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Hobbs, M. K. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 27, Number 10 (Aug. 1926)

Bridgman, L. W.
A memorable freshman race,   pp. 340-341

Page 341

   As though this accident Were not
 handicap enough, O'Dea had previously
 seen one of his star oarsmen, Bill Con-
 way, now a Madison contractor, taken
 ill with diphtheria. Conway was out of
 training all through May. He recovered
 to rejoin the crew and resume training.
 Under these conditions, O'Dea chose
 Conway to take his old place at No. 2 and
 be prepared to row the race of his life.
 He did.
   Three days before the race the 19o6
 class crew was rowing down the Hudson
 during a rain storm. From his place in
 the bow, Coxwain "Pick" Lucas, the
 rain driving in his face, was prevented
 from observing ahead a small rowboat,
 anchored to a buoy. It was too late- to
 swerve out. The bow of the freshman
 shell struck the obstruction head-on.
 Under the rowboat it ran, with fatal re-
 suts  r.T     sh l'  "U t.. , J.W- 1
 stripped clean-wrecked beyond repair
 for the coming race. The oarsmen were
 taken out of the stricken shell by two
 newspaper launches following    close
 Coxwain Lucas was not to guide the
 destinies of the crew during the race,
 for by the turn of events this duty was
 laid upon Coxwain Walter Harry Mc-
 With their shell wrecked, what to do
 now? The problem was solved after a'
 fashion when "Old Man" Courtney of
 Cornell offered his rivals an extra shell.
 from his well-stocked fleet. For Wiscon-
 sin there was nothing to do but under-
 take the long, hard race in an un-
 familiar boat, with the starter's gun
 scheduled to sound only three days
 As already told, Cornell, Syracuse,
 and Wisconsin finished in that order, in
 the time of 9:18, with but a few seconds
 separating the Wisconsin freshmen from
 their leading rivals. How remarkable
 was the time may be noted by compar-
 ing it with the 18:57 over the four-mile
 course made in the varsity an hour
oared crews     ,isconsin was repre-
sented at Poughkeeple that year by one
of these. Curiously enough, Cornell and
Wisconsin again placed first and third
in the time of 10:34 and io:55,//5, re-
spectively, while Pennsylvania came in
second in Io:354/5. More or less of a coin-
cidence in this race, also, was Wisconsin's
use of a borrowed shell. In this four-
oared event, 1906 had one member, Max
Bodenbach, who rowed No. 3 oar. Other
men who participated were A. H.
Christman, A. B. Dean, and A. J.
   In the varsity race of that year, Cor-
nell finished first in i8:57, Georgetown
second in 19:27, and Wisconsin third in
I9:29 .
  Of the 19o6 freshman crew, Burling,
Ellis Johnson, Conway, Van Meter and
Bodenbach attended the class reunion
in June, 1926. Also among the reunion-
ers was Dean E. Foster, who pulled an
oar in the second varsity for three years,
and who now is engineer and natural
gasoline manufacturer, 304 New Wright
Bldg., Tulsa, Okla. Captain Hetzel of
thie--freshman-,crew is now a college
president, shaping the destinies of the
University of New Hampshire. Only a
trip to Europe this summer kept him
from rejoining his crewmates and the
many others who came back. Guy M.
Johnson is with the Northern Indiana
Gas and Electric Co., South Bend, Ind.
Others give their occupations and ad-
dresses as follows: Frank A. Kennedy,
Idaho Copper Co., 409 No. 19th St.,
Boise, Idaho; B. B. "Bud" Burling, 747
51st St., Milwaukee; Hugo Kuehmsted,
         (Continued on page 345)
                                                           -Capital Times
Four of the 19o6 crew row again on Mendota. Left to right: Ellis fohnson.
Max Bodenbach,
                          Thomas Van Meter, B. B. Burling.
A4ugust, 1926

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