#b#To the Editor: Valley Rd. Update#/b#

The May 18 issue of U.S. 1 presented an article about the fate of the Valley Road School Building. Next Tuesday, June 28, presents an opportunity for the public to hear the proposal from the Valley Road School Adaptive Reuse Committee (VRS-ARC), which will make a presentation at 7 p.m. at the Princeton Borough Council. To my knowledge, this is the only proposal that aims to preserve the building. The plan involves renovating the building as a community center for service organizations.

There are historical, financial, and sustainable reasons to preserve the building. The Valley Road School Building is one of the last remaining old school buildings in Princeton. The cost of demolishing the building or new construction is prohibitive. The Adaptive Reuse Committee has presented a thorough proposal to the School Board. The proposal would take the financial burden out of the hands of both the Princeton School Board as well as taxpayers. Preserving the building helps the environment by keeping the building out of a landfill.

Sharon Alice Murray, Operations Manager, Princeton Community Television and Digital Media Center

#b#Readers’ Response#/b#

Two articles in last week’s issue turned several of our readers into writers, who graciously forwarded their thoughts to us. Scott Morgan’s column (Thirteen Things They Never Tell You About Marriage — inspired by his 13th wedding anniversary) suggested to several readers that getting married and being married do indeed seem to be two different things.

David Reim, former owner of SimStar and now involved in a new financial literacy website, Our Dough Main, wondered if Morgan had run the column past his wife before he printed it, which he had. That, Reim said, was Point No. 14 for a successful marriage — always know when to ask permission.

Charles McLane of McLane Environmental, a consulting firm at 707 Alexander Road, thought Morgan’s piece was “one of the most complete, concise, practical, right on, wisdom-filled descriptions of what marriage is, and what people considering marriage should understand, that I have ever read. Thanks for writing it. And hopefully the ending won you some points at home.”

A client services rep at a financial firm in Princeton, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote that Morgan’s column contained “almost the exact sentiments that I want to say to my 26-year-old daughter and her 28-year-old boyfriend.

“Thank you for putting the reality of marriage into words. I passed it around to all the 20-something-year-olds in my office and made them read it. Now, I would enjoy your views on a long loving, monogamous marriage where one partner desperately wants to relive the titillation of a first kiss before their parts stop working. This I would pass around the office to all the 50-plus-year-olds.”

Richard K. Rein’s Father’s Day column was also the subject of numerous responses, including this letter to the editor:

#b#Save the Memories#/b#

Mr. Rein: My condolences on the loss of your father. The interminable silence following the death of a parent or other loved one that you mentioned in your June 15 column touched a nerve in me. That silence is the reason a colleague and I recently started a website, www.AmericansRemember.com.

After my mother’s death in 2003 I found the most difficult thing was no longer being able to just pick up the phone and discuss daily events. Our chats had included anything and everything. But after she was gone I realized that what I missed the most about those discussions were the recollections and stories that had been entwined in every conversation.

Her memories of growing up during the Great Depression, of everyday life during WW II, or stories about events in the family or my childhood that I had long forgotten were the irreplaceable part of those conversations. These stories seemed inconsequential at the time, but when they were gone I felt as if a part of my own memory had suddenly been erased and replaced with blank silence. Gone, too, was family history; the stories behind the old sideboard in the dining room, the set of depression glass dishes, the fading photographs of long-dead relatives hanging on the wall.

As I watched friends lose their parents and encounter that same silence, I came up with the idea of starting AmericansRemember.com as a way to encourage people to record and share those seemingly trivial, but irreplaceable memories before they are lost to the silence. Those memories hold a record of everyday American life that is lost forever whenever an individual passes away.

Kathleen Rehn, Phillips Avenue, Lawrenceville

Rein’s column resonated with other readers, including Dave Kaplan of Sir Speedy, and telecommuting consultant Gil Gordon.

And U.S. 1 senior correspondent Barbara Fox wrote this in a Father’s Day posting on her blog, princetoncomment.blogspot.com:

“Today I wore a locket that has a columbine in it, my Colorado-born father’s favorite flower. That’s about the extent of today’s celebrations about my father, who died 40 years ago. I’ve never felt I could write about him.

“But here are two rememberings that I like. This morning on NPR Jennifer Grant talked about what was like to have Cary Grant as a father. She has just published her memoir, ‘Good Stuff.’ And in this week’s U.S. 1, my ex-boss wrote about his father. It was quintessential Richard K. Rein, clear-headed, self-deprecating, heart-warming, memorable.”

A member of Rein’s father’s generation gets the last word. Jasha Levy, the Hightstown resident who has chronicled his own fascinating life story in a book, “The Last Exile,” sent the following E-mail:

“Richard, You touched me. I am almost your father’s age and a father could not wish for a more thoughtful and wiser son.”

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