Corrections or additions?
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
"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
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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