The "And Furthermore Club" was probably in full swing by 1960. It was located around the kitchen table at 5100 Main St. Trumbull.
The cast of characters varied, but Barbara McCarthy and Jack Kieran were first among equals.
The tabletop was always crowded with empties – usually Piels or Old Bohemian – and a big ashtray filled with butts.
The conversation wasn’t top-shelf all the time, but most of us who caught a piece of it remember it as convivial, stimulating, and pretty high-quality, even if slightly alcohol soaked. Sure, politics got discussed, but it was more of a general conversation about life – kids, the schools, TV, sports, trends in society, and why people did what they did. I mostly listened, but it was a good place to start verbalizing opinions you had to defend credibly. It could be very funny, and could get a bit agitated when feelings ran high – but it was always civil, and especially generous toward half-baked adolescent blithering.
One great thing was that you could arrive fairly late, just poking your head in, and experience a warm welcome, a sincere inquiry about what you’ve been up to, and then have an opportunity to throw in your own two cents about the subject of the moment without feeling like an interloper.
It wasn’t that you were always entering a graduate seminar. Sometimes you just passed through after saying “hi” to watch the TV in the livingroom, or play ping pong or pool in the basement (remember the little cue stick for the side that was too close to the wall?)
at the risk of clarity i think it deserves mention that The And Furthermore Club had been up and running for some years as a wholly adult enterprise by the time we adolescents began introducing ourselves. eventually we felt the warmth of the conversations or they simply became irresistable. you may remember that period more clearly than i but i have a memory of the gathering having been happily happening for awhile before rick and you and his friends ever actually sat down and partook. also, i hope you’ll add “history” and/or “personal recollections” about history to the subjects since it was such a big part of it. Park of the fun for my generation of participants was coaxing out of your father and my parents various stories about their youth and most especially what they were doing during World War II. But anyway just a minor suggestion. more to come, i’m sure.
James is right, of course. It evolved initially from adult socializing, with few kids around. I know that before our crew began to drive, I wasn’t even over there that much. I remember often waiting up fairly late for my parents to get home from being at the McCarthys.
One of the few times we watched football at 5100 Main St was the ’63 Giants – Bears Championship – because we didn’t get NBC that well on our snowy black and white tv with the rabbit ears. The McCarthys came to 589 Edison Rd for regular season Sunday games because we could get Channel 3 from Hartford very well.
So the late night, around the kitchen table gatherings evolved as we became more mobile, and appreciative of our parents stories.