How to give a box supper social
by Epsie Kinard
Proof that one can be given for profit and pleasure is this lively example in Dryden, New York. Here, the Home Bureau’s 30 members, ages from 20-40, pull in husbands and other men guests, take over the upper floor of the firehouse, and raise $75 from a box supper social.
“Going, going, awful cheap! Now, who will make it $5?” cajoles this glib-tongued auctioneer. There are three spellbinders, one just after the other.
To make bidding for a lady’s box more fun — in it is supper for two, for her and the lucky man winning her good food — the bids begin at $1. One box brings $38.50. But only 10% of each bid is actually paid. To sharpen bidding, some have surprises tucked in with the food — gimmicks the auctioneers tout as though the box has the Koh-i-noor diamond hidden inside.
The women are very clever at decorating boxes, and every box masquerades as something to draw “ah’s” from admirers: a gumdrop cottage, a circus chariot, a “California-or-Bust” covered wagon. No shape or size stumps inventiveness, and wit wins its own reward on the auction block. Loved for its sly fun is the box carrying a back yard with a picket fence on its lid. Across it is a washline strung with some absurdly small unmentionables.
Before boxes are opened, however, (at midnight), the hoedown and other folk dances shake the rafters. For the music, there are a stack of square-dance and folk-dance records and some fancy “calling” over a mike by an administrative officer of a nuclear research lab, who makes this his hobby. “Swing your partner” shares honors with calls to join hands for Hungarian dances, for free-style polkas. With the glee of kids, these grownups play Musical Box. For this game, a box goes the rounds of a circle, and the person holding it when the music stops has to drop out. The winner is the last one on the floor. His prize? It’s inside the box he’s holding, of course.
The menu: Three sandwiches, tuna or chicken salad, deviled eggs, stuffed celery, relishes, cupcakes, fruit, coffee brewed on the spot.