TBT: The Alleghany Rattler August 1959: Blues Entertain with Beatnik Party

Editor’s Note:  As part of our year-long celebration of our 100th Year Anniversary (1922-2022), we’ll post a Throwback Thursday edition of our Alleghany Rattler Newspaper to give you a peek into life at camp across those 100 summers!

In this piece it’s clear that the esoteric world of the “Beat Generation,” Beatniks, and beat poets had jumped to mainstream usage and were depicted in caricature, as here is held a Beatnik-themed Party at camp!

Blues Entertain with Beatnik Party

By Jane Richmond

Could these all-American girls transform themselves into Beatniks?

On the night of August 5 the Grays went to a Play Hall completely different from the one we usually know. Dressed as Beatniks, we entered Express Café to find we were really in Beatnik Land.

Green lights shone giving a weird atmosphere to the Blues also dressed as Beatniks. The “Niks” were seated at candle-lighted card tables and on dark beds. “Beatnikish” pictures had been drawn by the Blues, headed by Anne Dempster.

Camille Salisbury and Lee Valentine, Gray Captain and Co-captain, were pronounced “Ginchiest” and “Utmost,” and presented beautiful striped tee shirts.

We were read an article on Beatniks and their habits by Jackie Lamond which was followed by a self-expressive dance by Mary K. Lee and Renny Butterworth.

The poem “Annabell Lee” was read by Frances Carney and Smoky Fairlamb gave us the mad version of Mark Anthony’s Funeral Oration. Ashby Coleman and Kate Long sang and Diane Nemir played a jazzie piece on the piano. Acts were joined together with bongo drums played by Barbara Joerg and Campbell Baker. Spicey Russian tea and peanut butter cookies were served to the happy Grays and the wonderful party ended with each team singing its song of praise to each other. Thank you, Blues, for the best party the Grays have ever been to.