rueful about his attempt to find the ball on his own. "I could have tried
to enlist some of the others from the team to help," he said, "but
there wasn't time. How long was the official going to wait around?
Besides," he added, shaking his head, "when a guy who's played only
three minutes—against Brown—for the entire season, which is 540 minutes long,
when that guy gets his chance he wants to make the most of it—and
the first three-quarters of an hour of his search in the vicinity of the
Harvard Stadium. He pushed his way through the crowds flooding down on the
field, occasionally leaping like a dog in a tall crop of wheat to see if he
could spot the pinched-face kid with the ball. He had a difficult time.
Bullhorns were blown at him, and one celebrant tried to force a jug of martinis
between the bars of his helmet.
When the crowd
had thinned sufficiently for Fitzgerald to see that the Waltham Blue Bunnies
kid was not within the confines of the stadium, he trotted out across the vast
fields which are used by the Harvard teams for baseball and other intramural
sports in their seasons. On the football weekends the graduates take over the
area—the tail-gate set with their picnic hampers. Fitzgerald noted the residue
of their presence: plastic cups, overturned and swaying back and forth in the
slight breeze, and one forgotten thermos jug that stood like a buoy in the
expanse of green. A few touch football games were going on in the gathering
dusk, but none involving the object of Fitzgerald's search. The participants
looked up curiously as he trotted by in his Yale uniform.
It was on the far
reaches of the field that Fitzgerald found the Yale graduate (he never got his
name but guessed that his class was between '39 and '42) who was to figure so
prominently in the ensuing search.
"I saw this
one blue station wagon," Fitzgerald reported. "It had a blue Yale
pennant hanging from the radio aerial. A blue picnic blanket was spread out
beside the rear wheels, and on it was sitting this guy, in this sort of yoga
position, staring off into the middle distance. He was, like, dejected. He was
the saddest cat I ever saw. I could see that there were some people in the
station wagon, just sitting there patiently, waiting for the guy to pull
"Well, I ran
up, and he must have jumped a mile when he saw me, as if he had seen a ghost.
When he got calmed down, he told me that's what he had thought. I was thinking
of Clint Frank and Larry Kelley,' he said, 'and Mike Pyle and Pudge
Heffelfinger and Frank Hinkey, and thinking how we could have used those guys,
the Yale greats, and then you come up out of the dusk like some gah-damn
"He took me
over to the station wagon. His wife was inside, a very pretty girl with a drawn
face, and these children, about nine or 10 years old. I think he said their
names were Davenport and Timothy Dwight, which are Yale colleges. A bulldog was
sitting on the back seat, and his name was Dan the 11th. Obviously, they all
had this big thing about Yale. So when I told this Yale grad about the fumble
in the Harvard end zone and how the ball had been snatched by this guy from the
Waltham Blue Bunnies and what Yovicsin had got was a Dobbs hat and not a
football, and how I thought the official was back there waiting in the stadium,
and that Yale had a chance to win if we could find the ball, why, this guy got
" 'Wow!' he
shouted. I tried to quiet him down by telling him that I had just about given
up, having been on the go for more than an hour. But he would have none of it.
'We got this big clue!' he shouted.
" 'What is
" ' Waltham!