Founding of the Chicago Hash

Once upon a time…

The first Chicago Hash was put together by Guy Woodford, then president of Chicago Griffins Rugby Football Club the summer of 1978. British by birth, Guy was a longtime employee of Standard Charter Bank of England, serving in many posts overseas, including Chicago and New York. He became a dedicated hasher in his posting to Kuala Lumpur, birth place of the hash. In Chicago, he was known as Sir Guy of Guy. His antics on the hash and with the rugby club were tolerated by his wonderful wife, Rosemary. They have two grown children and now live in East Sussex, England. Retired, Guy currently has become involved in raising money for prostate research on hikes through Europe. Since Sir Guy of Guy hashed in KL, we in Chicago are direct descendants of the Mother of All Hashes.

Back to the story, Guy invited the Griffins to attend what he called a picnic and fun run in a local forest preserve on June 19, 1978. It is believed to have been at Harms Woods Forest Preserve. Rugby players showed up, Guy explained the rules and that there would be lots of beer at the end and the Chicago Hash was born. Like more traditional Hashes, Guy discouraged women from running and said it was a guy thing, no pun intended. For the first several years, the chapter was almost all rugby players. One brilliant hasher, maybe Russell Schmengee Sage??, came up with the idea of holding a Highwood Hash and the old infamous Highwood Hash was born which incorporated running to a half dozen or so saloons, chugging shots and beers and finishing at the Silver Dollar saloon.

Not long after, the Hash began expanding. Some sort of ad seeking runners brought forth the Hash Harlot, the first female on the Chicago Hash. Spirited, salacious and promiscuous, she was popular right away. She shocked a bar full of senior citizens on the Highwood hash by turning at the door and screaming, “Adios mother fuckers.” She was widely loved, literally. A couple of attorneys joined in, more rugby players and several posers hung around as the fun was starting to get serious. Sir Guy had departed Chicago and the new grand master was John Big John Smythe.

Runs were in forest preserves, downtown, and anywhere we could find cheap on-on beer. In 1981, a hasher posing as a reporter wrote a story about the Hash for the Chicago Tribune and at the next hash, 50 people showed up. It was a benchmark. The Chicago hash began taking on a new and improved image and membership as more men and promiscuous women joined in. John Prince of Darkness Miller became the new grand master and taught male hashers how to romance female hashers by drinking beer from their shoes, or any handy opening. Chicago hashers began attending Inter-Hash ordeals. The next A highlight was Phuket, Thailand, where George Chicken George Houde had to abandon his new bride when he ran out of cash. Ken Driftwood Krause also had to leave a bride behind, but she was an Eskimo and that is a different story.

Hashers met on runs, got married, had babies and so forth. Some even got jobs. It was life after the on-on. Many of the original hashers are still around, unfortunately, and may show up for the 30th anniversary festivities. Or whatever it is. E Horn-E Foersch is the longest running member of this Drinking Club with a Running Problem having first hashed in 1985, Ray No Penetration Karenas, who also started hashing in 1985 whilst playing rugby with the Chicago Lions RFC, is the longest drinking member having met Prince of Darkness at Durkin’s which Prince was part owner, and still shows up from time to time looking like the ageless wonder that he is. In fact, Big John and No Penetration first met while both played rugby together at Illinois State University.

Rugby, the ties that bind…Look for Prince of Darkness to pop up over the event week-end as well. On-On.

GM’s as best as anyone’s memory can provide:

  • Sir Guy of Guy
  • Big John
  • Don Higgins
  • Prince of Darkness
  • Downwind
  • Meister
  • Soar Balls
  • B. O. B.
  • Horn-E
  • Good Swallow
  • Mudsucker
  • Virtually Hung
  • Too Loose To Screw
  • Chicken Stiffer
  • Erin Go Buff
  • Fistful of Pricks
  • Snatchsquatch
  • Soul Taco
  • Dr. Cockvorkian