Re PAW’s question about memories of campus courtyards and green spaces: The grassy area just outside 153 Little Hall was always inviting — particularly so on spring or fall sunny days. It was an irresistible invitation to just lie down on the grass, warmed by the sun, hoping to add a little local color to our sometimes pasty environment. In the fall of my sophomore year, 1963, my session at Little Beach, as it was commonly referred to, was dramatically interrupted about 2 p.m.
My roommate came screaming out of the nearby doorway and ran toward me. “Did you hear? Kennedy’s been shot!” The events of Nov. 22 were not lost on any of us who were around that day, but a few minutes later he added something else to the horror we both felt at that moment. In addition to his shock with what occurred, he focused with amazing clarity on the political ramifications of that moment. A thoughtful, politically conservative thinker, he softly commented, “Bad for the Republicans — we had Kennedy on the ropes, and now Johnson is going to run and win.”
It was the most profound lesson in U.S. politics I experienced in my Princeton years, a lesson that’s lasted a lifetime. To this day I pray that President Trump is well protected. As a much more politically liberal thinker than my roommate, I wish daily for Trump’s safety. For widely different reasons, I would guess he and I are on the same side today.