Princeton calls its campus tour the "Orange Key Tour," and it's filled with stories:
- Students used to steal the clapper from the bell on top of Nassau Hall to prevent the start of school. The clapper was later removed after a few too many students fell off the roof. (I find myself wondering how many is "too many"...)
- In a fit of spite, an architect (a Yale graduate) added a gargoyle of the Yale mascot (a bulldog) to the University Chapel. (This one is doubtful because the gargoyle is actually on a gutter -- not the best homage to Yale.)
- The half-buried cannon in Cannon Green was once the treasured prize of an inter-college rivalry. After it was stolen (and stolen back) multiple times, Princeton students half buried it to protect it.
- On the night of the first snowfall each winter, Princeton sophomores used to disrobe and run the Nude Olympics. (Oh, wait, that one's true.....)
You can always spot the tours on campus because the guide walks backwards.
One of my closest friends, Rick, was an Orange Key Tour guide, and on his final tour of our senior year, some of my other dearest friends streaked his tour in East Pyne Courtyard. (I'm not going to name names. You know who you are. Don't worry, though -- your butts do not appear in my book.)
But what does appear is a lot of the Princeton campus.
While I was writing Enchanted Ivy, I used the virtual Orange Key Tour as an initial guide, and then I took two trips to Princeton with my camera and notebook to fill in the details. (Yes, I know I lived there for four years and should know the campus backward and forward, but you see a place differently when you look at it through a character's eyes.) I traced every step that Lily takes.
So I thought that I'd do my own version of the Orange Key Tour here on this blog and show you some of the places that either appear in or inspired my new novel... Please join me tomorrow for the start of the Enchanted Ivy Campus Tour!
8 days until Enchanted Ivy!