66 Stories

Page Created Aug 21, 2017. Perhaps your story will eclipse all others.

Purpose: This page is for nearly anything and everything that classmates may want to share. Did you have an encounter with fame, power, celebrity, or 15 minutes of fame? Do you have an amusing, adventurous, traumatic, poignant, uplifting, depressing, transformative, or otherwise interesting tale, essay, or travelogue to share? Perhaps you have an interesting hobby? What about your experience with the Princeton admission process? Do you have a blog or website that classmates would enjoy? Anything Covid-19 related that might inform and help the rest of us as we deal with the pandemic? A Princeton connection is great but not necessary. If so, please contact John Hart (jmhart62@gmail.com), and the ad hoc Story Committee will be in touch once it's posted.


The 50th Reunion Book contains several stories. The first group starts on page 22, and the second, Stories and Reflections, starts on page 315.


November 22, 2020. Here we introduce a new 66 Stories genre, letters from our far-flung classmates. Paul Corcoran, a retired professor of political philosophy (political science to the rest of us) at the University of Adelaide in Australia, wrote to Ted Walworth about his thoughts regarding the 2020 presidential election and whether and how President Trump would concede. The letter (click here) includes links to an article from The Atlantic which quotes Paul as well as a podcast from NPR's The Radio Diaries in which Paul speaks multiple times. Many thanks to Ted for sharing the letter and to Paul for permission to use it here.


October 20, 2020Steve Harwood writes, "Since COVID restrictions began, I have pursued a new hobby: making videos. These are hardly of the caliber of the ’66 authors in the Plohn Hall library. However, it turns out that widely available video editing software enable anyone to mimic Ken Burns. My efforts were for my own enjoyment and that of my family. But classmates might view them and say, “Hey, I can do that too” and find their way to a new fun, activity. Here is a selection of some of the videos I’ve made."


For starters, the class webmaster has viewed a couple and recommends Steve's A Brief History of the Universe and Man for a 22-minute equivalent of a four-year liberal arts education. Watch this space for additional recommendations.


'66 Sailing Stories


July 19, 2020. In Process. The Boston Area Virtual Lunch group, with members from all the New England states, has many sailors and Navy veterans with some near death experiences. They've shared a few of their stories, and some more may be on the way.


Coronavirus Experiences


The current COVID-19 epidemic is affecting everyone's life, and it is particular concern for our age group. If you have any stories to share, please send them to the webmaster (jmhart62@gmail.com). Our stories and experiences will be helpful to other classmates.


  • Michael Peterman and his wife Cara recently returned to their home in Ontario from Florida and started a voluntary 14-day self-quarantine. Michael's What Some Local Seniors are Doing During Their Coronavirus Self-Quarantine describes their experience and reflections in the first two weeks. They are now in the sixth week and would likely change a few things but not the general tone. The column appeared in the "Peterborough Examiner" on 7 April 2020.


Other 66 Stories

  • Jon Holman has his own ROTC story. The title, Some Can Do No Wrong, says it all. Victory is snatched from defeat with the Drill Team and the Army pre-induction physical.
  • Death of Our Sort Of, Not Quite, Honorary Equine Classmate, Senior Senator by Ned Groth honors the memory of the champion steeplechase horse who won the Grand National race three years in a row (2017-2019), thrilling all classmates and friends attending "'66 at the Races" with Julia and Stas' at Zasteria in Maryland. Ned's story includes photos from all three races. Check out our 2019 meeting here.
  • Seven by Nelson Hendler - Tales of admission, hunting the Big 5, encountering fame and faculty, stowing away, and military glory.
  • Brief but spectacular encounters with fame.
    • From Tom BenghauserPosted June 16, 2020.

  • From Robert Kopf: About 20 years ago I was fly fishing on my beloved Wood River in Idaho with one of my best friends. We were enjoying fabulous fishing with a great hatch, landing several trophy trout. As we moved up the Wood and were separated by a small island in the middle of the river, I noticed a solitary angler fishing out of our space above a separating beaver dam. A short fellow, he obviously did not know what he was doing, casting downstream. Suddenly, he climbed over the dam and marched through the area where I was casting, scattering all the trout. Fishing for me was over. I was so pissed off that I did not even look at the guy, knowing that a fight would have ensued, thus ruining an exquisite day. I then told my friend that I should punched out that short shit. My friend said that if I had done that, I would be floating face down into the town below us. The culprit was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Terry O'Keeffe passed away on February 5, 2020. Previously, he had responded at length to recent class birthday cards, and Terry's responses are collected in A Life Through Responses to the Class Birthday Cards.
  • Kit Mill has fond memories of his four years at Princeton of great times, great friends, and great football, not to mention some terrific courses and professors. If you knew Kit back then, you might be in the story, or you might remain nameless. Posted January 25, 2020.
  • Bud D'Avella shares his memories and a photo of leaving Vietnam and returning home 50 years ago on July 29, 1969. Bud is one of many classmates served in Vietnam. Posted August 31, 2019.
  • Now it can be told. Some stories are part myth, part legend, part fantasy, and may even contain some truth. In any case, the statute of limitations has expired and 55 year old memories are not admissible in court. Nelson Hendler and John Edie collaborated on this story, with Bob Moya contributing a photo that has its own story and photo of Princeton cheer leading. Bill Bethune, Graham Findlay, John Theobald, and Ron Van Buskirk are in the picture. Posted June 28, 2019.
  • Ned Groth has been friends with Joel Primack (the spring 2019 Locomotive Award winner) since our time at Princeton. Ned's Me and Joel, Somewhere Near the Center if the Universe tells the story of their friendship, careers, and public service activities. Posted June 3, 2019.
  • Charlie Gogolak and the "Ticket to Freedom" - Sandy Kirkpatrick writes (March 27, 2019):

"Years ago a group of us sat spellbound in my Denver living room as Charlie Gogolak told the harrowing story of his family's daring escape from communist Hungary in 1956.

"Recently I became aware of a video "Ticket to Freedom", made by Charlie's son Steve, which is an expanded version of the story also covering Charlie's and his brother Pete's U.S. college and pro football careers, as well as other accomplishments and adventures. It is a well-done and moving account, available to stream from Vimeo.com at no cost.

"I may be one of the last classmates to know of this video, but enthusiastically commend it to anyone who hasn't seen it."


Here is the NFF Award Presentation to Charlie and his brother Pete.


  • Oral History from PAW online: "Tony Zee '66 made an improbable journey from China to Brazil and eventually to Princeton, where he studied physics under the tutelage of legendary professor John Wheeler." Tony made this recording at the 50th reunion. Posted March 11. 2019.
  • Model railroading is a hobby numerous 66'ers have pursued before, during, and after Princeton. Who can forget John Scully's FLIX 66 video? Mike Burrill is among many others involved in the hobby, and his current project reflects a professional interest in urban design. Mike writes, "I finished one new building for the railroad - Curry Merchantile. I took new photos of several buildings ... to illustrate how adding ballast for the tracks, streets and parking lots, more people, and sidewalks has livened things up a little. I still need to add vehicles (not cheap), trees, more street lights, more people, and street furnishings like benches and planter boxes etc.  That will likely take several months.  Stay tuned for updates in the Spring." Posted March 9, 2019. Mike passed away May 12, 2019; here is Mike's memorial.
  • Podcast Spotlight: Jon Wiener ’66 Digs Into Politics, History, and Trump, published online by PAW February 21, 2019, tells Jon's tale of becoming host of The Nation magazine's podcast, Start making Sense.
  • Fireworks is Mike Witte's story of coming of age in "Witteville", MO. Mike writes, "[Here is a] photo of my extraordinarily generous, self-sacrificing, hard-working parents. Looking back from 75, my life has been extraordinarily blessed to have known them." Posted February 11, 2019.
  • In Be Careful What You Wish For, Philip NIcholson joins a men's group to expand the range of his emotional experiences . Posted November 2, 2018.
  • Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat - A Krispy Kreme Story by Rich Reinis. Posted October 12, 2018. Also see Rich's Permission Granted - In this PAW online interview, Rich recalls undergraduate days, including getting the dean's approval to get married and playing football, especially the Nov 14, 1964 Yale game.
  • A Meeting and Photo with President Clinton by Jeff Shafer. Posted September 12, 2018
  • An Aeronautical Odyssey by Ed Aiken. Posted June 11, 2018
  • Jose Ferrer '33 and Professor Uwe Reinhardt by Nelson Hendler. Posted August 21, 2017
  • The Princeton Interview with C. William Edwards '36 by Nelson Hendler. Posted August 21, 2017
  • Nixon in Berlin by Terrence O'Keeffe. Posted August 20, 2016