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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 15 December 2013

9 December 2013

My goodness!

On a personal level, I find myself smiling a big smile in the wake of Allen Rosenberg’s passing. It provides a more than a moment for us all to reflect again on the positive contributions that this extraordinary man has made to each of our lives. What a generous and congenial man!

But don’t get me wrong! I know he’s gone and we are only supposed to speak fondly of the departed, and Allen Rosenberg was always a gentleman . . . but he was far less often a gentle man. He was a wolf in a three-piece suit.

My son reminds me that two giants of American rowing have left us in a single year, Harry Parker and Allen Rosenberg. In Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut spoke of a duprass, two people who were so linked in life that they often died almost simultaneously.

Harry and Allen? A duprass? Oh yes, I believe they were. They are still. A person is defined by the company he keeps . . . or doesn't keep.

These are the two most competitive men I have ever known, and time after time their greatest competition . . . was each other! In life, they seemed to be at odds for decades, and history reports that often it seemed to be Allen who came out on top . . . in 1964, 1965, 1974 . . . but then there was 1975 and 1976 . . .

Today they are together, and theoretically their competition is over . . . but I can’t help but think that when Allen arrived in Heaven, he greeted Harry warmly and politely pointed out that he had outlasted him by five full months, thank you very much.

Harry's response? I imagine an especially vigorous singles workout alongside Joe Burk . . . followed by a Tour de Stade and a killer game of croquet at Red Top against the Rude and Smooth.

R.I.P. to the both of you! Now each of you can truly rest . . . in . . . peace.

Or not . . .