I plan to watch Oppenheimer when it is released. The PAW article brings back memories ...
For example, how my classmate Dean Ishiki and I rode our bicycles to the Institute for Advanced Study in our first winter at Princeton. Dean was from Hawaii, and I was from New Mexico. We were two of the three Asian-Americans in the Class of 1963. Neither of us had the money or time to go home for the holidays. So we explored the area around the University. We took some photos at the institute. I might still have those pictures.
In my senior year, I had one of the only dates of my college years. We rode bikes to the institute.
In my undergrad years, I attended at least one seminar given by George Kennan. But I was so tired that I fell asleep, and I cannot remember much of anything about the event.
I do remember a man reviewing a manuscript of a Kennan book. I was riding a train to Baltimore, and I noticed a man who was intently reading a thick pile of galley proofs. “Are you a professor?” I asked him. He answered that he was not, but then he asked why I had asked that question. “You look very scholarly,” I replied. He then laughed and said, “Many people look scholarly.”
Within minutes I learned that he had just published the best-selling Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. He was William Shirer.
I also remember some events with Robert Oppenheimer. I was paid to set up chairs and usher at one of them. Oppenheimer spoke in a whisper to the anxious people crowded around him. I couldn’t elbow my way through the crowd. So I didn’t hear much from the Great Man. I don’t remember the words, but I remember the atmosphere of the session.