Richard T. Flood Sr.
Please click here for a photo gallery collection of Dick's career at Nobles.
When I first met Dick Flood Sr., in the fall of 1959, he was the Assistant Headmaster and taught Latin and history at Nobles. My only real memories of him at that time were his nickname, that very unique, distinguishable voice, and how he often said “we’ll say fellahs.” It was my good fortune to get to know him from that time until just before he died. I didn’t really appreciate the role he played at Nobles until I went back as an employee in the fall of 1974. As a young boy, I came nowhere close to understanding the vital role this man played in the daily life of Noble and Greenough School. He had also been the hockey coach and started the ANF, Annual Nobles Fund, to name two quite significant positions.
It was during my 20 years at Nobles that I really came to know and appreciate Mr. Flood Sr. through his son, Dick Jr., who was the Dean.
Dick Jr’s role as Dean, a position formerly called Assistant Headmaster, is almost impossible to fully describe. I’m sure one reason being that it is different at every school. Suffice it to say, the Headmaster is, and was then, the public face of the school, but it was the Assistant Head/Dean who took care of business behind the scenes. RTF Sr. and RTF Jr. both faced and handled such delicate things as discipline, dealing with parents and faculty members and really were the Headmaster’s Man Friday. In watching Dick Flood Jr. deal with these issues, I realized what a vital cog Dick Flood Sr. had been in our era.
I’ve always felt that this academic relationship is like one in sports - there is the player who scores the goal or point, and then there’s the one who set it up; he or she gets the assist. Each relies on the other. And so, for Mr. Flood Sr., ETP may have scored the goal, but as in hockey, each got a point.
In the years after his retirement, I had the good fortune to interview RTF Sr. several times. The one thing that sticks out is his memory. It was like a steel trap. He was a magician with names, he remembered everyone and most things about them. On one occasion, when he was living at Carleton-Willard Village near the end of his life, he told me about his first day of school as a student at Nobles. The school was in Boston and had joined forces with the Volkmann School the summer before he arrived. On the first day, it was clear all the students would not fit in the study hall the way it had been configured. The boys were sent home and desks were rearranged to handle the school population. Two desks were placed side by side and a Nobles boy was assigned to sit next to a Volkmann boy. As a young student, he was seated next to a Volkman senior and the remarkable thing was that he remembered his name, in addition to the courses he took and the names of the faculty who taught each. This was reaching back 75 - 80 years and to be honest, I was dumbfounded.
Richard T. Flood was a remarkable, much loved and respected man and I have only scratched the surface of his amazing career. It should be pointed out that in his free time, he enjoyed the coast of Maine and wrote at least three books, including “Pass that Puck,” “The Fighting Southpaw” and “The Fighting Shortstop.”
Ned Bigelow, N '64