Of course all work and no play makes any OAE no fun to be around. These are the places to party in McMurdo, Willy Field, and Scott Base. Some places no longer exist except in the beer addled minds of the OAE's...
#1 The Acey-Ducey Club (RIP 1995)
The "Acey-Ducey club", which was located to the right of bld 155, next to the gym and bowling ally. It was a small club and seemed to cater to the "professional" partyers in McMurdo. It was also the "Day Bar" for those people who worked night check. It was open from 0700 to 1130 or so. Plenty of time to have a beer or 12 and catch the 1730 shuttle to work... In 1995 it was "renovated" into the Aerobics and Band room.
# 2 The Officers Club. (The Coffee House)
Picture courtesy of our friends at http://penguincentral.com/
The "Officers Club" is located by the bowling ally and bld 155. By the time I was in the squadron the Officers Club had been made into a "Coffee House" that served espresso and "Starchuck's" types of drinks. Irish Coffee was one of the best drinks served. It was a nice place to hang out and be mellow, play cards or pool. On Sunday afternoons the "local talent" would perform, which was pretty cool.
#3 The Chief's Club (Southern Exposure)
The "Chief's Club" is located next to bld 155 and in front of the Erebus Club. In 1992 the Chief's Club was still the Chief's Club. It was an open bar after 10 PM on the weekends, but it was "off limits" to us poor non-Chiefs. In 1993 the NSF took the Chief's Club away, and it was renamed the Southern Exposure Club. We (VXE-6er's) avoided this club on weekdays after it was taken away from the Chief's........
#4 The Erebus Club (Gallaghers)
The Erebus Club is located behind bld 155 and Medical. This was the "Enlisted Club" and the "open bar" for everyone. This was the party bar as it has a dance floor, pool tables, a hamburger grill, and a sports bar. This was the place to be for "Saturday Night Live" in McMurdo. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow is another day... After the Acey-Ducey club closed the Erebus Club became the Day Bar. Now you could get off work, have a few beers, walk to bld 155 and eat breakfast, back to the bar, and then to your home. Of course day check would get to check you out.....In 1997 Master Chief Galleger (ret) died in McMurdo a few weeks after the winter over season started. He had retired from the US Navy and was working for ASA as the Housing Officer. The club was renamed in his honor.
#5 The Officers Wardroom
The Officers Wardroom was located on the second deck of bld 155. This is where "Officer's Country" was located. They had the "good deal" up there as the Officers of VXE-6 and NSFA had their own mess. It was stocked up with the best New Zealand beers and the prices were right. How did I know? C'mon, I was a an LC-130 Loadmaster..unless it came by ship we "transported" everything.. Why else would we have 2,000 lbs of "squadron gear" on every flight... Of course it was "off limits" to the Enlisted people..... But it "seemed" to be one of the places to be for the "after hours" parties and where the Herc Crews could get together and debrief their flights. The downside to it? The CO and XO of NSFA were down the hall, and the CO and XO of VXE-6 were on the other side of the hall.
#6 The Chief's Club part II
The Chief's Mess was located on the first deck of bld 206. The majority of the Chiefs lived on the first deck of bld 206. Each deck had a tv lounge, so the first deck tv lounge was turned into the Chiefs Club, or more accurately the Chief's Mess. They had a nice tv, radio, and pool table, along with a very nicely stocked bar. How did I know? See the Officers Wardroom above. The Chiefs Mess was another place to go after hours to have a beer or two and a great place to get that "special training" only a US Navy Chief can give. If you were not a Chief you had to be an invited guest to have a cold one.
Scott Base Pub
The Scott Base pub is located at the New Zealand base about halfway down the Willy road. This was one of the best bars in Antarctica, although it was kind of small. It was an "invitation only" type of pub for all non Kiwi's. Of course that never stopped me...
Willy Field Tavern
The Willy Field Tavern was located (of course) at Willy Field. If you lived or worked at Willy Field then this was the place to be. None of that sissy Mac Town foo foo bars for the real men of VXE-6!! If you were a FNGY looking to be packed then this was the place to be. The Willy Field Tavern always reminded me of that country bar in the movie "The Blues Brothers". All it needed was chicken wire.... The Willy Field Tavern was where the "King and Queen" contest was held...until PC'ness reared it's ugly head. The Willy Field tavern was closed down in 1994 when the housing at Willy was condemned. Of course, the following season due to a housing shortage the housing at Willy Field was reopened. The Tavern and the chow hall were not reopened though. A couple of AE's liberated some of the decorations from the Tavern and the barbershop chair and opened up Willy Field South in the lounge of their dorm. It was the place to be when Herbies blew in at Willy....
Icestock is the local talent concert from McMurdo, Willy Field, and Scott Base getting together and having an outdoor concert and hippie happening. It was a great time to play Frisee-Bee, drink, and have fun. The Chili Cook-Off was at the same time if I remember correctly.
The Halloween party is the first major blow-out of the summer season. It was held in the Helo Hanger, and was the way to start off the season!! Of course there was a Halloween Costume Contest. It was a requirement!!
There is no actual party for Thanksgiving, but the chowhall went all out for Thanksgiving Dinner. You had to select a time when you wanted to eat, so you would get with a bunch of friends and get a time block of tickets. It was the first dress-up event of the year.
The Christmas party is held in the ASA Heavy Shop. This was the best party of the year. They had BBQ'd steaks with all of the BBQ fixings. People were on their best behavior, plus the fact that the close of the summer season was coming.
New Years eve!!
The New Years eve party is held in the Gym, and was the biggest party of the year!! This was the party where actual kegs of beer from New Zealand were brought down, and the one night where everyone checked their brains at the door!! The party only ended when all of the kegs were floating and the last of the bottles were in the recycling bin.