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.
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
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.
I remember both Herman and your heartfelt eulogy! A lasting memory!
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 —
Picture of Herman? Is there a tombstone? I know two current students I can send them this article so they can show respects!!
Herein lies the problem, creative fun that rallies the spirit is outlawed by the education bureaucrats that have infiltrated every nook and cranny of society. Someday we shall over come the kill joys and one again allow the soul to have some fun! Keep the stories coming: Kenyon ’78/Tuck ’84 and J Press client since ’66. Best DQH
OUTSTANDING !!!!! I’m SMILING ear >>>>>> ear !!!!!!
Much thanks , Biggie
Seal, a beloved terrier mutt, received similar honors on his passing at the University of Virginia, where his mortal remains lie in the University’s cemetery among the graves of professors, Confederate soldiers and the woman who long claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia. A crowd estimated to number 1,000 followed the coffin to his rest as a band played Handel’s Dead March. For years, he was a fixture near the team’s bench at home football games and received rousing cheers when occasionally trotting across the field to relieve himself on the megaphones of the visitors’ cheerleaders. After upsetting heavily favored Georgia Tech in a game played in Atlanta, the team celebrated so heartedly that the boys neglected make sure Seal was with them on the train trip home. But two weeks later, Seal miraculously appeared in Charlottesville apparently none the less for wear. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
As a fellow Chi Phi, I commiserate
Seventeen kegs is enough to impress even a Middlebury guy.