Friday, June 05, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.7 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club – Still No Wheels

It was never clear just how much time we devoted to the sports teams but, in going through this look-back and giving it some thought, I was somewhat shocked to realize that participation in each sports team kept us busy about 16-hrs per day in season….up at 6:30 A.M. and to sleep maybe 10:30 P.M. or so each school day with no real down time between those hours.  That schedule continued all 3-years at EH.  Socializing with some of the many school clubs was out of the question, there just wasn’t any time for them.  That was a shame for, those clubs provided a variety of opportunities to meet and interact with others, especially our beautiful girl Highlanders but, that’s the way it was. 

Now, unlike the boys, the girls weren’t troubled with this pressing need for a driver’s license and with all those older EH men (with driver’s licenses) hovering about like the gulls, picking them off for dates, a lot of our ’63 gals were willing and able to go out with those older men at age 15, or 14.   This was a rolling phenomena that existed well before we encountered it and of course, continued long after our brush with it.

Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Sara Tannahill, was even in the business of matching some of the younger girls up with “older men” and she wasn’t much older than we were then—in a sense she was compounding our problem while aiding the girls with theirs.  Others found their older men in their churches sometimes from other high schools (mostly Poly and Paschal), where they had likely been seeing one another in those settings for years.   

Suffice it to say, that our ’63 girls had and were taking advantage of dating opportunities that our ’63 boys didn’t yet have.  But, for some, those earlier opportunities would make things difficult for them in the later EH years as the boys caught up and settled their girl friend matters in due course, mostly by taking up with girls from the younger classes.  They had become the gulls picking off the girls from the trailing classes of ’64 & ’65!

Unknown to us, this difficult boy/girl situation would set up a social phase disruption within our class that, for some, could continue to affect us all the way through EHHS.  Not only did we have to wait for that all-important license…by the time we got it, a lot of our favorite girls were distracted or even attached to other, older boys….a classic example of the boy next door making out a lot better than the one down the street.

Since our 16th birthdays arrived at different times over the span of this 10th grade year, our freedom tickets arrived throughout that year.  I think most of us were Spring babies so, that time of year was jumping.  Until then, during this 10th grade year, we were somewhat adrift…well, the boys were, anyway. 

So, what to do?

Well, tearing up and down the Meadowbrook streets packed in Cooper’s old Chevy was one thing…mostly mindless, rambunctious fun filled with lots of laughter about what, I don’t recall.  However, our range was almost entirely within the boundary of our Meadowbrook-Handley neighborhoods…a very small domain.

A coke and fries at the burger joint on East Lancaster (the Driftwood, maybe?) near the Cox’s shopping center.  I don’t think anything else like it existed that early on our side of town…the Chuc Wagon hadn’t been built or, we would have found it.  But, finding variety in our cokes and fries wasn’t a priority and venturing too far from our home turf could bring us into contact with similar “gangs” from other high schools “cruising” around their neighborhoods.  In fact, I recall Glenn Brandon coming into school one Monday morning, all scuffed up from a brawl with some Carter boys.  I think that one occurred at the Driftwood.

About this time, some of the girls “gangs” would gather at someone’s house for a pajama party, news of which would find its way into the hallway chatter.  Those generally involved some of Vicki Held’s and Gail DeVore’s gang, probably many of those in the “Stars” picture below.  Don’t recall any of those kinds of gatherings at Burton Manor that year and Gay’s parties seemed to have become less frequent…what was going on?

For one thing, that year many or most of “our” girls got their invitations to join the Thaelis Service Club or the Delphi Service Club.  More about them in an article or two.  This was a big deal for the invitees….and like most others at EHHS, I would have had no idea they existed but for the nearby gleeful outburst Carole Stallcup emitted as she opened her invitation.  Carole was a beautiful girl, who for one reason or another I never did get to know very well.  Belying her demure appearance, she could be a little boisterous on occasion and as a later (college) Animal House member once appraised a college girl walking ahead of us, “looks like she swapped legs with a bird and lost her butt in the deal.”  Remember, I didn’t say that…he was a college “man” of 19.  Carole had very slender pegs. 

Anyway, this Thaelis deal was something else that stuck in my craw from those long ago days and ferreting out facts about it was one of the objectives of this blog from the beginning.  Pretty sure I understand it now and ease, girls...ol' Gus won't be spanking you much.  I would wager that you gals don't even know the background to this story.

Next, the clubhouse ...


Anonymous said...

You'll never get the inside story on the Thaelis Club unless you hurry. Too many people are dead or dying, or just plain crazy ...

Gus said...

You're right and it's been a tough one to ferret out for the reasons you suggest. But, I'm pretty sure I've got it. I don't think even the debs had a good understanding of its origins and motives or, at least most of them didn't. Quite a challenge, isn't it...develop a story about a secretive club consisting of only a few that got its start over 50-years ago; had a 7 or 8-year run and was disbanded by the ISD board about 1969!

Anonymous said...

Heard around the circuit ... regarding legacies, you might check out a strong connection between the Thaelis Club and Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Texas.

Anonymous said...

The reason it was so successful, or compelling, was that the debs didn't have a good understanding of its origins and motives.

Gus said...

A survey of an old Cactus some years ago revealed about a half-dozen UT-ZTAs from the first few EH classes...think Dana Gant '61 may have been the first. Kind of like anchor babies...once one was in, others had an in-house ombudsman greasing the skids for others. I think most of our EH gals flowed toward TCU, though. They more likely had local support through families.

Gus said...

Further, I'm certain that the push for that club came from Poly roots and a little more specifically, through MBrook Methodist. How's that for a pull?

Anonymous said...

Thoughts from EHHS Social Sisters --

We've been following your comments on the Thaelis Club. You might be able to get some material on the origin and first years of Thaelis from Dana Gant or Pat Norris in the class of '61. Be prepared for anything! Didn't Dana marry Eddie Tate? You should be able to get in touch with her through one of your classmates.

More primary sources are a little too close for comfort!

Cheers and good luck!

Anonymous said...

TCU was a popular destination school for the daughters of social-climbing mothers, and it was also a well-known "convent school" around Texas due to its overwhelming ratio of girls to boys. Parents could send a girl to TCU with the reasonable expectation that she would have only limited exposure and circulation for the next four years. The fact that it was relatively expensive only added to its pseudo-upper class aura. The fraternity boys at TCU must have been real peacocks.

Anonymous said...

My antennae tell me that you're on the right track as regards Thaelis and the Meadowbrook Methodist Church. It would not have been possible at Sagamore Hill Baptist, given the atmosphere over there. An intrigue involving cross-communication with Poly would be something that the vast majority of students at EHHS would know nothing about.

Gus said...

Dana did marry Eddie Tate. She was always very friendly to me which was probably her way as a perennial favorite. I don't recall another '61 paying any attention to a snotty-nose little '63!

We called Paschal, "Froggy High" owing to its nearness to TCU and that so many of its grads attended there. Beyond that, I never knew much about the school or considered attending. I was looking for a full scholarship somewhere to help with the expense. As it turned out, UT was only $200/yr for tuition and fees which was about free, even then. Of course, we had to cover living expenses but, that wasn't much either. I don't know is UT was a competitive school then or sure is now.

There's a nice picture of the MBrook Methodist youth choir in circulation. It shows a lot of kids from our '63 and '64 classes and a lot of them were Thaelis members so, it was a pretty good bit of evidence. Another criteria seemed to be a 3-2-2 home out near of the newer ones, but not so much Eastern Hills north of the school, until some of the later classes came online. You're right, the Poly connection was hardly noticeable to most of our peers. What we seemed to have had was a collection of several discrete subcultures, each fairly parochial unto themselves and not giving much thought to whether others were included or not. Very complex situation...and interesting to poke at.

Anonymous said...

Some TCU girls were amenable to going out with high school boys. Introductions could be made at the Student Center or by word of mouth. Enjoyable dates could be pursued at restaurants in the University Drive area, and at the Seventh Street Theatre, which had a lot of good movies in those days. It was a nice counterbalance to the situation of older boys foraging the high schools for younger girls, and it was far beyond the mental and geographic range of curious figures like Mrs. Tannahill. In spite of the best efforts of parents and "mother figures" to regulate their girls, nature had its way.

Anonymous said...

A couple of us were talking recently about the old drive-ins on Lancaster and we'll throw this out to see if our memories are still good --

You mention Driftwood near Cox's and I think it was originally Clover until maybe 1960 or 1961, when it changed to Driftwood. Pretty small place, had room for maybe 12 cars with one or two car-hops. You could go inside if you wanted. Directly across from Cox's at corner with Ayres.

Down at Edgewood there was a bigger place called Lone Star which at one time was called the Parrot (in honor of Poly I suppose), it was at corner of Edgewood (SE corner) directly across from Fair East center.

Other popular drive-ins in FW of note were a big one at Berry and S. Freeway, and another one just west of corner of Summit and West Seventh.

Would welcome confirmation of this from your readers, and mention of any others.


Gus said...

It never occurred to me back then that an older woman might look kindly on me as an acceptable date and I vacated the East Side so soon after EH, that further familiarity with the area was essentially truncated that senior year. That same thing caused me to lose all contact with the range of East Side cuisine in a basket. There may have been more than one vendor we visited in search of fries and a coke after a strenuous evening of borderline juvenile delinquency. But, since I wasn't driving most of those evenings, I wasn't really paying much attention to where we were.

Others....please fill-in these blanks as the mood strikes.

Anonymous said...

As someone who went to Poly I want ya'll to know that we had a couple of good drive-ins nearby. These were two Clovers and I found their locations in an old school directory. One was down the hill on Rosedale from the high school and across from Sycamore Park. The other was over on Lancaster near Beach Street. The big sign is still there on the Rosedale site which I think was taken over by some business in later years.

Also confirming that there was a big drive-in at Berry on the South Freeway just across the bridge on the east side. I don't know where the kids came from to go to that but it was always busy.

Clovers at

2330 E. Rosedale
3633 E. Lancaster