The Clubhouse and Club Property: Past and Future
On October 1, 1983 Aroma Associates was formed. Under this umbrella, the Aroma Associates, made up of ten members of the TNRFC, purchased the house (they each ponied up $500.00 for the down payment.) on 1619 East 34th and christened the Clubhouse at the Christmas Social of that year. We rented out the house and parked ourselves in the garage. From that first day a bottle of Cooks champagne (Rob Simpson WWU President brought it) stayed on the rafters until we sold and moved out and somebody threw it away not realizing it was the christening bubbly.
When we acquired the clubhouse it was in a sorry state of disrepair. Among other things the leaky clubhouse roof needed to be fixed. It was a single pitch roof with major sag. Doug Pedersen generated a construction plan with an estimated cost of 60 dollars. The operation started smoothly. Doug carefully measured and marked the line of the cut. Magouryk fired up his chain saw and proceeded to saw fearlessly along the chalk line, chewing through the old roof, sheathing, joists, and nails, with smoke and sparks flying from the chainsaw blade. Halfway through the operation, the chain came off the saw bar and embedded itself in the hand-guard. After checking for missing fingers, Jim hollered down for a wrench, remounted the chain, and finished up. The cut rafters were then lifted off the ridge beam from below with a Y-shaped post, which was raised by an automotive floor jack manned by Tank Yielding. Later, club members under the able direction of Ken Van Buren installed a new split roof membrane. Showers and a toilet room were constructed in the basement with materials donated by Harrison Plumbing and others, and expertly plumbed by Gorazd Markovcic. As it turned out, Doug overbid his roof job, it came in at 58.00. Clint Smith, an old rugby bud of Barney’s from college, gave us our newfangled fire stove after the original 15 man round garbage burner finally failed.
A low point occurred after kicking out an early renter-from-hell, for failure to pay the rent on the house. After fumigating, and cleaning the maggots out of the refrigerator, and removing the food and feces from the floors and walls, the house was re-carpeted by Tank and Doug using carpet salvaged by Barney Rapp from an office remodel.
That Clubhouse brought us so many great things. We have in secret storage the sign from Western Washington’s rugby house in Bellingham ‘One Thousand Indian.’ We have the elk horn from the bar in Reno (they observed us as we took it and cheered us on. The airport tagged it with a luggage tag stating they weren’t responsible for damage but they didn’t consider it might impale someone’s luggage.) We have the bucket from Devon on Dorssett. We have an autographed ball from the Japanese National team, a plaque from the New Zealand Combined Services, Bam-Bam’s ‘Cote du Nomad’ vino-the wine came from the grapes in the arbor behind the clubhouse on which we peed freely and constantly…. the TNRFC banner that Diana Wachtel stitched together, and there’s always the prophylactic tusked elephant-The Mastacondom, and countless club and touring side plaques and other Nomadic paraphernalia.
We sold the house in 1994 and continue to be clubhouse-less, although that situation will soon change. In order to one day build a new clubhouse a Building Fund was established sometime after Aroma Associates was formed by frequent President Barney Rapp. That day has come. Barney negotiated the purchase of the property adjacent to our home pitch on Portland Avenue. We intend to have a clubhouse built by ????.
At present we hold our post-game activities at The Varsity Bar & Grill in downtown Tacoma.