Time Capsule: The Silver Chain

Time Capsule: The Silver Chain

In the early 1990s, a cache of abandoned newsletters found its way from a safety deposit box in Minneapolis, Minnesota to the state’s historical society, where they were left to gather dust. The newsletters detailed the inner workings of a secret 1970s swingers society: The Silver Chain Social Club. Fifty years later, TV writer and host Paul Ditty tracks down the club’s surviving members to uncover the group’s mysterious history and the ties that connected its members long after the swingers club closed its doors for good. For a deeper look inside Time Capsule, read Paul's newsletter. Learn more about Time Capsule here.

Episodes

May 9, 2024 60 mins

A discussion with Dr. Keith Henry sets Paul on a search for an out-of-print book about The Silver Chain, detailing the club’s final days.Paul meets with show producer Marcel Malekebu to share his findings, which include the story of a Minneapolis swinger who returns from a year-long trip around the world, months after the club’s closure.

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A visit to the Minnesota Historical Society unearths the name of the safe deposit box’s owner, and a restricted document aids Paul in discovering the reason behind the newsletters’ preservation.

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April 11, 2024 42 mins

A luau party at The Thunderbird Motel unexpectedly becomes The Silver Chain’s last dance. Paul pieces together the story of what ultimately led to the cherished club’s demise.

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Jack El-Hai's Article

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April 4, 2024 37 mins

After an interview with Judi, the daughter of another Silver Chain member, Paul receives a document that sends his investigation in an unexpected and revealing direction.

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Jack El-Hai's Article

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March 28, 2024 44 mins

Kimmer and the daughter of another Silver Chain founder, Nola, tell Paul about how their families functioned at times as one family unit, and even celebrated Christmas together. They paint a picture of Nola's mother, Cheryl, as a control freak they nicknamed "The Little General." 

Paul learns more about Cheryl and her husband Jerry when he interviews Nola's younger sister Pam, who lives on a houseboat on the Mississippi, where Pam...

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An email from Kimmer reveals that Carol, George, and George's girlfriend Marilyn were interviewed for a book titled "Threesomes" in the late 1980s. 

Paul finds the book on eBay and shares with Nora the story of Carol and George's first days of swinging, how The Silver Chain really got its start, and the lasting impact Marilyn had on their marriage, told in their own words.

To hear more Bonus Episodes, check out our Time Cap...

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Paul attends Carol's Zoom memorial, where her children don't speak of Carol with the reverence that Paul is accustomed to hearing at funerals. Additionally, no one from The Silver Chain is there to say goodbye. 

Paul interviews two of Carol's daughters, Kimmer and Lisa, who share the story of Carol failing as a parent while trying to get outside of her world to find greater meaning.

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Paul reads an article written by Carol for The Silver Chain’s August 1977 newsletter, where she recaps her solo journey to The Lifestyles convention in San Diego and meets the organization's charismatic leader, Dr. Robert McGinley. 

Paul and Nora meet with Dr. McGinley and his wife Geri, who are now in their 80s and living alone with a foggy sense of the past. But they do remember Carol and The Silver Chain… 

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February 29, 2024 42 mins

Newsletters from an abandoned safe deposit box set host Paul Ditty on an investigation to learn all he can about The Silver Chain – a suburban Minnesota swing club from the 1970s –  and its members. 

Minnesota journalist Jack El-Hai paints a picture of what suburban life was like in the 1970s and how this sparked a delayed and secret sexual revolution among middle-aged couples. 

Paul attempts to reach several of the club's member...

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Paul meets with two former Silver Chain members: Janet, the first woman to win The Silver Chain's coveted Personality of the Year award, and Diana, who is frequently featured in the newsletters for her dancing and wardrobe. 

A darker side to this group emerges, where women often joined at the request or demand of their husbands, and complied in an effort to keep their marriages intact. 

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February 15, 2024 6 mins

In the early 1990s, a cache of abandoned newsletters found its way from a safety deposit box in Minneapolis, Minnesota to the state’s historical society, where they were left to gather dust. The newsletters detailed the inner workings of a secret 1970s swingers society: The Silver Chain Social Club.

Fifty years later, TV writer and host Paul Ditty tracks down the club’s surviving members to uncover the group’s mysterious hi...

Mark as Played

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