High School Social Clubs / Les Friponnes / LTA / Les Croquettes / Deboneers /Dark Horsemen / Les Truands / FNV / Order of the Rainbow / LGO, etc: 1980s 11 comments
Well, High School social clubs of the 50s through the 80s is a subject about which I know nothing (I was in the Beta club, and that was about it..), but it's come up several times here, so I thought I would do an actual post on them so people googling-in will have a nice landing spot, and one place to add their comments.
Here's what various people, with inside and outside perspectives on the clubs, have already contributed:
High school social clubs of long ago --
When I was in high school, way on the wrong side of the tracks in the 1970s, I nevertheless had friends from the wealthy side of Forest Acres and Spring Valley.
I learned from them about these social clubs, that were apparently deeply established local institutions for teens, sort of like junior sororities and fraternities. They had some nominal nable mission written down somewhere, like helping the dowtrodden or supporting youth, but their real activity seemed to be throwing these fancy parties, complete with live bands, corsages, fancy finger food, and LOTS of booze that wasn't "officially" there. One or two distracted moms would serve as chaperones while the kids behaved like wild heathans.
It was fun, but so far above my actual social standing and family income level that I felt like a tourist. The girls were way out of my league (except a couple who hauled me around as their pet hippie to torture their parents with) and the guys were overpriveledged future doctors and lawyers. These were the kids who got brand new Camaros for their 16th birthday which they wrecked a month later, and never wondered if their family could send them to the exclusive private college their parents went to. Without exception they all went to Myrtle Beach for "first week" in big house parties with only nominal adult supervision.
Anyone else remember this crowd? Some of the clubs were:
Order of the Rainbow
LGO (can't remember what these initials stand for)
I definitely remember the Dark Horsemen, it was a fraternal "order" of course, and for some reason I remember the Les Friponnes and Les Coquettes as well, which were the sororities. I NEVER fit in with those folks socially or attitudinally, however I did know several K-12 school mates who were in the Dark Horsemen in high-school. The girls who were members of those clubs wouldn't even give me the time of day, I mean that literally. There was maybe one in my whole high-school career who would actually say hello. My clique was so far out there that we were listening to Frank Zappa in 8th grade in 1969 and making fun of all the people in those clubs right up to the day we graduated 12th grade. We were definitely spurred on by Mr. Zappa's biting satire on "joiners," which probably made it harder for those club folks to warm up to us. In retrospect, maybe a vicious cycle of mistrust and misunderstanding.
And though we weren't poor, my folks were basically middle-class working people and I never fit in at all with the country club set, which on the whole pretty much populated those clubs. No bad memories per se, never had the Dark Horsemen bop me up against the side of the head because I had long hair and wild friends or anything like that, but you and I obviously had different experiences with those clubs. Fascinating.
Since my family has been in Columbia and Lexington before our country's independence, I am always very interested in your web site, which brings back great memories of people and places. I love history of any kind, especially that I can relate to!
I was reading some comments from a few years back and someone wanted to know more about social clubs. I was a member of Les Friponnes which started in 1954. I was a member in the late 70's early 80's.Most of our members went to Hammond,Cardinal Newman, Dreher or Spring Valley. There was definitely some silliness going on with these groups but it was fun and it was a way to meet girls outside of my school. I know high school administrators did not like these clubs because of elitism and hurt feelings and the fact that we had initiation rites at school. I remember having to call all members "Miss So and So" One made me spin around every time I passed her in the hall at school. I also had to buy snacks and run errands for members during lunch. During hell week, we had to wear the same outfit to school all week and we could not wear make up. We would have after school initiations at people houses. We had to do these shoulder, knees and toes motions called buttons and say "I love Les Friponnes" over and over. Members would yell at us and pour disgusting things on us. We would sometimes have tri-club initiations and parties at Legion Lakes- the three clubs were Les Friponnes, LTA (Les Croquettes) and Deboneers In the mid-late 1980s I think schools had had enough of this distraction and banned anything like that during the school day. I am not aware that any of these groups exist any more. Sometimes my friends post old social club formal photos on facebook and it does bring back good memories of my youth.
They were essentially high school sororities. I went to many of the Les Friponnes & FNV semi-formals back in the mid-to-late 80's. Most were at hotel ballrooms in the Northeast area. The initiations at the girls houses were a lot of fun to watch as a guy, and very similar to the girls initiation scenes in the movie "Dazed & Confused". Lots of fun, good, if not fuzzy, memories. Hope it was worth it ladies.
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