Category Archives: Memoir

Richard K. Rein: Princeton newspapers

drive-papers-2-534x462Here’s Rein’s indepth account, admittedly from his point of view, of the history of newspapers in Princeton, including his own. It’s published in his monthly paper for Princeton, the Echo, and on the website of Mercerspace. Confused? Read the post.

I tagged it “Memoir” because I lived through it too.

My response to the refugee order

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This T shirt dates from 2014, when the Princeton YWCA held a town-wide outdoor demonstration for Stand Against Racism Day.

How many refugees have been arrested for plotting terrorism? According to this source, THREE.

“Two were not planning an attack on the United States and the plans of the third were barely credible.”

That’s what you reply when you hear someone say “POTUS is trying to protect us.”

What Princeton connection can justify a political rant on this blog?  Today, in protest, I am wearing my T shirt purchased in 2014 for the Princeton YWCA’s Stand Against Racism demonstration. The Princeton YWCA STARTED this national trend. They hosted successful, well-supported demonstrations in 2013, and 2012, 2011 and 2010.

In recent years the YWCA has sometimes refocused its Stand Against Racism commitments, favoring breakfasts for those-in-the-know with discussions facilitated by members of Not in Our Town Princeton.  Last year it co-sponsored a demonstration.

Yes,  breakfast meetings may help individuals delve more deeply into their own feelings and this can help conquer racism. But I suggest that this is the year for the Princeton YWCA to sponsor a more visible demonstration. Here are the first words on its website:

At the YWCA Princeton, we know we must remain bold and iconic in our mission! We continue to eliminate racism…

There will be people who voted for Trump who belong to the Princeton YWCA,  but surely “standing against racism” can be a bipartisan effort.

 

 

Not drinking the CrossFit Kool-Aid

In her inimitable wry style, Sara Hastings ‘reveals all’  about CrossFit, the rambunctious upstart of the Princeton fitness scene, in the January edition of Princeton Echo. 

I concur with the founder of Cross Fit who characterized the average gym as “predicated on a low to minimum wage, skill-less staff supervising hapless members. “ He concluded that “clients enjoyed a better workout environment, and he made more money, by training them in groups small enough that each athlete could get plenty of individual attention — rather than one-on-one. The shared suffering and shared satisfaction of completing a workout together transcends individual levels of fitness and forms the basis of the so-called CrossFit community.”

But Hastings failed to convince me that I — old enough to be her grandmother, with arthritic knees, a gimpy shoulder, and a back-that-sometimes talks-to-me — should join the CrossFit cult.

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Anthony Rabara trains a client in the Joseph Pilates method. (I am not that client.)

I’ll stick to  Pilates at the Anthony Rabara studio where  I’ve been lucky enough to take lessons for more than two decades. Despite arthritis I’m sure not to get injured. When I walk into the studio I can say “my knee is tender today” or “my shoulder is out today” and the trainers adapt the equipment and the workout. Though I athletes and dancers train here, some clients are even more decrepit than I.

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Anthony Rabara with Moshe Budmor

Ninety-two-year-old Moshe Budmor, for instance, worked out at the studio until just before he died.

I also value my “take it slow and easy” anti-aging yoga class taught by the amazing  Germaine Tartacoff . at Forrestal Village Fitness.  (Tartacoff has her own studio and also teaches a “rank beginner” class at Princeton Adult School. Anyone leary of joining a class with folks who already know the difference between Downward Dog and Tree — this is the class for you.)

In her enticement, Hastings touts the group experience. Plenty of people who have observed Crossfitters with a mix of what’s-the-point and never-in-a-million-years have tried it out and realized that not only does it work, it’s also pretty fun.

But at my age I cast a jaundiced eye at any training that has even a whiff of competitiveness. If I try to keep up I’m likely to injure myself. But — never say never. Maybe when I turn 80.

PS: Hastings suggests examples of CrossFitters who are more my speed — here and here

Morning star, o cheering sight

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a Moravian star

Three Moravian hymns touch my heart. Many know we used to belong to Redeemer Moravian Church in Philadelphia. They are:

Jesus Makes My Heart Rejoice — a simple  quatrain that I my granddaughter, Jillian Fox, sing at our 50th anniversary service.

Hosanna! — a responsive hymn for Palm Sunday which would be challenging for most congregations except that Moravians are born knowing how to sing four part harmony.

Morning Star — traditionally sung at the Christmas Eve love feast by one child, responsively with the congregation.

Morning star, o cheering sight, ere thou camst how dark earth’s light. Jesus mine, in me shine, fill my heart with light divine…

It was a memorable Christmas Eve when our nine year old daughter was the soloist as this small church celebrated a Love Feast. After this hymn sung in darkness, ushers bring in trays of lighted beeswacandlelitx candles as the congregation sings Break Forth o Beauteous Heavenly Light.

So you can imagine my delight when I learned that the Chancel Choir at my church (Princeton United Methodist) will sing Morning Star n an arrangement by Helen Kemp at a Christmas concert on Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m.. They previewed it in morning worship the week before.

Jesus mine, in me shine, fill my heart with light divine…

Capital Networking Group: November 8

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High Level Networking: Tommy Hilfiger (in pinstripes) greets Princeton Regional Chamber CEO and board chairman Richard Coyne (Alice Barfield looking on) at the Hyatt ‘s VIP reception downstairs before he was interviewed upstairs by Richard K. Rein for 400 eager fans about his book “American Dreamer.”

Election morning — how did I do this? – I am scheduled to speak at 7 a.m. at the Capital Networking Group at my own church, Princeton United Methodist, at Nassau & Vandeventer.

Upstairs,  the church is a polling place for District 10. Downstairs, in Fellowship Hall, I guarantee no politics. Only stories. 

For the entrepreneurs in this group, which meets every Tuesday morning for breakfast (good bagels!)

I’ll talk about how to promote your business or nonprofit, based on my experience as senior editor for U.S. 1 Newspaper and, after retirement, doing pro bono public relations for Princeton United Methodist Church, Not in Our Town Princeton,  the United Front Against Riverblindness, and the New Jersey State Button Society. For info, email: CJerry@jerrylaw.com but if you just show up that’s ok too. Check the website.

The items below popped up in my news feed this week and may find their way into the stories I’ll tell.

The first seven words matter. In person, you may make your first impression in a millisecond, the blink of an eye, according to Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov (Association for Psychological Science) July, 2006.

“If you can’t be funny, be interesting.” Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker magazine, from The Writer’s Almanac.

“If it’s familiar but has a certain something that sets it apart, you’ve got a hit,’ Tommy Hilfiger, American Dreamer, p.131

“Millennials expect transparency, sophisticated storytelling, and technical savvy.” Nicholas Fandas, “Beyond Money,” New York Times, 11-3-16

“The pay phone measured time in quarters, the Internet in taps and clicks.” In There’s Nobody Here by That Name, by Steve Bryant via Medium Daily Digest.

SO, you might ask, why did I use my photo of Tommy Hilfiger for this post? 

BECAUSE I COULD! Any good PR person knows never to miss a chance to tag along on celebrity coat tails, however slim the connection.

Of course — all the media attention to a certain celebrity is what got us to this point in the election cycle.

But, I promised, no politics.

Science scribe speaks 10-10-16

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Mary Roach and Robert Krulwich. Photo by Stephanie Black 

New York  Times science writer Mary Roach talks  talked with Radio Lab’s Robert Krulwich tonight at Princeton University’s Friend Center 101 at 7 p.m.

Because I grew up with the smell of formaldehyde, I’ve long admired her for her best seller “Stiff,”  which dissects the truth about human cadavers. She’s on tour now for Grunt: the curious science of humans at war. 

Bon mots captured on my Twitter feed:

She positions herself as the ‘bottom feeder’ of science writers.

“Since I don’t have a science background I write (simply) for a roomful of me.”

To get her material, she said she does ‘random groping’ at start of her research and yes the word was deliberate.

“I don’t look for anything specific but I know when I find it’

Use vulgar words sparingly for best effect when you do use them, as in ‘A maggot breathes through it’s  – ss’

 

Grinding ideas to powder?

 

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“There are few sectors as resistant to change as government and health care,” says Susannah Fox, CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services. Her interview with Laura Landro is in the Wall Street Journal today. “We count on their stability. But I have seen those two millstones grind a great idea down to powder. I’ve also seen initiatives flourish and grow, nurtured on the strong platform that this agency provides.” 

Here is the interview.

My take: In this election season, the image of government-as-inexorably-slow-millstone actually offers a modicum of comfort.

Disclosure: She is my daughter.

Above: Millstones from Evans Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Fleet Street, Liverpool. Used for grinding drugs from c.1846-1948. Catalyst Science Discovery Centre.

Photo by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42180642

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Networking: stories well told

house_tour_2016-2-768x994The Hightstown-East Windsor Historical Society will host its biennial House Tour, “A Step Back in Time” on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 1-5 p.m.  This year’s tour includes 7 historic houses dating back to the 1800s.
A good example of a networking chain: I learned about this tour when doing the research for my talk “Button Pioneers of New Jersey.” Among the most prominent pioneers, nationally, were Hightstown residents Lillian Smith Albert and Alphaeus ‘Dewy’ Albert. Through Charles “Cappy” Stulz (I knew somebody from his insurance firm through my work for U.S. 1 with the Princeton Regional Chamber)  I was able to consult with Robert W. Craig, historian for New Jersey. We had delightful phone and email chats. A history prodigy himself, Craig — as a youth — had worked with Albert as an elderly man and had important insights. Craig, not missing a beat, introduced me by email to Shirley Olsen, publicist for the tour.
According to her press release, “all  of the houses have been preserved, refurbished, or renovated, and represent a variety of styles representative of New Jersey history. Antique cars will be at each house as well as floral arrangements made by The Rocky Brook Garden Club.”
“Pre-sale tickets are now available for $20 at Perennial Home, 119 W. ely_house_flags-150x150Ward St. Hightstown,  or Weichert Realtors,  East Windsor, 417 Route 130, East Windsor, N.J. The day of tour, tickets will be $25 sold at the Society headquarters (the Ely house, shown at right) 164 North Main Street, Hightstown.  For more information check the society website  or call 609-448-8388.”
Is it likely that I would I have stopped, on a rainy Monday morning, to post this house tour in Hightstown? Nope.  But as good networkers know, it’s vital to return the favor when you can. And now I’m sort of intrigued. What’s inside THIS house?h-1-img_4424-1-300x168
 Or this one?
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Or this one?  h-3-image1-1-225x300

Never underestimate the power of networking or of stories well told.

Shoemaker’s child? 9/10 at 2 p.m.

 

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On Saturday, September 10, at  2 p.m. at the New Jersey State Button Society Show and Sale, I will give an illustrated talk “Button Pioneers of New Jersey,” looking at how devoted button collectors operated in the 2oth century, aiming to inspire collectors in the 21st century.

Everyone is invited! The show is amazing — a dozen dealers, thousands of buttons to admire and/or buy and there’s even a raffle. It costs just $2 and is at the Union Fire Company Banquet Hall in Titusville. 

It’s a case of the shoemaker’s child. You’d think I’d have posted on my own blog before now, but I am having too much fun putting together at talk with adorable pictures like the one below. gertrude-patterson-1953