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Although Dick Harlow was in Cambridge most of the past month gathering up his personal belongings for transfer to Maryland, he kept out of sight as much as possible and a lot of us never got a chance to see him. It was therefore with considerable interest that this department beat its way down to the Copley Plaza two night ago to participate in what may be the retired coach's last public appearance, either in Boston or anywhere else.
The main ballroom was jammed with football enthusiasts for the Gridiron Club's annual dinner. Harlow was seated at the head table three places away from his successor, Art Valpey. He looked tired and now and then he smiled a little weakly. While other diners wolfed down huge planks of roast beef and mountainous ice cream and fruit concoctions, he rolled a boiled potato around his plate as though it was something less than a loose ball and made uninspired passes at some specially prepared orange juice he had brought with him from Maryland.
The principal event of the dinner was to be the "Swede" Nelson sportsmanship award to place kicker Everett Dorr of Boston University, with another presentation scheduled for Harlow. When the time came, Dick rose slowly to receive his gift, a nautically mounted clock and barometer bearing the inscribed affections of the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. Then he moved to the microphone, uncertainly it seemed, and quietly he began to speak.
He thanked the club. To Valpey he spoke of the fairness of local sportswriters and his friendship for them. Slowly the old Harlow fire returned. He praised the fine relationships he had always had with the press and with Harvard alumni and he hoped they would continue for Valpey. By the end of his speech his voice was tremendous, although one of the older members whispered, "You should have heard him 12 years ago."
Vigorously he sat down again and enthusiastically he greeted old friends after the dinner. Later, in high spirits and apparently in excellent health, he spoke about the future. "I'm not supposed to do anything," he said, "and I'm doing too much. I'm making too many speeches." For a while, he said, he will rest at Westminster, although he still plans to receive "in consultation" a group of ten coaches at his home next month.
As for next fall, he merely shrugged in indecision. But Al McCoy, once Harlow's aide and now talent scout for the professional Boston Yanks, said at once that Dick will scout for some Ivy League team. McCoy sounded sure of himself, and the strongest indication is that Harlow will go to Columbia because of his great friendship for Lou Little. With his former assistants Margarita and Jacunski at Yale, this presence at Columbia would mean that at least two of Art Valpey's '48 rivals would have the inside word on Crimson personnel.
Speaking of Yale, Harlow said, "I know everything about Herman Hickman and he's a good coach." McCoy added, "Hickman may look easy going, but remember he played at Tennessee where they like them rough, tough, and nasty." As for the new football rules making interior linemen eligible as pass receivers Harlow whistled and said, "You know, this changes the whole game of football. This makes a man to man defense absolutely impossible."
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