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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Did you ever have a run-in with the president or the dean about something that you wrote?


The first run-in I had was at Barnard. They had an annual event there called “the Greek games.” I think they still have it. The girls have chariot races, javelin throwing, and do a lot of prancing around in flimsy costumes. Rule 1 was that no Columbia boy was allowed into the Greek games. But my girl was a Barnard freshman! By posing as her brother I got into the Greek games and wrote what I thought was a hilarious piece about them. I covered them like a burlesque show--talked about their beautiful fannies, etc. Dean Gildersleeve of Barnard took umbrage at this and raised hell with Talcott Williams demanding that Bennett Cerf be kicked out of college or suspended forthwith. So good old Talcott of course grabbed Guy Williams immediately and started bawling him out. I told you he always mixed us up. Williams kept trying to say, “I'm Guy Williams. I'm not Cerf.” But Williams went right on, and finally Talcott Williams burst out and said, “It's a very funny piece. Don't worry.” So Williams came to me and said, “You're safe. Gildersleeve is raising hell, but Williams thought it was a very funny piece so you're safe.”


Did you ever have any other experiences with the Spectator of someone trying to stop what you were saying? In other words, did they ever threaten you at all?

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