Don’t let the manager of productivity know, but I am about to spend a few minutes here reminiscing about some items presented in the recent past. Nothing new here, just some follow-up information that may prove interesting only to the most faithful readers:
Remember Win Straube’s book, “Enjoying the Ride”? That’s the self-published autobiography with the fascinating chapters on Straube’s life as a teenage soldier and virtual refugee in Germany in the final days of World War II. We noted that Straube had chosen an unorthodox marketing plan: He had a limited edition of signed copies that he was selling for whatever amount the buyer might want to contribute to a charitable foundation.
Straube E-mailed us to report some good news. “The printing house shipped out the last numbered ‘authenticity’ copies of Enjoying the Ride on January 30. That means our initial printing is gone. With some of the books still in the distribution pipelines, so far they sold at an average donation amount of close to $200 each (the lowest donation amount received was $10, and the highest $10,000) taking us well over the fundraising target we had set.
“I’ve had a lot more feedback on the book than I ever expected from all directions in the meantime, all of it very positive. I am overwhelmed and very much humbled by the depth of the responses.”
How about those eagles? We have written on several occasions about the bald eagles that seem to be making a comeback in New Jersey, despite all that civilized man has done to the environment in these parts.
U.S. 1 contributing writer Carolyn Foote Edelmann called one bitter cold Sunday afternoon to invite us to see the eagles in person. “Some good news for a change — the eagles have landed,” she elaborated in a follow-up E-mail. “They have settled in to study and command the landscape, in tallest tree in center of open water below Carnegie Dam.
“Viewers should get onto the towpath at the Kingston lock tender’s house (near the old Winepress restaurant) and walk south about 10 minutes. It’s a mated pair, beaks and talons extra-gilded by the lowering sun. They have been seen since New Year’s Eve in the vicinity of the lake, carrying nesting materials, face into the sunset at this time of day — I’ve seen them at 2:45 twice and 4:15 to 5 tonight.”
“There were all sorts of cars pulling in to those parking areas by the lock tender’s house; and people were calling out, ‘Did you see the eagles?!’ ‘Yeah, and we got pictures!’”
The bitter cold apparently helped account for the eagles’ presence. With other bodies of water frozen over, the eagles were looking for open patches where they could swoop in for a tasty meal. Patches of Lake Carnegie and the Millstone River were apparently just the meal ticket.
Did anyone see “The Perfect Score.” That’s the movie about some anxious high school kids intent on raising their SAT scores — even if they have to steal the test beforehand. The movie producers had contacted U.S. 1 more than a year ago, seeking some background material that would add authenticity to the scenes for a plot that is based in Princeton, New Jersey, home of Educational Testing Service.
Well, on the same Saturday that my 12-year-old son traipsed off to his very first SAT-like testing experience (a screening for some academically-oriented summer camp program) we did see it and we have to report that no traces of U.S. 1 newspaper or any other Princeton artifact was observed. For that matter, not much of a plot was detected either. The movie has already come and gone from Princeton theaters — score it a 900 on a 1600 scale.
What did John Stossel have to say about that column? Thanks to Jim Floyd, another member of Princeton’s Class of 1969 and a mutual friend of both U.S. 1 and Stossel, the television reporter did see the column. He was skeptical about the story of how he — as the business manager of the college newspaper — tried to wheedle some expense money out of a gullible freshman. “Really?” he asked in an E-mail. “Couldn’t it be apocryphal?”
Yes, we assured him, it really happened. But the exchange gave us a chance to ask Stossel about one of his college memories. In his new book, “Give Me a Break,” he writes that the only time he ever tried his hand at the editorial side of college journalism he was rejected by the editors.
Really? I wondered. Yes, Stossel says. He had gone on a road trip to Smith and returned eager to contribute a chapter to a book that we were publishing on women’s colleges. One of our editors discouraged him. Given the now politically incorrect tone of the finished book (entitled “Who the Girls Are”), I think we did the future television celebrity a small favor.