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These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 29,

1999. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Back in the early 1960s, two words could sum up the

attraction of Princeton University for many bright and earnest high

school students considering their college options: Bill Bradley.

That’s how this Princeton connection began for our Richard K. Rein,

who was then a high school student in upstate New York. One winter

afternoon in 10th grade the future editor was plodding up Norton


in Endwell, New York, delivering his daily route of 80-plus copies

of the Binghamton Evening Press. He stopped to chat with a 12th grader

who lived on his paper route, Mike Novak, a guy who already was known

as a sports nut, who knew more about sports than any other guy in

high school.

"I just heard about this college guy who’s set an NCAA record

for most consecutive free throws made," Novak said. "And it’s

incredible — he’s just a sophomore and he’s from Princeton. His

name is Bill Bradley."

Bradley’s accomplishments helped keep Princeton University in the

news throughout those years, and to keep Princeton high on the short

list of colleges for any number of high school students. But for our

boss the case for Princeton was cemented several years later by


person on his paper route — a man named Whittemore who lived down

the street from Novak. Out collecting from customers one evening,

the paper boy was asked by Mr. Whittemore if he had given any thought

to college choices. Yes, the paper boy replied, he was thinking of

a few places: Cornell, Colgate, Brown, and Princeton.


Whittemore replied, "I went there. Why don’t you read some of

these." He produced a handful of back issues of the Princeton

Alumni Weekly.

The paper boy, even then an aspiring journalist, read them all, cover

to cover. And he soon realized that Princeton was a lot more than

William Warren Bradley ’65. One of the more intriguing columns in

the PAW was the "On the Campus" column, an insightful look

at the agony and ecstasy of being an undergraduate at what was even

then a relatively high pressure academic environment. The columns

that appeared in that batch of PAWs handed down to the paper boy were

all elegantly written, in an informed voice, by one of Bradley’s


Edward H. Tenner.

Today, we are happy to report, all of our protagonists are doing well.

The paper boy was smart enough to choose Princeton and clever enough

to actually get admitted (Princeton must have been pretty lax in its

standards back then). Bill Bradley proved that his college stardom

was no fluke, becoming a starting player on two NBA championship teams

(after taking time off to study as a Rhodes Scholar), went into the

Senate and is now . . . oh yes, running for President of the United


And Edward H. Tenner, having graduated with a degree in history from

Princeton, returned to his hometown of Chicago to earn a Ph.D. in

European history from the University of Chicago. He later returned

to Princeton to work as an editor at the Princeton University Press.

Now writing as simply Edward Tenner ("I dropped the H partly


there aren’t enough other ETs to make it really necessary, partly

because I fell into European ways of doing things, and the middle

initial is almost uniquely American"), he writes books and


on such diverse topics as tech-speak, the unintended consequences

of technology, dogs, and chairs, and the implications of the Y2K


— the subject of his most recent submission to U.S. 1, posted


We thank Tenner; Bill Bradley; and that Princeton alumnus named


from Endwell, New York.

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