The exquisitely excellent essay by coxswain Julia Campbell ’22 (“A View from the Boat,” June issue) illuminated for me the intricacies and intrigue inexorably involved with rowing that no prior PAW reporting, though frequent and repeated, had ever before managed to accomplish. I am unsure if the rowers still gravitate toward the Tiger Inn, but back in the day that was where you’d find them (men then, men and women both now). Good people every one of them, but they were a difficult group to get to know as they hung together so tightly as a social group. It was kind of a rarity to (really) know any of them one-on-one if you weren’t also a rower. 

But I get it now; I understand it all clearly, as Julia has explained it so elegantly and eruditely. There just wasn’t enough time in their day. These rowers are a finely-tuned machine, and the importance of synchronization in all the working parts of an engine and its transmission is critical to that engine’s power. The high-output horsepower of each rower can ill-afford any distraction from the requisite laser focus, particularly at their vaulted level of Ivy League rowing. 

That latter intensity is made brilliantly clear in the exemplary headline photograph with the article. The mentally-intent gaze of each rower is locked intensely on the boat’s coxswain (Campbell), their oars parallel, perfected, and poised for power. Kudos! There is no finer reading in this world than the pages of the Princeton Alumni Weekly, it never fails to edify and please. 

Rocky Semmes ’79
Alexandria, Va.