Retro RFH Pits of Senior Lounging Daze

RFH seniors lounging in the Senior Commons circa 1974
Photo/RFH Yearbook

It’s the pits! That’s what lounging at RFH on school day afternoon … or morning amounted to — sinking into the conversation pits.

It was all the ’70s rage — pits and bean bag chairs. Who knew? Well, RFH seniors did. After all, the grooviest of ’70s homes had them, too — pits and bags. And in their free time, RFH seniors would gather and socialize. And it was the pits for them as far as gathering went in the RFH Senior Commons.

Hanging their feet into the pits of this RFH niche was pretty status quo. But, sometimes, when they wanted something to lean on with more of a lounge feel, they’d just sprawl out deep into the not-so-deep pit, head on a bean bag or cushion on the steps and legs bent, books on the lap. Hey, it was a good study pose. Or something. Lest we forget that there were no laptops, cell phones or even desktop computers in this age of the ol’ RFH dinosaur. Talk about a beastly reminder …

But what there was … was an awful lot of gather and chatter mentality with nothing to stare at but one another — especially in the confines of a pit. Call them the social media of the ’70s, but better in one major way, at the very least.

Those pits were designed to encourage conversation among friends, family and guests in homes and lounges, gently offering people nowhere to go but face-to-face with one another. Conversation. Remember that?

And an awful lot of conversing among seniors went on in that lounge. If those brick walls could only talk, it’s a pretty sure bet a lot of senior secrets of days (OK, decades) gone by would be revealed. Talk was not cheap then. It was pricey and sought after like Lilly Pulitzer and those gold clasp belts from Rumson Roulette. Yes, talk was savored in those ’70s pit days.

And on otherwise dismal days, like the past few, those gatherings in the RFH Senior Commons were known to be pretty warm in every way. They were intellectual at times, too. Some cool teachers even held court in the pits of the lounge.

Tell us your lounge pit story! Two teachers often remembered for their academic and social banter in the pits were Gordo (aka Jeff Gordon) and Bob Berberich. Remember any others? Oh, and the cafeteria folks were there, too. Your fav?

The pits? Nope. Pure conversational pleasure of the ’70s.