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Social Groups & Organizations

The Raccoons - Fraternal organization on the situation comedy THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56.

Raccoon members Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden - THE HONEYMOONERS
Raccoons Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden

Bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and sewer worker Ed Norton (Art Carney) were members of the Raccoon Lodge located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.

The group was called by either "The International Order of Friendly Sons of the Raccoons"; "The International Order of Loyal Raccoons", or at times, "The Royal Order of Raccoons."

A stuffed raccoon rested on the lodge bookcase flanked on either side by a pair of trophies. The Raccoon's slogan is "E Pluribus Raccoon".

Toots Mondello and Herman Hildebrand are the two men credited with founding the Raccoons in 1907. Their national conventions are held in Chicago and in Minneapolis.

Membership Roster
- Bensonhurst Chapter of The Raccoons -

Ralph Kramden
Edward Norton
Frank Brady
Brother Casey
Red Courtney
Brother Donovan
Brother Durgom
Flaherty
Brother Garrity
Brother Gavin (his father is a thirteen-tail Raccoon)

Brother Hurdle
Brother Kennedy
Frank MacGuillicuddy
Brother Miller
Jack Philbin
Brother Poss
F.Ruggerio (president)
Brother Smithers
Brother Stevens
Charlie Sullivan
George Williams

Morris Fink is the Raccoons' Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler


The Raccoon alma mater
(sung to the Marine Corps "Hall of Montezuma")

From the hallowed streets of Greenpernt
To the shores of Sheepshead Bay
From the Verrazano Narrows
To Canarsie across the way
We have come together, one and all
In Fellowship to commune
And to glorify the Grand Exalted
Brotherhood of Raccoons
[ Howl ]


The Raccoon Lodge Marching Song

In the West and in the East
There's a mighty little beast
For courage there is no other.
When the chips are all at stake
We are proud to call him brother.
So with our noble tails entwined
And a spirit strong of mind
We'll have hearts that cannot melt.
In the forest, in the trees
On the land or seven seas
We're brothers under the pelt.
Raccoons, the noble Raccoons

The 300 hundred members of the Bensonhurst chapter of the Racoon Lodge wore double-breasted military jackets with oversized epaulets on each shoulder, white shirts, dark ties and hats with a raccoon tail dangling from the back. Their uniforms cost $35.00.

Morris Fink, a fellow sewer worker of Ed Norton was the Head Raccoon (Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler). He wore three tails on his coonskin hat. George Williams was the head of the Bensonhurst Raccoons.

When the Raccoons greeted each other they touched their elbows together (first right then left) and then lifted their raccoons tails and howled a "Wooooooo!" noise. Their verbal welcome was "Brothers under the Pelt".

Section 2 of the by-laws listed their minimal entry requirements. Members had to be a US citizen for the last six months; have a public school diploma; and pay a $1.50 initiation fee. The lodge's monthly dues were $2.00. If you were lucky enough to become

Raccoon of the Year (he wore platinum braid on his uniform) your privileges included:

  1. Opening the first clam at the annual clambake.
  2. Steering from the bridge of the boat on the annual ride up the Hudson River to Raccoon point.
  3. Free burial with spouse at Raccoon National Cemetery in Bismarck, North Dakota.
  4. Chance to run for Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler;
  5. The honor of throwing the first bag of water out the hotel window at the Raccoon convention.

Other lodge sponsored social events were an annual fishing trip (wives not allowed); a National Mambo dance championship, the Annual Costume Party; and the Raccoon Lodge bowling team, the Hurricanes. There was a fee of $15.00 for each event. Their favorite food was beer and nuts. Their drinking toast was "Fingers to fingers, thumbs to thumbs, watch out below, here she comes."


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