1948 Chickens’ Ball – A Hot Ticket

1948 Program

There are dedications and there are dedications, and the 1948 entry of same, as printed on the program, was a real winner.  “To the Barbary Coast,” it read. “Roaring and Raucous, whose Bullies, Buckoes, Belles and Bawds are forever silenced when ladies of decorum and gentlemen of substance outshine and outroar them in that witty, mirthful, refined festival of unparalleled elegance – their own Chickens’ Ball.”

Marge Carroll served as General Chairman, assisted by Thelma Chapman and together these ladies and their committees produced a show that fully lived up t

o the expectations of the dedication.

Master of Ceremonies Roger Deas was aided by Anne Walker and George Greaves. The bar this year was renamed “Barbary Bart’s Bar” and was presided over by Bill Barthold and his babe, Jean.

The number of performances was increased to three and still the show continued to be a sell-out. For the first time, each participant was permitted to buy a pair of tickets without having to wait in line for them with the rest of the community.

The Racquet Club’s presentation included a remarkably authentic cable car, complete with passengers.

The Scout Mothers staged the “Man on the Flying Trapeze” which featured Mrs. Stuart (of the Laurel Street dry-cleaning establishment) as The Man! Dressed in a borrowed pair of long underwear and sporting a handlebar moustache, Mrs. Stuart claims she disappointed some of her friends when she managed to stay ON the trapeze. Contrary to the rumors that have sprung up since that memorable performance, she insists that she never once fell from her precarious perch. When asked if she had stuffed her costume to provide her with additional “muscles” Mrs. Stuart replied, ” I did not! I used my own!”

Advertising included in the entertainment on stage was begun in 1948 and has since become one of the Ball’s most amusing highlights.

1948 was the year Grace Coles, dedicated pianist in every Ball save one (in ’46, she “retired” temporarily to await a visit from the stork) was bodily lifted to the stage by her fellow musicians. The boys thought Grace should enter the audience Costume Contest as she was exquisitely gowned in an apple green satin dress. By accident Grace was placed next to a dapper gentleman from Redwood City and together they won the prize for the Best Dressed Couple. Although she had never seen him before, Grace generously insisted that the stranger split the five dollar prize they won together.

Source: 1968 Reflections

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