Princeton '52 Mini-Reunion XXV

New York City, April 28-May 1, 2011

In Words and Pictures



The housing for most of us at Mini XXV was the Princeton Club of New York.  There we registered Thursday, April 28, and there we dined, in the excellent company of our after-dinner speaker, Jack Bogle ’51.  Founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, Jack knows about index mutual funds, the US financial system and a worthwhile life—on all this he speaks convincingly.  He gave us copies of his ENOUGH: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, a book on the Mini reading list.

Margo Fish delivered a blessing of her own composition.


On Friday morning a busload toured New York with the seasoned comment of Marshall Keating, a native, who introduced us to India House, his club in a remarkable 19th c. building on Hanover Square, thickly hung with noteworthy marine paintings.


Others headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we were greeted by the Vice President, Nina Diefenbach (Dief’s daughter-in-law), treated to coffee and pastries, and given a guided tour of highlights of the museum’s treasures.          


Many of us lunched at the Colony, where Kathryn Forgan introduced us and gave an entertaining survey of this premier New York women’s club and its history.


Some of us then headed to the 7th Regiment (Park Avenue) Armory where Dief and Connie Sidamon-Eristof once served as Knickerbocker Greys.  PAW recently reported that the locomotive cheer originated when Princeton students went to the train to cheer on 7th Regiment troops leaving for WWI.  Beside the drill hall, where the youngsters from the neighborhood learn military drills the 19th century building has rooms decorated by such as Louis Comfort Tiffany for each company, intact today.  The guide pointed out trophy cases and recent restoration of ceilings, floors and paneling.


Others bussed to The Juilliard School for a program by its ranking students of music, dance and drama performed for the School’s National Council (of major donors).  We saw and heard modern dance, jazz, Shakespeare, a Mozart aria, and chamber music, all of the highest caliber.  The favorite occasion of the Mini for a number of us, it was arranged by Norman Peck ’57, President of the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.  We afterward were shown the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at the School, a gift of our classmate’s foundation.


On Friday night we ate at the Century, a McKim, Mead and White-designed club next door to the Princeton Club.  Sam (the Reverend Canon) Van Culin gave the blessing.


Ed Masinter introduced Harvey Rosen, Princeton’s Weinberg Professor of Economics, Master of Whitman College and Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, 2003-05.  Dr. Rosen, an engaging and instantly likeable man, gave us a forthright report of today’s undergraduate life and an equally unvarnished assessment of our national economy and its prospects.


Saturday morning the Baumgartners, the McIlvaines, May, Moore, and Steve Rogers took up Hambleton’s challenge and embarked on a helitour from the South Street Seaport.



A much larger group took private tours of The New York Public Library, where they were rehearsed on its beaux arts architectural design and shown a number of extraordinary spaces.


Lunch at the University Club (thanks to Dief) was punctuated by remarks from Berlind about his play, "Arcadia,” of which numbers of us later saw the Saturday matinee performance, and by a report from four members of our favorite younger class, 2002, on their program of loans to current Princeton undergrads.  Roger McLean recounted the course of our connection with ’02 since 1998 and read a note to the group from Joe Handelman.


Those of us who did not go to the theater visited the University Club library, designed by Charles McKim, with its ceiling paintings copied from the Borgia apartments at the Vatican.

At Steve Rogers’ suggestion we had an evening cruise and dinner on our own chartered yacht, with the appropriate name AFFINITY, around New York harbor.

For an hour on Sunday morning a Princeton Club fitness instructor coached a number of us in maintaining and improving our strength and balance.

Finally, the Mini concluded with brunch and generous pouring of milk punch and Orange Blossoms.



90 persons came:  40 classmates, 35 spouses/companions, 7 Associates and 8 guests. 

Text by John P.D. Moore with Hal Saunders and Dief Diefenbach.
Photos by Jay Master.