Shift Mates

By Zachary Block '99 / May / June 2002
June 29th, 2007
Before their studies were derailed by World War II, Jack Murphy and Jim Tyrrell never met at Brown. And although they eventually settled just three miles apart in Stamford, Connecticut, and volunteered at the same Easter Seals rehabilitation center, their paths somehow never crossed.

Then in the fall of 1999 the two men were assigned to work the same dining-room shift at the center. Tyrrell, a retired advertising executive, says he sought out Murphy, a retired marketing director, because they were the only men working that day. They introduced themselves and began quizzing each other about their backgrounds. Soon they discovered that not only had they both attended Brown; they had walked through the Van Wickle Gates on the same June day in 1948. "We were both tickled, of course, and we started to find that we had mutual friends," says Tyrrell, noting that his original 1945 graduation date had been postponed by three years of air force duty.

The two have since become friends themselves and now regularly work together. While they don't see each other socially, they occasionally connect at local sporting events. And, Murphy jokes, they are the only Easter Seals waiters who can sing "Ever True to Brown.

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May / June 2002