Ben Weissenbach ’20’s article about skating on Lake Carnegie brought a smile to my face. I’m neither an environmental scientist nor a hydrologist, but I know the winter of 1977 was cold, very cold. And the ice on Lake Carnegie was thick and black.
One afternoon, Jane Hewson ’77 and I decided to take a skate. We laced up at the Boathouse and sallied out among the throngs of townspeople, students, and faculty. Looking for more room to pass a puck back and forth, we skated towards Washington Road. Soon there was no throng, just the two of us, and we kept skating and passing, skating and passing. We listened for groans from the ice that might signify thinner ice, but the lake betrayed no weakness.
With the wind at our backs, and without a stop to catch our breath, we passed the puck back and forth and headed towards Kingston and the end of the lake. Jane’s mother lived on Kingston Road, near the viewing stands at the end of the rowing course, and after what seemed a blissful eternity, we headed to shore, removed our blades, and padded up to Mrs. Hewson’s house. She served us hot rum toddies and drove us back to the Boathouse to retrieve our shoes.
The episode has stayed with me for 45 years and remains one of my favorite memories of my years at Princeton.