Another Louisville Cardinal Tradition Gone

LouHarry Bockman died last week. He was 89.

Those of my era who attended U of L knew him well.

He worked in the Registrar’s office, though I’m not sure any of us could tell you what he did there.

He also was part of the Chain Gang at home Cardinal football games. Did it for years. Paid for his own stripes, he once told me.

Until Howard Schnellenberger arrived, and wanted his own new, improved Chain Gang. Harry’s beloved task was taken from him. Harry didn’t have the fondest things to say about The Schnell, though I’m sure he appreciated what he did for the football program.

Harry loved U of L.

What I frankly never knew about Harry until I read the obit in the C-J was that he won a Purple Heart for his service in WWII. And that he was an “undefeated track champion” and All-American.

But Harry’s real claim to U of L fame, what makes him an immediate member of the Cardinal Hall of Fame, was his role as Gatekeeper to the Student Section for Cardinal hoops at Freedom Hall.

In those days, students actually got in the games free. True. First one, first seated. All one had to do was show Harry your ID at the entrance in the back of Freedom Hall.

There was no pulling a fast one on Harry, like bringing in a friend and trying to swoop past him. Harry new everyone’s face on campus. He didn’t suffer scofflaws. That entrance was also used by ticket holders, and many, including myself continued to use it for some time after graduating. Harry continued to ask for my ID . . . for years.

Harry was a pip.

Harry Bockman. R.I.P.

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