Herman Hickman received throaty huzzahs from the 300 partisans who jammed last week's football rally in New Haven.
Captain Brad Quackenbush was welcomed by an elephantine roar from the crowd.
But he greatest ovation of all bailed the news that a telegram of encouragement had been received from Sewickly, Pennsylvania. The message exhorted the Rine to knock a certain capital letter out of Princeton.
It was signed, supposedly, by someone named Gundelfinger.
Thus the Eli students showered their affection on a man who has accused them for years of being infected with "the Yale virus of license, lethargy, and bigotry."
George Frederick Gundelfinger, Yale '06, distributor of pamphlets decrying Yale as a den of iniquity, has become as much a legend in New Haven as Rinehart in Cambridge--but in a different way. Gundelfinger has been a very real and present figure to 30 years of Yalies.
In that time he has been arrested twice. He has been threatened with commitment to a sanitarium because of his annual flood pamphlets to Eli freshmen, U. S. Congressmen, and Presidents, advocating the principles:
1) That Yale is a swamp of evil. Yale men drink, smoke, and go out with girls.
2.) That this country is travelling too far to the left in politics. Gundelfinger decries New Dealism, American "Roman Catholic Fascism", and Communist influences in U. S. colleges, notably Harvard and Yale.
3) That the faculties of the human mind can be greatly enhanced through practice of Gundelfinger's somewhat vague theories of "sexual sublimation."
The last two of these principles caused the legal trouble Gundelfinger ran into in 1939 and 1940. The first theory made his name a by-word among Yalemen. But while many residents of New Haven's gothic towers will speak at length, and in joking terms, about the Gundelfinger legend, there is an equal number that shudders and clamps up at the mention of his name.
"Any mention of that man," says Hollon A. Farr, curator of the Memorabilia Room in Yale's Sterling Library, "only brings disgrace upon the name of Yale. In this day and age, almost anything can be discussed as a joke. Nothing is at all sacred."
Farr, a righteous, graying, onetime German professor, has had several opportunities to see the man he thinks so little of. The Gundelfinger of today--distinguished-looking and mild-mannered--occasionally returns to New Haven from his "New Fraternity" publishing company in Sewickley, and visits the library for new material
There is a tacit agreement among many Yale administrators that these visits be kept quiet and unpublicized, to prevent a possible student riot. This silence is also observed by the Yale Daily News--former booster of the Gundelfinger legend --which no longer prints his name in its pages.