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Letters from alums about Joe Oznot — Who's he?

April 20, 2004

I feel it necessary to call to your attention the fact that J.D. Oznot entered with the Class of '68, not '69 as you reported in your piece on infamous pranks. I've had enough reaction from classmates that I thought it best to drop you a note.

Oznot is a fairly important, if unpredictable member of our class. He regularly shows up at reunions, though seldom is caught in photographs. He never pays class dues, but I think that was Jim Crawford's fault. Apparently he had something to do with Charlie Kalmbach's rather abrupt departure from the administration.

And, speaking of pranks, he was the last to steal the clapper, before it was removed permanently. We've not heard from J.D. since his perp walks at both Enron and Tyco. Gary Walters claims to have spoken with him in Denver, but Gary is often easily confused. So many alums to keep track of.

I understand he vehemently disagrees with Bill Bowen, and said so to Jimmy Kimmel (live).

I've also noticed that your own class numerals have been mistakenly reversed. Shouldn't that be *68? Hope that's fixed for the next issue. Best regards,

Jack Doran
1/3 Secretary of the Great Class of 1968 - aka, The Wizards of Oznot
Pacific Grove, Calif.

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April 13, 2004

In her editorial on pranks at Princeton in the April 7 From the Editor page Marilyn H. Marks *86 failed to check sources and slipped into an uneasy inaccuracy. I am concerned that if the history of Princeton gets misreported, it won’t help the spirit of the place, nor will it give incentive to future generations of Princetonians if their glory is diluted by sloppy historical attribution. I specifically refer to the loss of a dear and beloved classmate, J.D. Oznot ’68, who Ms. Marks in her editorial was attributed to the Class of 1969, and misidentified as “William (sic) Oznot.” As a member of the Great Class of 1968, the “Wizards of OZ Not,” I resent the unintended, but equally wounding, loss of our favorite son.

Robert S. Faron ‘68
McLean, Va.

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April 9, 2004

While I applaud your recognition of my classmate, Joseph David (not William) Oznot (PAW, April 7), I most point out that he was a member of the Great Class of 1968, not 1969.  He graduated with our class — you can see his picture on page 170 of the Nassau Herald — and went on to do graduate study at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople. He makes frequent appearances at reunions and has his own detective agency in Lost Nation, Iowa. (His most recent case involved a search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.)

Fred Geldon ’68
Rockville, Md.


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April 7, 2004

I am writing on behalf of my almost-roommate, the elusive Joseph David Oznot '68.

We enjoyed the recounting by Selden Edwards '63 of The Great Train Robbery, in the April 7 PAW — the dramatic (staged) abduction from the PJ&B Dinky of young ladies arriving for houseparties weekend in 1963 by daring horseback riders. His reflections and yours, in your "From the Editor" column, that this event and others of the same era marked a transition from a naively innocent age to very different one, were right on.

Your column, however, contained an error of name, generation, and class:
It is true that Joe DOznot exist and never did, yet paradoxically also true that he was admitted to the Class of 1968 40 years ago. ("This guy Oznot is unbelievable" — admission director E. Alden Dunham '53. See press reports attached below.) It is not true, however, that Joe's dad, William H. Oznot (W.H.O.?) was admitted to the Class of 1969, as you suggest. Joe's dad was a wealthy private investigator with no formal education.

Was this simply a fact-checking slip-up, or is it possible that you wrote your column on Joe's birthday, the first of April?

Frederick W. Talcott '66
Bethesda, Md.

[The writer, together with actual roommates Arthur F. Davidsen '66 (deceased), Stephen D. Reich '66, and Thomas R. Reid '66, as Princeton sophomores, were responsible for launching Joe Oznot's splendidly murky career.]



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