Everyone knows about the not-so-secret societies at Yale, but did you know about the indoor practice polo pony at the gym?
First of all, the Payne Whitney Gym is in a 9-story Gothic cathedral-like tower. This is Yale after all, and Gothic’s the thing. Second, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, this gym is the largest in the world.
Now, with the important stuff out of the way, we get to the trivia I love. The practice polo pony. Admit it, we all need one. This one is so precious, it’s kept in a locked room. Still, I send you a ghostly picture of the very one, behind bars. Oh, I how I longed to ride it and practice my swing! Alas, too secret for me.
Mory’s is a 110 year old, private club loosely associated with Yale, without actually being a part of it. It has its own Board of Governors, but members have to be affiliated with the university in some way to enjoy it. Why? Another mystery. But no mystery that it started as a ‘boy’s club.’
Julie and I ventured in tonight, just to look around. A friend of a friend, Ify was happy to give us a tour.
She showed us the President’s Room and the Captain’s Room (sports, not sea) and the Temple Bar, where the students go. There’s a dress code–business casual–and oldies but goodies on the menu, like Welsh Rarebit (hot cheddar cheese poured over toast, not rabbit).
And there are lots of pictures. My favorite was of George Bush, who misspelled the name Mory’s. So what else is new?
Like any private club, Mory’s has its rituals. A capella groups come here to sing for their dinner. Yes, the Whiffenpoofs included. Mory’s is basically their home spot. Women’s a capella groups sing there now, too. They sit at a table, order dinner, and not long after, start to sing. Then they wander around the club singing.
The singing tradition also links to the drinking ritual of the Cups. Groups order a cup of mixed alcohol, designated by color. Some are champagne-based (gold), others beer-centered (amber), and liquors can get mixed to make purple, blue, and green Cups. Hmm.
The Cup–no, not a little thing, but a trophy-sized cup–is then passed around the group, each taking a drink, while singing a drinking song. The last to drink from the Cup, puts it upside down on a cloth, or harder yet a paper, napkin. if the napkin gets wet, that person has to pay for the Cup. Oh boy!
Did I mention that there’s a Cup room? A room of these trophy like Cups.
After 1972, women were allowed into Mory’s, so our presence wasn’t remarkable. The secrets are out, if you can get in…