Sunday, July 14, 2019

They Got It Right In '57

My favorite postseason Dartmouth honor has long been the Manners Makyth Man Award, presented to "the varsity football player, selected by his teammates, who has best conducted himself to the advantage of the College in the sense of William Wykeham's phrase, 'Manners Makyth Man.' "

A story in the Hartford Courant sent me scrambling to learn at least a little about the football career of the subject of the story and I wasn't at all surprised to learn having read the story that as a senior tackle in 1957 he won the Manners Makyth Man.

I don't think I ever met John Murphy '58, who died last month, but the Courant story makes me wish I had. A few excerpts:
Almost everyone who knew him had a Johnny story. About the time he slept outside all night for Prince tickets and was refused entry at his white shoe law firm because he looked so seedy. How he promised to pay for college for a bunch of Hartford students, then tutored them or went to court with them if needed.
And . . .
At the end of his very first jury trial, Murphy’s summation included his opinion that the prosecution had the weakest case he’d ever tried in his entire legal career. He put a Cadillac emblem on his old Chevy, just to be funny.
And after joining the Marines and becoming a pilot . . .
In later years, Murphy declined to march in parades honoring veterans, saying he had never served in combat and didn’t belong among the “heroes.”
And . . .
In 1962, following his Marine stint, Murphy joined the Peace Corps, which Kennedy had started in 1961. He served in Tunisia and in Gabon, teaching physical education and building schools.
And . . .
He went to Dartmouth, where he played on the football team. (He loved being the class liberal, and at a formal reunion dinner, he let it be known that he was wearing an Obama T-shirt under his tuxedo jacket.) 
Yup, looks like the '57 team got the Manners Makyth Man Award right. Read the Hartford Courant story HERE.