Web Exclusives: Tooke's Take
a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: cwtooke@princeton.edu)

November 6, 2002:

One for the Road
After 43 columns, it's a wrap

Two and a half years ago, when I was young and foolish, I agreed to write a bimonthly column for this site.

I took the job partially because I liked the editor and partially because I figured that it was a good short-term way to make a little extra cash.

I also figured that "short-term" was the operative expression — in fact, in that first column I wrote that the over/under on how many editions I would produce before I got sacked was six. And I wasn't kidding. It's now been 43 columns, give or take a diatribe, since I started.

I have written from Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, Tahoe, Berkeley, Houston (Missouri, that is), Los Angeles, and Monterey. Some of the columns have been good; some should be publicly burned by brave women wearing biohazard suits.

Looking back through the archives, I am mostly surprised that I was able to find 43 different subjects that were even tangentially related to Princeton. Occasionally I repeated myself: basketball made several appearances, as did my regular pot shots at Nassau Hall and the board of the PAW. Over the last six months my repeat ratio rose as I found myself increasingly disconnected from Princeton, and I began to wonder how I could gracefully draw the column to a close. The answer, of course, is that you just stop. So I'm stopping.

In the unlikely event that your life is going to be ruined by a dearth of Tooke, you can preorder my forthcoming novel on Amazon. The title is Ballpark Blues, the publisher is Doubleday, the release date is March, and the price is reasonable.

I would also suggest counseling.

Writing for the Internet has been a fascinating experience, and thank you to all those who took the time to e-mail me over the last two and a half years. The biggest problem with publishing online is that you never have any sense of your audience, and your letters were often the only evidence that anyone was finding the page.

Many thanks also to my editor, Lolly O'Brien, who was exactly the kind of supportive voice that every writer dreams of having.

Before I go on too long, both in this column and in this job, it is time to say goodbye. May we meet again, either in person or on the page. All best — Wes (C. W.) Tooke


You can reach Wes at cwtooke@princeton.edu