The Algebra Club

The Usual: The Algebra Club

“The Algebra Club is meeting this Friday night at the Camp’s farm at 8 p.m.”

–former assistant principal, Needham B. Broughton High School, circa 1970

by CC Parker
photograph by Christer Berg

There have been many student clubs at Needham B. Broughton High School over the years. A look back at the school’s yearbook, the Latipac, during the ’70s shows an Algebra Club. The club’s photos always featured a fast car or two with many long-haired boys gathered around it. This sharp-minded group listed its meetings in the morning announcement lineup: typically weekend evenings, at a vaguely referenced location. They printed invitations, hung posters, and ordered refreshments. Before long, the administration wised up: The Algebra Club wasn’t studying math skills.

The Algebra Club is not unique in concept. Before them were the Dirty Dozen and the Casuals, other social clubs who got together to hang out, relax, and by senior year drink a few beers. (The legal drinking age was then 18.)

The Algebra Club is perhaps unique in ingenuity: Without social media, they managed to gather via those morning announcements. At each “gathering” (also known as party) club members took donations for future meetings; when there were funds leftover, the AC rented a beach house at Atlantic Beach for spring break.

Many Algebra Club members still live in Raleigh and spend time together. Hart Huffines, one of the club’s founding members, says he counts himself lucky to consider his high school friends among his closest. “We have kept those relationships through all the years,” he says. “They mean a lot. We still like to have a good time.”