Removable Tin Fire-Escape

This morning I got my invitation to the annual meeting of the Amalgamated Squash Chowder and Development Corporation in Keene, New Hampshire.

The ASC&D was founded a half century ago to manage what is perhaps the oldest continuously-used squash court in the country. The clubhouse consists of a hardball court and a tiny gallery. It has been moved three times since it was originally built around 1910. It is still the best squash club in Keene and perhaps in the nation.

The annual meeting, which I attended in 2003, is always great fun: they serve chowder on the court and the business end of the meeting is quite short—mostly they report on which overseas club they’ve bamboozled into setting up reciprocal agreements with the ASC&D.

It ends with every new ASC&D member ceremoniously exiting through the unique fire escape that unwinds from the removable front-wall tin. Sadly, this year’s invitation mentioned that for want of bathrooms, the members have revolted and the meeting will be held at the Historical Society of Cheshire County, which has, I am told, better toilet facilities but, alas, a more standard fire escape apparatus.