We can breathe easier. After 35 years, the popular Gil Thorp comic strip that
appears on this page has a nickname for mythical Milford High School-the
Mudlarks. "I like it," said cartoonist Jack Berrill, who said he plans to
introduce the monicker in the near future. In the meantime, of course,
there's the more serious business of whether Ian, the foreign exchange
student, will make a contribution to the football team.
Berrill took time from the Milford battlefields to attend a 35th
anniversary party for the Thorp strip this week at Justin's in Chicago, where
the winning Mudlarks' name was announced by contest organizer Mike Murphy of
WSCR. Interestingly, Marilyn Knapp Litt, one of the few females in this
august gathering, sent in the winning name. It was her only entry. She got
the idea after attending a Mud Hens' minor league baseball game in Toledo
on her way a few weeks ago to the annual Shakespeare Festival in Stratford,
"The name just sort of stuck," said Litt, a computer specialist for the
U.S. Railroad Retirement Board in Chicago. "It seemed alliterative and
distinctive. I didn't want something obvious, like Mustangs. Besides, I
figured he could always shorten it to Larks. I would think short names are
important for a cartoonist."
The Thorp party drew several TV stations and other media, including one
columnist from the Detroit Free Press. Murphy passed out numerous copies of
the "Waxing Nostalgic" anniversary Thorp book for those who had the correct
answers to trivia questions. Though she knew most of the answers, Litt didn't
bother entering this competition. She's already got the Thorp book as well as
a Thorp T-shirt. Heck, she's even got the answer to what Ian will do for
Milford: Kick a winning field goal in the playdowns. "With Gil, you always
have to go with the obvious," she said.
DATE: TUESDAY September 14, 1993
BYLINE: NEAL RUBIN, Detroit
DEVOTEES OF "Gil Thorp" gathered in Chicago on the comic strip's 35th
anniversary to meet creator Jack Berrill and learn the winner of the contest
to provide Milford High teams with a nickname. The champ, as submitted by
Marilyn Knapp Litt of Chicago and chosen by Mrs. Berrill: the Mudlarks. The
crowd at a bar near Wrigley Field booed, to which Litt observed, "They didn't
win." As for why Milford went 35 years without a mascot, Berrill explained,
"I was afraid people would get confused."
My winning entry was:
To play, delve, run, race, etc. in mud or on muddy ground.
As in the Mudlark's season ending football victory over Valley Tech in 1983! That was played in "mudlark weather."
Return to the Gil Thorp Home Page
My Vietnam Related Websites:
Women in Vietnam ~ Read about ALL the women who served . . .
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam
Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet
Emily's Poetry ~ By a Red Cross Donut Dolly
Shrapnel in the Heart ~ The most moving book you will read on Vietnam
All About Vietnam ~ An annotated bibliography of books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!
Battle Dressing ~
Project Hearts and Minds ~ Help put Viet Nam back together
Photos from a Holts' Military History Tour ~ My trip to Vietnam, February 1998
My Other Websites:
Maybe Later . . . ~ My Creative Nonfiction
Irish in Korea ~ Irish men and women who gave their lives in the Korean War
Literature of the Korean War ~ Don't let the literature be forgotten
Samuel Pepys ~ One of my favorite authors
Chicago Theatre Z - A ~ This is the best theater town in the country!
Soccer Literature ~ I'm a fan and I read
O'Leary Lantern ~ Fire! Fire! Fire!
Gil Thorp ~ THE Coach (apologies to The General!)
Poetry of the First World War ~ Owen, Hardy and others
Chi-COW-go ~ Cowz plus Commentary (this used to be a cow town)
Graham Fulton, Scottish Poet ~ Charles Manson Auditions for the Monkees
Other Important Websites:
The Truth About Caroline ~ a really good Young Adult book by my niece, Stacey M. Lane Grosh
Remember Oklahoma City ~ The Civil Service and Military will NEVER forget!