In Response to: Remembering 185

(The following is an expanded version of a letter published in the Oct. 23, 2019, issue)

There are a very few of us alums for whom “Remembering 185” (feature, June 5) provides a different reminiscence. The same building, prior to the University’s purchase and some renovation, had been our Nassau Street Elementary School, and decades later housed a Princeton University class experience.

I still recall when I was about 4 and my grandfather, George Reeves, held my hand as he walked me to my first day of “morning kindergarten” at the Nassau St. School, before continuing on to his job as the steward of Tower Club (1906-1952). I was there for seven years through grade five and knew the building well. 

Decades later, in my junior year at the University, I found myself there again, taking what was probably one of the first computer courses just across the hall from my first-grade class. I doubt that I had walked in those spaces during the intervening years, but I immediately noted that the same wall clocks with Roman numerals remained, and the water fountains were still at elementary-school-age height. But in my older eyes the hallways were somehow much smaller, though the same in appearance.  

And now, 50 years after my University graduation, I occasionally return to “185” for events and can’t help trying to recapture who and what was there in my 6-year-old’s mind. Our old gym has become a theater, with the former upstairs track remaining in place. It will always really be Nassau Street School.

Jim Floyd ’69
Princeton, N.J.