Hash Number History

Date: Wed Jun 9, 2004 3:14 pm
Subject: Tidbits on H3 Numbering and Full Moons

To start off with, thanks for a GREAT 1100th Weekend (or whatever number it was). It was great to see old friends and to put faces to the email names of those carrying on with the PGH H3 these days.

Now if a little background on how we got where we are number/tradition wise is helpful in making up your minds, here’s a little history. It took the PGH H3 4 years to complete the first 100 Hashes (Run 66 – my first run -was well into the 4th year and they were pretty much every week after that). I don’t know if the Hare Raiser planned runs to have the 100th fall around the Hash anniversary, but it did. We didn’t have Thanksgiving or Memorial Day Hashes during many of the earlier years so it was easy to keep accurate count and still have even 50’s fall on the early June weekend (we also didn’t have Contra Hashes then, nor Full Moon Hashes – Hell, we were lucky to have a hare for each week). The 150th was a one run, one party, no visitor weekend so there were no problems with the numbering system even then.

Then something happened – and that something was the Americas Interhash in Atlanta in September 1985. Somehow we heard about it (communications not being what they are today) and eight of us went down there. The Pittsburgh Hash was more than 5 years old then and we had never even seen or heard of, let alone done a down-down!! (The Pittsburgh Hash was 7 years old before we had our first Grand Master). Boy, were we surprised. And we learned quickly from the experience. While not a turning point, it was definitely a point of acceleration for the PGH H3. By the 200th run (6 years into the PGH Hash) we had visitors from Reading and Philly and pulled off a 3 run weekend. If we had a problem with numbers, they were ignored or we may have skipped a week or two of Hashes so the numbers would work (Folker has the records). But it was one beer stop on the 250th that put Pittsburgh on the map as “A place to be” for Hash roadtrips. Bwana and Beat It took us across a US Steel railroad bridge which brought out cops from several boroughs (North Braddock and Whitaker on the south side of the river there) and they hauled in up to a dozen people. For those who made it through the dragnet, we stopped at Phyllis’s Downbeat for a beer. Our hares had arranged a band and some friendly, yes, very friendly dancers for our entertainment. The rest as they say is history. By great coincidence we had Mr. Spock of San Diego with us that day. At the time, he edited the national Interhashional News letter and we got his nationwide stamp of approval.

The point of all this is that up through 7 years, a tradition was established, not by particular design but because it was still fairly easy to be both accurate and traditional. By now enthusiasm in the PGH H3 had hit full stride and we started to have Hashes for lot of events like Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice, Wednesday and other special events AND we no longer skipped any of the Holidays. On top of this we were doing 4 runs on an anniversary weekend. Now we had a problem. To deal with it we have cheated (and come to think of it, it must have been some pretty good cheating) on accuracy and relied on the tradition which inadvertently developed as described above.

At the time, I was a Traditionalist while others, most notably Otter, was an Accuracyist. I don’t know what I am now. I like all of Thunder Chicken’s points, but at the same time knowing that EVERY Hash has a story (because of this, I have not been able to part with a single Hash T I’ve ever received), it’s somehow too bad that some don’t get equal billing. And while it is only a few runs a year, over the last 20 years, I guess they start to add up. I’m glad I don’t have to make a decision.

Many kennels separate their Full Moon runs into a separate Hash Designation. As to the formal existence of a PGH Full Moon H3, the following entry appeared in“On On” the official Hash history and directory published by Tim “Magic” Hughes of Harrier International fame in Bangkok, Thailand in 1992:

“The inaugural run of PGH FM HHH was staged in perilous, scenic, and devilishly rugged Southside on Thursday, September 14, 1989. To quote from the announcement bulletin: This historic evening has been literally minutes in the planning and will be a unique event you will look back on with decidedly mixed emotions for days to come. The swell T-shirts are not only of staggeringly gorgeous design, but also are destined to become precious collectors items of virtually incalculable value.”

BTW, I was wearing that shirt at this past weekend’s doings. And does anyone remember that the month BEFORE the first Full Moon run we ran under the light of a lunar eclipse – an event that only happens during full moons so even that counting was off by one, right from the start!!

Running on the Full Moon is something of special note and adds up. Pittsburgh should be closing in on 180 Full Moon Hashes. As such, I don’t think these should be rolled into the general counting of the PGH H3.

Now I think I’ll go into the other room and contemplate those issues raised by Bitchie – Solid or gas? Deliberate or accidental? Minimum cycle time? So many variables!!

On On

PS. If we really want to get anal about this – and when do we miss an opportunity to make an ass of our selves – we could borrow a page from corporate financial statements. We could accrue the miscellaneous unnumbered hashes and when the number gets large enough, amortize 50 of them on an anniversary weekend and then start accruing all over again. This way all anniversary weekends are divisible by 50 and all eventually get counted. Then again – Naw! Happy Counting.

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