History of the Queens Hash House Harriers
The need for a Queens Hash has been discussed intermittantly over the past few years. Queens has been the locus for a number of NYCH3 Sunday runs, especially the area of Flushing Meadow Park. With the founding of the Brooklyn Hash in 1993, about half the Queens residents who hashed with NYCH3 moved from Queens to Brooklyn in order to be closer to the runs. This same person, David Byron-Brown, also attained high office in the NYCH3, and between Brooklyn Hash and NYCH3 found little time to return to this ancestral flat overlooking the LIRR staging yard. The remaining 50% of the Queens Hashers, one Geof Baldwin, is never in town anyway, being too busy developing intelligence abroad for MI5 (or MI6, depending upon who’s paying better) under the light cover of U.N. employment.
In the meantime the Brooklyn Hash developed a steady following on alternate Mondays, which left many people with nothing to do on the Monday night it didn’t run. One such person, Keith Kanaga, commented on the emptiness of Monday life to Marian Konop, founder of the GGFMH3. Keith suggested that the solution was to have a hash the Mondays Brooklyn Hash did not run, and that it should be located in Queens. He also announced that he was starting one there in 1996, come what may. ‘Great,’ said Marian, ‘I used to live in Queens, I know it well. I also have a car. I’ll co-found it with you.’
And so they did.
The first run was held April 1st, 1996. Many in the tri-state hashing community felt this was another none-too-subtle attempt at an April Fools’ trick. However, the temptation to hash, and to have a founding date known for unsubtle humor was too much for Kanaga and Konop, and it really did start on that date.
The first run was held at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard, primarily because Marian had a friend whose son owned a new bar near there, and would give the Hash a good deal. On March 30th the ‘friend’ upped the beer price 50%, so we went to a different bar in the end, where we got screwed by them, too.There was also some historical significance to the start, since Joe Landy set a Brooklyn Hash from the same start in the summer of ’95. Several hours later the pack finished near downtown Brooklyn, since Landy could not find a bar in Williamsburg. So we wanted to show that a great hash could actually start at this spot in Queens without an unusually high mortality rate.
Now, about this Red Dress stuff. I don’t know where it originated, but the combination of April Fools, Queens, and Hashing was irresistable to certain elements in the New York (Westchester) Hash. They clamored for a Red Dress Run, i.e. a run in which males and females alike dressed in red dresses, possibly even high heel shoes, and took this transvestism on the road, so to speak. It wasn’t our original intent, but hey . . . if they want to, go for it. The Committee did suggest that all Red Dress participants shave closely, and run quickly. There are a lot of ethnic neighborhoods in Queens where the only thing better than a sheep or goat is someone in a Red Dress.
With terrific support from New York City, Brookly, and New York (Westchester), fifty Hashers showed up. Two of them actually ran in Red Dress, including Ian Cumming, founder of Singapore H3 (the world’s second Hash) as well as New York (Westchester) H3. Given the rain all during the run, the barely visible trail, the crummy treatment at the bar, the lousy two bottles of beer apiece, and the extravagant charge for hash cash, April 1st makes a lot of sense as a start date. It’s a brilliant beginning