Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I was accepted into the Glee Club in my junior (Barty's last as director) and immediately went out and bought a used set of tails, white vest and bow tie. I couldn't afford one formal shirt, let alone several that you would need for a week long tour. However, in those days, you could buy a cardboard dickey and collar set for $1.50, as I recall. The dickey slipped under the white vest and was joined to the collar at the necy by a collar button. It worked out very well, and the audience couldn't tell that you weren't wearing a shirt unless you raised your hand high. (I made a point of not waving at anyone while wearing my tails.) I took several dickie collar sets on our winter tour.

In my senior year I thought three sets was rather extravagant, so I got just one and took along an art gum eraser, in case it got dirty. However, Fenno put "Where the Elm Tree Grows" on the program. As you know, the first verse ends with the proud riishman patting his chest with pride for the spot where the shamrock grows, accompanied by striking our chest three times.. The second verse, however, ends with "the true hearted" sons of old Eli, pounding our chests with clenched fists three times, "for the spot where the elm tree grows."

By the time our tour endded, that cardboard dickey was as limp as a dishrag.