The Bells Toll For Herman

The Bells Toll For Herman

Sixty-five years have passed since Herman the Dachshund, beloved Chi Phi (now Chi Heorot) mascot was laid to rest in the backyard adjacent to the fraternity’s parking lot before a vast grieving Dartmouth crowd.

I was deeply honored to deliver the eulogy describing Herman’s numerous contributions to the college scene. My secular rabbinic blessing, “May memories of our back-to-back belly to belly signature canine stay forever within our alumni hearts.”

Herman was indeed a well-known campus celebrity. He occasionally attended classes, athletic events and was often placed on the food tray conveyor belt in Thayer Hall, the campus dining room.

The day of burial was noted in many venues throughout the college town. A fraternity brother’s mother was chief librarian of Baker Library allowing him to secrete the keys to Baker Tower and activate the sacred green tower light accompanied by the tower’s sixteen majestic bells that varied in size from 200 to 5300 pounds tolling Dartmouth Alma Mater across the Hanover Plain.

The pealing chimes signaled the start of a motorcade beginning at the library and continuing across the Dartmouth Green on East Wheelock Street to the Georgian fraternity house. An open Ford pickup truck featured the Dartmouth Indian Chiefs Dixieland Band led by trombonist and fraternity brother Larry Elliot playing New Orleans Preservation Hall jazz funeral cortege standards. The truck was escorted by dozens of student automobiles lights blinking, horns blaring.

The otherwise formal social room fraternity furniture was cleared anticipating the possible mayhem that indeed occurred with throngs of ardent mourners depleting seventeen kegs of Gansett beer ordered from our local Main Street malt supplier the Tanzi Brothers.

Kindly accept my apology for my hardly Proust “Remembrance of Things Past.” Doubt if such an event would be allowed to occur today.


“The old songs, the old songs, those good old songs for me,
I love to sing those minor chords in good close harmony!"
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Richard- As a fellow ‘59, not knowing Herman is yet another thing missing from my experience in Hanover. Seeing the photo of you delivering Herman’s eulogy reminded me of the story of when Georgie Jessel, himself a well known Hollywood eulogist, presided at the funeral of Trigger, Roy Rogers’s horse. His opening line-“Although he was not of my faith….” Bob Werbel

Bob Werbel

My German-born Professor of Theology and Head of Silliman College at Yale in 1970 had two dachshunds who loved to relax on the Professor’s couch during office hours.

Robert W. Emmaus

I remember both Herman and your heartfelt eulogy! A lasting memory!

Albert Stark

Dog Gone! The repressive tendentious collectivist attitudes that prevail on campuses these days would sanctimoniously disallow such a celebration (and satirical cerebration) of the estimable Herman’s life and demise. The barking dogged doggerel dogma of humorless pedants —

Donald Robert Wilson

Picture of Herman? Is there a tombstone? I know two current students I can send them this article so they can show respects!!


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