Chapter 92

Still On The Train, And Not Yet In Massachusetts

When the team got to Albany, there was a delay for an hour while their Pullman was disconnected and attached to a Boston and Albany passenger train. It seemed they'd been gone forever and they hadn't gotten to Massachusetts yet. Then when they finally got underway, there was another delay in Springfield, Massachusetts, this time for an hour and a half. The team was tired but rose to the occasion in order to accommodate the large number of reporters and photographers who had come west to Springfield from Boston in order to get material for their papers.

The members of the press piled into the Colonels' Pullman for the 100 mile ride into Boston. Uncle Charlie, Coach Bond and Red fielded questions, and the Centre coach, not normally a complainer, couldn't help but mention how disappointed he had been when he heard the comments about Centre's plan to go to Mansfield, Massachusetts from Richmond along with the delays encountered on the present trip.

"We got up at 6:30 in the morning in order to grab some breakfast and make sure we had everything at the station that we needed for the trip. Now, it looks like we're going to arrive some 38 hours after we got up. We heard that they're saying we go to school just so we can play football."

"How long does it take for Harvard to get to New Haven to play Yale?"

"Two hours."

"How long does it take for Princeton, where some of the comments came from, to get to Boston?"

"Maybe 5, 6 hours, maximum."

"Princeton to Yale?"

"Probably no more than 3 hours."

"If we have any luck going home, we'll have been on a train over 60 hours just on this trip. Add in the time it took to get back and forth to Richmond, and my boys will have spent close to 100 hours on a train, more in 10 days than the Eastern schools spend in one of their boy's whole career."

Uncle Charlie's voice trailed off as he said again, "They say my boys go to school just so they can play football."

After a day and a half on the train, the team gathered up their equipment and suitcases and carried them to the truck which the Harvard Athletic Association had waiting when they finally arrived at Boston's Back Bay Station. Due to the delay in finally arriving, the team wasn't met by as large a crowd as in the prior two years, but what was lacking in numbers was more than made up in enthusiasm.

Bill Cunningham of the "Post" recounted the scene.

Some newspaper writers, forecasting the arrival of the Colonels, had said that there would be none of the famous Southern beauties on deck to welcome the grid battlers from the old chivalric realm this year. The one bet that the well-intentioned prognosticators overlooked was the fact that a small multitude of the fairest daughters of the Old South are already in New England attending school, and they were on hand, radiant as a June morning, and dancing on their silken toes with excitement as the big locomotive churned past with its breaks streaking fire.

The team shook a lot of hands, hugged the young ladies, and then were bussed the short distance to the Lenox Hotel.  When they   arrived, two of Tom Bartlett's teammates helped him into the lobby. He was so weak that he couldn't stand at the front desk, and the registration card was brought over to where he sat so he could scribble his signature.

There was a lobby full of well wishers at the hotel, but Uncle Charlie made it clear that there needed to be no lingering before everyone made it to their rooms.

"It's been a long and tiring journey. We want you to know how much we appreciate your being here, but my lads need rest, and we're going to try to get ready for why we came here- to represent Old Centre in a way that will make you proud."

It was, "Hip, Hip, Hooray," as the Colonels ascended to their rooms.

Thank goodness for George Cresap "Crep" Hays, my childhood friend who Howard and I bunked with on the trip to Birmingham for the Auburn game in 1921. He had gone back to E-town on the L&N to get his parent's permission to go to the Harvard game before I left Danville.

We planned to room together if we got to Boston, but I didn't have any idea if he had made it or not. If he hadn't, I wasn't sure exactly what my backup plan would be.

When I went to the desk, you can't imagine how happy I was to hear that, "Yes sir. We have a George C. Hays registered here as one of our guests."

George Cresap "Crep" Hays ( 1902-1970 ), Red Robertson's friend from Elizabethtown and fellow Phi Delt.

So old Crep had made it! He'd gotten there the day before.

I went to the Western Union desk the next morning and wired my parents that I had arrived safely, that I was rooming with Crep, and I had my warm overcoat. I knew that my mother especially would be concerned about the weather, because she was always worried about me catching a cold.

Telegram sent to W. H. Robertson, father of Red Robertson, back to Elizabethtown, Ky. after arrival in Boston. The writing on top was by Mary Eyre Wintersmith Robertson, Red's mother, who apparently pasted in a later notice, top right, concerning Red Robertson's going to New York in 1924 for the West Virginia game. Also was a copy of the write-up about Red Robertson announcing all of the Centre plays in the press box at the 1922 game.

I'd ridden to Boston with the team, and I was going to be a member of the press on Saturday and sit up in the press box with Howard Reynolds, my new friend.

Not bad for an 18 year old, as I look back on those wonderful days, so long ago.