of a Scout
During the early 1930s, we would volunteer to serve as ushers in uniform for the Princeton football games. We took the Trenton-Princeton trolley to get there. At one of the games, some students had a little too much liquid schnaps. One lad in particular could hardly stand up. His friends asked us if we would see him home. While it was close by, they wanted to be sure that he got home. After we got him home, he held out a fist full of five-dollar bills and invited us to help ourselves. Since we were Boy Scouts, we stuffed the bills back into his pockets, feeling good because we did our good turn for the day. Sorry, no tips for us.
Another time when we were there, we were told about a boat race on Carnegie Lake after the football game. We headed for the lake, but there was some delay. We sat on the ground near the lake on a beautiful, warm day. Then we made ourselves more comfortable by lying on the ground. Some time later, we heard a little clamor and got up to stretch. We were told by the people walking away from the lake that the race was over. We had fallen asleep, no race did we see.
Mercer Airport, at that time, was in the locale of the Mountain View Golf course. We went there on a Saturday to usher for the two- day air show and races. Everything went along smoothly, the races were great -- boy! what speed they had. We were asked if we could come back on Sunday. With the view and the little amount of work required we could not refuse.
The races went along as expected. In early afternoon, two planes were racing when one plane, a little ahead and a little above the second plane, started to fall apart. The second plane had gunned its motor and started to climb. The propeller of the second plane was slicing off the tail and rudder of the first plane.
Both planes were scattered all over the place, into the trees and the ground. Both pilots were killed. I don't think they held a race like that since.
The first troop of Boy Scouts was organized at the YMCA in 1912 with Gilbert H. Rockrig as scoutmaster. The oldest official record is dated January 16, 1914, when a meeting was called to organize a second-class council. The first officers were Dr. W. A. Wetzel, president; William E. Green, vice president; Owen Moon Jr., treasurer; Gilbet H. Roebling, secretary; and William Burgess Jr., commissioner. The first camp was held on Marshall Island, August 1 to 9, with Walter L. Hughes as director. Seventy-four boys attended.
September 12, 1999