Fish was defeated for reelection to Congress in 1944, and he returned to New York. Nevertheless, his speeches on behalf of various organizations and his letters to the editor that frequently appeared in newspapers and magazines kept his name before the public. In 1960 his wife, the former Grace Chapin Rogers, whom he had married in 1920, died. In the fall of 1970, his oldest sister, Janet, died in Washington. The newspapers reported that her funeral would be held on Nov. 21 at St. Philip's Church in Garrison. "Then," says Aldrich, "the word came from Uncle Ham that the date conflicted with the Harvard-Yale game, and that he was not about to miss it. The funeral would have to be rescheduled." It was.
In 1967, Fish married for a second time. His wife was Marie Blackton, a Russian �migr� who lived in a Park Avenue apartment.
After Marie died in 1974, Fish, then 86, was married for a third time, to Alice Desmond of Newburgh, N.Y., the widow of a state senator. They endowed a 20,000-volume library in Garrison, the very library in which Fish was first to meet his current wife, Lydia, after Alice and he were divorced in 1984.
Throughout the vicissitudes of life, Fish has remained an ardent football fan. At Harvard, where the band serenaded him and Lydia before last year's Yale game, he is given seat 21 in row 1, section 32, right on the 50-yard line of Harvard Stadium. Yale accords him a similar honor in years The Game is played in the Yale Bowl. And when he attends U.S. Military Academy games at West Point, in his old home district, he gets the best seat available in Michie Stadium. Ham III, who since childhood has regularly accompanied his grandfather to Harvard games, recalls times when "I had to restrain him from running down the stairs to upbraid coaches or players for not performing up to snuff."
Fish remains ever ready to deliver a speech, and he does so without notes or a microphone. Recently, he was an honored guest at a dinner of the Theodore Roosevelt Association in New York where he, author Tom Wolfe and Paul Nitze each received the association's medal for distinguished service. Fish spoke on Americanism, and he says, "By the time I had finished, Nitze was crying."
"I'm very privileged to be married to him," Lydia says. "He's living history. Life is exciting, it's interesting. It's never dull."