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Fast Eddie

In 2005, Nancy Parssinen-Vespoli '77 donated the 'Fast Eddie' - a Vespoli V1 equipped with wing riggers and rhino skin.  

Fast Eddie served the Dartmouth Women's Varsity team well on April 15th, 2006 when they beat Radcliffe and Syracuse, taking the O'Leary cup for the 
first time in its history.  Just like Paul Newman's 'Fast Eddie' Felson in the film 'The Hustler', the boat roared to a come-from-behind win.  

Only two weeks later, on April 29, 2006, we christened the boat and heard the following story from Nancy:  
"As you know, Fast Eddie refers to my father, Edwin Parssinen.  He got the nickname from Mike [Vespoli] and it came up when we would play golf with my father in Arizona while he was in his 70's and 80's, and clearly not moving as fast as he did in younger days, especially since he also suffered from Lyme disease.  However, when he played golf, he didn't like any dawdling amongst us, and was always making sure we pushed on and didn't waste time.  Therefore, Mike started calling him Fast Eddie, which he got a big kick out of- it made him feel young and it was humorous and ironic.  He wasn't exactly "Fast."

In addition, in his last couple years, I think he dreamed that the Navy had named a warship after him, and it started to enter his reality.  He fought in the Pacific during WWII, as a Naval radar officer standing next to the commander of a destroyer, informing him of the Japanese torpedoes and submarines coming at them by reading the radar.  He fought in the famous Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Phillipines.  He then spent his entire 35+ year career as a civilian working for the Navy designing submarines.  So, my father's entire adult life was spent in and with the Navy, so to have a "ship" named after him would have been something!  He would have been so pleased to know that in the end, he did have a "ship" named after him, not exactly a "destroyer," but a rowing shell in the "Dartmouth Navy." And he would have enjoyed hearing that it was a "destroyer" of other crews.  Unfortunately, he passed away before the "Fast Eddie" was named, but I am sure he was/is watching over it!  And would be glad to hear, as am I, that in its early life, it saw great success.  He would also be happy to hear that it had such an impact on young people, as you describe it had on the 2006 crew."