The Raccoons - Fraternal
organization on the situation comedy THE
Raccoons Ed Norton and Ralph
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.
- Bensonhurst Chapter of The Raccoons -
Brother Gavin (his father is a thirteen-tail Raccoon)
Morris Fink is the Raccoons' Grand High
Exalted Mystic Ruler
The Raccoon alma mater
(sung to the Marine Corps "Hall of
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
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
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
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
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
- Opening the first clam at the annual clambake.
- Steering from the bridge of the boat on the annual ride up the
Hudson River to Raccoon point.
- Free burial with spouse at Raccoon National Cemetery in
Bismarck, North Dakota.
- Chance to run for Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler;
- 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
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