Gluttons” was born. The team began referring to itself as The Gluttons. Friends of the team began referring to themselves as Gluttons as well, and a loosely formed social group called The Gluttons was born.
Like the Club itself, our motto “E.S.S.” began at Beaumont High School, appropriately in a history class: Miss Riedel’s history class. During a heated debate with another student, whose name has been lost, Joan Holt (no relation) became exasperated with her opponent and ended her part of the debate with the words: “Eat some shit!” The debate was over, but the words would live on.
The Gluttons knew a good phrase when they heard it, and used it enough that it became slogan-like. The words were often shortened in public use to “E.S.S.” as few desired the consequences that would certainly fall on a student using the word “shit” in front of teachers or school administrators. When questioned about the meaning of “E.S.S.” replies ranged from “Epsilon Sigma Sigma” to “Every Saturday and Sunday,” “Every Senior Smiles,” “Elect Safety Sam (our school safety mascot)” and anything else that seemed to be a safe way to explain “E.S.S.”
The original Glutton shirts were white, short sleeved sweatshirts with black lettering. They featured the Glutton shield on the front and the name Gluttons and the letters E.S.S. on the back.
The Glutton shield was designed by Charlie Barnicle, who liberally borrowed the shield from the logo of Falstaff beer, and placed the name Gluttons in the shield where the name Falstaff appeared. Copyright laws? The Gluttons were high school students and the year was 1964. We knew little of copyright laws but knew a cool design when we saw one, and Charlie’s design of the Glutton Shield and motto became the working design for the soon to be ordered Glutton sweatshirts.
Minnigerode Sporting Goods on North Grand Ave., not far from Beaumont, was contracted to make the first Glutton shirts, at the cost of $10.00 per shirt. The store agreed to make the shirts in groups of twelve.
Armed with an idea, a design and a cost, Glutton organizers set out to determine how many Glutton shirts would be ordered. The orders were not confined to Beaumont High School. Friends who attended other schools, or had graduated and were part of the Glutton social group, also ordered shirts.
Thirty-six shirts were ordered, and plans were made to celebrate the debut of the shirts. The first Glutton Sweatshirt Day was held on a school day. Each Glutton was to wear his shirt to school, or work, that day. While the exact date of the event is lost, the results are not. At Beaumont High School, teachers and administrators did not see the humor nor did they participate in the joy of the occasion. Glutton shirts were banned from the school, as was the name Gluttons and “E.S.S.”
A favorite Saturday afternoon activity in the spring of 1964 was an excursion to wherever our imaginations, and Paul Heacock, would take us. One particular Saturday afternoon found a small group of Gluttons in the Heacock pickup truck. The Glutton explorers were travelling across the Chain of Rocks Bridge to Illinois to discover a route to the site of a smoke stack that was on the bank of the Mississippi River and visible from the Missouri side of the river.
There were many questions to be answered. What was the smokestack? Why was it there? And, most important, was it a landmark calling us to a place where we could, in relative safety, drink and party?
What was discovered was, for all intents and purposes, a bona fide beach: sand, water, and far enough away from civilization that we could be obnoxious as possible while bothering only a few isolated fishermen and an occasional boater.
Glutton Beach, as we called it, became the site of weekend parties and gatherings, and the setting of many Glutton stories that will not be told on these pages, but were immortalized in the Glutton song: “The Gluttons Go Marching.”
WE FIND A HOME – The Old Club
The founding of the Gluttons and the graduation of most members from high school happened within the period of a few months. While we were all going to the same schools, living in the same neighborhoods, and going to “Circle” Steak and Shake, it was easy for everyone to stay in touch. Few thought about the effect that high school graduation and subsequent college attendance, military service, and work and careers could have on friendships that had developed.
It was Fred Buckhold, better known as Big Fred, who was the inspiration behind the idea of renting a place for us to use as a meeting/gathering place. One night, while a few Gluttons were eating in a small Walnut Park restaurant, Fred remarked that it would be a shame if we lost contact with each other due to college and other factors. It would be nice if we had a place, maybe a club house, which we could use as a meeting and gathering site. Those who lived in the area could use it year round, and those who lived out of town or at college could go there whenever they were home.
The genius of Fred’s idea was realized by those present and it was decided that we should look for such a place. Fred, assisted by a small committee, set out on the quest to find a place we could rent.
The best site found was a vacant store front located at 5611 Riverview in the middle of a city block in Walnut Park. The store front was connected to a small rear apartment, in which a family could live. The residence behind the store was three levels: a basement, a main floor consisting of a kitchen, bath, and two large rooms, and an upper floor, which was one large room. A unique feature of the building was a walled-in section of the front roof which could be accessed through a window on the top floor. Many a Glutton spent many an hour sitting on the roof drinking, talking, or observing the sights that could be viewed from the roof. The site was almost perfect for use as a club. In the attached building next door was a private business. Directly to the other side was an alley way that separated the club from the E-Z Body Shop. The closest private residence was far enough away that noise was not a great concern.
Limited parking was available on the street and in a small lot next to the building. Across the street was Lombardo’s Restaurant and the Rio Show. The Rio Bar was within walking distance. The Rio Bar featured schooners of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, hamburgers cooked on their grill and sweet onions that enhanced both the burger and the beer. Charlotte and Grace were our hostesses and Syl, the bartender, kept our schooners full. We needed no band or jukebox as we entertained ourselves. Afterwards we often walked across Riverview Drive to Partridge Street and the McGuire house. There “Momma” McGuire welcomed us, fed us, and ensured we were able to go home safely. Also within walking distance was Coletta’s Liquor Store. Coletta’s often had Falstaff beer on sale and, like the Rio Bar, was not necessarily vigilant in checking the age of customers. We became very good customers. So good, in fact, that the owner would, at times after closing the store for the evening, walk to the club to end his evening with us.
The Gluttons still faced obstacles. One such obstacle was that a rental agreement had to be signed. Even in 1964, realtors and others were reluctant to enter into a financial agreement with individuals (or groups) who were recent high school graduates and had little money or steady jobs. That obstacle was overcome when Bill “Crip” (due to a sports injury) Cameron, the only person in the Gluttons who was twenty-one years old and had a job and established credit, agreed to sign the rental agreement. Bill signed the agreement in August of 1965. Our landlords were Louis C. and Frances F. Noce. Our rent was $110 a month and the checks were written to Frances. The Gluttons officially moved into the clubhouse on September 1, 1965.
Another obstacle we faced was financial. Where were we to get the money needed to pay rent and other expenses? We established a dues structure allowing each member to pay his fair share of the expenses. There were two classes of membership: Active and Inactive.
Active members were permanent St, Louis residents. They were able to use the club on a daily basis and could come and go as they pleased. They paid a one-time initiation fee of $10. The original dues for Active members was $10 a month.
Inactive members were, for the most part, college students who attended a school located outside the greater St. Louis area. When they were attending school, and unable to use the club on a daily basis, they did not pay dues. When they were home for a break or in the summer, they paid dues on a prorated basis. It needs to be noted that during this time it was common for members to change their status, or “drop in and out” of membership for various reasons, often financial.
In October of 1967, another membership classification was established: Married. The new dues structure that resulted was: $12 a month for Active members, $6 a month for Married members, and Inactive members remained on a prorated basis.
The dues system established, to the surprise of all, worked and remained in place until 1971. (In 1976, dues were increased to $15 a month, and in 1984 were increased to $20 a month).
With that, the foundation was set.
We were the Gluttons and our headquarters and identity was based in St. Louis, Missouri. But how did we become the International Brotherhood of Gluttons? We were a brotherhood by any definition of the word. When we learned that some of our members who were in the military had been assigned to serve in other areas of the world like Vietnam and Turkey, we realized that we had become an international organization and our presence and influence were expanding across the globe. We had an obligation to these members to let them know that they were still a part of us, as we were still a part of them, even though we had been parted by our nation’s war.
There is no record of a vote changing our name, but by general agreement we became the International Brotherhood of Gluttons. The international title served us well as our membership extended to Korea, Japan, various ships at sea and, in more recent years, Iraq. The fact that at times, and currently, we have no members or branches in another nation is meaningless. We are an international organization and are ready for our brothers in other nations when they are ready for us.
WE GO TO COLLEGE
Most of the Gluttons graduated from high school in 1964. Some joined the military, some entered the job market, but the majority entered college. While there were many established colleges and universities a Glutton could attend, a different kind of college opened in the St. Louis area: a community college. Often called junior colleges, these schools offered two year programs. Some programs led to degrees and all offered students the opportunity to attend a college close to home and prepare for the rigors of a traditional four year school. Junior colleges were less expensive as well. The Junior College District of St. Louis-St. Louis County (JCD/SLCC) was created in 1962. In 1963, two branches of the school were opened: Meramec Community College and Florissant Valley Community College. Flo-Valley, as it was called, served the North City-County area, and the Gluttons.
Just as Beaumont High School was the center of Gluttondom during our high school years, Flo-Valley was the hub of our early college years. A core group of ten or so Gluttons attended Flo-Valley. As it was a very small college, friendships were easily maintained. We carpooled together, attended introductory classes together, gathered together in the Student Union, and recruited new Gluttons! The Student Union building served to meet the extra-curricular needs of students; and we had extra-curricular needs. In addition to intellectual discussions, the Student Union provided a place to eat, make new friends, and play countless hours of card games. The Gluttons became very active in extra-curricular activities and a Glutton intramural flag football team soon formed. Gluttons assisted in the successful campaign that gained voter approval for a $47.2 million bond issue for the College District. After classes and on weekends, we gathered at our club on Riverview. Our dedication to the extra-curricular aspects of college life led to old friendships remaining strong and to new friendships and new Gluttons being made.
The importance of Flo-Valley to Glutton history was equaled by the importance of the Gluttons to Flo-Valley. In 1982, Florissant Valley Community College created the Alumni Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Hall is to recognize alumni who have made significant contribution to their professions and communities. Since its inception, over forty individuals have been inducted including a local news personality, a renowned artist, a former St. Louis City mayor, and a Glutton. It is speculated that Flo-Valley desired to recognize and honor the Gluttons for their contributions to the school, but could not honor an organization. So, one Glutton was chosen, perhaps by random student number, to represent all Gluttons. That Glutton was founding member Paul Heacock. We are proud that Paul is our representative in the Florissant Valley Community College Hall of Fame.
Glutton higher education was not limited to Florissant Valley Community College. Gluttons attended other colleges and universities as well. While each individual school cannot be named, two particular schools outside the Greater St. Louis area must be included in this history: Central Missouri State College and the University of Missouri Columbia.
Central Missouri State College (now the University of Central Missouri) is in Warrensburg, Missouri. It is located 50 miles southeast of Kansas City, and is the seat of Johnson County. Attending Warrensburg were a group of Gluttons that included Fred Horner, Jim Temme, and Dave Beckett. They extended Glutton friendship and membership to Gary Schirmer, Bill Holt, Mike Sample, and brothers Lon and Jon Hoehne. Though never members of the Gluttons Club, brothers Dave and Roger Ewan were notable additions to the Warrensburg Gluttons and were part of many of the adventures they shared. There was little to do in Warrensburg when not attending classes other than to abuse alcohol. The Warrensburg contingency often traveled to nearby Kansas City to abuse alcohol there. At times the Warrensburg group returned to St. Louis to help us abuse alcohol, or traveled to Mizzou to assist the Columbia Gluttons in their abuse of alcohol.
It is important to understand that a “school year” was a relative term, especially for Gluttons. While there were probably some Gluttons who progressed through their college years sequentially from Freshman to Sophomore to Junior to Senior year, and completed their college degree requirements in a four year period of time, many did not. For various reasons, the completion of a school year in a calendar year became a very confusing proposition, as did the completion of a four year degree in a four year period of time. Further complicating it all was the need to maintain a “2-S” Selective Service classification. This classification allowed a college student to be exempt from military service while completing a four year degree program, or until his 24th birthday, whichever came first. As a student deferment could be extended upon successful application to a local draft board, the age of 24 became a more important factor in the school year/calendar year degree completion equation than anything else. For many, maintaining a 2-S classification was more important than attaining a degree, no matter how perplexing it was.
For a brief period of time in either their junior or senior year of college, four of the Warrensburg Gluttons—Bill Holt, Mike Sample, Gary Schirmer, and Jim Temme—shared a house together in Warrensburg. The address is not remembered. While various and sundry Gluttons including Jack O’Keefe, Dave Beckett, Fred Horner (who was a married Warrensburg Glutton and, as a result, was responsible for a second Glutton house there), and others occasionally visited them, the Warrensburg Gluttons did not house huge gatherings of Gluttons. They were not supposed to be living off-campus at the time, whenever the time was. They did not want to risk expulsion and failure to complete their degree programs within whatever time period they expected to complete their degree programs. Unfortunately, one of the Warrensburg Gluttons became involved in a situation with a college Dean (who is remembered as a “mean bastard”) who discovered that they were living off-campus. Fear of expulsion led two of the Gluttons to a church in Warrensburg (for the first and last time) to seek divine intervention from expulsion. They then went to a bar at which they worked (for an extended period of time) to seek immediate relief from the fear of being expelled. Time was evidently on their side as they were not expelled. They completed their degrees and graduated and Warrensburg became a part of Glutton history.=
While any location in which a Glutton lived was considered a branch of the Gluttons, the only place a branch of the club officially existed was at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) in Columbia, Missouri.
The first Glutton to attend Mizzou was Fred Buckhold in the spring of 1964. He was soon joined by Larry Glenn and Phil Skelly; and later Allen Faber, who transferred from Rolla. Rick Smith became an early friend of Fred’s, an early convert to the Gluttons, and became a member in 1966. As more Gluttons went to Mizzou, they desired to continue their friendships and Glutton identity. The Gluttons were based in St. Louis—the Columbia group was a branch. As a result, membership meetings were not held and minutes were not kept, so details needed by a researcher to tell the story do not exist. But a narrative can be pieced together.
In the fall of 1967, five Gluttons rented a house together, conveniently located at 513 Price Avenue (now North College Avenue), not far from Columbia College, where several Gluttons worked part-time, and Stephens (all-girl) College. The story-and-a-half, four bedroom house was rented from the Wyatt family, who owned Wyatt’s Market on the nearby corner of Price Avenue and Rogers Street, where Dan McGuire worked part-time. The Glutton House Charter Members were: Al Faber, Terry Jansing, Keith Eickenhorst (Ike), Pat (Ace) McClean, and Dan McGuire (and soon thereafter, Jill Broughton) in the deluxe two-level unit in the middle. Several mice shared the back bedroom with Ike and Ace, but were not officially Gluttons. As a Glutton moved out of the house, a Glutton moved in. Others living at the Glutton House for various lengths of time were: John Chamberlain, “Peter Monster” Gordon Hunter (who was from Canada and, therefore, our first International Glutton by birth), Don McGuire, Bill McNichols, and sometimes David “Buff” Beckett (who seemed to spend as much time in Columbia as he did in Warrensburg where he was enrolled). Rounding out the Columbia IBOG roster were: Corky Borgmann (living in separate quarters) after he returned from Vietnam and Tom Kausch, a Mizzou Rugby Club teammate of several Columbia Gluttons, who in the Spring of 1969, moved in with Dan at the “Glutton Annex,” a little bungalow on Hinkson Avenue just around the corner from the Glutton House. Neither Glutton residence still stands and no historical marker or plaque exists to mark their location—yet.
The Glutton House had a neighbor: Merle. Merle and his wife were “Good Christian People.” Merle did not become a Glutton. You are asked to remember Merle and his wife in your thoughts and, especially, in your prayers.
Specific stories about the Warrensburg and Columbia Gluttons, like those about events at the Clubs on Riverview and on Jerries Lane, are best left unwritten in this history, although their inclusion would result in a more enjoyable and colorful story. This historian is not risking the legal and other repercussions that could result from their inclusion. The stories will remain unwritten here but they live on and they will be told, and told again, by other Gluttons in other places.
BUFF AND ME
It was at Mizzou that David Beckett became known as “Buffalo Meat,” the nickname that eventually would become “Buff.”
In the late ‘60s, a group of Gluttons gathered in Columbia for a football weekend to watch the Missouri Tigers play the Colorado Buffaloes. While tailgating before the game, they heard the Mizzou marching band playing in the distance. As the drum line played a street beat, the band members shouted: “Beat…th’Buffaloes! Beat…th’ Buffaloes!” Beckett thought they were yelling “Buffalo…Meat! Buffalo…Meat!” and opined: “Buffalo Meat. That would be a good name for me.” He and the small group with him began to use the nickname “Buffalo Meat,” for the Glutton formerly known as Dave Beckett. But it was not until later in the day that the name became known outside of this small group.
After the game, the group went to the Hoffbrau House, a popular Columbia saloon partly staffed by Gluttons. One of the bartenders there, a loveable ex-con named Bobby Wiggins, heard someone in the bar introducing himself as “Buffalo Meat.” Wiggins loved the name and began introducing everyone in the bar to “Buffalo Meat,” thereby popularizing the name which was later shortened to Buff.
So while it was Buff who nicknamed himself, it was bartender Bobby Wiggins who gave the name to the masses.
Now, the part about me.
That was the story I intended to write. It was a compromise story between two versions that told how Buff got his nickname. One story, told by Steve Kettner, was a story I had heard for forty years, accepted as fact, and retold countless times. The other version that I had not heard for forty years was recently told to me by Dan McGuire.
Both stories were good, believable stories, told by trusted friends who were there when their version happened. Both versions had similarities but differed in one main point. In one story, Buff nicknamed himself. In the other story, someone else gave him the nickname. If the story was to be used in the new, accurate Glutton history, the real story needed to be told.
Realizing that memories fade and change over the years, I emailed Steve and Dan (who, unknown to me had been discussing their differences for years) to discover which version they could agree on. Steve agreed that his version was mostly correct. Dan agreed that his version was totally correct. They also agreed that I should write the best story I could. So I decided to combine the two versions into one story that was logical and made sense.
Some may wonder why I did not ask Buff. I thought about it but did not do so, at first. I tried to contact him but had trouble in doing so. Hoping to finally finish the history, I decided to write the story I had.
Sixteen words into the final sentence that I had planned to write, my telephone rang. It was Buff. With little explanation of why and no mention of the two versions of the story, I asked Buff if he remembered how he got his nickname.
According to Buff, he was playing in a Rugby game at Mizzou. It was a very cold day. At the time, Buff had very long hair and a full beard. He was standing on the sidelines, preparing to reenter the game. As the pitch was very muddy and he had dirt in his shoes, he began to clean the cleats by scraping them on the ground in a pawing motion. As he stood on the sidelines, long-haired and bearded, pawing the ground, frozen breath coming smoke-like out of his mouth and nostrils, one of the two females standing close to him looked at him and said: “That looks like 240 pounds of buffalo meat standing over there.”
Buff had given me a third story. As I related the other versions to him, Buff remembered and verified many of the details of each one. He speculated that they may have all happened on the same day.
You can believe all of the parts of whichever version you want.
I am simply glad we do not know the names or whereabouts of the females on the sidelines.
WHO ARE YOU?
I like “The Who,” so I decided to borrow one from them.
The section on Buff and how he got his nickname reminded us that we have other members with nicknames as well. Many of the sobriquets are self-explanatory: Bill Holt is “Coach” because he coached our softball teams. Ike, Pfeff, Heak and others are abbreviations for the surname of the member. Pee Wee, Tiny and Big Fred refer to physical attributes. But there are others, besides Buff, that need a brief explanation. These nicknames are unique, have stood the test of time, and are Glutton Classics in their own right.
Bill Johnson (Poody/ The Streakin’ Deacon)
Bill has two unique and interesting nicknames: “Poody” and “The Streakin’ Deacon” (we won’t go into “White Shoes” Johnson).
Poody had its origin in the early 1970s when Bill was in Air Force Basic Training in Texas. One of the most important things that occurred during the day was “Mail Call:” the opportunity to receive a letter from home. In many Basic Training Units, Mail Call was exactly that: as recruits stood in formation, names of those who had received mail from home were called out and they were given their mail.
One day at Mail Call, the Sergeant handing out the mail saw the name “Poody” lovingly written on the addressed envelope by Bill’s girlfriend (and future wife, Ethel Sharon Pfeffer.) Poody was, until then, a private, pet name his girlfriend called him. The drill sergeant’s reaction to reading the name “Poody” was not endearing. The details of the reaction of the drill sergeant and the others to Bill’s (sorry, Poody’s) nickname need not be related. When the Gluttons learned of the name and incident, through other Gluttons who were also in Basic Training in Texas, we too were surprised to learn of the nickname. If “Poody” was good enough for his future wife and the United States Air Force, it was good enough for us and Bill became “Poody.”
The “Streakin’ Deacon,” is a more current nickname, given to Bill by Dan Toney. One of the fads of the 1970s and ’80s was termed a “streak.” It became so popular that a hit song, “The Streak,” was written and recorded by Ray Stevens. Basically someone who “streaked” ran naked (sometimes wearing shoes and/or a hat) past a group of people. The streaker did not stop to bother or sexually harass anyone in the group; he simply ran, mostly naked, past them. The fad extended to the Gluttons and some events saw, at least briefly, a streaker or more. Unfortunately for Poody, “Glutton Gas” photographer Jon Heacock began to take a camera with him to events. A popular Glutton event during this time were float trips on the Meremac which was close to the Schillago farm. They were hosted by Bill and Sue Yates (nee Schllago). As Poody streaked the farm one evening, wearing only tennis shoes and a cowboy hat, Jon took Poody’s picture. At the Christmas Party that year, MCs Jew and Jon unveiled a poster sized copy of the picture, which they presented to Poody and the club. To ensure a record of the event would remain for Glutton history, multiple copies of the poster were made. While Poody admits being tempted to “destroy the damn poster” a number of times, he did not. The poster probably still remains somewhere at the club. Bill was deeply involved with the Church and began the process of being ordained a Deacon.
When we learned that Bill was to be ordained, many of wanted to attend the ceremony which would be held at the New Cathedral in St. Louis. The Archbishop would officiate. Poody remembers some concern on his part when he learned that Steve Kettner expressed the thought that the poster should be taken to the ceremony. However, for one of the few times in our history common sense and dedcency prevailed and the poster was not taken. When Bill was ordained as a Deacon in the Catholic Church, Glutton history joined with Church ritual and the nickname “The Streakin’ Deacon” was born.
Mike Mathews (Big Byrd)
Mike Mathews received the nickname of “Big Byrd” shortly after he joined the Club in 1978. Tall, lanky (at the time), permed, and big-nosed, he very much resembled the character Big Bird on “Sesame Street.” One day he and a group pf Gluttons attended the Cardinals Opening Day game. Mike drank too many beers. He took very long strides as he walked up the steeply inclined stairs at the stadium. As he walked, one of the Gluttons, Bill Yates (Pee Wee) put it all together and remarked: “You look like Big Bird.”While Mike could not do anything about the resemblance, or the nickname, he could change the spelling from “Bird,” to “Byrd.” Mike is our Big Byrd and is always willing, along with Harry Monster, to help to teach something to the Glutton kiddies.
Fred Horner (Little Fred/ Cloise)
The nickname “Little Fred,” is obvious. But why “Cloise?” A favorite Glutton outing in the 1980s was dinner and drinking at The Wine Garden in St. Charles. The Wine Garden sat atop a hill on the bluffs and offered an impressive view of the Missouri River and stars on a cloudless night. It had damn good wine, too. One night at a Gluttons Wine and Dine gathering, we were in the restaurant having desert before heading out to the outside tables to continue our wine and conversations. Jerry “Gramps” (because he was already old) McClure and wife Vicki “Grams” (because she was married to him) were relatively new members. During the desert conversation we happened to discuss nicknames. She asked why we called Fred, “Cloise.” She was told the truth: “It is not a nickname; it’s his real middle name.” Simultaneously, her eyes grew big in surprise, her mouth opened, and she spit coffee across the table as she laughed uproariously. However, Cloise actually is his middle name.
John Chamberlain (Nately)
The name Nately has its origin in the novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The character Edward J. Nately III was a young, optimistic Air Force lieutenant who was in love with a whore who was, for the most part, uninterested in him until he gave her someplace to sleep. His American optimism led him to want to marry the whore and send her kid sister to a respected college in the United States. Long before meeting and marrying his wife, our Nately’s romantic adventures included a stewardess from Ozark Airlines who was rumored to have made love to the army at Ft. Leonard Wood. She left Nately on the tarmac after a brief, starry-eyed love affair.
Steve Bryan (Opie)
Steve Bryan came to us from Palmyra, MO. Palmyra is a small town located 200 miles Northeast of Kansas City and is the county seat of Marion County. He attended DePaul Hospital School of Nursing where he met Mike Bodecker and, through Mike, the Gluttons. Steve and Mike organized many social activities for the nurses, including parties at the club. Most stories of the nurse’s parties are best left untold. But it was a result of the parties that Bill Yates met his wife, Sue, and John Chamberlain met his wife, Jane. While it was Mike Boedecker who sponsored Steve, it was Don McGuire who nicknamed him “Opie,” as a result of his Palmyra upbringing, mid-west “country” accent, longish blond hair and resemblance to the TV character.
Dave Brink (Jew)
Dave is not nicknamed Jew because he is cheap. Which he isn’t. Or because he would cheat someone out of money. Which he wouldn’t. Or because he has a big nose, which doesn’t matter. Besides, those are all based in stereotypes, and the use of any would be beneath the Gluttons. One day at Beaumont High School as Dave was entering a classroom, a student he knew asked Dave if he was Jewish. The bell to start class was soon to ring. It was such a strange question to be asked that Dave though “something must be up,” and replied “Yes.”
Dave later learned that some of his friends were playing a trick on the inquiring mind of the student and decided to join in. As long as the student knew less about Judaism and its traditions than did Dave, the ruse could continue. Dave talked to a friend he knew who was Jewish and he also decided to play along with the charade. To continue with the pretense, Dave unselfishly skipped school in observance of Jewish holidays, learned many of the correct words to “Hava Nagila,” and can still sing the English words to the “Hatikvah,” the National Anthem of Israel.
Gary Rowberry (The Supervisor)
Gary Rowberry is The Supervisor. See any project started or completed, or any event planned or held by the club since he became a member. He even read and commented on this history. Some improperly pronounce Supervisor as “Stupervisor” or “Stupidvisor” but the historian checked with Gary who assured me they are wrong.
Rich Reid (The Hoosier)
The nickname “Hoosier” has nothing to do with the state of Indiana. It has nothing to do with a rural upbringing, either as the historian thought – and was wrong! Rich was born in St. Louis, lived and went to school in Baden, and grew up with many of the Gluttons. One day a group of Gluttons were in the McGuire’s back yard talking and telling stories. Rich told a story about his uncle. His uncle hit a snake with a rock. The snake came apart and went back together again. On hearing this, Dan McGuire remarked: “You Hoosier! That can’t happen.” Rich replied: “Yes it can. It’s called a joint snake.” After that, Rich became known as “The Hoosier.”
Mike and Steve Porzelt (Stump and Twig)
The Gluttons Singles teams, in both the Toilet Bowl and Wine Bowl Games were known for their use of “ringers” (people who were not club members) as players in the game. One year Poody, then a single member, asked his soon-to-be bother-in-law, Greg Pfeffer, to play in the game. Greg agreed to play, and brought his best friend, Mike Porzelt, with him. Greg and Mike played on the Rosary high school football team. Mike was not tall in stature but was powerfully built and was used as the Singles running back. After a few running plays, Rich Reid in reference to Mike commented: “How are we going to tackle that tree stump?” Mike became “Stump.” When Stump’s brother, Steve, joined the club, “Twig” was a natural outgrowth of Stump. We later referred to their dad, Lou, as “Redwood.” In the following years, the Twig has grown but the name stayed the same.
Jim Murphy (The Rabbi)
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher and decider of matters of religious law. He is wise. He is sufficiently educated in Jewish law and tradition to instruct the community, answer questions, and resolve disputes regarding the law. He is not a “priest” and has no more authority to perform rituals than any other member of the community.
Jim was nicknamed “Rabbi” because all the goyim in the club stereotypically think he looks like one.
(And he does)
THE GLUTTON HYMN
The Glutton Hymn (Tune of “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters” the Alma Mater of Cornell University) was written one evening at the Old Club by Steve Kettner and Dave Brink. As it was the only hymn we had, it became the closing ceremony at membership meetings and a ritual at wedding receptions. In recent years, the hymn has seldom been sung because of two factors: (A) we forgot about it and (B) members either do not know the words or are confused about them. There is no excuse for (A) but there is some reason for (B), and that reason is the move from Walnut Park to Redman Acres. One verse of the hymn includes the address of the club. The move caused the address to change and, as a result, the verse was changed to include the new address. While this change seemed necessary and to make sense, it caused problems. First of all, some members believed that the change was not necessary as tradition dictated that the hymn remain the same no matter what the address was. Problems also were caused by members who did not know the words to begin with and merely “sang along” with someone who they thought knew the words. This resulted in some members singing along with those singing the old lyrics, some singing along with those singing the new lyrics, and some singing a combination of old and new lyrics. Problems were also caused by the fact that all of the verses of the hymn are so much alike that often few, if any, knew what was sung to begin with and thought the hymn was “Sweet Caroline.”
The following is the Glutton Hymn. In keeping with the tradition of confusion that surrounds the hymn, both the old and new versions are included. It is suggested that in the future we simply sing all the verses, straight through.
THE GLUTTON HYMN
International Brotherhood of
Gluttons here we are,
We’re united deep in friendship,
Whether near or far.
We’ll be true to one another,
We’re the best by far,
Even though we may be parted,
By our nation’s war.
We will vow to one another
Always to be true.
In our house at Fifty-six
Walnut Park or Redman Acres,
Friendship’s still the same
In our house at One-One-Zero
One-Nine Jerries Lane.
So our pledge we now have bonded
Deep within our breasts.
And we stand true to our motto:
You can E.S.S.
It was one day in the springtime of 1968 that the Gluttons had a yen to organize a slow pitch softball team. This now legendary team set the standard for all Glutton teams to follow, as it won the division in which it played and went on city-wide playoffs, thereby becoming one of the best teams in the St. Louis area. The Glutton Softball Team later became two teams: an “A” and a “B” team. The “A’s” played in more competitive leagues, while the “B’s” played more for social purposes. But both were Glutton teams and proudly wore the Glutton shield when they played. The many softball trophies that remain on display at the club attest to the success of these teams. Once again, new friends and members resulted from a Glutton activity.
The Glutton football teams of the early 1970s continued the tradition of excellence established by Glutton softball teams. 1971, ’72, and ’73 saw that Glutton football teams were either the champions, or (in 1972) the co-champions of their division. These championship trophies remain at the club.
In 1972, Nately contacted John Hellweg, a representative of the Falstaff Brewing Corporation, which was headquartered in St. Louis. In his letter, Nately informed Hellweg about the brief history of the Gluttons and our use of the Falstaff crest as part of our logo. He also informed Hellweg of our athletic successes, including our football division championship the prior year and advancement to the second round of the city-wide playoffs. He asked that Falstaff sponsor our athletic teams. The response from Hellweg and Falstaff was positive. Falstaff became the sponsor of Glutton football and provided the team with jerseys. Falstaff did not allow us to use the Glutton shield on the jerseys but placed a Falstaff patch on them. The 1972 championship trophy has the name “Falstaff Gluttons” printed on it. Thanks to Falstaff beer for the role it played in Glutton History.
The Glutton football tradition was honored in later years when Glutton Steve “Shifty” Schafermeyer, owner of Malone’s Bar and Grill, framed and hung a Glutton football jersey on display in the entry way of the Malone’s in Dellwood, which was just a few miles from the club, and almost on the campus of Florissant Valley Junior College. When Malone’s closed, Steve thoughtfully gave the framed jersey to the club where it is on display. Currently, the Show-Me’s Bar and Grill in Florissant continues to honor the Glutton football teams of the 1970s as it displays a similar jersey, framed and hung on a wall close to the bar.
Thanks to both of these fine eating and drinking establishments.
As the numerous trophies remaining in the club show, Glutton sports teams expanded (as did the Glutton belts) to include basketball, bowling, corkball, volleyball, washers, and darts. Darts? Yes. In 1972 the Gluttons were among the founding teams of the St. Louis Metropolitan Darting Association—a status few other clubs can (or want to) claim.
Perhaps the most storied of all Glutton sporting events were the annual Toilet Bowl and Wine Bowl football games, held respectively on the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving and Christmas. The games began as informal, pick-up games, but soon evolved into bitterly fought contests between married and single Gluttons. The games were played at David Hickey Park, located on Broadway in Baden, Missouri. The games were tests not only of a man’s physical and mental strength, but of his capacity to destroy his intestines with beer, wine, and schnapps as well. The games were full-contact, tackle football games, played with no pads and little common sense. There was some blood, a few broken bones and separated shoulders, and at least one instance of aggressive public urination.
While it could be said that the Glutton Singles Team won the majority of the games, it is important to note that the Glutton Marrieds Team never cheated by using “ringers,” such as members of Rugby teams and college players who were home for the holidays. One Glutton ringer deserves special mention in our history: Kevin Byrne. Kevin was a friend and colleague of John “Nately” Chamberlain at UMSL. Based on the extensive football training and knowledge he gained from his experience with Glutton football in the 1970s, Kevin went on to serve in the front office of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. He worked for the Ravens for over thirty years and is currently Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations.
Two bars, Kulage’s and McGee’s, were conveniently, and thankfully, located across the street from the field. After the game was over, and sometimes during, Married and Single Gluttons met at one of the bars to relive the game and share the friendship that was the basis of the club and the game.
As Gluttons began to age and the healing process took longer, the Wine Bowl was no longer scheduled and only the Toilet Bowl was played. Tackle football became touch football. Touch football was downgraded to co-ed soccer, and the final Bowl game was held in a “Bowl”ing alley, with Glutton athletes participating in a “Fun” bowl. The Toilet Bowl and Wine Bowl games are no longer played, but the memories of these contests are valued parts of Glutton lore.
Subsequent years saw the Gluttons trying to revive the spirit of the Toilet Bowl by hosting such events as a game night on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. While we had fun, playing a board game or a computer game such as “You Don’t Know Jack,” inside the confines of the club did not compare with the thrills of the Toilet Bowl and the Thanksgiving tradition of the Toilet Bowl became a part of this history.
Certainly the most unique teams to wear the Glutton shield were the “Gluttons Too” teams of the early 1980s. By this time, despite the efforts of Steve Kettner and others, feminism had reached into the halls of Gluttondom. Wives, girlfriends, and other females connected to the club decided that if they could sign as Guarantors of loans to finance the purchase of the club, they could play on teams representing the club and wear the Glutton shield. They could not vote on club matters, but they could play softball. Coached, at first, by such Glutton athletes as Stump and Arnie, the “Gluttons Too” played in the Florissant Municipal League, usually at Koch Park. A trophy celebrating their 1986 league winning 10-0 season remains at the club. “Go Youse Gluttons!” Glutton women teams also competed in volleyball and bowling leagues, but it was the softball teams that were the most noted and successful.
Also in the ‘80s, the Glutton Olympics allowed members to win gold, silver, and bronze medals in such events as “The Dead Broad Jump,” held by the tombstone in the back yard, and the never popular “World’s Slowest Glutton” race in which, as you guessed, members competed in a series of elimination races; the fastest runners being eliminated each time until the final two person race when only one remained and claimed the title “World’s Slowest Glutton.” We wisely decided to retire this event before someone suffered a heart attack.
Before leaving the topic of sports, individual Glutton efforts in sports other than those listed above must be mentioned. Golf, Rugby, bellyflop and cannonball diving, horse racing (remember Dandy Andy), volleyball (mud, creek, and regular), and running (politically speaking) have received the Glutton touch.
GLUTTONS’ BEST FRIEND WHIZZES US TO A NEW ERA
The club on Riverview served its purpose. Most weekends saw a party being held, sometimes the entire weekend. The club was used for events ranging from wedding rehearsal after parties, to wedding receptions, birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, at least one confirmed conception, and served as the starting and stopping point for most anything a member attended.
However, the club was in an older building, was small, and had little space that could be used for anything other than a party. The basement was not finished in any sense of the term, and the upper room was usually locked. Some members, Bill Holt in particular, wanted a nice place to take their boss to for lunch.
Club records tell us that on February 15, 1970, “Chairman Dan Toney appointed a committee to investigate a potential new location for the club and evaluate any prospective sites based on the following factors: “social, geographical and financial.” The committee consisted of Bob Combest, Bill Yates, and John Chamberlain.
While an argument could be made that the size, location and general condition of the club house on Riverview were the reasons for wanting to move the club, there was a more compelling and noble reason – the welfare of our dog, Toddles.
We obtained Toddles from the Humane Society in early 1966. We wanted a dog, mainly, as a watch dog to protect the club from anyone who would break in and damage our property (read: steal our beer and/or whiskey).
Members realized pet ownership was a serious responsibility. In May of 1966, the task of brushing the dog at least twice a week was assigned as part of the clean-up duties. By the November 1966 membership meeting, members were beginning to be concerned that the environment of the club might not be the best for a growing dog and that he needed a proper, nourishing home. Minutes of the meeting read: “The next order of business was a discussion concerning Toddles. It was proposed that Toddles be given to the McGuire household with each club member free to visit him at any time. The discussion was postponed until Mr. McGuire could express his feelings on the subject.” Mr. McGuire expressed his feelings on the subject, and in the May 7, 1967 minutes there is a motion to leave Toddles downstairs when the club is not being occupied at night.
The motion to leave Toddles in the basement at night was not to punish Toddles or be mean to him. On various occasions, members had arrived at the club and found the kitchen trash can knocked over and food wrappers and other trash strewn throughout the rooms, as well as urine and poop. Since none of the members could be proven responsible for the mess, it was determined that Toddles was the culprit. To keep Toddles from making the mess, the last person to leave would lock him in the basement. However, the mess continued to happen, but not every night. It was speculated that some members either were not following the rule or were making the mess themselves and pointing the finger of blame at Toddles. It was a true Glutton mystery that caused many arguments and needed to be solved.
One night, Steve Kettner and Denny Bono locked Toddles in the basement, sat quietly in the living room, and waited to see what happened. They watched in silence as the doorknob on the door leading to the basement began to slowly turn. The door opened and Toddles appeared. He saw Steve and Denny watching him and knew he had been caught in the act. The dog saliva on the door was further proof that Toddles was guilty.
Things seemingly improved for Toddles during the next two years. In the June 8, 1969 Minutes there is a motion by Ed Rolle that Toddles should pay dues. As the financial status of Toddles improved, his social status did likewise as further references to Toddles describe him as happy and being petted by various members. A somewhat dark relationship between Toddles and a club member (Arnie Sullivan) is often referred to but any details of an incriminating nature are missing.
The evidence shows that while other reasons for moving from Walnut Park to Redman Acres may exist, the one major, documented reason was concern for the well-being of a Glutton’s best friend—Toddles.
Wherever you may be, Toddles, we have you to thank for our move to the suburbs.
THE NEW CLUB
The committee appointed by Chairman Toney to locate a new home for Toddles drove the back roads of North County looking for property that was isolated, yet convenient. The search soon focused on two houses, both located by Bob Combest.
One of the houses was on Dunn Road, just off of Howdershell. According to Bob, it was a fairly new, nice house. The lot was about two acres and sat on a hill overlooking the Missouri River Bottoms. The bluff on which the house sat provided a good view, but also had a steep drop-off, which caused concern that someone would get drunk and roll down the hill. The house had a large sun room in back, providing ample party potential. There were three upstairs bedrooms and a balcony overlooking the living room and entry. Recent improvements to Dunn Road created about 200 feet of pavement that provided a parking area.
While there is no indication that Toddles visited his possible new home for inspection, it is reported that Buff and John Chamberlain expressed the desire to live there. Two major negatives were that the nearest house was only 75 feet away, and the cost was $36,000.
The other house under consideration was at 11019 Jerries Lane, in unincorporated St. Louis County.
The house was built in the 1950s, was one level, not spacious, and sat on about an acre of land. When built, it had a living room, dining room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bath. A breezeway separated the house from a garage. The garage and breezeway had been converted into a rec room. Outside features included two large weeping willow trees, one on each side of the driveway, shrubs in front and on the south side of the house, a garage at the end of the driveway, and a swimming pool.
In comparing the two houses, the one on Jerries lane was the better choice for several reasons. The most important was that it had an in-ground swimming pool complete with a sundeck and diving board. While the concern that had been expressed about the Dunn Road location that someone could get drunk and fall down the hill was viewed as a negative, the concern that someone could get drunk and fall into the swimming pool was negated by the fact that it was an in-ground pool, with a sundeck and diving board.
A second reason that the house on Jerries was the better choice was the belief that due to the smaller size, the lack of closet space, and small kitchen, no one would want to live at the house. This is supported by the fact that no record exists of Buff or John Chamberlain expressing their desire to live there. Yet another reason was financial. The house on Jerries Lane was a more affordable price – $25,000. We would learn that one condition placed on the sale of the property by the owner, Art Dalivaris, was that he would keep a small .62 acre parcel of land for his future use.
The committee appointed by Chairman Toney successfully completed its search and the decision was made that Toddles’ new home should be at 11019 Jerries Lane.
Good news for Toddles resulted in problems for everyone else. The Gluttons faced the problem of finding a lender who would loan money to a group of twenty-somethings who were new to the work force, had little or no established credit or personal assets, and had no legal status as an organization.
As a group, we could not get a loan as we were not a legal entity. We were a club called The Gluttons, but that was not enough. We needed to be—gasp—a corporation. The decision was made to become a not for profit corporation in the state of Missouri.
But how was this to be accomplished? We would need an attorney, forms needed to be filled out and filed, and laws and guidelines would need to be followed. While a name change did not cost anything but some pride, the legal fees needed to incorporate almost killed the whole idea.
Fortunately for us, we had a member who could help in this area.
Charlie Wells was much older than the average Glutton. Charlie was in his late thirties, a homeowner, was married, and had a daughter that one of our members, Steve Kettner, dated a few times. While the relationship between Steve and Charlie’s daughter did not grow and last, the friendship that developed between Steve and Charlie did.
Charlie and Steve had much in common, especially the Navy. Steve had joined the Navy and was about to leave to begin his service, while Charlie was a Navy veteran. Steve introduced Charlie to Bill Holt who introduced Charlie to the Warrensburg, and Central Missouri State College group of Gary Schirmer, Fred Horner, Jim Temme, Buff, and Mike Sample.
The Wells home became a welcome, friendly place to this small group of Gluttons. Charlie and his wife, Grace, were always glad to have them in their home and, despite Grace’s warnings, offer them a beer. As their friendship progressed, Charlie was introduced to the Club and the other members. It was not long until Charlie expressed interest in joining the Club as a dues paying member. Charlie was sponsored for membership by Gary Schirmer and became a dues paying member in March of 1971.
Lucky for us, in many ways, that Charlie was a member.
Charlie was employed as a bailiff in the U.S. District Court. As a result, he knew and was friendly with many attorneys. Charlie approached one of the attorneys to ask him about the process and costs of incorporation. The attorney assigned one of the young lawyers in his firm, Alan Popkin, to handle the incorporation of Redman Acres Athletic Club, at little or no cost to us. Popkin worked with the Board of Directors and drew up the Articles of Incorporation that were filed with the State of Missouri in 1971.
Alan E. Popkin, William P. Holt, and Robert Combest are listed, and signed, as the Incorporators of the Redman Acres Athletic Club. Meeting notes from this time show support of “upping our image” by the process of incorporation, the filing of the paperwork, and approval of the name “Redman Acres Athletic Club,” with the note that the name could change after time passed. It should be noted that Popkin, most assuredly as a result of his work for The Gluttons, became a prominent St. Louis lawyer with a prestigious law firm in Clayton.
At the same time the Board was negotiating a price with Mr. Dalivaris, it was trying to find a lender and accumulate whatever money was to be paid to him.
The Club needed 20% of the total cost for down payment as Community Federal Savings and Loan, our lender of choice, would only finance 80% of the loan. There was an additional $617 in closing costs that would need to be factored in.
The $5717 total of down payment and closing costs was the immediate need. To help raise the money, the Gluttons decided to sell shares in the corporation, at $100 a share. That effort raised $3,100. Since all members could not afford a $100 lump sum payment, arrangements were made to allow members to pay the amount over time, usually a 12 month period. Dues and fund raising efforts also raised money. Beer and soda sales contributed money to the cause. The exact amount of money raised through beer and soda sales is unknown, but the amount raised through selling draft beer from a converted refrigerator must have been significant as the check register from that time period shows approximately 30% of the checks were written to Dellwood Liquor.
However, shares of the corporation, plus fundraising efforts, plus beer and soda sales, plus dues collected, fell about $2,000 short of the amount needed for the down payment and closing costs.
It was Bob Combest who, realizing we were in need, stepped up and took out a personal loan from Boatmen’s bank for $2,000 which he, then, loaned to the Club. The terms and specifics of all of this are unknown, and unneeded. What is needed is a “Thank You” to Bob for his help and faith and confidence in the club and his friends.
Community Federal had agreed to loan the club $24,500 at 8% interest for a period of 25 years. This action was approved by the Board at the March 14, 1971 meeting. Things were falling into place.
Community Federal and The Gluttons needed individuals to guarantee the loan. There is no record of the discussions that went on with regard to which members would risk their personal finances and that of their families to guarantee the loan; but on April 16, 1971, Edward and Janet Rolle, Richard and Pamela Reid, Paul and Janis Heacock, Robert and Beverly Combest, and Charles and Grace Wells signed the documents and became the Guarantors of the loan we needed to purchase the house/property at 11019 Jerries Lane. We owe a great deal of gratitude to these members—and their wives—who signed the loan. They were, for the most part, young married couples who were just beginning their lives together. They risked their futures to provide Toddles a better place to live, and their friends a place where they could gather and have a nice place to which they could take their bosses for lunch. A special recognition is extended to each of them.
(As a note: William P. Holt also signed as the President of Redman Acres Athletic Club.)
The exact date of the move from Walnut Park to Redman Acres has been lost but the day’s activities are stored in the Glutton archives on the film: “The Move.”
The new location of the Club and the new status of the Club as a not for profit corporation brought about reorganization of Club leadership as well. The first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Redman Acres Athletic Club was held on Sunday May 2, 1971. The first Board members elected were: Bill Holt, Bob Combest, Paul Heacock, Rich Reid, Arnie Sullivan, Ed Rolle, and Dan Toney. Paul Heacock was elected Board Chairman, and Bill Holt was elected Board Secretary. Dave Patrick was elected as the first Corporation (membership) Chairman and Dan McGuire was elected Corporation Secretary. Charlie Wells was made an Honorary Member of the Club at this meeting.
And what happened to Toddles?
While Toddles enjoyed his new home, he was a true Glutton and would often run away to go on an adventure and/or to look for female companionship.
Bob and Bev Combest lived in the Sierra Vista apartments on Bellefontaine Road, and Bev worked at Northgate VW, which was located at Highway 67 and Redman Road. Several times, Toddles was found in the Northgate subdivision between Highway 67 and Bellefontaine Road, usually by Bev, who would take him back to the club. On one occasion children in the neighborhood told Bev that Toddles had sired a litter of pups with a red tick coonhound. Bob and Bev met the owners of the dog and selected a female pup that looked exactly like Toddles from the litter and named her Bonnie. They have (and should have given to the Glutton archives) a photo of Toddles and his offspring. Who knows? Wrigley could be a direct descendant of Toddles.
Even the suburbs could be dangerous for an adventurous dog like Toddles. As some members felt that Toddles should not be in the house, it was decided that he should be locked in the garage at night. While the garage at the new club was a step up from the basement at the old club, Toddles did not appreciate being confined. As he could not escape his confinement by raising the garage door, much as he escaped by opening the door to the basement at the old club, Toddles freed himself by leaping through a wide side window in the garage. He broke through the window, much like Rin-Tin-Tin, breaking the glass, and as a result of the incline next to the garage, landed some eight feet on the ground below. No keeping Toddles confined when there was an adventure to be had.
We are unclear as to where Toddles stayed or slept after that incident. There was a definite difference in opinion about the welfare of Toddles. Some members believed Toddles deserved a better environment and the privileges of our mascot. At least one member, embittered by the fact that his own dog did not have the rights and privileges of our dog, believed Toddles deserved no environment.
The November 13, 1971 minutes report that Toddles had been missing for a month, and there is no other mention of Toddles.
No one knows, or will admit to knowing, what happened to Toddles. One person speculates that Toddles was shot and killed by our hostile neighbor Mr. Mathews (the bastard, if he did), in retaliation for Toddles running free, treeing the Mathews cat, and sitting beneath the tree and barking at the cat. Mathews had threatened to kill Toddles; perhaps he did. We simply do not know. Hopefully Toddles wound up safe and in a better place.
Toddles was a good dog. He is a part of Glutton history, is an Honorary Member of The Gluttons, and has a brick dedicated to his memory.
THE GLUTTON GAS
The Glutton Gas made its debut in December of 1971. The first editor and publisher was John “Nately” Chamberlain. The premiere issue was printed, front and back, on a single sheet of standard paper and at the bottom was the Glutton shield and the words “A friend and a beer are always near.” The slogan was not an original creation for the “Gas.” John had created the slogan on a business card for an assignment in a marketing class while he was a student at Mizzou. Thankfully, John used the slogan on the “Gas,” where it remains today.
The opening sentence of the first issue of the “Gas” assured members that they had not been added to another smut mailing list (which disappointed many members), but had received the first copy of the Club newsletter, a monthly publication by the Social Committee and dedicated to “bibulous conviviality.” The first issue was dedicated to our fighting brothers in the armed forces and reported the results of the 1971 Toilet Bowl game (Singles 12/Marrieds 0), announced that the Glutton Football Team won their division, contained pleas from the treasurer concerning payment of dues and long distance phone calls made from the Club phone, and had a Calendar of Events and various announcements.
John set the standard for other Gas editor/publishers to follow. While a complete list of Gas editors does not exist, excellent writers such as Dave Brink published the Gas, and we know Barney Ploch held the position in 1981. In January of 1982, Jon Heacock took the editorial reins in hand and was the editor/publisher of the Gas for the next 26 years, until February 2008, when he evidently ran out of new ideas. Kevin McCauley took editorial control in 2008 and periodically published the Gas, until November of 2012 when Jon Heacock thought of something new and resumed his position as editor/publisher of the Gas, where he remains today.
Jon took the Gas and the Gluttons into the modern era of communication when he opened the Glutton web site in April of 2008. The first cyber Gas appeared on the Glutton web site in November of 2008. The Gas is currently emailed to members, interested subscribers, and friends. Glutton news can also be found on the website at GluttonsESS.com.
MOVIES AND MORE
Let’s briefly review the history of B.E.W.
B.E.W. is the Baden Evening World. The Baden Evening World was a neighborhood newspaper first published in the basement of the Heacock house, which was on Switzer Avenue in Baden, Missouri. Teenagers Paul Heacock and Pat McLean (whose nickname “Ace” came from his desire to be a journalist) decided to publish a newspaper. After acquiring a mimeograph machine (Google it), the two, with the help of cub reporter Jon Heacock, began to write and print a neighborhood newsletter. It began with a circulation of about twenty copies and lasted several weeks until they tired of the task and wanted to play whiffle ball (Google that, too).
The B.E.W. corporate identity remained with the Heacock family. Jon tried, on a few occasions, to publish the newsletter and used the BEW logo on various projects. But the re-birth of B.E.W. became a reality when Jon became involved with The Gluttons.
The first Glutton film was shot by Jon Heacock on 8mm film in 1968 and is of the Glutton Softball Team playing a game against a team called Frank & Whitey’s. From that humble beginning, Glutton Films was born. Glutton Films later joined with B.E.W. to form Glutton Productions.
The first Glutton movie, “E.S.S. 1,” contained a serious of disjointed skits. The most memorable are Paul Heacock’s role as a Glutton outfielder chasing a fly ball through the City of St. Louis to the Arch, stopping by St. Louis landmarks such as the World Burlesque Theater and the Spanish Pavilion while en route, then reaching the Arch then ran the entire decline of the hill to Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, before dropping the ball he was chasing; and the famous pie scene which featured Dan McGuire and Morris, “The Little Colored Boy.”
The first movie with an actual plot was “A Perverted Christmas Tail,” based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It featured Jim Temme as “Ebeneezer Screw,” Dave (Buff) Beckett as “The Christmas Fairy,” Bruce Sullivan as “The Spirit of Christmas – Fat,” and Dave Brink as a wine drinking, cigarette smoking Glutton Santa Claus.
The first musical was “The Wonderful Gluttons,” based on the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” It starred “Cute” Steve Kettner as a disgruntled person who set off to “Follow I-Two-Seven-Oh” to seek happiness at the Gluttons Club, “Somewhere over on Jerries.” Along the way, he met “Big” Fred Buckhold, a character needing some balls, Bill “Poody” Johnson masterfully playing a character needing a drink, and Greg Pfeffer as a character celebrating his freedom after his bitch of a wife had died: you guessed it – “Ding-Dong, the Bitch Is Dead.”
Undoubtedly the greatest contribution to Glutton nation from Glutton media was: Jonco.
Jonco first appeared in the film “The Killing of Redman.” The plot of the film centered on the beloved Glutton character Mr. Glutton who faced the possibility that his dog, Redman, might be killed if Glutton Gas readers did not write to Mr. Glutton’s Gas column. The focus of the movie was on the many ways in which Redman could be killed: chainsaw, explosives, automobile tire, and others. One of the ways considered to kill Redman was to place him in a blender, called the “Dog-O-Matic,” which was manufactured by the Jonco Corporation.
The “Dog-O-Matic” was only the beginning. Jonco was responsible for the portable “Kuklajohn,” Glutton Donut seeds, the Bra Fan, a laptop computer, and just about anything else needing a logo.
Jonco has become the parent company of B.E.W., Glutton Films and Glutton Productions. Let’s make it easy and give Jonco credit for feature films, sports films, the short videos we see at Christmas, reunions, and at other events at which the Jonco photographer seems ever present.
Trivia nights are enhanced by the audio and visual effects provided by Jonco, and the Mouse Races use Jonco technology to bring each race to our television screens.
What is in the future for Glutton movies? More!
A SECOND MORTGAGE
Few know that the Gluttons took out a Second Mortgage. In fact, when the Second Mortgage was found in one of the boxes being looked through by the 50th Anniversary Committee, two of the committee members who had signed the Loan Guarantee expressed their surprise that the loan existed and that they had signed it.
1985 and 1986 were troubling times for the Gluttons. Membership fell to a low of twenty-eight active members in April. Reports from the Treasurer indicated financial troubles. On a monthly cash flow basis, the club basically broke even. In April, the Treasurer reported our total cash assets were less than $3,000. Board minutes consistently reflect needed repairs ranging from a new circuit box to new storm doors. The Gluttons needed new members and money to pay for the needed repairs that we did not have the skills to do ourselves. At the April membership meeting the ten members present heard a dismal report on the condition of the club. The report made it clear that the club was in serious need of repair. We needed new siding, a new furnace, a new air conditioner, new thermal windows, new soffit, fascia and guttering, new storm doors, and the electric box still needed an upgrade. The estimated cost to replace everything that needed to be replaced would be about $12,000. Meeting minutes do not detail specifics of the discussion held but there was a motion by Jon Heacock to borrow $15,000 to “do the works.” The motion passed.
Even though the motion passed at the membership meeting, there was great concern about our ability to complete the needed repairs. $15,000 was a lot of money. We were still paying the first mortgage as well as a small loan from Mercantile Bank. The monthly expenses would certainly increase. An increase in membership would increase monthly income, but it was believed that membership growth was partly dependent on needed repairs and renovations being completed. It was a Glutton conundrum.
The Board of Directors believed that the repairs and improvements were necessary if the club was going to stay in existence. The club was physically deteriorating. A section of the brick wall in the back had fallen and more bricks were loose. Wood windows had rotted and needed painting and repair. One of the main factors in monthly expenses was the never ending problem of back dues. Members simply were not paying their dues on time and the amount owed each month caused monthly cash flow problems. The board also believed that the repairs could be made and improvements could be accomplished if the entire membership would support the proposal and commit to the future of the Gluttons.
The board decided to survey the membership and sent a questionnaire to each member asking him to reply and commit to join the effort to save the club. The results of the survey were positive and the board was empowered to secure a loan and make the needed repairs and improvements.
By October, the board had received estimates from G.J. Construction and 4 Star Remodeling and the Treasurer had contacted Mercantile Bank about securing a loan for $15,000. All we needed were members, and wives, who were willing to guarantee the loan. The first mortgage was not paid off and the members who co-signed that loan were not willing to do so again. Due to the very shaky financial situation of the club in 1986, the risk assumed by those who would guarantee the second mortgage loan might have been even greater than it was in 1971. Nevertheless, co-signers were found.
On October 10, 1986 the following members and their wives signed the Continuing Guarantee of the loan secured from Mercantile Bank for $15,000 at an interest rate of 13.25%: William and Susan Yates, William and E. Sharon Johnson, David and Sharron Brink, and Jon and Patricia Heacock. These members and their wives once again proved that betting on the Gluttons is always a good bet. The Club was able to complete the needed repairs, upgrades and improvements, and we are here today as a result.
Thanks. A special recognition goes to these members.
GLUTTON PARK – The Lot Next Door
Those of you reading for comprehension know that when we bought the property on Jerries Lane, we did not buy the entire property. The owner (Art Dalivaris) kept a small .62 acre parcel of land. It was an oddly-shaped, narrow strip of land between our land and the neighbor’s house to the north, and ran east and west from Jerries Lane to the creek at the back of the property. Because of its size and location, the land was basically useless to anyone but us.
Dalivaris was an absentee owner and showed no interest in using the land. Our neighbor to the north had to cross a tree-line and a small creek to reach the land and had little reason to do so. Neighborhood teens sometimes used the land to drink, party, and get into arguments with us. Other than that, the land sat idle. We used the land for parking and built a fuzzball (ask an old member) backstop between two trees on the lot, which we used as a batting area. We tried to keep at least part of the area mowed and cleared of weeds. We often expressed the desire to own the land.
July of 1972 brought our first opportunity to buy the land from Mr. Dalivaris. Board minutes contain an offer from him to sell the land. His asking price was $10,000. We later offered him $3,000. In February of 1973, Dalivaris lowered his price to $7,200 and we countered with an offer of $4,000. By September of 1973, we had not received another offer from Dalivaris and the board determined that current interest rates prevented the possibility of either accepting another offer from Dalivaris or raising our offer and no further mention of the land was reported.
In 1975, our attention was diverted from the Dalivaris land to the adjoining corner lot. The property on the corner of Jerries and Dunn was for sale. A meeting was held in March 1975 to discuss the possibility of buying the corner lot. Twenty opinionated members attended the meeting. The asking price of the property was $30,000. A three page, detailed financial plan and discussion notes from the meeting reflect a motion to buy the property. However, the motion was defeated and our opportunity to buy the corner property was lost.
The issue of the lot next door was revisited in April of 1975 as board minutes report that Dalivaris had removed the fuzzball screen from his property. He removed some good will as well, as a lone entry from the July 13 board minutes reads: “Fuck Dalivaris’ land.”
In 1976, our neighbor across the creek, Mr. Mathews, bought the land from Dalivaris. A photocopy of the “General Warranty Deed” does not contain the selling price, but does inform us that the land was sold for “the sum of $1.00 and other valuable considerations.” One would assume that some activity regarding a purchase of the land would have resulted from the sale to Mathews. But the minutes from 1976 to 1978 contain no mention of the lot next door. In fact, there is no mention of an offer from either Mathews, or us, until 1992.
In 1992, Tom Smith became a member of the Gluttons. This is significant to our story because Tom was a neighbor. He lived on Jerries Lane and owned the house and property across the street from Mathews and was friendly with the family. In August, Tom reported to the board that our neighbor needed money and we could make an offer to buy the land next door. In October the board proposed to the membership that we make an offer to buy the land for a maximum price of $6,000 with $4,000 being the target amount. The membership did not reject the proposal but did not want to obtain a loan to finance the cost. The membership told the board that it could pursue the idea of buying the land but must put together an investment group of members who would finance the purchase. The investment group would be paid back by the club by means to be determined. The membership also stipulated that if the investment group was not in place by the end of December, the board could not proceed with the attempt to buy the lot next door. The board was unable to find the needed investors and the attempt ended.
In 1997 we again made an attempt to buy the land next door. The reasons for this new attempt are not recorded but in July the board agreed to offer Mathews $4,000 to buy the land. In October Tom Smith was directed to “approach our neighbor, just make an offer.” By the November board meeting, it was reported that Tom had not yet made an offer because he did not know he was volunteered. Tom assured the board that now that he was aware of his volunteer status he would speak to our neighbor and report back to the board.
At the January 1998 meeting, the board informed the membership of the latest offer to buy the land. Membership opinions were widely divided on the issue. While there was little disagreement about the $4,000 offer (by now the favorite), at least one member viewed the land as a “waste of money.” Members neither formally opposed nor endorsed the effort. The next few months were a period of delay, hesitation, and indecision about the offer.
In May 1998, the board received information from former member Mel Blanc that he had received a telephone call from a real estate agent who informed him that the lot next door was for sale. This was the first time a realty company had been involved in the land issue. That caused great concern among board members that Mathews had decided to sell the land to anyone but us.
That fear was based on the knowledge that the relationship between the Gluttons and the Mathews family had seriously deteriorated over the years. At first it began on a friendly basis. In fact, at least one of our members had dated Mathews’ daughter, Monica. She had been a guest at the club a few times and we were friendly with her. However, Mathews also had a son and he had friends with whom we often disagreed. Arguments, and worse, often occurred between the Gluttons and the Mathews. While not at a Hatfield and McCoy level, objects had been thrown from property to property and at times the police had been involved in disputes. A period of relative peace had existed for some time, interrupted by brief instances of Mathews complaining to us, formally and informally, about noise, cars parking on his lot, tire damage to his lot, and similar irritants on our part.
By 1998, the situation had again become hostile. Club minutes and issues of the Gas from this time relate many warnings and reminders to members, printed in big red print, that “WE DO NOT OWN THE LOT NEXT TO THE CLUB” and “DO NOT PARK ON THE LOT NEXT TO THE CLUB.” The threat of violence by the neighbor appears, as do references to “unpleasant visits from our unpleasant neighbor.”
Although we believed the lot next door was not desirable to anyone but us, the fear that Mathews might sell it at a discounted rate to anyone to keep us from owning it caused us to consider the potential sale a real possibility and caused us to investigate what we needed to do to buy it.
Mike Cooper, acting at the request of the board, contacted the real estate company. He was informed that they did not know the price being asked but would get back to him. He was also informed that there was some question about who owned the lot. Tom Smith again talked to the neighbors about the land. By this time, we were not sure of who lived in the Mathews house and Tom’s report to the board added to the confusion. Tom reported that he spoke to a “kid” who answered the door. The kid informed Tom that his family did not own the house and that it was not for sale. Tom was also told that the kid’s mother was a real estate agent and that she would contact Tom.
During the next four months, the Gluttons had to prepare for the possibility that the lot might actually be for sale and that we could be offered the opportunity to buy it. But by now there had been so many failed attempts to buy the land that few believed that this effort would be successful. Various proposals to finance the purchase of the land were discussed by the board.
The slogan BTL – Buy the Land – had become popular among members. Playing upon this theme, the 1998 Glutton Christmas Program was designed to support the BTL effort by simulating a telethon: the proceeds to go to the BTL fund. The program featured various pleas to the members present, and to the vast BEW Channel 1 viewing audience, to “call in your pledges” to Buy The Land. Out of town members had sent in pre-recorded videos that were shown throughout the evening as live presentations and a “Tote Board” kept track of contributions that came in during the telethon. The result of the “BTL Telethon” was: no money was raised to buy the land.
The result was both expected, and fortunate: we did not buy the land. Neither did anyone else. The remaining minutes from 1998 include no mention of the land or efforts to buy the land. The entire matter simply disappeared from our records.
Minutes and accurate memories are both missing from 2001 and 2002. This is very unfortunate because sometime during this time period Mathews sold his house. Whether he was ill, died, moved, or was simply tired of dealing with us is unknown. But he sold his house and, we assumed, the lot next door. After all of the years of us attempting to buy the lot next door, it had been sold to someone else. He did not contact us about buying the land, and did not inform us that he was going to sell his house. It is also a good bet that when he sold the house, he did not tell the new owner about us. Yet, we had to attempt to be good neighbors and try to communicate with our new neighbors and establish a relationship with them.
It needs to be noted that while our relations with the Mathews family, except for Monica, were seldom pleasant, we somehow always enjoyed a good relationship with the owners of the corner lot. When we purchased the property on Jerries Lane, our neighbors on the corner lot were a family, not much older than us. The owner was a man who told us to call him “Rabbit,” so we did. This had been his nickname since childhood, and was given to him partly because his facial features were rabbit-like. Though never a member, Rabbit was a Glutton in personality and spirit. He often spent time at the club and was free to visit as he wished, small party or big organized event. Rabbit occasionally stopped by. He was known to stay late, and his wife would come over to bring him home. She usually did not join us, but did not complain about us, either. A popular story about Rabbit was that after enjoying our Memorial Day beer and Bar-B-Q, which we kept in pots over a fire, Rabbit would take our left over sauce to his house to use for his family gathering, which he held the next day.
When Rabbit sold his home, the new neighbors had been informed by Rabbit about us, who we were, and that we were good neighbors, though quite different from anything they could have expected. Partly because of the good will established between the Gluttons and Rabbit, relationships between the Gluttons and the corner lot neighbors have been friendly. Why we never made Rabbit an honorary member is unknown.
One night in 2002, the Gluttons were contacted by a woman named Monica Hanlon. Monica’s maiden name was Mathews, and she was the daughter of our hostile old neighbor. Great curiosity was expressed over her visit and why she was contacting us after so many years. Speculation ran amok. She left a telephone number at which she could be contacted. Jon Heacock was appointed by the board to contact her, and he did.
We must have done something right those many years ago because Monica told Jon that the reason she was contacting us was to ask if we would be interested in purchasing the lot next door, which had not been sold to the people who had purchased the Mathews house. We were shocked. We believed, like our neighbor believed and told us, that the land belonged to them as part of their purchase of the Mathews house. The land was available.
The board was, of course, interested in owning the land. Jon met with Monica a few times, representing the board in negotiating a price for the land. The price agreed upon was $4,000—exactly the price we offered in 1973!
Due to missing minutes from 2002, exact actions of the board cannot be documented. But the General Warranty Deed and other documents held by Jon Heacock show a Resolution by the board stating that Jon was our designated representative. Agreement of the purchase price was reached on July 7, 2002 and on September 13, 2002 we officially purchased the lot next door. While there is no record of how the purchase was financed, we paid $50 down and $3,500 at closing. The lot next door was finally ours.
Upon taking ownership of the land, the membership decided, of course, to renovate the land. The land was cleared, trees removed, a hammock erected, picnic tables set in place, a bikini bottom was painted on a tree, and a sign designating the area as “Glutton Park,” was hung.
Ownership of the lot next door has proven to be a benefit to the club, especially during the Mud Volleyball Tournament, and we are glad we finally own it.
THE GARAGE BECOMES A POOL HOUSE
2002 was a historic year for the Gluttons for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was the year we finally were able to buy the lot next door and freed the land and us from the control of our tyrannical neighbors. It was also the year the garage was demolished and rebuilt into the Glutton Pool House.
Minutes from 2002 are still missing despite frequent attempts to locate them. As a result, many exact details about both the land and the pool house are not known and our story is constructed through the recollections of members who were hopefully sober when the history was reconstructed. Mike Mathews is to be commended for keeping records and notes about the financing of the pool house project. The rest of you are not.
By 2002, the Gluttons had new members who actually had the skills needed to construct a building. We had members who worked daily with electricity, plumbing, and insulation, and who knew what words like flatwork and footers and trusses meant in a practical way. Over the years, various attempts had been made to renovate the garage into a more useable structure. Walls had been knocked down, windows put in place, and a bar and barstools found their way into half of the garage. The other half was used for storage. But the garage remained exactly that: a garage. The roof was sagging and the concrete floor was not an attractive sight. We used it well as a party area and as a bar for Mud Volley Ball and other events, but it needed work.
It did not take long for the 2002 Gluttons to begin to discuss the condition of the garage and the possibility of renovating it into an enclosed pool house. While exact cost estimates of the job are unknown, because the minutes are missing, the basic financial plan was to pay some of the costs of renovating the garage from Glutton funds and borrow the rest. Missing minutes prevent us from knowing what the plans to borrow the money were.
During this time, Mike Boedeker, an active Resident member in the 70s who had become an inactive member, rejoined the club. Mike enjoyed the club, the fellowship, and relaxing at the pool in the summer. During a luncheon conversation with Treasurer Mike Mathews, the topic of the plans to renovate the garage into a pool house was discussed. During the discussion, Mike Boedeker agreed to loan the club $10,000 to finance the renovation. The club agreed to repay Mike in monthly payments over three years at an interest rate of 7.5%. Monthly payments were $311.06 and, at times, the club made double payments in order to pay the loan off more quickly.
Unfortunately, Mike had heart disease. He had a defibrillator implanted and was not in the best of health. In 2003, Mike’s health began to deteriorate. He was hospitalized and knew he would soon die. Mike knew of the outstanding debt the club owed him and wanted the club to be released from the debt after he died. The club still owed Mike over $4,000. Mike Mathews met with Mike Boedeker in the hospital and formalized a last, selfless act on Boedeker’s part – he released the club from the debt. It was a true gift to the Gluttons.
In tribute to Mike and to thank him for his generosity, the pool house was dedicated to his name and memory and a plaque on the pool house wall reminds us of him.
The demolition of the garage began at the end of 2002. The new floor, and structure of the new pool house was done in the Spring of 2003 and the club St. Patrick’s Day party and annual pignic were held, partly, on the exposed concrete floor. New member Greg Meyer and his brother completed the physical structure of the house, trusses, roof, and sheeting in one week. A friend of Gerard’s, “Monkey,” was hired to install tar paper and shingles.
Everything else: electric, plumbing, footers, flatwork, insulation, drywall, siding, and even the garage door was done by the Gluttons working together.
It was a Glutton Production to be proud of!
WE MAKE AN ADDITION OR FOUR
In April of 2008 a proposal was brought to the membership to renovate the area around the pool house and pool. The proposal was to build a new pavilion area, outdoor kitchen, patio, and pool deck. The renovation would be completed in 6 phases: Phase I- would include a retaining wall and patio surface, electricity, plumbing, gas, and sewer infrastructure: Phase II – the deck: Phase III- the roof extension: Phase IV- the outside kitchen: Phase V- railing: and Phase VI- the front gate. Various members were put in charge of each phase with Gary Rowberry supervising the entire project. The estimated cost was $25,000. The club would not borrow money at the start of the project. We would try to finance it ourselves and evaluate the cost after each phase. A big difference from prior improvement efforts, to say the least. The membership passed the proposal by a vote of 13-2.
Similar to the pool house renovation, Greg Meyer was paid to build the structure and install the roof sheeting. We paid a roofer to shingle the roof and paid a gutter company to install one-piece commercial gutters on the entire pool house and connecting pavilion.
Other than those few things, all labor was done by the membership. Gluttons did the demolition of the old deck, built retaining walls, backfilled and laid the paver patio, installed foundations, laid plumbing, electric and gas lines, siding, windows, columns, bar, stainless counter tops, grills, sinks, vinyl decking, railings, and lights. In addition to all of the above, unexpected problems had developed with the pool filter and pump. This, plus the recurring cost of pool chemicals, caused the membership to look at the possibility of adding a salt water filtration system to the pool. A salt water system would be more effective and cheaper in the long run. The decision was made to install a salt water filtration system and the work was added to the improvement project. The installation of the system was completed in 2009. A board meeting note from 2010 states: “the salt water is good,” and it still is. Like the new pool house, this was another Glutton Production. It was created by friends who, working together, created new friendships. Individual Gluttons were able to put their personal touch not only on the new structure, but were able to touch and be a part of the history of the club as a result.
The pool house addition is a link to the past, present, and future of the Gluttons and is one of the most liked, used and appreciated improvements in the history of the Gluttons.
GLUTTON MUD VOLLEYBALL
2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Gluttons. It is also the 30th year we have sponsored the Glutton Mud Volleyball Tournament.
Glutton Mud Volleyball began by Gluttons playing volleyball in the mud.
Memorial Day of 1984 featured beer, food, fun, and rain. A volleyball game, or more, was a Memorial Day Pignic tradition at the Club but no one enjoyed playing volleyball in the rain. Early in the afternoon, the rain ended and the sun made an appearance in the Glutton sky. Someone suggested that since the rain stopped and the sun was shining, we could play volleyball. When it was pointed out that the volleyball court was muddy, the response was: “Then we can play in the mud- Mud Volleyball!”
Like many years, 1984 was financially challenging for the club. The Treasurer’s reports consistently showed total balances in checking and savings of less than $1,200. The never-ending problem of members not paying their dues on time was a part of the cause. Unexpected expenses for the pool and hot water heater added to the problems, and suggested and needed improvements were either postponed or completed in a way that would save money. It was evident that we needed a way to raise funds in addition to our usual ways. Brainstorming and discussion sessions led to the idea of sponsoring a tournament of some kind. But it needed to be a low-cost, high reward tournament to make it worth our time. Sometime during the discussions, the idea of a mud volleyball tournament was brought up. We had heard of other organizations sponsoring mud tug-of-wars, mud slides, and perhaps a mud volleyball tournament was discussed. Remembering the 1984 Memorial Day mud volleyball game, how much fun it was and that is seemed easy to do, a committee was appointed to look into the possibility of the club sponsoring a Mud Volleyball Tournament. In July of 1985, the board appointed the first Mud Volleyball Tournament Committee. The members of the committee were: Pfeff, Jew, Heak (Jon), Buff, and Stump. The committee was to report back to the board at the next meeting.
On July 1, 1985, the GMBV Committee held is first meeting. The result was to sponsor a Mud Volleyball Tournament on Sunday August 25, 1985. The tournament would be held “for the benefit of the club,” and all money would go to the club. A large “traveling” trophy would contain the name of the winning team and would remain at the club. An individual trophy would be given to each member of the winning team. It was noted that referees should not play in the tournament. Various members were designated to coordinate the organization of the tournament from scheduling to ordering trophies. While details are not documented, it was suggested that beer be sold at $.50 a cup, mixed drinks for $1.00 each, and hot dogs at $.50 each. The possibility of selling watermelon, chips, and corn on the cob was also discussed. The first Glutton Mud Volleyball Tournament was a great success and the September board meeting minutes report that the club made $1,100+. We also read that reseeding was scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. Plans were already being made for the 1986 tournament.
The 1986 Glutton Mud Volleyball Tournament was tragic. One of our members, Mike “Stump” Porzelt died while playing in the Tournament Championship Game. His death was due to a heart attack resulting from 95% blockage in the main artery. He was 34 years old.
The club was devastated! All attention turned to Stump and his family and to what would be a fitting memorial to our brother Stump. Mike had been an administrator at the Evangelical Children’s Home on St. Charles Rock Road in St. Louis, Missouri. We learned from his co-workers that he had been involved with the children in many ways and spent much of his time being with the children who lived there. One of his favorite activities was to spend Christmas with the children who had no families. Mike and other staff members made sure that there were plenty of Christmas presents and treats for these particular kids who would otherwise spend a very lonely Christmas at the Home.
We knew what we wanted to do. In tribute to the memory of Stump, the Gluttons established the “Stump Memorial Christmas Fund.” Money given to the home through the fund would be “ear marked” for the children who had no families with whom to spend Christmas and provide presents and treats directly to these children on whom Stump focused. At first, we asked members to send donations payable to the “Stump Memorial Christmas Fund,” so they could be bundled into one donation. The Club donated $250 from the tournament proceeds to the fund as well. The first year’s donation to the Children’ Home from the Gluttons was $1,000. Part of the motion and process that created the “Stump Fund” ensured that the fund would continue in future years and that a portion of the proceeds from future Mud Volleyball Tournaments would be donated to the fund. The motion also stated that money given to the Children’s Home would be given at Christmas. Individual members were encouraged to make personal donations at any time. Throughout the years the membership and board had modified the original motion at various times and today all proceeds from the “Silent Auction” held during the GMVB Tournament are ear marked for the Children’s Home. But the donation is always given at Christmas, in Stump’s memory, and should go to the children who have no families.
There was some debate about holding the tournament in 1987. But the decision was made to continue the tournament. Stump was a member of the first MVB committee and a founder of the tournament. He loved playing in and supported the tournament when he was alive and we believed he would want the tournament to continue. The good that resulted from “The Stump Fund” could not be discounted and the GMVB Tournament continued.
The Glutton Mud Volleyball Tournament experienced tremendous growth in the following years. Few could imagine the size of the tournament today and the details of the changes; refinements and specifics would be much more than you want to read or the writer wants to write. Besides, some documents and minutes are missing, and you know what trouble that causes.
Briefly stated, GMVB has grown to a level no one could have foreseen in 1984. While the total amount raised in 1984 was $1,100+, the 2013 tournament raised over $9,000 for the club, and the “Silent Auction” resulted in $4,400 given to the Children’s Home. The entry fee for teams in 1984 is unknown but in 2013 teams could buy a “Pig Package” that included the entry fee, 6 t-shirts, raffle and food tickets for $199. Cups of beer and hot dogs sold from the garage door window have been renovated into a designated food tent area and a refrigerated beer truck selling draft beer, Jell-O shots and rum concoctions, all situated on “the lot next door.” A total of 54 teams paid to play on one of four courts set up for the 2013 GMVB Tournament.
The membership is dedicated to the continuation of the GMVB Tournament and we are optimistic that it will continue for many years to come. As a Glutton one said: “What a great country. People pay us good money to come to the club and play volleyball in our mud.”
We hope people keep playing in our mud for a long time.
WE REMEMBER OUR BROTHERS
In December 2009, former member Mel Blanc died as a result of injuries he suffered in an accident at his home. Although Mel was, at the time, considered an inactive member, he was inactive by classification only. Mel was often at club events and was very willing to give of his time to work at the club, usually grilling food for the Pig-Nic, trivia night, GMVB and other events. Mel had a winning personality and smile and was well-liked by members. His accidental and untimely death was shocking.
At the December 2, 2009 board meeting, a motion was made to honor Mel by allocating funds to purchase a plaque or brick in his memory. There is no record of a vote on the motion, but the motion caused discussion about a way to honor all of our members who had died. At the January 22, 2010 board meeting, a motion was made to buy memorial bricks to be placed in the patio area. One brick would be dedicated to each dues paying member past or present, and Honorary Member, who died. The motion passed and Jon Heacock and Glen Morris accepted the task of coordinating the project.
Jon contacted Polar Engraving, a company that specialized in custom laser engraved bricks. The bricks are popular for fundraising efforts and usually recognize donors to business, community, or civic projects. Polar Engraving and JonCo reached agreement on the size, cost, and engraving style and the board accepted the agreement.
The bricks were installed in the patio area by club members. At the Memorial Day Pig-Nic in May of 2010, the bricks were dedicated to the memory of our dead brothers in a brief ceremony. Fortunately, few bricks have been added to the memorial area. Hopefully, it will be a long time before more must be added.
And, as the saying goes: “May you stay above the bricks.”
Charlie Barnicle (1975), Bill Beezley (1985), Mel Blanc (2009), Mike Boedeker (2003), Elmer Carter (2001), Keith “Ike” Eickenhorst (2001), Cecil Francis (c. 1980), “Ramblin’” Rod Hannebrink (2001), David Lanier (2013), Mike “Stump” Porzelt (1986), Tom Smith (2006), Bob Starr (1998), Tom “Taz” Taszarek (2011), Toddles (1973), Dennis Weichelt (2007), and Charlie Wells (2009).
Many wanted me to add a section on the future of The Gluttons.
I have no idea what the future holds.
But I do know this: something will be renovate. During the time this history was being written the barroom was renovated, a new sound system was installed, and someone probably has an idea to change or add something else.
And that is good. It shows growth and change. If something does not grow and change it is dead. The Gluttons are not dead.
Friendship is still the same, and as long we we continue to enjoy, remember, embrace, and grow the friendship that exists the Gluttons will go on.
Here’s to another fifty years of Gluttony!
Thanks to all who helped with this project by responding to emails I sent; reading, correcting and editing text; and assisting with the many word processing and formatting problems I experienced.
I especially want to thank all of the recording secretaries who kept excellent, detailed minutes of board and membership meetings. They were unbelievably helpful and a delight to read. Additional thanks to those of you who rewrote or retyped the minutes or used your very best handwriting (thanks to Austin Palmer and all of the teachers who taught us his method).
Also special thanks to those who kept important documents such as the original Certificate of Incorporation, loan and other documents.
My core group of readers/editors Dan McGuire, Steve Kettner, Bob Combest, Paul Heacock, and Jon Heacock deserve special mention and thanks.