Wednesday, September 21, 2016

D. Keith Mano (1942-2016)

Keith Mano

In case anyone thinks I am the #1 most dedicated and prolifically literary Columbia Football fan of all time, the truth is I really never was.

That distinction probably belonged to author and 1963 Columbia graduate D. Keith Mano. And I am saddened to say that Mano died last week in Manhattan at the age of 74.

Fans who came out to Columbia games in the 70's, 80's, and most of the 90's couldn't miss Mano as he was one of the loudest fans in attendance at Baker Field and then Wien Stadium. He also came to the freshman football games on Friday nights, wrote articles in the New York Times about the tortured Columbia fan experience, and did it all while conducting a very successful literary and screenwriting career. He was even born in Inwood!

I have no doubt that if the Internet and blogging existed in the 1980's, Mano would have blogged about the team in a way that far surpasses my own efforts.

But sometime around the year 2000, Mano started to succumb to Parkinson's. We stopped seeing him at the games and stopped hearing from him altogether. I had been quietly hoping that he would recover and we'd see him again, but alas.

Mano deserved to see Columbia win another Ivy title in his lifetime. It didn't happen, but at least the Lions won the championship while he was a student during his junior year of 1961.

I never really personally knew him, but I've been aware of how in many ways I've been carrying on his legacy. And it deserves to be remembered.


Kiernan said...

Sad news. He would travel to our preseason camp as well, just to watch the practices. I had many interactions with him, personally, and I liked him, including off-campus and after graduation, when he offered me advice on writing. (He was a terrific writer who earned his success, too.) Kiernan O'Connor '92

Chick said...

Thanks Jake. Sad news indeed. Just the other day I thought of him, and wondered
why he wasn't weighing in on Hillary and Obama, such juicy targets for this hilarious, bigger-than-life, raucous, unafraid author/warrior.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

Thanks for running this, Jake. While I( never actually a=met him (or even saw him at games), I was always amused that a writer whose work I admired was a strong supporter of Lions foorball and a regular financial supporter.

Could not, however, get through his supposed masterwork "Take Five," simply found it pretentious."War Is Heaven!" and "Horn," about a Harlem gangster with a protuberance on his forehead, are my favorites. But even as I always liked that he wrote seriously and admiringly about Christianity (a very rare literary practice today), but he sometimes went too far. Reading "The Death And Life Of Harry Goth," for example, about a guy who spends much time on the porcelain throne, was enough in and of itself to give a reader hemorrhoids.And he also wrote to frequent and tiresome excess about his venereal employment as the manager of a Queens go-go bar.

Still, he'll be missed. As a character says at thenend of Sam Peckinpah's "The Ballad Of Cable Hogue," "Take him, Lord. But don't take him lightly."