They wore jackets


Jesters Class of 1965, photo taken in 1963

For years I’ve had a memory–really, more of an image–that made no sense to me. I remember going to a meeting with my best friend in the spring of 1970 before we graduated from eighth grade. Older girls, all strangers to me, were in charge. Some wore jackets with a club name stitched on the back. I can’t remember the name.


A.D.O. club jacket

When I started my freshman year at Von Steuben High School in the fall of that year, there was no invitation to join a club, no girls in jackets to be seen, no traces of the club at all. They had gone the way of beehive hairdos, and in the excitement of new friends and experiences, I forgot all about clubs.

Recently, I’ve been wondering if there ever was a meeting. Did I imagine it or remember someone else’s story and make it my own? Maybe I’ve seen Grease too many times.

Fortunately, as a result of my blog and facebook I have access to people who attended Von before I did. Ferne Slotky Berman, Merle Citrin Monroe and Andy Zaslavsky Weitzberg–all Von alums–offered to meet for coffee and initate me into the world of  social athletic clubs or S.A.C.’s. We had such a good time I found myself wishing I was older–the opposite of what I usually wish every morning–so I could have been friends with them in high school.



In the mid-1960s, Von, Roosevelt and Mather, three of the then Jewish high schools, had their own clubs.

The women recalled the Sigs (class of ’64), ELs (’64), Jesters (’65), and Kanalons (’66) as the girls clubs of their day. Boys were Epsilons or Anacondas.

Someone mentioned Sovereigns, but I can’t remember if it was a boys or girls club. And as if it weren’t already confusing enough, occasionally clubs overlapped schools. A Von girl might be a Mather Sweetheart or Roosevelt Lamedola. A Von boy might be a Roosevelt Top Hat.

Clubs weren’t organized or supervised by adults. They had no religious affiliation, but were mostly Jewish because the schools were “98 percent” Jewish.

The jackets they wore came from Ned Singer’s Sports on Lawrence, the same place we bought our required gym suits. The less said about the gym suits, the better.

In the early 1960s, members openly wore their jewelry, sweatshirts and jackets to school. Club photographs were published in the Von yearbook. But in 1965 Von administrators changed their policy and sent home kids wearing club identification.


Jester lavalier

Most clubs had junior members in the elementary schools. Members of the junior clubs were 7th and 8th graders, but back in the ’50s, Peterson Elementary School had a third-grade girls club, the Els. There was also a sixth-grade girls club, the Loafers, that served as a feeder club for the Jesters.


The clubs held meetings, voted for officers, collected dues and organized fundraisers, sleepovers, volleyball tournaments, mixers and dances. If you’re picturing a high school gym decorated with streamers, think again. When the Jesters held their group Sweet 16 celebration, it was downtown at the Blackstone Hotel. They invited their parents as well as dates.

What impressed me the most about these clubs are the enduring friendships. Many members are friends to this day and they gather for reunions. In fact, the ELs are celebrating a group 65th birthday next year.


Jesters Sweet Sixteen Cotillion, September 1963, Mayfair Room, Blackstone Hotel

Famous Local Club Member

Folk singer Steve Goodman would have graduated from Roosevelt High School if his parents hadn’t moved to the suburbs. But while he was still living in Albany Park, Goodman was a Jr. Centurion. In his book, Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, (Amazon affiliate link) biographer Clay Eals quotes Goodman’s elementary school classmate Scott Berman on the evolution of the clubs:

“The clubs were an outgrowth of the tough-guy old days on the West Side, where each of the ethnic groups was fighting with each other. When the Jews moved to Albany Park and looked around and saw they were all Jews anyway, they said to themselves, ‘We don’t have anybody to fight with, so we’re not really a gang, more of a club.”

Eals lists some clubs active at Roosevelt in Goodman’s time: Anacondas, Funny Fellows, Originals, Jovens, Epsilons, Top Hats, Aristocrats, Cabegos, Vampires, Condors, and Torpedos.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Between the graduation of the Class of 1965 and the start of my freshman year in 1970, girl clubs apparently vanished. The boys clubs, however, survived a little longer. Until 1971 there were boys at Peterson Elementary School wearing Epsilon jackets, and if I remember correctly, they were blue with gold lettering.


Jesters Sweet 16 Cotillion. The women are: Saucy Cherney, Merle Citrin, Nancy Dobkin and Judi Edidin. Judi married, and is still married, to her date, Max Tuchten.

After learning about the clubs, I decided I actually did attend the meeting I remember attending back in the spring of 1970. I imagine it wasn’t an established club, but rather a group of girls trying to revive the tradition and start a new club. They got the jackets, rounded up some prospects and fizzled out before the school year started. But I really don’t know whether I almost was invited to join a club, and in any case, I can’t imagine my class wearing anything but faded, torn blue jeans.

Acknowledgements: For an outsider, the clubs and their history are incredibly complicated, so sorry for anything I may have gotten wrong.  Many thanks to Ferne, Merle and Andy for sharing memories of your high school years.

All photographs courtesy of Merle Citrin Monroe.

Source: Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, by Clay Eals. All Steve Goodman will want to check out the book’s website to see a sample chapter, for details about the book’s second printing, and much more. A CD is included with the book!

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85 Responses to They wore jackets

  1. Ferne Slotky Berman December 13, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Just loved loved loved it. Didi’nt see the combined club picture of the ADOS and the Jesters you took directly from the yearbook?



  2. Eileen Landau December 13, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    You forgot Sullivan High School which was also mostly “Jewish” in those days. In our annual high school year book, The Navillus (Sullivan spelled backwards), you’ll see evidence of the club jackets in the ’50’s and ’60’s. While I can’t remember their names, each club had a jacket with a different color scheme. And the “clubmates” would meet every morning in the “T” to gossip. What a simple life we had in those days.

  3. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Ferne, the photos from the yearbook didn’t turn out. We’ll have to scan them one of these days. The other ones (Tower C.) I took did turn out and I’m saving them for a future post.

  4. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Thanks Eileen, for filling in the gaps. I’m guessing Senn, too?

  5. Jill Hoosin December 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    I was in the Sigs. I still have my ‘big sister’s’ jacket

  6. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Jill, if you don ‘t mind telling, what class were you? I’m trying to build a timeline.

  7. rich wiener December 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Cobegoes were from Von and mather

  8. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Rich, thanks for contributing another club name. I’m going to make a list of all the new contributions, so if you think of others, send them to me.

  9. Merle Citrin Monroe December 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Here is the correct way to spell Cobegos! I called this to Clay Eals’ attention and he promised to correct it in later editions of the book about Steve Goodman.

  10. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Merle, thanks for giving me the right spelling. I’m going to publish a list eventually. BTW, Clay Eals found the blogpost!

  11. Linda Yashon December 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    This brings me back….. I graduated from Solomon in 1969 and was a SIG — I believe in 7th and 8th grade. I am pretty sure there were no SIGS once we were at Von and I don’t remember if there was a class younger than us. We might have been the last class.

  12. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Linda, you may have solved my mystery. What I do remember of the meeting is that it was at or near Solomon. Maybe it was my seventh grade year, not eighth, so that would fit with your recollection. I had never been around Solomon before (the “other” side of Peterson!), so it was all very new and strange to me. But it’s coming back to me and I think it was your class. Thanks for visiting.

  13. Arnie Weinger December 13, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    I remember playing football and basketball with the Cobegos like it was yesterday. Most of us were from Von.

  14. Frances Archer December 13, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    Arnie, thanks for stopping by. I’m surprised by how many clubs there used to be, because there was just the one, Epsilons, in my day.

  15. Richard Whitman December 14, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    I was in the Epsilons, but I can’t remember what year. I know at the time however the Cobras and Anacondas ruled. We all had meetings and basketball tourneys at Deborah Boys Club in Albany Park.

  16. Barbara Brim Grossman December 14, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Wow, what great memories…….

  17. Linda Yashon December 14, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    There’s something in the back of my mind that says we were uncomfortable deciding who would be a Sig and who we would turn away…. or maybe that’s the adult me hoping that we made a conscious decision along those lines. Either way, you could be right that there was a meeting near Solomon (maybe even in my basement, which was right across the street!) for your class, since at that point, there were very few girls from Peterson.

  18. Frances Archer December 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Linda, I’m just tickled to have my memory confirmed. It seems as though it would have been incredibly complicated to have members spanning elementary schools–it’s not like we could text! I got to know many of you later at Von, but I know at the time of the meeting I didn’t know anyone. Was Sharon a SIG? Because of her waist-length hair I think I remember her being there, but again I could be mixing memories.

  19. Ron shapiro December 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    I’m Roosevelt alum 1953 a member of the Jovens. We had 3-4 Gentiles in our group but were all brothers. Still in contact today. I’m Elaine’s bro.

  20. Frances Archer December 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Nice to meet you Ron. Thanks for the info. I want to make a timeline so if you remember other club names, please let me know.

  21. Andrea Zaslavsky Weitaberg December 18, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Frances It was so much fun and enlightening to meet with you. Anytime you would like to meet, I will be there to collaborate. Pick a topic and we can have fun with it. Thanks for the beautiful trip down memory lane. I can’t wait to share the thoughts and pictures with my two daughters.

  22. Frances Archer December 18, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Andy, you’re on. After the holidays, ok?

  23. Jean December 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    I think the concept of girls’ clubs or loose sororities in Canadian high schools wasn’t as widespread as in the U.S. Certainly sororities in Canadian universities were never very big nor very powerful in the social fabric in campus life. Thank goodness.

    In a way, I’m glad since “club” tends to define/harden social boundaries and cliques that naturally exist in high school and can extend into university. For students already from immigrant/low-income families who didn’t weren’t plugged into those familial networks nor had money to allow children to “fit in” or even “dress up” for parties, events, it was already tougher for such students.

    High school and university cultural dynamics between U.S. and Canada in terms of large scale trends over the past decades would make a fascinating sociological text. I could go on….. 🙂

  24. Frances Archer December 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Good to hear from you Jean, and especially with such an insightful comment. Although clubs died out for carols reasons, it’s interesting that in the particular neighborhood I’m writing about, the clubs disappeared precisely as the neighborhood was becoming more diverse. From one perspective at least the clubs served to reinforce an already close-knit neighborhood. And what I also found amazing was the large number of clubs. So while some kids probably didn’t fit in, there were a lot of opportunities, not just one option.
    Happy holidays!

  25. marcie velen January 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Frances, Linda…. I was in SIGS. I am same age as Jill (Frances, you asked her what year she was) and younger than Pam (so Pam yours wasnt the last year). I graduated from solomon in 66 and have no memory of the club except the jackets, which i also had forgotten til i read this, so must not have lasted TOOO long!!

  26. Frances Archer January 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Marcie, thanks for telling me.

  27. John Erickson February 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Does anyone remember the “Lucky 6s” at Peterson in the late 30s? Orloff, Gillford, Somlo, Weiner, Elesh, Rogoff…….we envied them their sweaters.

  28. Vicki Martin March 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    I went to Solomon then to Von. I was a Sig at Von, ’63-67.

  29. Frances Archer March 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi, Vicki. thanks for stopping by. So, did you keep your jacket?

  30. John Marcus March 14, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    My dad was in the Vulcans (I think?), early ’50s, Von Steuben. I think I saw the jacket once, or I might have imagined that. wishing that I could have worn it on “50’s Day” in school in the 70’s.

  31. Brenda Wolin Terry March 17, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    I graduated from Peterson (1953) & from Von Steuben (1957) and belonged to the Jesters. Our club actually started in about third grade with close friends, and we had several names until we graduated from grade school. Then, we became the Junior Jesters. Eventually, after our “Seniors” graduated from Von, we chose Junior Jesters & became Senior Jesters in the process. It was the only way that “year” clubs, as opposed to multi-year sororities & fraternities, could keep their names going. I still have my Jester lavalier! Many of us are still in touch with each other – 54 years after our graduation from Von.

  32. Steve White May 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Vicki Martin…you were HOT! (Probably still are.)

  33. bonnie liss hanna July 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I was also a SIG – along with Marcie and Jill (Peterson School class of ’66) and I still have my club jacket – which was purchased from Ned Singers for around $15.00. We were voted in by the older girls and then had a candle lighting ceremony. My big sister was Annie Shear who I recently met at the Deerfield Dog Park – recognized her right away – xoxox

  34. Howard Sims July 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi, Fran…Bonnie Liss Hanna just notified me of your blog…certainly does bring back lots of memories. I think that you can probably tell by my e-mail address ( that I’m still very firmly planted in 1957-1961. My club, the “Regular Fellas,” which spanned three schools (Von, Roosevelt & Amundsen), had a reputation, to be kind, of being a little “rough around the edges.” While we were about 90% Jewish, we had several non-Jews in the club…but, to be honest, I don’t think anyone even realized it, and, certainly, nobody cared. We were just good friends, meeting each week at Deborah Boys Club, played a lot of basketball, played 16″ softball at Hollywood Park and River Park, and, we attended “mixers” which, for those of you who don’t remember the term, were parties that a girl’s club held at one of their homes, and invited a boy’s club to “mix” with them. Wow…were those ever innocent times!! BTW, the Regular Fellas jackets were gold and royal blue, and, were reversible. A “RF” logo was on the front left side, and the reverse side had the club’s name spelled out in Old English lettering. We just had a 50th reunion of the guys last September, and, we’re having another one just next week…much smaller, but I’m sure it will be just as much fun. The memories might be old, but, they’re irreplaceable.

  35. Frances Archer July 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Howard, thanks so much for stopping by and providing all these old stories. First I heard of the connection between Amundsen, Roosevelt and Von through an SAC. Did Amundsen have Jewish kids? Send me photos from the reunion! I will send you an email so you have mine.

  36. Howard Sims July 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Amundsen had a lot of Jewish kids…mixed amongst a lot of Greek kids. Back then, nobody gave much thought about those things…they were just “friends.” The majority of the Jewish kids lived north of Montrose and east of Kedzie…more often than not in Budlong Woods. There was also a great “deli” in the Amundsen neighborhood…anyone remember Bert’s, on the corner of Foster and California?

  37. Frances Archer July 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    We knew Burt’s, and Burt’s now adult children are around and in touch. A great deli. Before moving to Central Park Ave., my family lived on Argyle at Washetenaw. I went to Budlong, so that’s what I call my old old neighborhood.

  38. Lynne Buslik July 30, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Francis,I am Burts niece from Burts deli. Graduated from Mather in 1962. My dad was Normie from Normies restaurant, in Lincolnwood, Burts brother. Spent one year at Sullivan, and when Mather was built same. Who are you in touch with from our family? We are having a family reunion next month. and will say hello. My husband was a regular fella and graduated Amundsen 1960. Thanks for the memories. Lynne

  39. Jeff Singer August 1, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I am on of the five sons of Ned and Bernice Singer of Ned Singer’s Sport Supply Company–3344 West Lawrence, later at 3334 West Lawrence and finally, at 3247 West Lawrence.

    My mom measured near everyone for their club jackets and she helped design the logos/artwork for the jackets–my dad also helped develop the artwork and designed most of the jackets. It was a labor of love for the two of them since they gained the privilege of meeting most all the kids in the neighborhood and found much joy being so involved in the community. I remember the jackets of so many of the clubs. The Top Hats (black and white with red trim), the Anacondas (maroon and gold), the Regular Fellas (I recall them have colors of red, blue with white trim), the Epsilons (black and gold), the Condors (blue and gold), the Characters (green and white), the Cobegos (were they blue and gold, too?), Many, if not all of the jackets were reversible–I still have my Condors jacket. I was a Junior Condor in 1962 and 1963.

    Back then, we were members of SACs–Social Athletic Clubs. My jackets has the initials S.A.C. at the base of the Condors script on one side of my jacket. The other side has the chenille letter “C”.

    We had basketball tournaments at Deborah Boys Club. Al Sacks, Jerry Shapiro (who recently passed away) and Freddie Greenberg were there working for Deborah, organizing the tournaments. Was a blast!

    I recall watching Richie Weiner hitting those long shots while I sat on the floor while a member of Von’s Upper Grade Center watching Von beat teams that year of Richie’s stardom.

    Great memories!

  40. Frances Archer August 1, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Jeff, how exciting to hear from you! Singer’s was such a neighborhood institution, and I’ve mentioned the business in various posts here. I’d love to post a full story about your family’s business. I’ll send you a direct email–let’s talk!

  41. Joel SInger August 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    My younger brother Jeff, sent you some very valid info regarding our parents’ business:
    Ned Singer’s Sporting Goods Store. Ned and Bernice Singer are Jeff’s and my parents. They are deceased.

    Yes, I even wore a club jacket from a junior high age club, the Colts. I think we were the younger brothers of the Regular Fellas. I attended Hibbard, and the ‘Branch’ (Junior High) at Roosevelt High for 7th grade. I attended Von 1959, graduating in June 1963.

    I belong to a group in Los Angeles, California called “The Chicagoans”, all graduates of Chicago High Schools. It is predominately made up of men and women from Von and Roosevelt, some from Mather, Sullivan and Senn. I can connect you with Roosevelt grad, Merle Tokarsky, who heads our group of Chicagoans.

    We are having our 50th Von reunion in two years. I attended the 40th in Chciago.
    Looking forward to seeing my past friends for our reunion.

    Joel Singer

  42. Frances Archer August 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Joel, so cool to hear from another Singer! Would love to connect with Merle, so I’ll send you a direct email to stay in touch. I want to do a post on your parents’ store. Thanks for stopping by.

  43. Stan Nudelman September 3, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Greetings to all.
    I graduated from Roosevelt in 1961 and am a member and past president of the Top Hats and our group still meets to this very day. It’s a pleasure to read about our days on the North Side and Albany Park in particular.
    The days and nights at Deborah Boys Club and Max Strauss Center will never be forgotten. I remember the Top Hats ran a Fright House in the gym at Deborah during Halloween.
    We also played lots of basketball there. That’s what being a member of a S.A.C. was all about.
    I met my wife Jan (Kaplan) in my second year at Roosevelt and she was a member of The Serigas. My sister, Judy, went to Von and was a member of The Vee’s.

  44. Mark Swerdlik September 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I enjoyed the article in the recent Von Alumni Newsletter which directed be to this blog. I also remember the Regular Fellas (different from the Funny Fellows) as a social athletic club that met at Deborah (on Tuesday nites which I believe was “Tween Night”). A few bloggers mentioned Deborah Boys Club and some of the “unforgettable characters” who worked there. Anyone remember Herman who checked membership cards at the door? I think I recall him being a former fighter? Junior members of clubs also attended Solomon Elementary School in Peterson Park. To answer a question raised in the original blog by Frances Archer-The Sovereigns I recall was a boys club. Thanks for stimulating some warm memories.

  45. Frances Archer September 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Stan, thanks for visiting. I didn’t know your sister but her name sounds familiar to me. These are great details for my upcoming post on Deborah.

  46. Terry Perna September 5, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Frances – another cool blog bringing back so many memories. I graduated Von in 1960 and was a member of the Psi’s – our sister club (and great competition, I might add, was the Jesters). My husband Tony Perna (the only gentile) was a member of the Condors that graduated in ’58. They played 16″ softball. I remember that Von Steuben, prior to my arrival in ’56, was known for it’s ‘cashmere clubs’ – it had a ‘snooty reputation’ in those days. The word was that you had to own a certain amount of cashmere sweaters to get into their clubs. There was nothing like that by the time I got to Von. Many of the clubs put on dances with proceeds going to charity – particularly “Lest We Forget” was to support the Les Turner fund – I think….Remember the bids? Every girl hung them on her bulletin board in her bedroom. I remember that as we approached our Jr. year, we selected a group of grammar school kids to be our ‘Jr’s” and carry on the name.

  47. Frances Archer September 5, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    I’m really inspired to create a Lawrence Ave. business district hall of fame now. With everyone’s help, we’ll get all the stores from Kedzie to Kimball.

  48. Frances Archer September 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Stan, I have a photo of Peterson class of January ’41 and there was a Louise Nudelman in that class. Any relation?

  49. Alice Hirsch November 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi, we all love this site and love reading all about everything that all of us so remember! Our class is having our 50th re-union this coming September 2012. I would love to see if you have something that I can post on our Save the Date letter going out soon… and we will post this site so others can also enjoy as well.. We are searching for some of our lovimg but missing classmates.. Maybe we can even find them here as well. Thanks for anything you can find .. I will be looking. I have enjoyed so much.. Love Alice and thanks again for all you have submitted. .. All credits will be given to you and all the work you do…. It would be an idea if at all possible maybe if we could even present a video presentation at our re-union of significant memories relating to our time.. 1958 — 1962 … maybe we can share this thought and see if it is possible and how it may be able to work. I have other questions and thoughts as well. Feel free to contact me . Thank you again. Alice Hirsch…

  50. Frances Archer November 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Alice, thanks for thinking so highly of my blog. I’ll do my best to help. I’ll send a direct email to you.

  51. Alice Hirsch November 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Joel Singer- Love learning more about your Mom and Dad. My husband Harold Hirsch and his 3 other Brothers all lived in Albany Park their entire life and lived on Spaulding and Anslie and were very very familiar with everyone who worked together on Lawrence Ave. Harold was a Condor granduated in January 1963… I graduated from Von in JUne 1962. We are planning our 50th Class re-union in September 8, 2012. Joel Bernstein lives in LA and has been working to help us locate our Missing Alumni. Since you mentioned you have a Chicago Von and Roosevelt Group– Is there a way I can send you our Notice for our Re-Union. We would love to do that…. That is great that you can all get together!!! I know the class of Roosevelt is planning their 50th Jan. 1962 in April ‘s as well. I will pass this info on to them if that is okay. Love reading everything on this Great Great Web-Site. P.S I actually had the pleasure of personally meeting your Mom many years ago.. I had a Botique in a Beauty Salon (Teddie Kossof in Northfield) and she came in one day) We got to talking and she knew Harold Biological Mom who passed away in 1953.. She shared some very moving stories about Harold and his family. It is a small world, but that is Why Albany Park is so Special! Thanks Alice Kirsch Hirsch..

  52. Frances Archer November 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Alice, thanks for your touching comment. We’ve got to talk. I can create a blog post about your reunion and that may help you get in touch with some of the missing alums.

  53. Eva Field Schweig December 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    What about the Beta Phi’s????

  54. Frances Archer December 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I’ll add them to the list. Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year.

  55. Ed Brenner February 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Love this blog! I was a Top Hat from 61-65. Lots of fond memories. Thank you

  56. Frances Archer February 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi, Ed. Thanks for stopping by. What were the Top Hat colors. Do you have any photos of your club?

  57. Merle Citrin Monroe February 14, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Eddie, I remember you were a lifeguard at a condo building pool at Hollywood and Lake Shore Drive. You even snuck me in once! I am your age (Class of 65), but I dated an older Top Hat for a while.

  58. Nancy Dobkin Biracree February 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Imagine my surprise, while roaming the Internet, to see all of my lost but still dear friends. Those really were “the good old days”. I suddenly remembered everyone’s names and all the good times we shared. What a wonderful gift.

  59. Frances Archer February 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Hi, Nancy. I’m guessing you know Merle. Nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by.

  60. Leslie Cherney May 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Hello Frances,

    A friend from Von (class of 75) just forwarded your latest post to me. It’s bittersweet seeing my beloved cousin Saucy in all of your photos. I’m going to send to her boys as I’m sure they will love to see this. Maybe they will print them out for Aunt Bette. Thank you for posting.

  61. Frances Archer May 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Leslie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Merle shared all the Jester photos with me. Send me a direct email via the contact form and I can put you in touch if you like. She may have more photos of Saucy to share.

  62. JJ Pearl May 14, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    My cousin just forwarded me the article and I love it. My mom is Saucy Cherney and she is in all of the photos. While sad, it is neat to see her as a teenager and I still keep in touch with some of her friends. If anyone has more photos please send them to my email at Thanks for the article. I will print it out and give a copy to my grandma, Bette. She knows just about everyone in the photos.

  63. Mark Magel May 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I was a “Character. I beleieve the club originated at Roosevelt and we became Jr. characters because Harvey Meyer’s brother was a Sr. character and they kind of adopted my buddies to be the Jr.’s. I went to Von, graduated Jan 65 and pretty much saw all the glory days of Von basketball with the likes of Richie Weiner, Steve Handler, Artie Gillis, Louie Green, Mark Dolasinski, Fred Weinberg, Gary “Goose” Goldberg. etc etc. Our club played basketball and softball against the Top hats, Cobegoes, Epsilons, Condors to name a few.

    The guys in the Jr. Characters were and IIapologize if I miss some were Lee Light, Baron Perlman, Jake Goldberg, Aaron Fisher, Jack Bleichman, Harvey Meyers, Steve Fox, Dave Sossin. Al Weintraub, Shelly Stramn Jerry Hobfoll, Herby Roman, Morrie Schulman, Marty Grube and Kenny Turkin.

    Wish i still had my club jacket which was bright green. I wore it once to the pier at South Haven Michigan one summer night and was the most popular guy on the pier LOL. Musta been the jacket !!

    Great times growing up with great guys.

  64. Paul Warshawsky June 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi Howard Sims and the other Regular Fellas. I was a member of the club 58/59 for sure and knew everyone in the club. For the life of me I do not recognize anyone in the pictures or any of the names at all. Does anyone remember Marv Gassman, Al Hirsch, Merrill Ehrenberg, Archie Camberis, Barry Cohn , Shelly Snider, Vince Levitt and so many more from Sullivan Senn Von Steuben and Roosevelt. Bert Mandell? They were all my club brothers to mention a few from 57/58/59 I graduated in Jan 1960 from Roosevelt. Does anyone know these names? Thank you

  65. Frances Archer June 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by Paul. I’m sure someone here will recognize some of these names.

  66. Micki sachs richmond September 10, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Frances it was great to hear and remember these stories. I went to Hibbard; then the “branch” and graduated Von in ’63. I was an Acrolon. We also went to Debra Boys Club for meetings and just to stop by after school and dance. We had red jackets. A few of us keep in touch. Von & Roosevelt are having 50th reunions in 2013. A few of us have kept in touch and are planning a reunion. Any Acrolons out there? I lived on Spaulding and Carmen @5047 Spaulding.married the boy next door. Such great memories. Thanks.

  67. Frances Archer September 10, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Thanks for stopping by. I am adding your club to the SAC list.

  68. Frances Archer September 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Mickie, thanks for writing. Please let your friends know about the reunion at Von, coming up Oct12. Details at http.// We also post reunion announcements on the website. There is a form on the site to submit the info.

  69. Paul Warshawsky October 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Does Howard Sims Remember me or any of my club brothers that i wrote about? I can’t remember him at all and i was in the club the same years I graduated Roosevelt Jan 1960 am a Vietnam Era Veteran, now live in California. My club brothers went to Senn, Sullivan, Von, Roosevelt

  70. bob kushnir February 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    i was in the OLYMPIANS FROM senn HIGH school 54-58.we are meeting in lake geneva the first week in june to play the MAJESTICS in 16 in softball

  71. Frances Archer February 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi, Bob. You are my second visitor from Senn — Welcome!

  72. bob kushnir February 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm #


  73. Howard Bart Meyers June 22, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    I went to Roosevelt from ’58 to ’62. I was in the Anacondas. Played a lot of basketball and 16″ softball and went to many dances at that Holiday Ballroom. Living in Florida since ’79. I would like to connect with any Anacondas or past friends.

  74. Frances Archer June 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi, Howard. Sorry it took a few days to respond to your comment. Thanks for visiting and I think we have several Anacondas who are readers. I’ll get back to you with some names to see if they are from the same years.

  75. John Tipler July 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi Frances, Just found this page, great stuff. I went to Senn 58-62 and belonged to the Condors. (I was one of 3-4 Gentiles). As I remember the Senn, Sullivan and Mather Condors were a different club than the Roosevelt etc. group? Jackets were same color but different lettering. Not Sure!

  76. Frances Archer July 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi, John. Sorry it’s taken so long to post your comment. I was away for a long weekend. I’m not sure at all about the groups — I’m getting all this second hand. But I’m sure one of my readers would know if the Condors at Roosevelt was the same club as one at the other schools. Thanks for stopping by.

  77. Micki Richmond September 11, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I’ve got some info on the ’89 Kedzie & Lawrence reunion. How do I forward to you?

    The blog is fun, thx

  78. Frances Archer September 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    I will send you an email so you can reply that way. Thanks for finding me here and I look forward to hearing back from you.

  79. David Zisman February 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Your left out Sullivan, I was in Rockets and BetaPhi.We also had Renouns, Titans , Centaurs Iaetas , Kegs, Stars And Royals and a few more.
    Not to leave out Ravens.

  80. Frances Archer February 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    David, you may be the first to visit from Sullivan. Will add your clubs. Thanks for stopping by.

  81. Denise Kase Nabat July 9, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    Wow what a great article, not sure how I found it years later but very cool! My dad and mom both grew up in Peterson Park went to Von And my dad was an Epsilon. And when I was a kid I always wanted his club jacket!! It’s gold and Black and reversible. Unfortunately both of my parents died young (both in their 60’s within the last 6 years or so) and now the jacket is mine. He loved that Jacket and High School!! Whenever I wear it (it’s a cute baseball looking jacket) I get stopped wherever I go!! Asking “who’s is that, where did you get it… Etc..” It’s to bad that my high school experience and now my own kids high school experience was not like it was at Von in the late 50’s early 60’s! Thanks for the great article!

  82. Frances Archer July 22, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Hi, Denise. Thanks for stopping by. Excuse my delay in replying — been out of town. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed my blog.

  83. ED SONKIN December 7, 2014 at 1:13 am #




  84. Frances Archer December 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Ed, I think your club photos is posted. It’s the Anacondas, 1951, on this the SAC page of the blog: It’s a great photo! Hope all is well, nice to hear from you!

  85. Lenore Markowitz Greenstein February 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    Hi, I lived on the 5400 block of Sawyer Av. for 18yrs. My sister, Sheila and I went 8yrs to Peterson School and 4 yrs to Von Steuben High School. I remember every Bryn Mawr business every empty lot on Kedzie Av. and every school song from Peterson and Von Steuben, We used to hang out in the Hollywood Park and brought our tennis rackets on our Schwinn Bikes to attempt to hit balls. We played Red Rover, Pinners and Crack the Whip in the Peterson School Play Ground. I lived in a 2 flat brick building and knew every kid’s name on my block and also everyone’s pet dog. During the Jewish Holidays we got all dressed up in our high heels and fancy suits and hung out at Shaare Tikvah just to flirt and be seen. I could name you every teacher from Peterson School and from Von Steuben. Just ask me to sing P stands for Petersons Progress, I even remember the Texaco Station and the song….Oh, we’re the men of Texaco…we work from Maine to Mexico. We serve you with this Texaco of ours…Remember to be loyal to our gasoline and oil,,,,,etc. I graduated from Von in 1956 however, I don’t remember learning anything but managed to graduate in the top 10% of my class. That’s because I showed up and smiled. (Oh yes,,,I was a whiz at Pitman Shorthand and Typing.) I was a club member of The RHO’S and we gave a yearly Dance called LEST WE FORGET. We wore rust-colored cashmere sweaters and 14Caret gold Lavaliers that said RHO. Many of the other dances were,,,,Danc’n In The Dark,,,Stepp’n With Satan,,,,Yours To Remember . When we went steady with a guy we wore his Club Jacket. That usually lasted about a month or two, They were The Epsilons The Anacondas… The Lil Gentlemen…The Condors…The Cobegos …The Regular Fellas…etc.

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