Web Exclusives: On
4 , 2002:
By John Angus McPhee '53
During spring vacation, Princeton musical organizations could
be found all over the shallow, waist-high and deep South, also on
nearby islands. After an engagement at Jimmy Ryan's, a New York
firm, The Tigertown Five went to Bermuda, where they sprayed Dixieland
jazz at delighted crowds in the Elbow Beach Hotel.
The Tigertones, a vocal unit, were located at the Princess Hotel
in Hamilton, Bermuda, while their rivals, The Nassoons, were at
the Condado Beach Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, 40 of the Varsity Glee Club's 65 members were making
an eight-concert tour that began in Baltimore and ended at The Homestead,
Hot Springs, Va., where the National Alumni Association was holding
a three-day conference. Alumni entertained the Glee Club handsomely
at Hot Springs and another group did the same at Charlotte, N.C.
The club, which made the trip by motorcar, also gave concerts at
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Sea Island, Ga., Ponte Vedra, Fla.,
Daytona Beach, Fla., and Hollins College, Roanoke, Va.
One Lump or Two?
The day is not distant when Princetonians will be referring to
"The Spring Riot" as one of the University's most ingrained
traditions. There seems to be a mystical connection between the
deciduous trees and the undergraduates on the campus. When the former
bloom, the latter explode.
The causes are different. Last year a pillow fight became a sit-down
strike on Nassau Street and the mob cried "We want janitors!"
The 1953 version was not so spontaneous. A group of opportunists
calling themselves "The Friends of Joe Sugar" took advantage
of Princeton's first blanket of warm air and incited a small furor
designed to publicize the name of Joseph A. Sugar Jr. '54. Sugar
is his friends' candidate for President of next year's senior class.
The riot began in the Henry-'01 court. Employing pyrotechnical
novelties and bugle calls to accompany concerted cries of Sugar's
name, The Friends of Joe Sugar collected a mob of about 800. With
undergraduate facility, the subject of the mob's interest soon shifted
from Sugar to whiskey. A march to the Nassau Tavern followed and
there the cry "we want whiskey" was raised in protest
against the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control's crackdown on
liquor sales to minors. Ignored by the nabob of the Nass, the mob
repaired to Nassau Street where it spent 15 minutes blocking traffic.
It was at this point that some persuasive oratory by Dean F. R.
B. Godolphin '24 was delivered from the bumper of an automobile.
Said the Dean: "Knock it off!"and with that the
For The Friends of Joe Sugar, this was only the beginning. In
the days that followed, sugar lumps marked "Joe" were
given away in quantity by diligent workers for the cause; the front
wall of the S.P.I.A. building was decorated with Sugar's name in
whitewash; and the campaign was endorsed by a visiting singer, a
Dixieland band and two proctors.
Sugar, who slept through the riot, had this to say: "The
Friends of Joe Sugar know more about this than I do. They like the
sound of my name. They think it's euphonious." Meanwhile, as
the excitement happily disintegrated, the observation was made by
a faculty member that "this business may have a positive effect
on the undergraduates' customary apathy toward their class elections."
But, like most of the undergraduates (and, possibly, The Friends
of Joe Sugar themselves), the faculty in general did not take Sugar
seriously; indeed, many of them wondered "if there really is
such a character."
Theatre Intime recently presented a 30-minute motion picture (with
sound) that was written and filmed by undergraduates. Based on William
Goyen's "The White Rooster," the film (same title) was
adapted to the screen by Charles K. Robinson '54, next year's Triangle
president. The photography was done by Robert S. Macfarlane Jr.
'54. Local critics gave it a mixed reception. Some liked it. Some
didn't. . . . The Princeton Tiger, which annoyed the Interclub Committee
during bickertime by presenting an acid guide to Prospect Street,
has scored again. This time Nassau Hall is irate because a Tiger
editorial claimed that the Class of 1957 will be required to sign
a pledge that they won't keep liquor in their rooms. The Dean reprimanded
the Tiger and assured the campus that the editorial had "no
basis in fact." . . . The Intercollegiate Contract Bridge Tournament,
involving more than 3,000 students representing 110 U.S. colleges
and universities, was won by Harlow S. Lewis and David W. Bradley
Jr., both '54.