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Now that’s a Homecoming bonfire:
The Class of 1979 distinguished itself in its freshman fall of 1975 with an achievement that will never be equaled: a 100-tier bonfire. The following year the College limited the height of the fire.
You’ll note that there are no ropes around blaze, nor S&S officers, nor running ‘shmen for that matter. In my freshman year we didn’t run around the bonfire, nor did we think to touch the pyre — those “traditions” came later.
The fire also burned more brightly back in the day. Really. The College would recycle discarded railroad ties — ones deeply impregnated with hot-burning creosote, a tarry preservative that combusts much more vigorously than the newly-cut, green-wood ties that are used today — and the whole structure would catch fire very quickly. I don’t know that touching the fire was even possible when that much heat was being thrown off. Observe how far away from the center of the Green the crowd is in the above picture.
Addendum: This photograph was taken from the top of the Hanover Inn by my recently deceased classmate Charlie Rowe ‘79. To die at age 59 is too young.
Addendum: Back in the day, building the bonfire was a week-long task, but on Thursday I watched a pair of College-employed engineers lay out the structure. As in so many other areas at Dartmouth, the adults have taken charge.
Addendum: Security loomed large over the small bonfire last night: there were multiple Town of Hanover Fire Department vehicles on the Green, four large spotlight installations, an inner perimeter to keep running freshmen away from the fire, and an outer set of massive, water-filled bollards to keep the crowd away from the freshmen. Oh, the worry.
There is no truth to the rumor that each undergraduate had a dedicated babysitter on hand to prevent trouble of any kind.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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