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Welcome to the class of '57's online newspaper!

News, information and entertainment for the Princeton Class of 1957. 

If you'd like a music change send me mp3's
at skp@pertz.org and I'll put them up for a little entertainment.

thought of the day:

A President's Concern - But Which One?

Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty has just celebrated an anniversary. Some have called it a failure. But those who rely on Medicare and Food Stamps would not agree. President Obama will make income inequality a major concern of his remaining years in the white House. The problem has been with Americans for a long time.

William Allen White was a leading journalist at the turn of the century (20th) and a confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. When Teddy became governor of New York, White remembered their first meeting in Washington before Teddy's charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba made him a national celebrity."Roosevelt was just then beginning to comprehend the yearnings of America's working poor for social and economic justice, to see clearly that our problems were no longer of production, but problems affecting the distribution of wealth and income." White said Roosevelt "sounded in my heart the first trumpet call of the new time that was to be..." This from Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit.

Charlie Greathouse

Died suddenly, at home in Florida on Dec. 16.  The cause is unknown.  His daughters,
Landis Greathouse and Virginia Baxter, are arranging a memorial
gathering on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his club, the
Country Club of Florida, 21 Country Road, Village of Golf, Florida.

Paid Your Dues? if not sure check here

Bill Foltz died in his home in New Haven on Oct. 26 of Parkinson's.
Other than brief, early stints as a grave digger, mink trapper and
pastry baker, his entire career was at Yale teaching in what used to be
known as the political science department; Africa was his focus.  His
wife and two sons are also academics. 


A couple of years ago, Bill gave Denise and me a tour of the Yale Divinity School (I was at General Theological Seminary at the time) and their large, comfortable apartment close by.  They'd moved recently from what was probably a large and comfortable house appropriate for a senior, long-tenured and distinguished member of the Yale faculty.  We'd not met before.  Bill probably was ill then but I couldn't be sure.  Anyway, I found him seemingly at ease with himself, his academically distinguished family and his career.  Subsequently, I wrote a Class Notes column on him for the PAW and then another, on his wife, as part of a series of Ph.D. classmate wives. Turhan Tirana

Mike McTighe was an integral part of the story

60 Minutes (9/13/13) had a wonderful story about John Riordon, the manager of Citibank's office in Saigon during the end-days of Viet Nam. Under great danger and adversity, Riordon got all of his staff with their families out of Saigon as the North Vietnamese Army tanks rolled into the city. And he managed to bring all 105 of them to the United States.
Our classmate Mike McTighe was an integral part of the story. During the Viet Nam war he was in Hong Kong with Citibank and, as fate would have it, he was Riordon's immediate boss.When all seemed lost, Riordon was ordered to flee to Hong Kong. When he arrived, over dinner Mike pushed him to do the right thing, asking him to return to Saigon for another evacuation attempt. He did this even after they both had orders from the top to give up the effort.
Below are relevant quotes from the show:

John Riordon: "I felt we had all those people back in there and they were counting on us. And many many times in the conversations we had with them they said to us: "Don't let us down. Please do everything you can."

"But after two weeks of trying, Citibank said 'enough.' A manager told the Hong Kong team, 'If you try some daring rescue mission. You're fired!' That night John's immediate boss, Mike McTighe, a former Marine, asked John to dinner."

John Riordon: "And just as my steak arrived and I was picking up my knife and fork and he's making small talk. And then he suddenly he says, 'You know, John, one of us has to go back.' And I put down my-"

Lesley Stahl: "Oh!"

John Riordon: "-- knife and fork and pushed that steak back and I can feel tears coming out of my eyes and he said, 'Would you go back?' "

"Go back even though it meant losing his job, possibly losing his life. And yet, 11 days before Saigon would fall, the mild-mannered banker defied his bank and better judgment, caught the very last commercial flight into Saigon, and walked into the branch."

If you didn't see the show you can go the 60 Minutes website for a replay. It's worth it. Mike was one of my roommates at Princeton. I had no idea about any of this until I saw the show. Good for Mike. A principled man who always tried to do the right thing. Knowing Mike as I do, he would have been the one to go to Saigon if Riordon had begged off. He was that kind of guy.


The popular Class of '57 New York City Luncheons will resume second of each month. 

You are cordially invited to join with some of our classmates for camaraderie and lunch.
Details are as follows:

Date:             Tuesday, January 14

Place:           The Princeton Club of New York

       15 West 43rd Street

       3rd Floor Tiger Grill

Time:             12 Noon

No reservation or membership in the Club is needed

Please join us,

Milt Rubin

We are sad to report the death on September 12 of John Stennis in Jackson,
Mississippi, his home. He had been ill for some time. The funeral was
on September 16 in Jackson at the St. James Episcopal Church. He
was a fine man, funny, too.

John Milton wrote:



  I was saddened by the passing of our classmate, John Hampton Stennis, earlier this month, and wanted to leave these notes in his memory . . .

  1953. When this terribly clueless kid from the "fly-over” Midwest stepped off the PJ&B with un-cool patched bags and a Olivetti typewriter, he met -- within days -- a crowd of Southern boys who were as exotically different as could be imagined. Hodding Carter, and Howard Nelson from the Mississippi Delta, and two sons of U.S. Senators: my future roommate Lister Hill, an Alabaman, and John Hampton Stennis, whose father was the first Democrat to stand up to "Tail-Gunner Joe” McCarthy.

  1953-57. I’ve been measured as "vulnerable” in adapting my speech to the manner and accent the prevailing crowd. So on my first return to Minnesota for the Holidays, after hanging out with the Southerners, my parents were shocked and amazed to hear their prodigy talking like a kid from the Cotton Belt. "You didn’t talk that way when you left here in August,” my mother said.

  Well, my Southern guys and I did indeed see quite a bit of each other during four years at Princeton: some of us majored at Woody Wilson, all of us joined Whig-Clio and played at being "senators” in the Princeton Senate; we joined the same eating club, Quadrangle. We drank cheap booze and beer and sang the Ole Miss fight song:

     hoddy toddy gosh almighty

     who in the hell are we...HEY!!!

     flim flam, bim bam


  1957 --. After graduation we went off in different directions. John Hampton -- he liked the sound of his middle name -- and I both ended up getting elected to our state legislatures, and from time to time enjoyed comparing notes about our experiences. Finding myself in his hometown, Jackson, during a business trip to MIssissippi in the early 1980s, I tracked him down by phone in his legislative office at the capitol, and we chatted for quite a while about the commonalities of our lives in the marbled capitol halls of Minnesota and Mississippi. He had a committee meeting that night, so we didn’t see each other, but as we were ringing up, John Hampton asked where I was headed, and learning that I’d be heading north from Jackson, he insisted that I stop at a place in Canton that was hosting a contest for whoever could eat the most filets of catfish. And though he later expressed doubt that anyone but a son of the Magnolia State could be competitive in this challenge, I did in fact come within two catfish filets of matching the state record, and, arguably, would have prevailed had not the local guys filled me up with hushpuppies.

  John Hampton served eight terms in the Mississippi House, and ascended to chair the Judiciary committee. His one effort to follow his father to the Congress ended in defeat when he lost to a Republican in 1978. Three years after the election, the man who defeated him was charged with having sex with a male House employee, and left the Congress. John Hampton, who’d known of his opponent’s sexual orientation during the campaign, had been urged to use it during the campaign, but refused to let it become an issue. For John Hampton, never just your good ol’ boy, that was simply not the right thing to do.

Jay Goldin wrote:

A fine man, indeed. In 1962, when John was starting to build his
political career and I was a newly minted civil rights lawyer for the US
Government in Mississippi, I phoned John before I left Washington on my
first trip to the state to tell him that I didn't want him to learn from
someone else that I was going to be in Jackson the next day and wonder
why I hadn't contacted him. When he invited me to dinner at the
establishment bastion The Jackson Club, I explained why I was going to
be in town and said that given the enormity of the tensions surrounding
civil rights in the South, it would be best for him not to be seen with
me locally and that when he next came to Washington to visit his father,
we could find a time to catch up. He wouldn't hear of it, insisting that
we meet at the Jackson Club. After arguing the point with him
unsuccessfully, I acceded to his invitation, but suggested I enter the
club through the back door, to minimize the chances he would be seen in
my company. He would have none of it, insisting I come in the front door
and meet him in the vestibule. It's hard today to recapture the bitter,
hostile atmosphere in Jackson at the time, but the gesture took real
courage. I admired him for the gesture then and have continued to over
these many years.

Turhan Tirana wrote:

Knowing that John started in the Mississippi Air National Guard as a private,

shoving things around a warehouse, I asked him how he became a general.

His answer:  "Well, hard work, of course.  And it didn't hurt that my father

was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and my law partner was Governor."

These two books are among the best I've read in many years:
  American Nations, by Colin Woodard (Penguin Paperback) . . . a compelling analysis of how and why the USA came into being, and why we have so much difficulty getting along with each other
  The Telling Room, by Michael Paterniti . . . for me, possibly the best-written story in many years, based on an exotic sheep's-milk cheese in a tiny town of Castile . . . yes indeed!
Get these on your reading lists at once, and take the plunge. You'll not regret it!
-- JWM (John Milton)

John has agreed to do a review...coming soon

To own a gun in Japan

Our Tokyo correspondent Rick Kennedy sends us this:

After the wild crazy shootings in the US and Norway by people allowed to own a gun, it may be of interest to know what is required to own a gun in Japan.

First, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once a  month. Then you must take and pass a shooting range class. Then you must go to a hospital for a mental test and drug test, the results of which must be filed with the police. Finally, you must submit to a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups. Only then you will be permitted to own a shotgun or air rifle. You must tell the police exactly where you keep your gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. The police will inspect your gun every year and you must re-take the class and exam every three years.