1903 (“Aughty-three”) Hall, Reunions, 1963: I had roomed in Pyne, Joline, and Lockhart; senior year I scored a room in 1903, my favorite dorm. Centered in the campus, quiet and secluded, it was ideally located for minimal scrutiny from proctors, the retired Princeton cops who frowned on invited guests’ sleepovers. Amusing and generally tolerated, they seemed to be ringers for Karl Malden in the ’70s TV series The Streets of San Francisco.
The night before Reunions, the almost predictable rain started up hard, quickly soaking the tent in the courtyard and creating big puddles in the corners. I was at the end of my run as a prototypical Animal House type, a high school kid from a flyover state with no shirt, cutoffs, barefoot, Bud in hand. (We wrongly pretended to hate the preppies as pre-Monty Python upper-class twits.)
As a few of us “deplorables” were joyously stomp-dancing in a puddle, a tweedy Old Tiger approached me and asked, “Are you a student?”
I said, “Yeah, I’m graduating tomorrow.”
“Damn!” he replied. “I just lost 10 dollars.”