Who are the Fagowees?
Every story has its beginning, and here is ours! The Fagowees have been going strong for over 45 years and getting stronger. It must be our philosophy of fun that has made us last so long. Dutch Mueller, our founder, started the ball rolling back in 1966. Dutch was a fast-talking smooth salesman who could sell anything to anyone! Back in 1966 he was selling F-U-N, and it didn't take long to find some buyers. Dutch, while working at the Hecht Company Ski Shop in Washington. D.C., had the opportunity to start his own ski club for "publicity" reasons, and compete with the 106 other ski clubs vying for members. Little did anyone realize what the Fagowees would become today.
Dutch got a few people together to start his club and as all good Fagowee Branches have started, met at the local pubs. As related by Dutch, the hardest part of starting the new club was finding a good name. "Fagowees" was not new; the name had been used by Dutch years before for a California social club long defunct. Someone mentioned it again and it hit -- we had a name, we had a group! Fagowees started, and the first few years brought in thousands of new members. At one point, Washington had 1,200 members.
The Fagowees came into official being on August 16, 1966, with those forming the club being Conrad "Dutch" Mueller, Doug and Shirley Hart, Jim White, Jackie Olcott, Dick Tondreau and Frank Gunion. At that time, they were unhappy with the Ski Club of Washington, not because of what SCWDC was doing, but what they felt the club was not doing, Naturally, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The Fagowees was set up with the idea that any activity (legal and reasonably moral) would be within the scope of the club's activities as long as there were enough members to support it. They decided that they would not be just a ski club (because this was too limiting), but would be an all-activity club that skied in the winter (and summer). Although the club was open to all ages back in the beginning, it was designed for adults, as almost all activities included drinking, and some activities only included drinking. As Dutch said, "Fagowees are lovers, and I have never heard of, or seen, a fight at any Fagowee event. It's much more fun kissing... and I'll fight the guy that says otherwise."
The Fagowees, although a fun-loving club, do have an Alcohol Policy that they abide by for the safety of all members:
I shall always drink responsibly
I shall not drink and drive
I shall never provide alcohol to anyone under 21
I shall protect my friends from violating the policy and will vow to keep them safe
The club is non-profit and was in debt the first three years, but since 1969 has been able to keep in the black. There currently are branch clubs in Cleveland, Denver, Sacramento, and Washington. Each branch conducts its own financial and political affairs and International serves as a coordinating body for trips including more than one branch. The President of each branch plus one club representative sits on the International Board of Directors. Each branch pays International dues for its members and in return receives all printing for membership cards and applications