Lower Merion Crew has been rowing on the Schuylkill River since 1948. The original four, shown at the May 1949 Nationals, consisted of Charles McManon (cox), Richard Armstrong (stroke), Paul Clark, Spike Muench and Harry Hazzard (bow).
Harry Hazzard, discovered the LM Crew Web Site, and provided us with his recollections of those very early days. If anyone else would like to share any interesting anecdotes, please e-mail the coach at Brian.Conley@LMCrew.org.
I just discovered your website. Well done. But where is the LM History? My name is Harry Hazzard. I graduated from LM in 1950. I rowed from 1948 to 1950 and was captain in 1950. When we started in 1948, the crew was a club not a varsity sport. Herb Horner, who was the wrestling coach was appointed crew coach. I tried out for wrestling and he recruited me for crew. I was totaly disinterested. My sister was a long distance swimmer at the Penn. Athletic Club and had a crush on an oarsman by the name of Joe Burke. She would drag me down to the Schuylkill to watch him row (I was ten) and I was bored to death. What a waste of time. The fact he won the Diamond Skulls was of no interest to me.
In any case, I ended up rowing. The families contributed funds and we borrowed boats from the Bachelors Club to get started. Several people contributed time because Herb hadn't a clue how to row. A Mr. English, a former sculler and Phila. banker helped, as well as a Mr. Armstrong also a Phila. banker and Olympic coxswain pitched in.
My sophomore year (and my first rowing year), I ended up stroking the eight in the Philly Regatta. An absolute disaster. We were lucky to finish. The following year, Mr. Horner decided to let Mr. Armstrong put together a four. He selected me, Dick Armstrong, Paul Clark, Spike Meunch, and Chuck McMahon for the boat. The first day of practice, Mr. Armstrong arrived in a Morning Coat complete with Ascot and Hamburg. He got in the boat as coxswain, stood up in the seat and said, "Gentlemen, row and if you dump me, I shall never come back." Petrified, we inched the boat from dock and slowly picked up speed. That man taught us more about rowing in ten minutes than most learn in a life-time. To cut a long story short, we began the season badly and ended up National Champions (1949).
I ended up at the Univ.of Penn. rowing for guess who, Joe Burke. Graduated in Chem. Eng. and Econ. Dick Armstrong also has his degree from Penn., in Electrical Eng. Chuck McMahon went into the ministry and I believe retired as a Bishop in the Angican Church (help Chuck!). Paul Clark also is an Electrical Engineer and I believe Spike has his own Insurance business in the area.
All in all, those days were among the happiest of mine, and I believe our lives. It's great to be the first champion but its better to have enjoyed the stimulation of opening new doors for others to enjoy.
My best to all of you in the future and thank you for listening to my reminiscences.
Harry Hazzard __________________________________________________________
The main focus of the Lower Merion Crew Association is to support the current team by procuring new equipment and maintaining the existing equipment. The cost of maintaining and procuring new equipment has increased significantly over the past five years. As an alumni and friend, your donation is critical in keeping the tradition alive and for the continued success of the LM Crew team. Those super kids, who learn about team work, commitment and a great sport, need our support. The Lower Merion Crew Association is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization, where your donation is tax deductible. Your donation will be 100% applied to the equipment fund. Please send your donation to:
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We are developing potential alumni activities and further communications among our alumni and friends. Please provide any suggestions to Michelle Gold, Commodore. Currently, we have over 700 people in our LM Crew alumni database, which covers the entire 50+ years. However, not all have received our recent mailing, so we need your help. If you are not on our mailing list, please take a moment to emaill us so we can get back in touch! In addition, we are preparing an E-mail listing to better communicate with LM Crew alumni and friends. Please, send us your E-mail address. All information will be kept confidential and will be used for LM Crew association purposes.