Our Class Sports Book Is A Best
Rave Reviews From Those Who Count Most,
Also read the great review which appeared on the front page of the sports section of the Valley News when the book was published last October.
We do not have a full count of the number of books sold through all the available outlets.
However, we know that we have sold at least 400 copies and that the Dartmouth Bookstore has almost sold its entire allotment.
What is even more gratifying than the sales data is the positive response the book has been getting
from classmates, other Dartmouth graduates and sports fans generally. I want to share these responses with you and hope
they will encourage those of you who have not yet bought a copy to order one or more for yourselves, former coaches or friends.
I still have 100 or so copies of the first edition and you can get one directly by sending me an e-mail at Cschram1@aol.com The book costs $19.95 (plus $4 mailing and packaging) and all net proceeds benefit our class project, student internships
at the Rockefeller Center.
The College has decided to use the book “as a thank you gift to selected donors who have supported
Dartmouth’s athletic programs.” We should all be very proud of that.
Responses of Classmates
Brad Evans: “I read the Sports Book over the holidays. I enjoyed
each and every submission. I thought everyone did a great job. Many of the pieces brought back many fond memories
but more importantly they were all honest, candid and written from the heart. Congratulations to you for coming up with
this great concept and pushing it through to completion.”
Bill Neukom: “Thanks again for organizing this project and executing
it so well.”
John Lane: “Your effort at corralling 66 people to contribute must have
been like herding cats, albeit very friendly ones. Thanks for all your efforts. Reading the stories brings many
people back into sharp focus.”
Bill McGregor: “Congratulations on a terrific project. It is great
fun to read and a fine addition to our family’s Dartmouth collection. We have all had fun reading the stories
and will continue to enjoy them for many years to come. The great bonus is that the whole project supports such a worthy
Dana Kelly: “Wonderful job with the book! I love it. Here
comes the NY Times Best Seller List.”
Whit Foster: “Thank you most sincerely for the effort which went into
putting your book together. It has made for fun reading.”
Bob Bartles: “Just a short note to say thank you for doing this wonderful
collection of personal stories. It is an amazing insight into all our lives and the power of sports. The story
(I wrote) meant a lot to my Dad and my son and gave me a chance to record these wonderful events for my kids and grandkids.
I’m grateful to you for the opportunity to do that. I never would have if you hadn’t come up with the book
idea. The book is filled with so many terrific stories. It’s special to all of us. I still get a kick
out of giving the book to a friend.”
Howard Soros: “I have been reading through the chapters contributed
by our classmates. They certainly do have some interesting perspectives and experiences. Thanks again for your
leadership of this great project.”
Fritz Corrigan: “Just finished the book and in a word it is terrific!
I learned a whole bunch about my classmates that I didn’t know before now. Brought back a bunch of memories as
well. Judging from this sampling of classmates we had a bunch of pretty darned good jocks and even better, very good
people. The book is wonderful. So many memories, so many insights, so much reflection and wisdom. Thanks
for doing it for all of us.”
Steve Stein: “Once again – congratulations on the book.
You did a great job. It’s really an amazing accomplishment that you pulled off and you should be proud of it.”
Lee Chilcote: “I have almost read every story. The book is fantastic.
I have a number of friends (e.g., Pete Steck) who now regret that they did not contribute. I have also spoken with others
and all of those I have spoken with feel that this is a terrific class project, maybe the best we have ever done. I
have spoken to Whitey Burnham’s close friend and classmate (Springfield College), Don Molten, about the book and plan
to meet with him to discuss the possibility of a sports book for sports at University School in Cleveland, the school I and
many in our family attended. Don was the leading soccer coach in Ohio and nationally beginning in the 1950s, at a time
when the sport was then in its infancy. Ohio soccer is very widespread today (Cleveland State University has been ranked
nationally in recent years). As indicated in my story, I played soccer and swam for Don for my entire school sports
time. The book is so appealing I cannot resist the temptation to repeat the idea here in Cleveland, if possible.”
Ed Williams: “Just a quick note to let you know how much I am enjoying
the book. Great job. What a contribution you have made to the class.” . . . “Thank you for your great
idea and execution of this project. You have set a new standard for other classes to emulate.” . . . “I
sent copies to Pam Merrell (Al’s second wife) and his two children, John and Nancy. They were most appreciative
and were pleased to have a reaffirmation of what they suspected all along and that is, the enormous impact that Al Merrell,
as coach of the Ski team, had on so many of “his boys” during their four years at the College and even thereafter.”
. . . “I really enjoyed the comment of Dave Hewitt’s brother to Dave: “I’ll take the redhead; you
take the blonde.” And Dave did . . . turned out to be his wife. As they say, you can’t make
this stuff up.” . . . “The book is simply terrific. Bob MacArthur’s piece was particularly touching
and so well written (as we have come to expect from Bob). But I don’t mean by singling him out to diminish the
importance and meaningfulness of all the rest of the essays.”
Sabin Danziger: “The book is absolutely terrific.”
Rick Isaacson: “A terrific compilation.”
Fran Hanlon: “I have enjoyed the several stories I have read.
Ed Gingras: “The book is very well done. Looks like a lot of work
on your part. I can’t wait to read the stories. I expect to learn a lot about my classmates.”
Bill Streitz: “What a fun book! I thought it would mainly be about
super jocks who wore the Real Jackets. It was a welcome surprise to see the breadth, diversity, truthfulness, etc.
Age is a great leveler. Your reward, besides a job well done, is something most successful people “win”:
another “job.” Since you learned the ropes on this with a smaller group of contributors – many were
probably intimidated as was I – with this subject and thus not 500 or 800 contributors – I would ask that you
consider something similar but different and with more participation; that I’d bet on. “This I Believe”
is an NPR project that has succeeded beyond their dreams. Why not our classes “second” gift to themselves?
There is a gold mine of experience, wisdom, ideas, etc. that would be great; our individual chances of being heard on national
Public radio are nil and we do share a common bond. In Vietnam with the Marines I had an epiphany, actually two: 1 the
Pres., Secr. Of Def., etc. whom I thought were smart people, smarter than us, were indeed not. That figures, in that
Harvard, Yale, etc. aren’t the greatest training ground for common sense, knowing the masses – much less rubbing
elbows with them, but were excellent places for arrogance, elitism, insular thinking, etc. 2. although we may
have been well intentioned we didn’t know the enemy, the country: in fact in hindsight a returning Drs. Candid comment
that we may well have been fighting for the wrong side seemed to ring true by the end of my tour (does any of this sound familiar?).
Thus although I had and still have great respect for our fighting men I don’t for most of our leaders and it dawned
on me then and there that I and many others, in and out of our class, were smarter than what we had and have and what we gave
ourselves credit for. This project won’t make one of us a Pres., but we can share some of our thoughts, wisdom,
experiences, etc. before we end up dead or with Alzheimer’s – I don’t think I have that yet. We could
enjoy and learn. Give it a try even if at first you aren’t inclined. No, I am not drinking or smoking the
evil weed – maybe the former later tonight.”
Dick Harris: “If I had known what a great book the sports book was gong
to be and how much enjoyment I would get to read the stories I would have written more. So in the hopes that others
will further expand their stories for the newsletter, here goes.
In June of 1960 I was sent to winter baseball by the Braves. I not only did well but I got
to play with and against some famous ballplayers . . . Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Denny McLain to mention
just a few. I did well enough to be invited to the major league spring training.
What a thrill . . . Aaron, Matthews, Logan, Schoendienst, Torre, Spahn, Burdette from their world
series team. Well, I’m the rookie and some interesting things happen to rookies. My first remembrance is
the beer board.
Each player’s name went on the board in order and you were supposed to put a check after your
name when you took a beer so you could be charged for it. Yep, guess who had the most checks and guess who never had any.
Then there was the time I was sitting on the bench [where rookies sit] during a game against the
Yankees I’m blissfully watching Whitey Ford pitching to Eddie Mathews and watching what Mickey Mantle was doing in center
. . . when Mathews hits a triple. Now you have to imagine what the ball field in spring training in Bradenton Florida
in 1961 looked like. Seats right up to the foul lines and right behind the dugouts. Senior citizens everywhere,
vocal, talking to the players and having a good time. When Lew Burdette comes running up to me, the guy who is in a
daze anyway and says Rook the manager wants you to run for Mathews. Well, you’ve got it . . . out I chug . . .
I’m finally in a game. Mathews looks at me and says “What the hell are you doing here.” Burdette
yells at the top of his lungs “look at the stupid rook.” The stands erupt in laughter and catcalls.
I’m dying and start to walk off and the coach says “you’re here, stay and take the ribbing like a man.”
Well I tore my ankle up in that spring training and could never run right or hit right again and
they cut me. No way to fix the ankle back then.
Fast forward some 10 years and I’m talking to an orthopedic surgeon friend of mine and he says
“I can reattach that tendon.” So I did and from then on I could play again, Y ball, hunting, etc.
My best to everyone as always. Great Book. Great editing. Come on you all, send
Ron some more stuff.”
Chuck Carroll: “I am rightly impressed. Your editorial comments
really made this publication. I realize you were editing without being able to change the actual submissions.
Nevertheless, you highlighted and clarified key stuff. For example, I was getting a Lake Woebegone feeling in Peter
Benzian’s piece. Then sure enough, you made the correction in your comments. The four contributions I knew
best were the guys in the Hall. New Hampshire Hall, Mates: Tom Campion, Peter Benzian, Tom Spangenberg and me.
I came to a conclusion that you probably did also: we don’t change much. Peter was always an open, nice guy from
the Midwest. Tom S. was an unbelievably focused and gifted athlete, yet modest. Tom C. was exploring the center limits
and I thought most everything was funny. Or at least mock-heroic. Our stories contain our themes.”
Pete Luitwieler: “I kept the Sports Book up on my treadmill and read
it during my long walks. Just finished it tonight before the Patriots game. It was fantastic. Learned so
much about different classmates and what a talented group. Many messages were similar but the journeys were all unique.
Our class has some excellent writers and wonderful stories. It is a classic.”
Harvey Rohde: “The book is GREAT”!
Chris Palmer: “We’re loving the book.”
Peter Benzian: “Well done. You’ve brought a lot of enjoyment
to us all.”
Bob Cahners: “Great job. The books make great birthday presents
for 64s. Thanks for your hard work.”
John Carpenter: “I got a surprise when I read Whitey’s piece!
Lots of memories.”
Doug Brandt: “I am reading the book now and am about 1/3 done.
I look forward to reading about five stories per night. They are great! Many memories came back.
Walt Lillard: “Ron, the book is incredible. The idea was a masterstroke,
and the execution even better. I can’t thank you enough for all of your efforts, and I know that all of
our classmates share that sentiment. I have received my twenty copies and have started to read the stories. They
are terrific. Your story was a fascinating insight into your history and your decision making – ironically very
relevant to our present. Bob Bartles story brought me to tears. Bob Burton’s story cracked me up.
Peter B’s story brought me to my knees. I had no idea that Spangs was a poet as well as a world class athlete.
To put that run, which none of us will ever forget, in the form of a metaphor that shared his insights into his whole football
experience was nothing short of brilliant. I had to stop reading after that to savor the stories. You have done
a remarkable job putting this together, Ron. Again, thanks from all of us.”
Scott Creelman: “Thanks again for such a memorable collection.
It has been most interesting reading. The book is excellent – extremely well edited and a great variety of essays.”
Bob Burton: “I am enjoying the book. We have very talented classmates.
Your editor’s notes add a lot to it.”
Sandy McGinnes: “The book arrived and the execution is even better than
the idea! Congratulations . . . . and thank you. I’ve read only a few stories, but you have added so much
with your “Editor’s Notes” and the breakouts for Jim, Geoff, Ed and Whitey. The cover design is attractive
and topical; the type is easy to read. It’s a real book. Most important, it is a nice way for a bunch of
65 year olds to appreciate each other even more. Great Job!
Ivars Bemberis: “It was eerie reading the essays. Their content,
when matched with the authorship, was revealing, surprising and thoroughly genuine. Thank you for the effort to put
it together and for the wonderful editing. Thank you for allowing me a place among such fascinating, articulate classmates.
I laughed, cheered, thoroughly appreciated and cried through the reading.”
Woody Flowers: “You did a fabulous job of putting the book together.
I am sure our classmates, and hopefully many outside of our class, will take from this effort some very personal lessons we
all learned from sports. It is a very special addition to my library.”
Bruce Irvine: “The more I read the book, the better it gets. Nice
Chuck Pitman: “The sports book is very well done.”
Len Glass: “I’ve been reading two or three stories each night
before bed and enjoying the way they bring back my memories of these guys from 43+ years ago. Also, as you point out,
the stories bring us into one another’s lives in such personal ways that, for the most part, never would have happened
without the book. I’ve really enjoyed the book starting with the pieces by Harvey Tettlebaum, you, Spangenberg
and others. I think I had heard a version of your story years ago but with my memory it all seemed fresh and touching
to me! Thanks so much for the sweat and love that led you to shepherd this through for all of us.”
Dave Hewitt: “The book looks wonderful. You should be very pleased
with the final product. You deserve tremendous credit for pursuing the goal – and keeping up with all of our classmates
who were constantly missing deadlines. I haven’t had a chance to read it all, but what I have read is great!
John Sottile: “It’s really a fun book. Being dyslexic, I
am not an avid reader. However, I find that I cannot put down the book because the stories are REAL. I attribute
this honesty to the fact that we are all now mature enough to look at ourselves objectively. It will be the best $19.95
and P & H that you will spend.” . .
When Ron first solicited stories for his proposed book, “SPORTS: A GENERATION’S COMMON
BOND,” I thought that it was a good idea. Now that it is published, I think that it is a great idea . .
. and not just for the '64s who have contributed . . . but others who did not and play/ed sports . . . and, in
fact, for all who read the book.
The book touches on many levels:
1) Who responded. Ron provided blank pages, guaranteed
to be published, upon which one could write about any aspect of sport in his life. Why did they write?
2) What they
wrote about. It’s said that each person has a movie script buried within; in this case each writer had a story
to tell. But why this one over others?
3) The varied ways that each person relates to sports. Some stories
relate to Dartmouth sports, but not all. Ron remained true to the common bond of sports.
4) And most interestingly,
the role of the coaches – both positive and negative. THIS IS A BOOK THAT EVERY COACH SHOULD READ TO BECOME A
It is fitting that Bob Bartles’ poem, “A coach is . . .” wraps-up the book
before the Appendix.
“The goal for the book should be to broaden its appeal: use the age of the class – 65
years old, a good time for reflections – as the reframed perspective, INDELIBLE IMPACT, for the real value of the book
to broaden markets.”
Harvey Tettlebaum: “The book is great.’
Perry Butler: “The book looks great and you did a great job organizing,
inspiring and pulling it together. Many thanks.”
Bruce Campbell: “Fun book. Thanks for doing it.”
Bob MacArthur: “Congratulations again on the publication of the '64
Sports Book. It’s terrific. We had lots of fun this weekend sharing stories and commenting on each other’s
entries. We missed you! I was very impressed by your editorial comments on some of the essays. The additional
info you provided enhanced my appreciation of the individual author’s accomplishments and for the larger context of
their essays. I would like you to sign my copy some day. Also, I want to hear more about what happened following
your big choice – great article!”
George Bunting: “Received the book – great job! What is
the appropriate genre? Sports? Certainly has some ‘rite of passage’ stories. Personally it may
be of immediate interest to my three adult children and potential interest to my grandchildren in 10-15 years. The value
I see in the book is for trustees and college administrators who are trying to place a value on sports in their institutions,
both college and intramural. Educators need to be reminded that learning and personal development occurs outside the
Frank Loveland: “Got it yesterday. Really have enjoyed it.
Your story about going to Israel to play ball hit home with me. I also liked Spang’s piece. The Bullet had
a way of getting inside your head. One thing I missed was a piece reminding people of all the people who got the players
to the field and coaches too. Art and Duke were mentioned, but there were a lot of important people left out, beginning
with the AD Red Rolfe, Spider in the training room, Doc Pollard, the guy who was on the sideline to keep track of your minutes
and tried to get THE BULLET TO PLAY people so they could get enough minutes for a letter! GREAT BOOK RON!
Bob Bartles: “Just read your story. For one who thought I knew
you pretty well I never knew the details behind why GM ended up in the tank. Now I know . . . without you at the
helm . . . surely you would have risen to the top . . . they would still have 60% of the US mkt. Great story
and exactly what you were seeking from all of us . . . that sports-related moment that could change lives. Well
done my friend and a hearty congratulations on a job well done. The book is a real winner on and off the field.
Let’s do more of them.” . . . “Wonderful. Great. The title is just right, too. The color
really catches the eye and will look super on display in store or on coffee table or nightstand. You have done us proud.”
Ed Williams: “The postman arrived and delivered your package at about
1:30. It’s now almost 4:00 and I have not sat in one spot reading a book for a long, long time. It’s
simply terrific and it is a great joy to dive in and out of the 66 chapters. I have read your piece and know (as you
do) that you made the right choice. It’s much easier to see that now than then, of course. Thank you for
doing this for all of us.”
Russ Turmail: “Have enjoyed it immensely. Great job pulling this
together. What’s the next project?”
Ed Gingras: “This week I finally had a chance to sit down and read the wonderful collection of sports remembrances
that you put together for the class. Although these were written by individual
classmates, it is very clear that you put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in putting it together. I especially liked your Editor’s Note at the end of a number of these articles – the notes
added a great deal to the articles. The articles by Jim
Wright, Geoff Pritchford
and Whitey Burnham were excellent. How did you get exactly 64 classmates to contribute
an article? The most touching story to me was that of Ivars Bebris and his battle against an unbeatable foe
in terms of Lou Gehrig’s Disease at the age of 45. It puts our injuries,
defeats and disappointments in perspective. The most humorous story to me was
that of Bob Cahners
who missed his calling as a writer. His athletic master’s achievements
are very impressive as well. I learned a lot about many of my classmates who
I thought I knew well but obviously didn’t really know how important sports was to them.
Writing my article and reading these stories by my classmates, I learned something about myself. Even after 45 years, I still was carrying both anger and disappointment about the impact that my early
career ending knee injury had on my self esteem. The hardest articles for me
to read were those about the great success of our senior year football team as that I wanted so much to be part of that team. Writing the article helped me to really put that in perspective. Thank you again for a wonderful book for all of us who care so much about Dartmouth.
Joel DeWeese: “Include me
among the many who greatly enjoyed the book and wish to thank you for what must have been several hundred hours of effort. I am inspired to write my own contribution in the unlikely event that you decide to
produce a second volume of essays.”
“I received the book in yesterday’s mail and enjoyed reading
portions of it last evening. It doesn’t take much of a look to realize
what a remarkable and extensive effort you made as editor. Thank you so much
for all your efforts.”
Bob LeResche: “The book looks spectacular.”
Tom Parkinson: “I have heard nothing but praise for the book and enjoyed it personally as well.”
“I played freshman soccer and hockey, neither with any great skill, but I was there! Hockey story – we were playing Harvard at home in the CCOOLLDD Davis rink
one afternoon in the dead of winter. Ab Oakes had posted the lineup in the dressing
room, and Perry Butler, Clint Roenisch and I were relegated to the back of the
bench. We were huddled together in the highest row under a blanket (where we
got that I don’t know). With 27 seconds to go and losing 3-1, Ab says .
. . “Bachman, get in there.” I was so stiff and cold I had to unfold
my legs first to move. I stepped down, and being so stiff, kicked the water bucket
over, drowning Ab Oakes from his knees down, then got onto the ice in time to get turned by some Harvard
guy (I played defense) who went in alone and scored their 4th goal. I figured
that any aspirations I had of making varsity ended right there! One good thing
out of that: I had a long career in hockey in beer leagues which ended when I
turned 58! I LOVE the game!”
Harvey Rohde: “Great to read the comments in the last class newsletter about the book. Right now, let me add my thanks for your coming up with the idea for the book and the countless hours spent
in editing and working on it. I, for one, really appreciate it and the product
and project you completed! Again, many thanks for your leadership in this undertaking. The book is fabulous, in large part due to the tremendous efforts of its editor!”
Ed Rubel: “After reading this month’s class newsletter, needless to say I regret not submitting an entry. Despite all the urging at the time, somehow I thought it was really for the SERIOUS
JOCK stories, as opposed to all the neat truth and beauty/life lessons/etc. it appears to have become. My intra-mural success story also happened in 1966 (as I graduated with the Class of 67) – somehow
I was thinking it would all be too hard to explain . . .(lazy assumption!). Anyway
– I’d love to get a copy of the book, and if you ever do a sequel, or an addendum, or whatever, I’ll try
to conjure up my tale.”
I returned to Dartmouth in April for an event
which honored Whitey Burnham for the friend and mentor he was to Dartmouth
and to me as a wrestler. The event was the dedication of Burnham Field and Sports
Pavilion. During the ceremony, someone was walking around in a Dartmouth Soccer
jersey with “BEBRIS” on the back. I was the wearer. In that venue I wanted also to honor the memory of one of Whitey’s soccer players, Ivars Bebris '64,
who died of ALS in 1987. With the similarities in our names, we were often mistaken
for one another. In several issues of our contemporary Aegis, the soccer roster listed these team members: Ivars Bemberis
(totally erroneous), Ivars Bembebris (partly erroneous)
and finally, in his senior year they got it right, Ivars
Bebris. Jeff Cook, the soccer coach, kindly donated the #5 jersey. It turned out that my gesture reinforced a part of his remarks which recalled the
trip Ivars made in '87 to the last home game a week before his death. Jeff noted that he used our book “Sports: A Generation’s Common Bond” researching
his presentation and was touched by the story of Ivars
Bebris. The facility is truly exemplary;
a wonderful home for the soccer and lacrosse teams. The dedication day could
not have been any more pleasant with a great turnout. Whitey and Joanne looked great, and his children still remembered me.
While in Hanover I learned
that Whitey and his foursome have a regular 10 a.m. tee time three days a week at Hanover Country Club. What would have been an added attraction was a round of golf with Whitey, but the course was not yet open
for play. Too bad! Also in Hanover were Brad
Evans in official capacity, as well as John Carpenter
and Rick DuPuy. Rick was, like me, a fellow wrestler and
one of Whitey’s charges. But Rick
had an added connection through his son (D '92) who played soccer.
Mike Bloom: “Found the book very interesting – lots of memories and reflection – guess it’s
our time for that. I gave one copy to son Josh ’95 (football) – who
devoured it in one sitting. He especially liked Bobby Mac’s piece on Tony
and your piece. He was struck by how many of the coaches in our era were “bigger
than life” characters. And he identifies with how central Dartmouth
athletics was and still is to our Dartmouth experience and
“Thanks for all your efforts to pull this together. I have enjoyed
reading it. I started with my own to see how it looked in print and then have
gone on to others I knew well.”
Karl Winkler: “It is interesting. A lot of baseball fans and experiences
from Fred (the non-jock) Rothenberg to Dick,
the bonus-baby, Harris. I am only part
way through it. I liked the choice you made between job and basketball. You always did have your priorities in order.”
Bob Reidy: “Thank you so
much for your enthusiasm for the project and for seeing it through. It remains
a fun memento of our collective journey.”
Those of you who have read the book have seen the debut of Bob Bartles as a poet describe the multiple
roles of a coach. I will end this webpage with another poem written by Bob about the sports book.
SPORTS, A GENERATION’S COMMON BOND . . .
THERE NOW IS A BOOK YOU SHOULD READ
WHOSE MESSAGE EVERYONE MUST HEED.
IN ITS STORIES SO DEAR
WHY SPORTS CAN BE LIFE’S GREATEST DEED.
ITS TITLE MAKES VERY GOOD SENSE.
FOR TWENTY BUCKS LESS JUST FIVE PENCE
CAN OWN IT TODAY
JUST AS SOON AS YOU PAY
AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO SNEAK THROUGH THE FENCE.
THE STORIES ARE ALL VERY TRUE.
SOME ARE OLD AND SOME ARE QUITE NEW.
GET INTO THE GAME
WHETHER SNOW, SLEET OR RAIN
FIND OUT HOW YOUR CLASSMATES ALL GREW.
DO NOT SIT ON THAT OLD SIDELINE
YOUR BUTT RESTING ON THE COLD PINE.
FOR A VERY GOOD CAUSE.
SO DON’T HESITATE OR PAUSE.
BUY ONE BOOK OR TWO, EVEN NINE.
PLEASE e-mail me now and let me know how many copies of this incredible book you want. Thanks
for your support of the Class and our Internship Project at the Rockefeller Center.