There are all kinds of social gatherings and clubs. There are bridge clubs, poker nights, musical groups, Bingo and Bunco. There are the , the and Elks. There are softball and soccer leagues. I could go on and on.
My wife Norma and I belong to a social group that meets twice a year – just prior to the NFL season and again at the end of the season for a Super Bowl party. But it’s not what you might think.
There are few true football fans in the group, which mainly consists of retired teachers from . My wife was a special education teacher there for seven years before moving on to .
This group met prior to Week 1 of the current NFL season at the home of Gay and Dan Place. There was food aplenty, and the excuse for the party was what is called a “42 Pool.” The way the pool works is, if the NFL team you draw scores exactly 42 points, you win whatever money is in the pot at the time. The money comes from a $4 "membership fee," which tells you this group doesn’t have any big spenders.
Jeanette Blasdell, the one member of the group who still teaches at Baldwin Stocker, and her husband Tom won a whopping $8 when the Green Bay Packers scored 42 points in their Week One victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Blasdells weren't at the 42 Pool party, but they were lucky enough to end up with the Packers in the random draw.
Although I’ve been involved through my wife for many years, I got to wondering how the group got started – and why a 42 Pool?
Jeanne Leonhard and Dan Place’s wife Gay, two of its original members, explained.
They formed a summer fun group around 1973 that they called the SWFC – Summer Wednesday Fem Club. Other initial members included Tricia Hartline and Barbara Marsalek. During the summer months, they got together for golf, lunch and afternoon swimming.
It wasn’t long before another group was formed, which the gals called the WWMCPC, which stood for Winter Wednesday Male Chauvinist Pig Club. It consisted of spouses.
Barbara Marsalek’s husband Joe was a UCLA football season-ticket holder and an NFL fan as well. He came up with the idea of the 42 pool, and the Super Bowl party evolved from that.
Barbara and Joe Marsalek are no longer with us, but their legacy – and a tradition they helped start -- lives on.