Resurrecting Crud – with a feminine touch

  • Published
  • By Katy Drost
  • 71st Operations Support Squadron

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The ladies of the 71st Operations Group are reviving a Vance tradition lost in recent years.

Four of the group’s squadrons will bring Ladies Crud back to the Vance Collocated Club, March 4.

The challenges for a comeback are many. Crud’s popularity waned here in the last decade. The dilapidated Crud table, similar to a pool table, is now used to serve desserts at official functions.

The neglected table symbolizes the collapse of a game that once answered every young Airman’s question of what to do on a Friday night.

Many of the ladies who will hit the Crud table hard at the initial tournament March 4 have never played, or even witnessed the game invented by Canadians and adopted by American fighter pilots.

For the past month, they have gathered to learn, to laugh and to socialize around the Club’s crumbling Crud table, preparing to shatter misconceptions.

After the March 4 tournament, Crud will no longer be the sole property of fighter jocks and their inebriated minions. The ladies who will play in the tournament are accomplished, fun-loving women who represent the wonderfully diverse demographics at Vance. They range from spouses who are stay-at-home moms to active-duty enlisted.

Everyone playing wants to win for both personal and squadron pride. From the competition of racing around a billiards table chasing a little striped ball into a hole comes something truly important.

It is a feeling at the end of the night, as winners are proclaimed and losers buy drinks, that we are all in this together. We share something -- a camaraderie -- that springs from the common experience of coming from somewhere else to this little base in Middle America.

A camaraderie grounded in knowing that each assignment is less about the location and more about the people and the memories. Come March 4, let’s make another great Vance memory.

Let’s play Crud.