Friday, October 14, 2016

Get Rich or Try Dying

If you look around, fascinating people and their fascinating lives are everywhere! Take Robert Morin of New Hampshire.  A 1963 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, he worked as a cataloger in the university’s Dimond Library for almost 50 years. You have to think that a job like that would pay a decent wage, certainly nothing too lavish, and you might not expect him to have left a pile of money behind when he passed away last year.

But you would be looking past the legacy of flinty thrifty New England bachelors, the ones whose motto is always "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." 

Robert Morin left 4 million US dollars to his alma mater.  


Now Morin had his habits, beside thrift.  No health fanatic, he broke his fast with Fritos and Coca-Cola every morning.  A movie fanatic, he watched 22,000 movies between 1979 and 1997 - that averages out to 3 per day every day.  

And my favorite Morin legend is that he read EVERY book published in the US between 1930 and 1938 (except textbooks, children’s books and cookbooks.)  I assume he did a lot of his reading while watching some really bad movies.

So, he lives like a miser and racks up a huge bank acct. and bequeaths it to his alma mater/employer and that's the end of the story, right?  See you tomorrow.


Turns out the U of NH is just like the rest of us...they took that gift horse and looked it right in the mouth.  Here's what happened: $100,000 of the 4 mil was set aside for the library where he worked. There is now a bench outside that building with his name on it, so that others can sit a spell and maybe smoke a pipeful or two, as he used to do.

The school is going to spend $2.5 million to beef up their student career center. And here's what's setting off a lot of howling...$1 million will go toward a video scoreboard at the school’s Wildcat Stadium.

Robt. Morin
It all fits in...during his last years in an assisted living center, Morin became obsessed with football, watching game after game and memorizing team rosters and mastering the rules of the game. So the new video scoreboard would seem a fitting way to invest part of his gift, but others are all worked up about it. 

“The university clearly seems to think that it makes sense for the sports department to receive ten times the amount that Morin’s own department is receiving, even after spending $25 million on a stadium renovation,” UNH graduate Claire Cortese said.

Others joined in the nay-saying chorus.  I look at it as 4 million semolians the school didn't have before Morin left it to them, and I also hasten to point out that you can't please everyone, even if you die trying to.

No comments: