What on earth prompted us at U.S. 1 — a business and entertainment publication that is focussed much more on the future than on the past — to produce a cover story on 40-year memories of a dark day in American history?

The idea came from a longtime friend of ours — a reader, not a journalist. He had recalled listening to a presentation by a Princeton University alumnus, Class of 1964, who had been a senior on the football team in November of 1963. All these years later, the football player had a gripping story of what had happened in the wake of the Kennedy assassination — especially the deliberations over whether to cancel or postpone the game (it was for the Ivy championship and it was played a week later).

The football player has long since moved out of Princeton. But if he had a tale to tell, maybe other people in the U.S. 1 community had some equally compelling stories to relate. U.S. 1’s Barbara Fox, Kathleen McGinn Spring, Nicole Plett, and Richard K. Rein compiled the recollections that begin on page 17.

To the Editor: Encouragement For Jobhunters

Carolyn Foote Edelmann’s articles on the trials and tribulations of the downsized (U.S. 1, November 12) are refreshing new takes on this generally dire situation. Her reporting is invaluable for those who may not have access to outplacement.

There is one particularly galling aspect of the job search that is the most disheartening for sojourners in the "dark wood:" the difficulty in getting anyone to return your calls. Headhunters, who are all over you like soup when they have a hot prospect, evaporate after the initial call or interview. You never get feedback on how the interview went, or what you did wrong, or right. You never know if they rejected you because your skills were not appropriate or because you had spinach in your teeth. This lack of courtesy extends to potential networking contacts, HR representatives, and even old "friends" from your employed days.

During a recent period of unemployment I endured, I had thought that this was simply my personal failing until I began to hear the same complaint from friends who now are engaged in the hunt. The uncertainty is the same. You are unsure of how far to press in continuing to call and leave messages. At what point do you become persona non grata? A recent conversation with a senior manager from my financial services days brought back all of the pit-of-the-stomach desperation I had felt during my two years wandering in the woods. He confessed to losing confidence in his ability to control his search. And this from a man who was used to being in charge of entire divisions.

Three cheers for US 1’s efforts in sharing insights from fellow travelers. Keep the first hand advice and perspectives coming.

E.E. Whiting

Sayre Drive

From the `Old Man’

I LOOK FORWARD to reading Richard K. Rein’s column every Wednesday and miss it when he is too busy to write it. I especially appreciated the November 12 column. I have a few other "old man" items that I have passed on to my son. My age is 78.

"Do it, Do it now, It will cost less." I made that one up on the job when I kept getting pressured and overloaded with tasks (what else is new). My boss liked it so much that he put posters all over the office with the quote.

Another one, related to selecting an employee, assistant or associate. "When you are in the trenches and the shooting starts, would you want this person next to you."

Your item 3, about inventing tools, reminded me of what I learned in physics. Galileo’s statement: "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum strong enough, I can move the Earth."

Have a nice day. Always inspired by your thoughts.

Paul Eland

West Windsor

More SBIR Opportunities

THANK YOU FOR writing a story about the Small Business Innovation Research workshops being staged by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (U.S. 1, November 12). I just learned today that the new Department of Homeland Security has launched its own SBIR program and issued its first solicitation. Their SBIR program is administered by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. The solicitation was just released yesterday and proposals will be due December 15.

This might make for an interesting story given the attention given to homeland security these days. I have spoken with a lot of New Jersey entrepreneurs over the past two years whose technologies have homeland security applications and for whom this could represent a new market. For more information visit www.eps.gov/spg/DHS-DR/OCPO/DHS-OCPO/HSSCHQ-04-R-00103/listing. html

Randy Harmon

Technology Commercialization Center

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