Letters to Irish Reveries

Hi Vince
Here is a little piece of interesting history for you. My wife is a graduate of Franklin College (Indiana), so I always have been interested in finding a program from one of the three football games between Franklin and ND between 1906 and 1908 (obviously not a realistic goal!). My wife got to know somebody at the Franklin archives and asked if they had any record of those games. The archives did not have a program (and doubted whether one ever existed), but they did have some correspondence from 1906. It seems that a big controversy erupted between Franklin and ND, because the ND team was scheduled to arrive at the Franklin campus on a Friday. Unfortunately, Friday was the traditional Franklin "casual food" day, when students were treated to a special meal of hamburgers and hot dogs. The ND representatives were concerned that there would be no fish available for the ND team members to eat for their typical Friday meals. Apparently a compromise was reached, and the ND team members were able to remain true to their faith while being treated to a special fish dinner on Friday evening. I suspect that such issues are less of a priority these days, although our impending NCAA sanctions may spark a return to the days of more fundamental values.

Joe M., Chicago, IL

Early in 1943, during WWII, our flotilla of 12 LSTs left Panama Canal Zone and made the long, slow voyage to Bora-Bora, a beautiful island near Tahiti. It took us two weeks. LSTs did not have the reputation of breaking any speed records. Throughout the entire voyage we saw no land, but we did see “flying” fishes constantly darting in and out of the water around our bow. Many of us couldn’t wait to get to Bora-Bora as we were excited to see our first South Sea natives! The day finally arrived. Bora-Bora — such a beautiful sight! We dropped anchor and excitedly lined the rail looking shoreward. Look! . . . off in the distance! There’s a canoe coming toward us . . . with natives paddling! Then, as they got closer, we heard them singing . . . must be they’re singing a south sea tune. We were wrong. When they got closer – we heard.
Believe it or not, they were singing the “Notre Dame Victory March”!
We later found out that they learned it from the GIs on the beach.

PS: They came out to our ship to sell us fresh coconuts for 25 cents each!

Mike C., Clarksburg, WV

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