Lunch in Boston
with a former crew captain and two other Harvard alumni, one class of '45, the other '51. Crew and '51 were both Porcellian. Crew: "The Game is not as important as tradition makes it out to be. It used to be much more important. Myself, I don't give a hang about The Game, but it's a marvelous opportunity to meet old friends." Class of '51 thought younger alumni might prefer to beat Dartmouth. Crew: "Culture is limited at Dartmouth."
The class of '51 expressed annoyance at the time Yale let its manager score against Harvard. "I'd like to see us get ahead about 40 points, go down to the two-yard line, then fall back into punt formation and boot the damn thing out of the stadium. That would show them." Crew: "Oh no, now, I don't see why we should get down to their level."
Crew, reminiscing: "In my time, the clubmen used to go to the games—all the games—in a bunch. We'd have a big dinner at the club and then bundle off to the stadium with a few bottles. Oh, it was marvelous. Oh my, yes, there were girls about, but they didn't get in your way. Oh, you would know a girl from some subscription dance, but all this business about steady girls was definitely not the thing. It was more date-the-waitress sort of stuff."
Wednesday evening. When the players came in from practice Harvard songs were played in the locker room. "Oh jeez," said Guard Ernie Zissis, "they got the music going."
Thursday. Thanksgiving. The varsity concentrated on pass defense. Alumni started to arrive. Arguments over hotel reservations.
Friday morning, 10 o'clock. An alumnus from Rye, N.Y. brought his teenage son into Keezer's old-clothes store on Massachusetts Avenue for a secondhand sports coat. The raccoon coats, which started to sell just before the Dartmouth game, were all gone. A Radcliffe freshman bought the last one for $5.
Starting at 2 in the afternoon, Harvard played Yale 17 times in football, touch football and soccer. The largest crowds, about 3,500 each, were at the soccer game, which Harvard won, 3-1, to tie for the Ivy League championship, and the freshman football game, which Harvard also won, 13-12. On the other fields flanking the stadium, Soldiers Field, Harvard houses met Yale colleges in football. The principal game was between Eliot House and Saybrook College, the two champions of their intramural leagues. About 120 persons watched the game, among them John Finley, the Master of Eliot, who kept shouting exhortations from the sidelines. (The week before, when Eliot won the house championship by beating Leverett 22-8, Finley, professor in the classics department, greeted the team, "Well done, my golden warriors, my Greek gods!") Eliot won 21-0, thanks mainly to the efforts of Quarterback Pete Wood, the son of Harvard All-America Barry Wood. "I'm just a high school football player," said Wood after the game, "and, besides, this is so much fun."
At 6 Edward Lawrence, president of Porcellian, gave a party for 40 in Eliot House. Most of the guests, who brought dates, were clubbies. Some soccer players were present, and so were several Yalies. The room was dimly lit. A student waiter, attired in a white jacket, served drinks. "Sometimes you have to watch these guys," a clubbie said. "They think they get pay and anything they can drink, too." "Gee, I like this party," a girl said to her date. "Nobody's talking about football." The conversation was social chatter about people the guests knew. Occasionally the clubbies would drift together in the middle of the room. "There they all are, by themselves again," said a girl. A Yalie, who had attended prep school with a number of the clubbies, said: "Freshman year I saw them all at Christmas, and at first I didn't even recognize them. I couldn't even talk to them they had become so Harvard. And they get worse every year. Some of them are just unbearable now."
At 7:30 p.m. the Harvard band gathered in front of University Hall in the Yard for a football rally. "There is more warmth for the band than for the football team," said Joe Russin, sports editor of The Crimson. "People actually go to see the band. In a way, the band symbolizes Harvard. The Harvard band doesn't march in a straight line but in just sort of a mass formation. People hooted when the leader instructed the band to march in a straight line for one game. But the Harvard band does show an excellence in one thing that really should count, an excellence in music. Just as Harvard demands excellence in thought." The peculiar thing is, though, an editor of the Lampoon, Harvard's humor magazine, seriously remarked, "The band is in, but its members are out." Peter Farrow, the student conductor, said: "Generally, we're public school—Jewish."
The rally was the first at Harvard in several years, and many students were surprised it was held. A couple of football players, who were flabbergasted, suspected that the athletic association had staged it to impress visiting sports-writers with Harvard spirit. About 100 persons followed the band as it marched out of the Yard playing Ten Thousand Men of Harvard
, and about 400 trailed behind when it marched back in 10 minutes later.