Twas the night before Christmas, 1930, the first year of the Great Depression. Julian English sat at the "Whit Hofman-crowd's table" in the smoking room at the Lantenengo Country Club in Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, listening to Harry Reilly tell his dirty stories in an Irish brogue.
The stag line was scattered over the floor by the time the band was working on the second chorus of the tune, and when Johnny Dibble suddenly appeared breathless, at the place where his cronies customarily stood, there were only two young men for him to address. "Jeez," he said. "Jeezozz H. Kee-rist. You hear about what just happened?"