THE STANFORD AXE
The Stanford Axe, that great traditional emblem, was captured by California on Saturday, April 15, 1899. the Golden Bear retained the custody of the Axe for thirty-one years, during which time many attempts were made by Stanford men for recovery. After many frustrated attempts, their efforts were rewarded and the famous Axe rests once again in Stanford hands.
In publishing this book an effort has been made to present an accurate history of the Axe. It has been the purpose of the publishers to create this work as an instrument of good will and understanding between Stanford and California, those two universities which represent the greatest in friendly rivalry.
The publishers have been fortunate in obtaining as authors of the several articles men who stand out in Stanford and California annals. It would be difficult indeed to pick out a group of men better qualified to write on the history of the famous emblem.
R. L. ("Dink") Templeton, a member of the class of '18 at Stanford and at present track coach at the Cardinal institution, was a great track and football star in his college days. Templeton's great Stanford track teams won national laurels in 1927, 1928, and 1929, reflecting the results of good coaching. "Dink" is also well known as a newspaper writer of much merit. Indeed, he is a natural rival of "Brick" Morse, the latter writing from a California viewpoint, while Templeton writes for Stanford.
Clinton R. ("Brick") Morse, California '96, that perpetual Californian, whose interest never wanes in connection with Blue and Gold endeavor, was prominent in campus activities while a student. As has already been mentioned, he has become popular as a newspaper writer. In addition, "Brick" is at the head of that clever group of musical entertainers known as the "Brick Morse Collegians," a body of past and present Californians.
Norman Horner, California '31, the last California custodian of the Axe, is well known in intercollegiate baseball circles as a pitcher of much merit. He is looked upon as one of the greatest of Bear twirlers, having established a record difficult to surpass. He has shown himself to be a red-blooded sportsman, and his never-say-die spirit has been a constant source of inspiration to histeam-mates. Californians do not look upon Horner as the "goat," but as a real sportsman. In an interview, he made the following statement: "You've got to give those fellows credit --- they worked the angles." This is typical of "Norm."
Wagner d'Alessio, Stanford '29, is well qualified to write on the Axe tradition, having made a complete study of the history of the famous emblem. In addition he has written for a past edition of the Stanford Illustrated Review a short story regarding the annals of the Axe. Being in close touch with University life and well acquainted with "The Twenty-One," he was able to obtain information the authenticity of which is unquestioned.
The story of the actual recapture of the Axe by the Twenty-One Stanfordcaptors is a reprint from The Stanford Daily of April 7, 1930. This article was written especially for the student paper at a special meeting of The Twenty-One, soon after the event took place. The Twenty-One captors immediately decided that all should share alike in the glory, and that no individual should capitalize upon the fame jointly won. The men have faithfully observed their own unwritten law. The leaders have turned the spotlight upon their comrades. Teamwork won the victory for The Twenty-One, and the men are modestly receiving the praise together. A fine spirit of unselfish co-operation was evident throughout. To write of each one of the captors individually would be a lengthy assignment. But the men, by their own choice, are thought of as a group. As a group they represent a cross-section of Stanford men --- students, athletes, from different parts of the country and of varying interests. Their present unity lies in their daring execution of a well-thought-out plan, and the results arising there-from. Enthusiasm was fired by the prospects of an exciting escapade and the desire "to do or die" for the old Alma Mater. The Twenty-One have truly carved for themselves a permanent niche in the Stanford Hall of Fame.
The present article of the captors was approved by the entire group, and it is the only authentic story of the Axe recapture, written by the captors themselves. It has been reprinted here by permission of The Twenty-One and through the courtesy of The Stanford Daily.
A word of appreciation is also due others besides the authors. Much credit should be given to many of the participants in the original fracas in which the Axe was wrested from the hands of the Stanfordites. They have been generous in contributing by letters much data which has added to the authenticity of the early history of the Axe. To Mrs. Carol Green Wilson, editor of the Stanford Illustrated Review, for permission to use photographs and material from the alumni magazine, the publishers express their gratitude. To Jack McDowell, Stanford Alumni Secretary, we extend thanks for helpful suggestions. To Mr. W. A. Friend, business manager of the Stanford University Press, for his help and tolerant patience in face of the trying conditions of a first attempt, we are sincerely grateful. The publishers extend kind appreciation to Mrs. John F. Van der Kamp for her generous assistance in preparing the book for publication. We also thank Mr. Wayne Thornton of the American Engraving and Color Plate Company for his helpful advice in arranging the photographs. And to many others for helpful assist ance in various ways, we are sincerely grateful.
Continue to "The Origin and Loss of the Axe"