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Hashing Interview: Fifteen Questions for I Feel Tower

I met I Feel Tower two Sundays ago when he dropped in on a Pima Independent Sunday Social Hash trail I hared. He’d contacted me earlier to tell me he was coming, and since the PISS Hash doesn’t get many visitors I worked extra hard to lay a decent trail. I think he liked it, even though our little hash is more sedate than most of the kennels he runs with.

It’s been a while since I interviewed a hasher, but I Feel Tower’s hashing resume is an impressive one, and I thought you might like to learn a little more about him.

Walt Moore (yes, he has a mortal name) is originally from Virginia, where he started hashing 17 years ago. Today he lives in New York City, where he hashes with the Long Island Lunatics HHH, Queens Black Knights HHH, and Skull & Boners HHH. Over the years he’s held about every mismanagement office there is; he’s also the founder of 11 kennels, 8 of which are still on trail.

I_Feel_Tower

I Feel Tower in the Missouri River on a Big Hump H3 trail

I asked I Feel Tower what kind of hash he prefers. He’s hashed with single-sex and mixed kennels and tells me he prefers the mixed ones; although he confesses to being a bit too slow to live lay as often as he’d like, he’s a fan of live trails. A hasher after my own heart, he says the best circles are singing circles. Damn right!

Let’s meet our latest interview subject, shall we?

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When & where was your first hash?

I began hashing with the Richmond Hash in December of 1997. We ran by a building site on that fateful trail. The beer stop was placed on top of a 40-foot mountain of saved topsoil. So we had to climb it hand over muddy hand. I was hooked!

How did you find the hash, or did the hash find you?

My wife, 2nd Cumming, and I came to the hash at the invitation of her brother, TIC, & his wife, Cums With Fingers.

How did you get your hash name?

When the Richmond Hash questions hashers for naming, it has always allowed stories that pre-date hash participation. Thus, I was named I-Feel Tower in 1998 because my 1st experiences were in Paris in Pigalle one night in 1977.

When & where was your first away hash?

I didn’t discover the joys of travel hashing until 2001. That year I visited the Appalachian, Fort Lee and Charlottesville Hash House Harriers. I also took a train to DC for their infamous Red Dress Run. I’ve been traveling ever since.

Where have you hashed?

In the last 17 years, I have visited 122 kennels in North America, Europe, India, and Malaysia.

Do you have any favorite haring techniques?

Here are two examples illustrating why I could never be McGyver: While setting the first Medley Of Mud trail in the Great Swamp (aka “Maggie’s Hole”), I discovered an abandoned fiberglass ExCargo car top carrier. The swamp was flooded and the water was fast. So I flipped it over, sat in it crossed-legged and poled it along like a boat. Things were going great until I realized I had no way to steer or back up. So I abandoned ship… and most of my gear. Another time, I was setting trail in Missouri. I came upon a large culvert along a creek that I wanted to explore but I had no flashlight. No worries. I spotted a cattail, wrapped some toilet paper around it, doused it with Purell and lit it with my cigar lighter- all essential trail items. I had an excellent torch…for about 7 yards when it burned out.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

I was floored by the hospitality of my going away trail at the Richmond Hash. I had been there for 11 years. For my part: I set a gruesome trail and made personalized Medley Of Mud boonie hats for attendees. Most everyone showed up from Richmond, Charlottesville, Fort Eustis and Tidewater. They made me Trail Master Emeritus for my 4 years of service in that role. They signed and gave me the FRB paddle and I had a great send-off on the ice. It was a perfect hash.

What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

I hared the shiggy trail with Jerry’s Kid for Virginia’s Interhash X in 2003. During our practice run, I peed underwater in the swamp at a beer stop. Why not? I was waist-deep in a wasteland! I thought I’d only improve the water quality. The joke was on me as I nearly died of Typhoid Fever. I lost 12 pounds in 12 days and had infections in my bladder and prostate. However, I’m happy to report I recovered in time to set the actual trail 2 months later. On the bright side, I knew as the trail began that nothing worse would ever happen to inspire hashers to rename me.

What’s the most dangerous trail you’ve done?

I hared a Medley Of Mud trail along Upham Brook, an impressive swamp near Richmond. One of my regulars, RUFUS, was a former Marine who couldn’t swim. I always brought a life jacket for him. We had a terrific storm that caused a huge flash flood. Somehow, we found some of the beer at the beer stop along the brook. When I set it, it was resting on the sand. By the time we got there, we were all waist to chest deep and the water was brown, angry and getting higher by the minute. Laa-Laa thought it would be a funny prank to grab RUFUS, life jacket and all, and float downstream. I felt compelled to follow to keep him alive (RUFUS not Laa-Laa). But first I advised everyone else to go back by the road. Then I grabbed the hashit. I reasoned, if I died, it’d be in the proper hands, right? I swam downstream with a couple of volunteers. We really flew! By the time we found RUFUS and Laa-Laa, they both needed our help. We formed a human chain and pulled them to safety.

What’s been your most remarkable hashing experience?

Titanic’s hash funeral has to be the best I’ve ever seen or heard about. He came from my hometown of Richmond VA, but as far as I know he never hashed there. Instead, he moved to KL where he started their full moon. When he died in 2002, the KL Full Moon memorial was a sight to see! Every hasher in the entire Klang Valley showed up for the trail. Then, they all donned black T-shirts featuring Titanic’s caricature for the on-after. This party was held in the ballroom of a country club with an expansive display of Malaysian food, two musical acts, Charlie Dynamite spinning tunes, speeches, a few tears and dancing. It was quite a send-off! For my part, I founded a full moon as a memorial for Titanic following an equally moving Irish Wake in Richmond. Titanic’s mother, one of my favorite hashers and my inspiration for this new hash, was named Unsinkable Molly Brown that night. She’s been hashing with us ever since.

What’s the most memorable trail you’ve done?

Here is a 6-pack of snapshots:

  • Petaling HHH: We ran in the 100 degree jungle heat, up 50 degree hills and right through a village of aborigines. This was my first Malaysian trail and first time on the ice.
  • Derry HHH: 8 Richmond Hashers were inspired to fly to Northern Ireland for the inaugural. We were joined in Derry by an American ex-pat couple and a handful of their Irish friends. This hash was SO PERFECT it only lasted one trail.
  • Big Hump HHH: Trail featured a huge, wet cliff of mud. I placed the beer stop right on top of it. Then, we used it as a sliding board down to Schoenberg Creek.
  • Southern Comfort HHH: The hares perilously crossed a rock quarry at night. Most folks had no flashlight and sudden drop-offs were everywhere. There was also a 40-yard swim in the moonlight. Points to the one hasher who completed trail totally nude. This occurred at America’s Interhash in Savannah GA.
  • Key West HHH: The hare’s trail penetrated a large mangrove thicket and dropped us into the Salt Canal just as a violent thunderstorm rolled in. He had instructed us to “swim to the left.” This was especially hairy due to the lightening strikes and powerboats racing to get to home. One in our party couldn’t swim, so a Coastie towed him along for quite a ways. We finally found a retired couple that invited us into their backyard for beer and safety.
  • Richmond HHH: Clam ChowHer, A dear friend and true blue fan of the Medley Of Mud, died in 2013. I set the same trail he and I had set two years before in the Chickahominy Swamp. This was a Medley memorial and I made patches featuring his likeness for “survivors.” 60 hashers showed up including a busload from DC. Little did we know a tornado was bearing down on us! It traveled directly overhead just after our opening circle. It tore the roof off the building next door. We all sheltered in the nearest car we could find. After it blew over, we ran trail, stopped a freight train, saw a burning tree out in the middle of the swamp and enjoyed a feast of pizza, beer, and stories at the on-after. Clam ChowHer himself was said to be the cause of our extra helping of shiggy.

What’s your favorite hashing event?

Gispert-speed to the Medley Of Mud! I created this summer series of slop in 2003 in homage to Rambo, of Charlottesville Hash fame. We thrive on death defying shiggy in the swamps that seem to surround Richmond VA. One of our haunts, the Chickahominy, is arguably the most impenetrable swamp in the US. After all, the US Army couldn’t cross it in 1863. The Medley regularly attracts folks from one and even two states away.

Have you ever been busted while laying or running trail?

I was nearly arrested for murdering my son. No shit, there I was, in Belleville, Illinois. I was scouting along a very shiggy creek with my 11 year old. I came back the next week without him. The neighbors watching from their window took note. They also took note of the large, red Swiss Army duffle I was dragging into the woods. They noticed the red spray chalk on my hands, too. Next thing I know, I’m happily situating the beer and ice out of my duffle down by the creek when I hear a Belleville Policeman tell me not to move. I have no idea how he got that close! His gun was about 4 feet from my face. I was handcuffed and two of them led me up the hill to their car. More police cars began showing up as they asked me questions, took pictures and examined the machete in my trunk. I had just moved to town, so I had out of state plates, no job and the only person I knew only knew my hash name. So when they called Hailey’s Comet, he said “Walt? Walter Moore? Never heard of him.” Somehow I talked my way out of this mess … and got the beer back!

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

It has been my honor to have founded 11 hash house harriers kennels. I’m happy to report 8 of these are still going strong and are listed on my Hash Founders Hash profile (Hat #86). Here’s the full list:

  • Titanic Memorial Full Moon HHH in Richmond VA on 3/27/02
  • Hoodoo HHH in Richmond VA on 10/10/05 R.I.P.
  • Derry HHH in Northern Ireland on 11/12/06 R.I.P.
  • Tumbling Dice Full Moon HHH in St Louis MO on 6/20/08
  • CoMoTION HHH in Columbia MO on 10/18/08
  • Louisville HHH in Louisville KY on 3/28/09
  • Lexington Lunatics HHH in Lexington KY on 4/29/10
  • Long Island Lunatics HHH on Long Island NY on 5/6/12
  • Wet Cunt HHH in NYC on 10/30/12 R.I.P.
  • Queens Black Knights HHH in Queens NY on 4/12/13
  • Skull & Boners HHH in New Haven CT on 11/10/13

What’s in your hashing future?

More hashing! I believe this is truly the world’s most perfect sport.

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