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Dartmouth Alumni Magazine Story Image - Free Beer

Dartmouth Alumni Magazine – “Free Beer”

Short Story: Free Beer

by Denis O’Neill, 1970

Ethan said the scene looked like a Hallmark Christmas card. “Yeah, except for all the villagers robbing the local beer train,” Russell added.

What would drive a small army of fraternity brothers to embark on a frigid midwinter expedition—in the middle of the night—to a derailed train north of campus?

At 35 degrees below zero, absolute temperature, packed snow squeaks like Styrofoam when you step on it. Your nostrils stick together with every inhalation. Your urine, should you be foolish enough to attempt to write your name in the aforementioned snow, would offer a halo of steam above its golden rainbow and be virtually frozen upon touchdown. Danny knew this because he had experienced all of the above during the severe February 1968 cold snap that contributed to the derailing of a freight train seven miles north of Hanover. It was an event that, in turn, led to one of the greatest spontaneous special operations ever launched by Greek society—an operation with proud linkage to the legendary 10th Mountain Division of WW II, the trailblazers in mountain terrain and cold weather warfare founded by Dartmouth students and alums. Read the Full Story Here »

  • Posted by  Denis O'Neill
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About the Author

Denis R. O'Neill began publishing articles and short stories in Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Fly Rod & Reel, Antiques, American Photographer and others. His first original screenplay, "The River Wild", was produced in 1994. His second screenplay, "A Shot At Glory" was released in 2001. He recently self-published: "WHIPLASH – When the Vietnam War rolled a Hand Grenade into the Animal House". Several other projects, including a novelization of "The River Wild", are waiting on deck.

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