This archive is an amusing and ambitious, social activities record for a group of twenty-something friends in the San Mateo area of California. The group apparently ironically modeled themselves after the popular OPTIMIST MOVEMENT of the time.
Large heavy blank-page leatherette album - 11" x 15". 36 oblong pages filled with photos, club “minutes”, charters laid-in etc. About 100 labelled glued-down b&w snapshots. Hundreds of typed laid-in notes, memories, observations. A few photos are missing and but pages are separating from binder hinge.
Original club members include: MANFRED ANDERSON, HOWARD KEMPER, JOHN WEISEL, BOB BERGMAN, VINAL PETERSON, MAYNARD CHARLES HENKER, LEN TAYLOR. These charter members brought along wives, girlfriends and family pets. Later on they were joined by infants.
Later names and photos to appear include: BABE STOLTE, HELEN HENKER, ELEANORE DeMARTINI, CLARA RYDER, DICK JONES, GIOVANNI (SYL) BACIGALUPI, VENUS PETERSON.
THE OPTIMISTS CLUB was founded January 21, 1932 as per the laid-in signed charter and revised charter in the SAN MATEO area of California. The group apparently ironically modeled themselves after the popular OPTIMIST MOVEMENT of the time. [As industrialization and urbanization brought many new problems to society, citizens began forming voluntary organizations to address the needs of their communities. In some areas, groups took the name “optimist club” to express their desire for a positive outlook in the face of all these problems. The first official Optimist Club was formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1911.]
Unlike the official movement’s credo of helping the community, mentoring youth, etc., this group appeared committed to beach parties, poker games, horseshoes, eating and commenting on each other’s clothing choices. They formed baseball teams so-named “THE FOOFS” and “THE SNORTS”. They noted professional successes and promotions. They visited family members in other states. One charter member relocated to Salt Lake City – the club visited and photographed activities.
Club notes of March 1933: Babe, Johnny and Howard were appointed a committee of three to investigate the yet-unsupported rumor that some fellow in our midst had sent his lady friend 22 VALENTINES – consequently putting the balance of us in UNKA JIMMY’S DOG HOUSE. A report will be forthcoming very shortly.
From the Original Charter:
ENTRY FEE CHARTER MEMBERS 25 CENTS
NON-APPEARANCE CHARGE 75 CENTS
NATURAL STRAIGHT FLUSH 10 CENTS (when hand wins pot)
NATURAL FOUR OF A KIND 10 CENTS
A fun and amusing account of those Krazy Kid Optimists!