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May 16, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 12

An unexpected path’s rewards

In response to: Altered paths

Published on May 16, 2012

One long and loud locomotive to Hilary Levey Friedman *09 (Perspective, March 21) for “marching to her own drummer” (in paraphrase of that consummate courtier of conscience, Henry David Thoreau). Ms. Friedman’s professed penchant to counter convention carries on the same inspiring spirit that motivated Fred Fox ’39 to challenge his Ghost Army command during World War II, critiquing that “There is too much MILITARY ... and not enough SHOWMANSHIP” in his specialized deception unit (cover story, March 21). The adopted unorthodox suggestions of Mr. Fox contributed directly to the damning defeat of Germany’s führer, under whose frightening facism any such free thinking was virtually verboten.

The iconoclasm of Ms. Friedman and Mr. Fox is reflected also in the enigmatic story of Moe Berg ’23, the major-league baseball-playing linguist whose nuclear spying career led disconcertingly to his final two decades in near homelessness (Campus Notebook, March 21). As endearingly described by journalist Lou Jacobson ’92, Mr. Berg was a “complex and flawed person” but nonetheless a genius who chose courageously to blaze his own special trail.

These curiously connected stories of March 21 distinguish the Princeton Alumni Weekly once again as a consistently fascinating read. My take-away is that the road less traveled is not always the easiest path, but it is one frequently followed by the clearest conscience. So thank you for your story, Hilary Levey Friedman, and for leading the analogous way in those fabulous high heels of yours. You go, Tiger. You are a shining example for us all. Sis, boom, ah!

Alexandria, Va.

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