Furry, four-legged friends wandering across Nonantum Hill … sound familiar? During St. Sebastian’s earlier decades of existence, it was not an uncommon sight to spot a dog walking around campus, such as good old MacDuff or the always popular Alcibiades, Monsignor Keating’s much-loved canine companion. From the mid-1950’s until the late 1960’s, Alcibiades lived in McInnis Hall with the other priests and many students came to think of him as the School’s mascot. He loved St. Sebastian’s, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s an interview with Alcibiades from the December edition of the 1956 Walrus, followed by one with MacDuff when he came onto the scene during the 1958-59 school year.
The Walrus: December, 1956
Roving Reporter Talks To Alcibiades, by Neil Duffy
The personage whose picture appears above, is not a member of the student body. Factually speaking, he is one big eared, black-and-white spotted mongrel of the canine set, who has very sad eyes. His name is Alcibiades.
“Alsie” has been with us for quite a few years. Because of his curious nature and his big ears, he knows many an interesting fact, and has formed quite strong opinions. Through no fault of his and through no fault of the present staff of this paper, his story has never reached the pages of this publication. Just imagine! – the story of an old friend like this, whose mind is a storehouse of knowledge and local gossip, has been held back. I hereby correct this error and render the following account of an interview with the offended.
I found him romping up and down the football field. He responded to my greeting with a friendly wag of his tail. Despite the language barrier, I managed to find out that he is very content here. When questioned about the food he said he hadn’t noticed the recent change, for he still gets the same food, all beef meat. Alsie has been known to sit in on a class to, absorb some information, but concerning latin, he said, “I would much rather sit on my posterior and munch on a bone.” He was silent about the elaborate spy system around Boston on the student body at large. He merely assured me of his knowing with his sly smile, and bounded off, ending our interview. One thing Alsie failed to mention about himself, is the warm and soothing companionship he offers to a student who has been bodily ejected from a class and pursued by heated remarks and who has to face solitude in the ‘lower region.’
The Walrus: May, 1959
Roving Reporter Interviews MacDuff, by John McMullen
Our last celebrity of the year is MacDuff -Mickey to his close friends. This is MacDuff’s first year on the “Hill’ and (this bow-wow type character) has made a rather favorable impression. In fact he does not really have a bone to pick with anyone except Alcibiades who, he wanted it known, is his only enemy. These two are always picking bones.
Academically speaking, MacDuff is no soft touch. His favorite subject is English with Greek a distant second. MacDuff’s elocution is not quite up to par and he only manages 70’s for oral recitation. He is a special admirer of Shakespeare. MacDuff’s favorite play is ‘MacBeth’; he just drivels when he reads that famous ending.
Although he looks like a so-called ‘animal’, MacDuff didn’t even try out for football this year, but he was third on the tennis team. He’s not playing too many sports because he’s working like a dog to get into Harvard.
MacDuff is also an entertainer of some note. This year he was in our Red and Black Minstrel Show. He was in the ‘real funny act’ at the end, with the jackets and the football helmets and the ‘Glass Hat’. You might not have recognized him right away or at all for that matter -but that’s understandable. As a result of this stellar performance, next year MacDuff is slated for the title role in our dramatic society’s production of “Old Yeller.”
On weekend’s MacDuff really puts on the dog. He’s a veritable wolf – almost. After his ‘puppy love’ capers, he began spreading himself thinly around at all the neighboring academies where he has many, many, many ‘friends.’ Mickey had a particularly fine time at the ‘St. Bernard’s’ Dance a few weeks ago.
In the Summer MacDuff spends most of his time at the Commonwealth Country Club where he says he has the run of the place.