Some of you may remember that when we left ScienceBlogs I wrote…
“When I was much, much younger, I joined Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso Club (named affectionately after his beloved ship). Was anyone else club members? Is there still a Calypso Club? The rights and privileges of this elite club were endless. Entry was limited to any child with a few bucks to their name and a few cereal box tops. My membership packet came in with all kinds of information, patches, stickers, and certificates. Everything a young ocean explorer would need on their quest to unravel the secrets of the ocean floor. Well, except for a research vessel, support crew, scuba, and of course a film crew. In that packet was perhaps the most important thing I ever received in the mail, a Calypso Club membership card. That treasured wallet-sized laminated card stated I was an ocean explorer. At 12, I had come into my own as young mover and shaker ready to navigate the depths. But alas being caught up with the busy life of elementary school, a lack of scuba equipment and training, not living on the coast, no access to a research vessel to travel the oceans, and quite frankly knowing next to nil about the ocean, I explored through the pages of Cousteau’s monthly newsletter.”
The text above would lead one to think I firmly remembered the club, the application materials, the contents of the membership packet. In actuality, I don’t. I am not even completely sure the name of the club is right. I do remember a membership card and perhaps a decal/sticker. My friends and colleagues all remember something like the Calypso Club but of course we all disagree about the specifics. A search of the web reveals little information (although I did find this shirt that I really want).
This topic is once again on my mind after Jay Odell, the Mid-Atlantic Marine Program Director of The Nature Conservancy, sent this email to this weekend:
“…In reflection, I’ve always believed that the moment when I was sitting at the breakfast table at the age of 7 or 8 (1967-1968) reading the back of a cereal box, and I decided to join the Calypso Club was pivotal (in combination with all the fishing trips my grandfathers took me on). Having lost my membership materials long ago, several times I have searched for images of those materials on the web. I did so again today, as I was working on my first ever blog entry for TNCs new blog – Cool Green Science, and came across your posts on the same topic.
What I do remember is that it seemed a big accomplishment to join, requiring some daunting work for a youngster and I took some pride in that…probably lobbying my mom to buy the same kind of cereal over and over. I definitely remember a great day when it all came in the mail – especially the membership card and I’m pretty sure there were a pair of cheap plastic goggles (do you recall the goggles?). I actually don’t remember the newsletter so much but my memory is not great. So I wanted to let you know about this in case we are the only two surviving members of the Calypso club who are practicing marine science…and to see if you have ever found any of the membership materials (or pictures of them).”
So I where does this leave us. The mention of the mask above led me to this. This ebay entry suggests that the name of the club is Cousteau Society (1973-present) and further searching uncovered this (as well as this other thing that I want to own). If you scroll down the author of the page mentions he received a decal in 1993 that indicates you could be a Calypso Member of the society.
All this leaves me rather confused. I knew about the Cousteau Society , but I thought, as everyone I have met including Jay above, an actual “Calypso Club” or “Team Calypso” as well. Jay also indicated in a followup email that “The Wikipedia entry for Cousteau indicates the Cousteau Society was started much later (1973) [than 1967-68 when he was a member], and there’s a big gap in the biography during the later 60s.”
The Mission: Comment below about ANY specifics you remember. Replicate this post. If you have any materials, scan them and post them (or send them to me to post). Find any information you can and provide the link to it here. I am calling on the entire Ocean SuperTeam here (Kate and Mark, Rick, Jason, Moe and Curly, Sheril, Brian, The Grad Students at MLML, All Those At Sea Notes, David and Andrew (the new look of bad ass marine science on the web), Karen, Jives, Eric, Michael, and of course Shark Diver.