Robert Megerdichian, E74, A75

Robert Megerdichian, E74, A75, with his father's collection of metal miniatures

Robert Megerdichian, E74, A75, and his friend Jim Finegan, E74, may hold a Tufts reunion record: for the past 35 years the two have met every Friday night at the Tufts squash courts—give or take a vacation or birth of a child. That’s about 1,800 match-ups and nearly 5,000 games.

"Jim probably has an edge in the number of wins," Megerdichian concedes.

Megerdichian and Jim Finegan, E74, have been
playing squash together at Tufts for 35 years

The two met freshman year as fellow civil engineers and started playing together after reconnecting at their five-year reunion. “No one watches, but we joke that they should name a court after us!” Megerdichian says.

When he’s not on the court or running his business of measuring local buildings to create blueprints, Megerdichian restores baseball gloves. He also collects things: California Raisins figures, National Geographic issues dating back to 1910, wine bottles, and, most recently, metal miniatures for a local show that is tentatively scheduled to begin in spring 2014.

The pieces were crafted by his father while he worked as a machinist. While eating on his 18-minute lunch breaks, the elder Megerdichian made “simple things in miniature, like a little candelabra, a little vase.”

Word of his talent spread throughout the factory and fellow workers came by to watch him in action. He made everything from model cars to baby carriages that fit in the palm of your hand, pianos with working keys, and vacuum cleaners complete with electric cords.

Among the items: a tiny violin, a life-size solid copper telephone weighing in at 18 pounds, and two Tufts yearbooks marking both of Megerdichian’s graduations. The Megerdichians donated some of the elder Megerdichian's tools to the Tufts Bray Laboratory in the '80s.

“You always knew it was a present from dad when it was the smallest and heaviest present under the Christmas tree.” Gathering the collection and learning the history of the machinists of his father’s time have brought Megerdichian closer to his father, who passed away in 1983. And the collection “makes me happy—I can’t wait for everyone to see what he could do and the incredible talent of this bygone era.”

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