We received the full complement of correspondence in the past week, hearing from readers via E-mail, online postings, old-fashioned snail mail, and even older fashioned, in-person greetings exchanged with dozens of readers who stopped by our booth at Communiversity.
We received the following E-mail from Jeanne Falvo to add to the ongoing discussion of our cover story on the building boom among faith-based organizations.
“First I’d like to say that the cover on the April 4 issue (Time “Is God Dead?” “Hell, no!”) is really brilliant.
“Yes, the information in the reporter’s story does affirm the follow-up Time cover. In fact, I know where some of the places of worship are located, and am amazed at the degree of growth.
Happily for us (and for others who read our stories on the Internet at princetoninfo.com) we received several online comments by people willing to attach their names to their posts.
Commenting on our April 11 story on Princeton University Chapel choir director Penna Rose, Betty Horn corrected one point made in the story: “Please note: Penna hired our daughter, Jennifer Horn, to organize the music mess!” We had inadvertently identified Betty Horn as the source of the organizational assistance.
The April 25 Interchange column on Princeton Forrestal Village elicited the following comment from Michael Ebner, professor of American history emeritus at Lake Forest College in Illinois. From the comment you can tell that Ebner has taken a scholarly interest in the Princeton-Route 1 corridor:
“The original ‘village’ concept — I have a conceptual drawing showing it — envisioned a residential community a short distance to the southeast of Princeton Forrestal Village.
“Alas, the planning board in Plainsboro Township nixed this concept. That decision, to my way of thinking, helped to send Princeton Forrestal Village down the wrong path. In essence, there were no villagers to patronize the village.
“What is enduring about Princeton Forrestal Village, some 25 years later, is that its original design remains artful and appealing.”
Richard K. Rein’s column in the April 25 issue — recounting the life of longtime Trenton Times columnist Arnold Ropeik — attracted both an online comment and a typewritten, hand-signed, post-marked letter.
The online comment was posted by former Trenton Times staffer, U.S. 1 contributor, and now Town Topics writer Anne Levin:
“This is a wonderful and touching column. So many former ‘Timesers’ have read it and been moved by it; thanks so much for writing it. When the first round of buyouts were announced in 2006, I think Arnie was the first to take the offer. I’ll never forget the day he walked out of the newsroom; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, to say the least. It was the end of an era (I’m full of cliches today but they all apply!). Anyway, great job.”
The letter came from Tom Evans of Hightstown, retired tugboat captain with the Moran Towing Company. He enclosed a photocopy of a Ropeik column from the early 2000s, in which the columnist described his lifelong fascination with tugboats. Evans, a retired tugboat captain, was involved in a celebrated 1998 rescue mission in which two tugboats brought a large cruise ship back to port in Miami after it had caught fire in the open sea. He had an understandable interest in the Ropeik column, which mentioned that incident.
The retired tugboat captain wondered if Rein and other readers might be interested, as well. Of course. In the hands of a craftsman like Ropeik an obscure subject suddenly comes to life. Take tugboats, for example. Here’s an excerpt from Ropeik’s column:
“Most of us with an appreciable number of years under our belt (and other places) are little kids when we get near a big construction site, an airport, a railroad yard, or a great harbor.
“The magnetism of machines, big and little, has always gripped our spirits and held us mesmerized at the power to get seemingly impossible jobs done.
“. . . Just about a year ago, two tugs sailed down the Hudson River in New York, to meet and accompany the biggest cruise ship afloat, the Grand Princess, to her slip. Every ounce of strength put out by the twin-screw, 6,300 HP Ester Moran and a sister tug was needed and, amid welcoming plumes of water from New York fireboats and whistles and horns in the harbor, got the job done without incident.
“I always get the feeling when I see one of these tugs in action that it’s a victory for the little guys of this world. No big bully is going to intimidate one of these bantam champs.
“Next time you see a tugboat in action, stop your car, get out, paw the dirt, snort loudly, and give the mitey mite three cheers.”
Finally, we had our in-person greetings from readers who attended the Princeton town-gown festival, Communiversity, last Saturday. We can’t begin to mention all the people who brightened our day. But we do direct your attention to page 21 of this issue. Thanks for your comments, no matter what the format.