One of Roy's teammates at Principia was Egil ‘Bud’ Krogh who later went on to Watergate ill fame as a member of the co-conspirators.
Another source reported the following about that incident:
There was a small general store with a gas pump in front. That was it for commerce. Most of the professors lived there. It was a beautiful little town on the bank of the river, but time had passed it by as far as a college student was concerned. This lifestyle was culture shock in the first degree for a kid from Long Beach, California..........
You were assigned to a dorm when you arrived. There was no changing. You were in Rackham East or West, Brooks North or South or Buck House. You were a Buckie or a Westie for the rest of your life. I was a Rackham Eastie. The Rackham house (East and West adjoined) was a very impressive building, almost castlelike. I was always in awe of it. The advantage Rackham guys had was that you didn't have far to walk to sign up for the barber. The barber shop, located in the bowels of Rackham East, was a regular dorm room with a barber chair or two, and was in use one, maybe two days a week when a barber (or two?) came in from Jerseyville. The rest of the time it was used by guys pulling all nighters..........When I think of my time at Principia, the overwhelming image was money. Nearly everyone there came from wealth or at least from my impoverished background that was the impression. I had never associated with kids who had financial resources. These were people with vacation homes, families who traveled to Europe, connections in business. Although many of the guys there were arrogant assholes, I was surprised to find that many of them were nice guys. The expectations of many were completely different than mine. A B.A. was only a step along the way to success. They talked about graduate school. I remember being shocked to find out that when you graduated, you went on to do more college. There is more? I had no idea. I had a roommate who, when he saw how few winter clothes I had, took pity on me and traded me several items of winter clothing for a sweater that he admired......Freshmen were to room with upper classmen. Each quarter roommates would change. The spring quarter there was a foul up and I got to room with another freshman, a guy from So Cal, Orlo Harvison (Bud) Pool. Bud and I very quickly figured out that we were the two poorest kids on campus. It was a bond that continued through our sophomore year, after which we left. (Bud worked for a couple years and then reenrolled and graduated with a 4.0.) No money? Not to worry, Principia provided for those who needed to work. I had a job filling the soft drink machines in the dorms. It paid a whopping 59 cents an hour. Thank you. That evens things up. Pretty much covered toiletries. I got to drive a truck which in itself was pretty exciting. I would assess what needed to be replaced then load the cases of pop on the handcart and haul them into the dorm. When I serviced the women's dorms I was supposed to yell, "Man on the floor!" so that the bevy of women who run around naked at 4 PM would know I was there. Though I was reprimanded by house mothers for not yelling loudly enough, I never saw a naked girl.............I mentioned cross country in the last email, making it sound like a regular team. It wasn't. We had one meet. The rest were time trials on "our course". The one meet was at Greenville I believe. I won by a minute or so over four miles. Bud Krogh was second. The AD/football coach, Jim Crafton, didn't care about distance running in general and cross country in particular. He let us have our "sort of" team with Bud acting as the facilitator/coach. We would ask if we could please have another meet, but he never scheduled one for us. Very disappointing. Crafton was a good ole boy from Louisiana who had once put the shot 54' or some such at LSU, I believe. He was a big guy who talked very slowly, very intimidating for a 19 year old kid.......This brings us to the story to which I referred in the last email. The Drake Relays were on our schedule. I knew the whole team wasn't going, but I thought I would be picked to run a slow heat of the 5000. Nope. The only guys to go were "Crafton's boys". You were either one of his boys or you were an outsider. If you were a football player or had been on one of his teams at Principia HS (St. Louis), you were his boy. I definitely wasn't. A couple station wagons were loaded up with about eight guys and off they went to Des Moines. What were the rest of us to do? As he left, Crafton posted Saturday's workout on the bulletin board. My workout: run a mile time trial wait 20 minutes and run a two mile time trial. Great workout, coach. Thanks. The rest of the stay-at-homes were given similar assignments. We were disappointed with his lack of interest. Another guy and I got the idea of seeing if we could do our time trials as nonscorers in a local meet somewhere. The coach at Greenville had been friendly at the XC meet. I called him. Sure you guys can run. Come on over. We went to the dean of men who authorized a station wagon for us and we were off. At the meet we turned our jerseys inside out so it would be obvious that we were competing unattached. We had a good day with several PRs (not me, but I paced our #2 guy, Pete Martin, to his fastest 2M). In general we were proud of our efforts. I posted our times on the b-board next to Crafton's office, thinking that he would be happy we had done so well. BIG MISTAKE! About 4:00 the next morning several guys that had just returned from Drake came into my room to warn me that Crafton was furious at all of us, but me in particular. They had never seen him so mad. The reason: we had competed and hadn't won the meet. Principia had some sort of win streak and he felt we had broken it. I didn't understand. In the note I had explained that we had reversed our shirts. The scary thing about it was that the Drake guys bought his line of thinking. At least they warned me that he might come looking for me. I grabbed my mattress and dragged it down the hall to a friend's room so that if he did try to find me before the sun came up I wouldn't be there. Sunday morning was always doughnuts and cocoa in the dorm, then church at 11:00 followed by lunch in the dining room. No word from Crafton. That afternoon we all got the word that we were to meet individually with Crafton in his office above the gym. My appointment was for 7:45 (not sure how I remembered that). I was sick with fear when I climbed the stairs. Coach Crafton was very calm as he told me that I and the others were off the team, done, finished, through. I was crushed. How could this happen? My one goal in life had been to set the 2M record, something I knew I could do if I had competition and didn't have to run the mile before. Now that was gone. The next day the situation changed slightly. The team would vote on reinstatement. The kicker was that it had to be unanimous. That was followed by the information that Rich Overby, definitely a Crafton boy, one of the two good athletes on the team (21.5 straightaway, 49.5), with Bud being the other, was going to vote no. This was a crusher as I considered Rich a good guy and had even gone on winter runs in the snow with him. The vote was scheduled for Wednesday. Needless to say Monday and Tuesday dragged on forever. When practice finally rolled around I watched from a hill perhaps 100 yards away as they voted. We were back on the team, but the message had been sent. I knew I wasn't coming back for my junior year. I did get the record and the Prairie College Conference (think that was the name) championship in the 2M, but the last meet was the Ozark AAU in St. Louis and everyone was entered as individuals. Really enjoyed that week because I didn't do Crafton's workouts. Fuck you, asshole. He didn't care, because he didn't care during the regular season. Even then, in my second year of running, I knew I knew more about distance running than Crafton. Can't say that I hated the guy (feared, yes), but I harbored a healthy dislike.
So fifty-six years later, our young hero now an aged and surly old curmugeon sits in his mountain retreat regarding those days not so fondly. Congratulations, Blog Buddy, you got the 2M record despite the poor, make that no coaching you received. Crafton may have gotten a cement slab named after him on the campus, but you got the record. Amen and pass the liniment. George
|The bluff road now an interstate|