Fort Jackson: 1920s come roaring back at the Officer's Club
January 29, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The roaring twenties made a comeback at the Officer's Club, Friday, Jan. 23 with big band music and dancing by the Swing Set, cigarette girls passing out candy cigarettes and chocolate cigars, a hat check girl for securing coats and hats, and nearly 200 people decked out in their finest 1920's attire.
Officers' Club member, Frank Meredith, retired colonel, brought his antique car, a 1929 Franklin, to the club to add a more authentic ambience to the evening. He said it was no museum piece and encouraged all the party goers to look around and take their photo with the car, an offer of which many guest took advantage.
To get the evening's festivities rolling, the cigarette girls put a name tag with the name of one half of a famous pair on each guest's back. The guests had to figure who they were by asking other guests questions. Once they knew their own identity, they could then find their other half. Pairs ran the gamut from the Bible's David and Goliath, to classic TV, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, to another famous TV couple, Ozzie and Sharon Osborne. Once the guests found their match, they were able to claim their prizes such as free passes to Palmetto Greens Miniature Golf and Century Lanes Bowling Center.
Fun and games continued with a 1920s trivia quiz, a Clue tournament, dance and costume contests.
Catering Manager Carole Neal began planning the event with the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Marketing Department in early December. "We wanted to do something special," she said. "We want it to be big, fun and different."
Even the menu reflected the Roaring Twenties theme with drink specials such as the Flapper, the Al Capone and actual Moonshine. A vast Italian feast was laid out with tiramisu for desert. Black and white decorations and party favors of black and white fedoras, flapper headbands and plastic pearl necklaces completed the decor. Bowls of small goldfish glinted in the candlelight, perhaps to remind people that if they crossed Bugsy Malone or Al Capone, they'd be "sleeping with the fishes."
Throughout the evening, door prizes were given out in keeping with the evening's theme, such as silver flasks, classic movies, cigar cases and more.
By all accounts, the event was huge success. Club Manager Sam Guerry took a vote towards the end of the evening and the crowd unanimously voted for a repeat of the party in approximately six months.
"So many people have come up to me and complimented us on everything," said Beverly Metcalfe, cigarette girl. "They're all having a great time and it's so much fun seeing everyone dressed up like the twenties."
"It was nice to see all the people dressed to the nines," said Cathey Taubl, "Now that the band has started it's so much fun seeing everybody dance." Costumes ranged from 1920's reproductions to actual vintage pieces.
Metcalfe not only volunteered to be a cigarette girl but she also sewed the jackets for both cigarette girls, as well as the hat check girl, and made all three hats, and both cigarette trays. Theresa O'Hagan made the cigarette girls' and hat check girl's skirts and vests, as well as an art deco evening gown and jacket for the catering manager. More than 60 volunteer hours were put into the construction of the costumes. "I knew we got it right when one very sweet lady told me she had the same outfit from when she was a cigarette girl at the Columbia Country Club," Metcalfe said.