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The Frostbite Follies
January, 1997

During the grand 55th Princeton Nassoon Alumni Reunion in 1996, the Late '50s/Early '60s Group decided that 5 years is just too long to wait! These guys had to get together as a group to stretch those various chords, vocal and otherwise, more often than every 5 years and if the 'Soon Alumni Association couldn't see to that, then they'd have to take the bull by the horns and arrange it themselves. So that's exactly what they did! Through the good offices and uncanny organizational prowess of Messers McGlynn '60, Crawford '61 and Watts '62, arrangements were made to converge on Chicago on January 31st, 1997 for the Frostbite Follies - an industrial-strength, nonstop, 36-hour binge of singing, camaraderie and general decadence. In a word, it was an affair nonpareil... some might say terrific, awesome, fantastique, others might say kuwell... we'd simply say it was absolutely B R O W N !... a truly a gut-wrenching, heartwarming, soul searching affair. Some 22 of the potential 35 souls in the group attended, including such luminaries as you can see listed below the photographs:

Class of '55

Dave Howell (voted, by popular acclaim, a full-fledged, card-carrying member)

Class of '58

Brodsky (career switcher extraordinaire)

Everbach (videocam welded to his hand) 

Lawrence (fo' real!)

Class of '59  (100% attendance)

Dempster (still trying to get everyone up on the 'net)

Helms (with Judy holding the leash!)

McKinney (sans uniform but still blue and gold to the core) 

Taylor (suave and smooth as ever)

Class of '60

Grieves (with bow tie akimbo)

TJ (yes, really there, but probably not in the pix) 

McGlynn (w/pince-nez, as usual, but on his ear most of the time) 

Peterson (whiter than the driven snow) 

Dee Rinker (without whom we wouldn't have even started)

Class of '61

Crawford (awesome event planner/organizer)

Klein (boots, jeans, 10-gallon hat and all)

LeWin (the eyes have it)

Class of '62

Coupe (complete with monocle)

Kelsey (still looking for the freebs)

Watts (truly, the host with the absolute most)

Class of '63

Callard (headmaster extraordinaire)

Schuman (fresh from Connecticut via Texas)

Sethness (still banking on the world)

Class of '71

Goldberg (by popular acclaim, another full-fledged, card-carrying FF member) 

And here they are!! This slideshow will run when you hover on either of the 2 navigation arrows, changing pictures every 2 seconds.  You can also stop the action by clicking on any one photo to view them all. You can download and/or share any one of them via email or message.

All sections were more than well-represented, but make no mistake about it... we missed those other 15 or so who could not make it. No matter how many there are, there's always room for more profundo boh's & bum's, more bari oohs & aahs, more TB/T wah-wahs, and more TopT tremolos.

The event started more or less officially on Friday evening, January 31st, at the Sheraton North Shore.... rather a strange non-sequitur of a venue but most utilitarian withal, despite the slush and plowed snowbanks. Dempster, still covetously clutching his Long Distance Member award, arrived at oh dark thirty that morning and slept it off as an early check-in most of the day. Others started rolling in and sorting themselves out in earnest by late afternoon. After an obligatory first nite dinner in the hotel's one and only dining room ("Table for twenty, please, and oh yeah, please disregard the noise and boisterous behavior..."), we adjourned to our private basement 'Soon Room Pro Tem and started tuning and crooning in earnest to Peterson's hoary ear until the wee hours. How did we sound???? In a word ... Great!!! You be the judge.

Saturday found us together once again in generally hoarse conviviality for continental breakfast in our private meeting room until about eleven, when we retired to a fabulous private luncheon a couple of miles down the pike at Dave Watts' country club (deja vu!... a veritable snow job ala many a past Spring Break — English Tudor, fireplace crackling, private wine cellar below). There we wasted and wassailed away the better part of four hours of food, drink, and song, followed by a long bare-the-soul testimonial session where each of us waxed prolific for 5 or so interminable minutes to tell the assembled group who we were in real life and why we were there ("Hi, my name is Reebnac Froomstinger, and I am a Nassoonaholic" ... "Hi, Reeb!"). What a wrench! Each of us in turn outdid the previous speaker until we were all totally spent and teary-eyed. Ebach, his right arm permanently locked in the raised position by then, shot hours of video and cameras flashed periodically throughout the entire affair. Take a look for yourself...

Finally, we oozed back to the hotel to dine again, this time at smaller individual tables but still in close enough proximity to break out automatically into a rousing "Come Right In" whenever anyone new entered the dining room. At 8:00 pm, we reassembled back down in the 'Soon Room for a full-on formal Nassoon Concert!!! complete with video, professional audio recording, and a raft of alums, friends and alums, friends of friends of alums (thanks Arny), and assorted other groupies of all ilks, ages, and persuasions. This one dragged on till about 1:30 am, by which time Peterson was so happily shafahssed we had to slam the keyboard cover on his fingers and physically scoop him up and send him on his way.

Next morning, it was a leisurely breakfast, more chat and more song (Coupe actually belted out a full-bore "O Solo Mio" to Crawf's sweet guitar accompaniment), and then we all wandered off back in our own separate directions to our own separate lives, all beat to hell but somehow a bit wiser, a whole lot younger and infinitely better for the experience. Among other things, we threatened to meet again in the not too distant future (probably summer '98 at Aspen or the like... stay tuned). Needless to say, the glow still warms, the adrenaline still flows, and the melody, if not the harmony, lingers on....

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