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     Roller Balls' Hash Handbook

 

What's Hashing? What's a Hasher? How do I Join? How'd the Hash start in Houston?

Who What Where When What to Bring How Much? Houston HASH History
WHO? Houstonians, we come from all walks of life...  doctors, lawyers, engineers, secretaries, school teachers, nurses, truck drivers, students... ages range from 21 to 60+      Most people are avid runners, but it's not a requirement.  Most everyone is welcome, men, women (the split is about 50/50), young (>21), old, single, married (again, about 50/50), divorced, employed, unemployed.  Membership is by word of mouth, there's no special fee or initiation or public humiliation involved.  The only requirement is a GOOD sense of  humor and adventure!

Basically, "hashers" love running and beer drinking, but neither is a requirement as long as you like to socialize, carry on, party, and have FUN!

WHAT? HASHING (verb), Hashers (noun), the Hash (noun),  Hash House Harriers (noun) originates from the British military's term for "mess hall", the Brits call the "mess hall" the "Hash House".  Mess Hall Runners translates to Hash House Harriers....  Hashing is based on a Hound and Hare game designed to make running FUN. The roots are firmly based with the British military and the Brits' sense of humor... there isn't anything so sacred you can't make fun of it ....

Hashing . . . it's a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work; most of all, it's a refreshing break from the nine-to-five routine. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on  three-to-six mile-long trails through town, country, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times.

Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of British colonial officials and expatriates founded a running club called the Hash House Harriers. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, nicknamed the "Hash House." Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British paper chase. A "hare" was given a head start to blaze a trail, marking his devious way with shreds of paper, all the while pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his clues to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and solving the clues, reaching the end was its own reward . . . for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer.

Hashing died out during World War II (Japanese occupying forces being notoriously anti-fun) but picked up in the post-war years, spreading through the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand, then exploding in popularity in the mid-70s. Today there are thousands of Hash House Harrier clubs in all parts of the world, with newsletters, directories, and even regional and world hashing conventions.

Hashing hasn't strayed far from its Kuala Lumpur roots. A typical hash today is a loosely-organized group of 20-40 men and women who meet weekly or biweekly to chase the hare. We follow chalk, flour, or paper, and the trails are never boring . . . we run streets and back alleyways, but we also ford streams, climb fences, explore storm drains, and scale cliffs. And although some of today's health-conscious hashers may shun a cold beer in favor of water or a diet soda, trail's end is still a party.

If you're wondering what's up this the weird names above, it's because most hashers have a nickname or "hash name".  The name is "awarded" by the Religous Advisor (a tongue in cheek name/title given to the person who runs the circle-up) and is usually brought forward by anyone who thinks he/she has a good case for a naming.   A name is based on anything stupid you did or said or were accused of doing or saying or anything else about yourself the rest of the hash can make fun of....   names usually involve some sort of silly story about the hasher in question.   The more juvenile, the better!

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WHERE? Anywhere in the Houston Area....   Some runs are entirely on streets.   But, more often than not, trails are laid through forest trails, creek bottoms, bayous, right-of-ways, "shiggy", storm sewers....  basically "anywhere".  The "Hares" pick the starting point and the ending point and lay the trail.  Every week, there's a different hare, so the run location is wherever they decide.

To see where we run, go to Roller's Ballatorium

To find out where the trail starts, CALL THE HASH HOTLINE (713-425-4274), you'll get a recording that gives directions to the Start.

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WHEN? Every Sunday afternoon or Monday evening, or whenever the hares decide...  Call the Hash HOTLINE for time and location.

 

What to Bring?

As we like to say, "If you only have half a mind... that's all you need!"  ...Wear old running clothes. Don't wear new shoes! Bring an extra set something dry to change into after the run (extra shorts or pants and a shirt, dry shoes or flip flops, maybe a towel) in  a small bag.

 

How Much? The cost is typically five bucks.  Money is collected at the run start by "Hash Cash".    This covers the what the hares spend to put on the run...   The hares typically provide water, a keg of beer, soda, chips, dip, snacks and sometimes BBQ, or Gumbo, or Thai Food, etc... their choice.  The only catch is, you have to find the end to get to the beer!

It's the cheapest entertainment in town!  ... A fun run, Beer! Soda! Snacks! And Friends!

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Hash History in Houston

The Houston Hash was founded on May 21st, 1979. Since that time it has logged over 1200 Runs!

The Houston Hash runs anywhere from 50 to 90 people at each run depending on the time of year and competing events elsewhere; like Christmas, Sex in the White House or, the Persian Gulf War... 

The History of the Houston Hash House Harriers as remembered by Bill “Puber” Huber on the occasion of Houston’s 50th Run, May 28th 1980.

“On May 21, 1979 after a brief presentation by the hare, Jay “Jay Bird” Gore, on the art of yelling “On-On”, thirteen individuals made Hash history by running in the first Houston Hash.

This group which consisted of Suzanne and Lee Maxwell, Hines Brannan, Dave Schnell, Terry Flood, Dudley Rosser, Bryant Winn, Abner Burnett, Lowell and Judy Locke, Dick Walton, Beth Harris, and Jay Gore didn’t know what they had gotten into.

Over the next few runs they would have to endure hurricanes, knee-high mud, fire ants, Geek and Lone Star beer, the only beer brewed in saddle bags.  Despite these inconveniences the hashers grew in both numbers and enthusiasm.  They learned and embraced the hashing traditions.  The initial officers were elected (Joint Masters: Abner Burnitt / Jay Grove, On-Sec: Jay Gore, Hash Cash: Bill Frost) and a weekly newsletter complete with Hash Trash was established. 

In search of good “hashing turf”, the pack ran in areas ranging from the bowels of the city, Montrose, to the wilds of the Addicks dam.  (Where the Fugawii ?)  From these early runs emerged the “hard-core” who would lead us into a new year.

With the advent of fall (1979) and the departure of our On-Sec, Jay Gore, the runs diminished in size but not in fervor.  Even the onset of unconventional trails, such as trails with loops or the lack of an ‘F’ at the end of a false trail, did not dissuade the hashers.  Finally, as the year ended, hares Allan Henley, Sandy Vilas, and Steve “Geek” Gardner laid out in succession three of the best runs to-date.  Exceptional as those runs were, the Christmas Hash Bash was the highlight of 1979. 

The beginning of the new year (1980) was a time of continued growth and improvement for the Houston Hash.  The number of new boots was growing rapidly (over twenty by May 1980), including several seasoned hounds coming from foreign countries. “   --- Bill Huber

The most notable of  these new members was a wild Aussie named Andy “Hash Twit” Whittle.  Andy had been the assistant song master for the Mother Hash, and along with all the Hash Songs he taught us, he also brought all the lore, history and excitement of  the Mother Hash to Houston.  I credit him with putting Houston on the “True Trail” to becoming one of the most enjoyable places to Party and Hash in the U.S.  His international hashing experiences, (hash war stories) had quite an influence on a young and developing hash.

The Houston hash has developed quite an international reputation over the years.  Our representatives have traveled to hashes in places such as Mexico City, San Jose’ Costa Rica, Bali, Jakarta, Sidney, New Zealand, KL, Bangkok, Guam, Hong Kong, Athens, Cypress, Egypt, Pukette, Trinidad, London, Brussels and even Baton Rouge LA to spread the news that Houston is the place to hash if you’re coming to the U.S.  

Houston hashers have made many new and enduring friendships as they have traveled the world to enjoy the thrill of the Hash.  We welcome all of our old friends and many of our new friends to be, to come to Houston to take full advantage of the hospitality of a hash club extraordinary.   

 

GENEALOGY OF THE HOUSTON H3

Name of Hash :  Houston Hash House Harriers 

Date Founded:  May 21, 1979

Founders Names:  

Grand Master :  Jay Gore -  Ex Washington DC hasher who moved to Philadelphia with the Accounting   firm of Arthur Anderson,  While he was there he helped to Found the  Philadelphia H3 in 1977.  
 He moved to Houston and Founded the Houston H3 on May 29th, 1979. 
 He moved to Pittsburgh PA and Founded the Pittsburgh H3 in 1980.

 Jay Gore was a Rugby player, his first new boots were recruited from his  
 team.

New Boots:  Abner “Doctor Strange Hash” Burnitt - Worked for Brown & Root - was Rugby player

Lee Maxwell - Rugby player

Susan Maxwell - Lee’s Wife & and one hell of a Hasher.

Steven “Geek” Gardner  - Rugby player, was on the second run and is still hashing 970         runs later.  One of Houston’s Current Grand Masters.

The Houston hash was started with just a few friends and a wife or two, within several weeks the circle of hashers included several employees of the Brown & Root and Honeywell companies.  Notable in the first few runs were: Linda Todd, Bill “Puber” Huber, Mazie “TT” Burke, Marty Stamp.

Hashers from Houston have moved on to be the founders of other USA hash groups.  Below are the hashes and the Ex-Houston hasher who Founded or Co-Founded them.

Bolder H3  Colorado George “The Bird Man” Scott  - Founder
Denver H3 Colorado    Glenn “Brown Helmet” Allison - Revitalized a almost dead hash
Phoenix H3 Arizona  Charles “Pussy Hound” Cobb - Founder - killed in plane crash 2 yrs later.
El Paso H3  Texas  Doug “Pervert” Taylor - Founder
Austin H3  Texas Doug “Pervert” Taylor - Founder
Brenham Texas John “Puke” Smith II - Founder
New Orleans Louisiana John ”Swamp Rat” Breland  - Founder
Birmingham Alabama Gary “Sewage” Hales - Founder
Montgomery Alabama Bill Booker & Chris Moore     - Founders - His mother hash was Philippines
Bakersfield California Pete Gernert - Ex GM Houston - Founder  - Started hashing in Singapore H3
Buffalo H3  New York John “Late Comer” Wieser - Co-Founder
San Antonio   Texas Robby  “Captin Naked” Holden  - Founder

The Houston Hash has held over 970 runs and has spawned several affiliated in town hashes, 
The Pelvic Congestion Hash   - Men only runs approximately on the 28th of the month.
The OTR = On the Rag Hash -Women only runs approximately on the 28th of the month.
The Full MOON Hash - Runs - You guessed it - On the Full MOON.
The Space City H3 - is also in Houston - Founded by Ralph “Mighty Mouse” Lopez - Ex Riyadh H3

ON-ON   Ray “Keezer the Sleezer” Kizer - Grand Master Houston H3

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