Some months back, my beloved Princeton bucket hat expired, its crown disintegrating to shreds after years of adventure and toil. With its jaunty orange-and-black P on the brim and dapper band of black stripes bordering an orange center, it had accompanied my wife, Peggy, and me over several hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail and endured many hours of sweaty landscaping, even protecting my skull as I demolished our 200-year-old barn.
Reluctantly, I sought a replacement on the Princeton University Store website. A search turned up a bucket hat, but to my horror the photograph displayed a hat bearing a band with white stripes bordering the orange center. Thinking surely this had to be an error, or some evil hacker’s defacement of the Web page, I ordered anyway.
When it arrived, I discovered that the photo had not been some wicked despoilment of the page by the forces of evil. The band on the new hat was, indeed, white and orange. It besmirches Princeton’s image! It not only clashes with the orange and black P on the brim; it is an aesthetic catastrophe.
Mercifully, my ever-supportive and patriotic wife performed some deft surgery, transplanting the undamaged and undaunted black-and-orange band from my old hat to cover the offending decoration. But I ask you: What on earth is the U-Store thinking? How could it possibly commit such an egregious violation of Princeton’s proud color scheme?
Browsing Letters 2010-2011