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MailTribune.com
  • Meet the Honeymooners

    31 years and going strong
  • In 1981, two young Medford couples decided to start a gourmet-dining club. Their idea was to get some people together to try out new types of food.
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  • In 1981, two young Medford couples decided to start a gourmet-dining club. Their idea was to get some people together to try out new types of food.
    Each couple invited three other couples to join them. So then they were 16. And the idea of trying various adventures together soon surfaced.
    Thirty-one years later, the group is still exploring together. One of the original couples moved to Nevada after four years, but the group voted on a replacement couple.
    "A lot of us didn't know each other when we started," says Linda Pons. "It's amazing we're still together."
    "We were a little hesitant about the thing at first," says Marilyn Bamford. "We didn't even know who these people were. And they didn't even tell us what we were going to do. The first time, they told us what to wear, what time to meet and where.
    "We went to a karate lesson, then back to the (couple's) house, where we cooked our own Chinese food and sat on the floor and ate it. It was fun. After the first few times, we quit being nervous because we always had fun and they never did anything too weird."
    Soon, the adventures became more important than the food. Calling themselves The Honeymooners, the group focused on creative outings. Every three months, two couples (names drawn by lot) would get together and plan the next outing in secret.
    The others were told only when to meet and what to wear. Planning together in rotation helped couples get to know each other even better.
    Over the years, the adventures have varied from hayrides and mountain climbing to cruises and other trips. When all their children were young, the hardest part was finding a date when they could all get sitters and meet. Now, most are retired, and they have time for longer adventures, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Europe, where they started in Paris, visited Medford's sister city, Alba, Italy, then spent a week at an Italian vineyard.
    They took trips to Oregon Caves and the coast, rafted local rivers, hiked Mount McLoughlin and the Table Rocks, visited spas and had tailgate parties. They took classes, went to all the local plays and concerts, took steam trains, hired magicians and masseurs, went fishing, bowling, roller-skating and cross-country skiing.
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