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Who Were the Men in 1956 Crew?

We’ve Now Identified All in 1956 Photo


ith much excitement, a rower anxiously awaited his copy of Boathouse Row because friends were calling him to say he was in a photo. Vince Szymkowski emailed me last week: “I got the book yesterday. My picture appears on p. 116 stroking the boat, which I did to two Dad Vail Championships. After graduating from La Salle, I coached with the “Bear” for two years. Later coached at Penn AC. Had 4 National Junior Champions and 1 Bronze medal in the Youth Worlds. I have been known down at Boathouse Row as Vince “Murph” Szymkowski.” The photo, from the archives at Temple University’s Special Research Collection, did not identify the men in the boat, just the coach kneeling on the dock, Tom Curran. But thanks to “Murph” and Teresa Dean Fynes (whose father-in-law, Bill Funes, is in the boat), we may have identified the rowers in this 1956 La Salle crew photo. Bow, John Dever, 2 Bill Fynes, 3 Jack Bloxsom, 4 Frank McCloskey, 5 John Maketa, 6 Romeo Boyd, 7 Bob Morro, Stroke Vince Szymkowski, Cox Jack Seitz. If you have stories to share about Tom (the Bear) Curran, please email me at
(A version of this blog was published Nov. 26, 2016)