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Oxford Memories

February 25, 2001

I was a "Yank at Oxford" student in 1954-55, so I can easily identify with Christopher Reynolds in his excellent article about the university ("Oxford Lite," Jan. 14). However, there were differences then.

For one, I scarcely remember showers. I took baths--mainly to soak in hot water to keep warm. The air was frigid, and there was no heat in the winter.

The article says the food deserves an F. It did then, too, but it didn't matter much because an extended cocktail hour before dinner at Christ Church and other colleges and excellent wine during it more or less rendered food of secondary importance.

A roaring fireplace at Oxford was ubiquitous. It was not only a welcome source of heat, but the hearth also became a symbol of community.

I loved it. Who wouldn't? An American (a member of that ragtag rebellion), here I was indulged in the very seat of royalty, aristocracy, "the best and the brightest."


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