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ron ll
01-14-2016, 12:58 PM
I'm going to a tontine meeting tonight. I'm finding not many people are familiar with the word. It was originated in the 1700s and is usually an investment strategy involving subscribers who's shares increase as each subscriber dies, leaving the last man standing as the beneficiary. It is also often central to plots in murder mysteries as the investment can be a motive to bump off other members.

Another version is a commemorative bottle with which to toast the passing members as with the Doolittle Raiders.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/14/opinion/greene-doolittle-raiders/

In 1959 - 1962 I was in a rock 'n roll band which consisted of five core members from our high school. At one of our class reunions a few years ago, we sold a few CD's of a recording of a few tunes we made in 1962. We wanted to do something meaningful with the few hundred dollars we netted from the sale, so we started a tontine. We bought a nice bottle of cognac and agreed to save it to toast each member as they passed. Three years ago four of us traveled to Eastern Oregon to visit our bass player who was dying. As he knew in advance of his short time, he was able to join us in the first toast from the bottle. He died a few weeks later.

Tonight the remaining will toast our rhythm guitarist who died last week. We will meet aboard my boat, tell a few stories about Mike, and toast his memory from the sacred bottle.

And now there are three.

Willin'
01-14-2016, 01:45 PM
That's gotta be some bitter sweet brandy.

Sorry for your losses, Ron.

John of Phoenix
01-14-2016, 02:59 PM
Enjoy your friends. Good idea that tontine.

You guys have lasted a helluva lot longer than my old band.

Bob, one of the greatest lead guitar players ever (played with the Beach Boys for awhile), was killed on New Year's Eve by a drunk driver speeding away from a cop. The drunk T-boned his Corvair, broke it in half, he was thrown out and the cop ran over his body. Dead at age 19.

Karl, bass player, lead singer and my best friend since 5th grade, got involved with "the wrong people" and was murdered at age 18.

That leaves, John, the rhythm guitar player, a musical prodigy with any instrument he touched and me who hasn't seen a drumset in 45 years.

Cheers!

ron ll
01-14-2016, 03:10 PM
That's gotta be some bitter sweet brandy.

Sorry for your losses, Ron.

Bittersweet is a good word. I didn't mean this to be a downer tho, we all die, and in our case it is obviously expected and the reason for the tontine. We have been very lucky to have been friends for so long in fact we have been friends since grade school.

And it's not without it's humor. This morning at the coffee shop round table, I was telling the story of the tontine and that only three were left. My phone rang and I stepped outside to answer it, a simple question from my wife. When I came back in one of the guys asked, "So now there are only two left?" :D

Norman Bernstein
01-14-2016, 03:21 PM
I have had a similar experience. From our band, the organ player drank himself to death maybe 15 years ago... and just a few months ago, the rhythm guitarist / lead singer died from a sudden heart attack. This leaves me (lead guitar), the bass player, the drummer, and the girl singer.

ron ll
01-14-2016, 03:25 PM
http://www.ronlloyd.com/oddstuff/band2.jpg

John of Phoenix
01-14-2016, 03:27 PM
Too cool. What was the band's name?

We were the "Enchanters".

My girlfriend groupie took this at a practice session.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/h_zkP8OhJtIkUwalRNacbSIU23SzAX0t3zPPF3Hc7mG1nFopz8 HOo0bZ25dtyQPxjBTfdWuUsm5c5yWTmYFGFI8J2lz9RsicNCiL ypXx_eoheAROCw8fRYeHorjn7VSKJ9N3ryo5i-qMMktMD25P_Nv5ezXvkL8w6uCT8H4D0WJrXfoechiy1m-aguigh1PWERZ856brv_oDfaSpxa-sHGb6SuL7Uz-i97pEZV0jKpDDTK4yTLiVYVGCMknPNhRg1D8sVBEXoSq9eQWv6 WUyiKA69LuXgr-Fj_IGLpuu0bOUErhjbtOetwUJPdeJKhRhkMV-BRZkmgPBYJLwIishQ6CnpAMi45KXI9losNnNCTLuRI35RHhlxd NM6VEWcr8k7tqX5cgiZ_oQtusB4GM9lUIXwfoVMir168uy2i30 dtm0flBiscSolqhQ4VjqJNnLySsC_qPycKewVukCugN3PyWEXU lIKOmP2EKHX_57whMjEnIl1pTdFMW0wFgECtS1_0q5IMAGXWhi L0-puh2rC8qDpictE_jEwQ9RJ5BmCEJp1_S8hbJnc56TlMlWkns=w 806-h995-no

ron ll
01-14-2016, 03:32 PM
I was afraid someone would ask that. Much to my chagrin, even in 1959, we voted for the name The Intricates. I always hated that, but I was only one vote in our little leaderless democracy.

Canoez
01-14-2016, 03:38 PM
This thread reminds me of the MASH episode, Old Soldiers where Colonel Potter had a similar tontine with his buddies from WWI.

Garret
01-14-2016, 04:34 PM
Turning a negative to a positive (at least as positive as it can be). Nice story & thank you for sharing it.

Of course I have to ask if your sawzall was in on it too... ;)

Jim Bow
01-14-2016, 04:51 PM
Unknown date. The Dolittle Raiders Tontine at the Air Force Academy. The brandy was bottled in 1896.

http://weaponsman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Doolittle-Goblets.jpg

C. Ross
01-14-2016, 09:51 PM
Nicely done Ron. You're a class act in every respect, far as I can tell.

Steve McMahon
01-14-2016, 10:25 PM
http://www.ronlloyd.com/oddstuff/band2.jpg

So, which one is Ron II ?

ron ll
01-14-2016, 10:52 PM
So, which one is Ron II ?

Lower right with the 1958 Fender Strat I bought new. :)

jerryrichter
01-14-2016, 11:20 PM
A great 60s British comedy movie based on the idea of the Tontine is The Wrong Box. Actors include, Michael Caine, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, etc. One of my favorites.

paulf
01-14-2016, 11:35 PM
My wife and I are included in a Tontine, the last, receives 5 acres of Willapa bay oyster growing tide lands.

The neighbor from Seattle that included us died 2 years ago.

God speed Frank Beebe

ron ll
01-15-2016, 11:42 AM
My wife and I are included in a Tontine, the last, receives 5 acres of Willapa bay oyster growing tide lands.

The neighbor from Seattle that included us died 2 years ago.

God speed Frank Beebe

With all due respect, I'm not sure if you mean Frank died 2 years ago or if he is the last one still standing between you and the tide lands. :)

ron ll
01-15-2016, 11:48 AM
Our tontine meeting on the boat went well, a good toast and lots of stories about Mike, and some good natured ribbing about who will be dancing on who's grave next. Oddly, the bottle of cognac seems to have darkened a lot since we last sipped from it five years ago. With only three of us left the cognac seems to be nearly black in color. Hope it's a long time before we bring it out into the daylight again. RIP Mike.

paulf
01-15-2016, 11:55 AM
With all due respect, I'm not sure if you mean Frank died 2 years ago or if he is the last one still standing between you and the tide lands. :)

Not sure where we stand, need to talk to the Attorney. Not sure what we will do if we are the survivors????? I never have done Oysters before.