This week’s cover design was a natural for us here at U.S. 1. Pi Day, the brainstorm of the Princeton Tour Company’s energetic Mimi Omiecinski, has always appealed to us — probably because so much of our editorial content deals with technology and the people who create that technology.
This year’s Pi Day events encompass three days on the calendar, from Thursday to Saturday, March 13 to 15, as well as Einstein’s most convenient birthday, March 14, or 3-14, the first three digits of the mathematical term, pi. Next year, smart people already have observed, pi day will be 3-14-15, the first five digits. We would like to see an entire week dedicated to events celebrating Einstein and other intellectual giants of Princeton. Call it, yes, Geek Week, and encourage youngsters and their parents from near and far to come to town to discover it’s not so bad to be a little nerdy.
The other big event coming up is St. Patrick’s Day and who doesn’t like to wear a little green once in a while. In addition our editor, Richard K. Rein, spends the rest of the year telling people to pronounce his last name “Ryan, just like the Irish.” So for him, well, any excuse for a beer.
We hope you all enjoy getting out of the home or office in the coming days.
More on the Johnsons. Our February 26 cover story on Barbara Kristina Johnson and her extensive collection of American folk art and scrimshaw misstated her maiden name. In fact it was Eisenfuhr — two dots over the u if your typography permits that.
Another and more consequential criticism of our story was posted online at www.princetoninfo.com (where all of U.S. 1’s stories are archived). Below are excerpts from a reader who declined our invitation to be identified:
“I wonder when one will stop constantly calling Barbara Piasecka Johnson [the other Barbara Johnson who married the father of the Seward Johnson who Barbara Kristina Johnson married] ‘a cook and moved up to maid when it was determined she couldn’t cook.’ Barbara Piasecka arrived in the U.S. with a master’s degree in art history from University of Wroclaw, with an intention to enter a PhD program in art history in the U.S.
“As some prospective foreign graduate students do, she decided to earn money first, accepting a job as a cook. It is not true that only after she met and married J. Seward Johnson Sr., she ‘went on to earn a master’s degree in art history,’ so it is cruel to recall her as a maid — ‘she worked her way up.’
“When she was hired by the Johnsons, she was an educated woman, art historian, and an expert in old masters. She came from a Polish family that suffered terrible hardship during War World II. Her rags-to-riches story is not different from many other American stories, that in contrast, are not told and retold with malicious resentment. Barbara Piasecka Johnson was happily married to J. Seward Johnson Sr. with whom she built an extraordinary art collection renowned worldwide, comprising among others 19th century and Old Master paintings and 18th century French furniture. She was an impressive art expert and collector.
“By contrast Barbara Kristina Johnson, “came to the U.S. as a teenager, without papers,” was raised in German family in Berlin, and ‘the whole family was respected Berlin upper class intellectual,’ — a family that obviously was passively accepting Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
“Kristina Johnson’s marriage to J. Seward Johnson Jr. was scandalous: including extramarital affairs and paternity suits.
“Writing an article that describes Barbara Piasecka Johnson in a derogatory manner, in comparison to Barbara Kristina Johnson, a sophisticated socialite and a collector is simply troubling and malicious. Both women married into a wealthy family, and somehow only one is always reminded about her modest beginnings in the U.S. What a bias.”
#b#To the Editor: Let Seniors Stay at Home#/b#
Assemblyman Reid Gusciora hit the nail right on the head with his supporting points on the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Bill. This bill is a worthy investment.
During this year’s state budget address Governor Christie said, “My philosophy is to allow older New Jerseyans to maintain their independence and receive care in the community for as long as possible.” The NORC bill would do just that. Many more seniors will be allowed to live at home and within their current communities because this bill would have the care travel to them. Not only will this bill allow seniors to maintain their independence, but medical spending would go down in the process.
This bill has been introduced before. However this time, the bill has been garnering more support. We need to support the NORC Bill.
Busch is an AARP volunteer.