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Last Update: 11-07-2014
Columbia University

October 17, 1957

12:15 pm with the Conversationalist Society The following article appeared in the Columbia Daily Spectator of October 18, 1957: Over 300 Attend Jean Shepherd Addresses Columbia Conversationalists By Charles F. Goldfarb Jean Shepherd, WOR humorist, once again packed 212 Hamilton Hall, as more than 300 people heard him speak yesterday afternoon at the first meeting of the Conversationalist Society. The group, under the leadership of Charles Goodstein '58, was started last year as "Students for Apathy," but, as Shepherd puts it, "somewhere along the line we lost our nerve." Chief among the topics of Shepherd's talk was Mike Todd's enormous party, held last night at Madison Square Garden. Our generation, he claims, will be remembered by this affair, much as the twenties are remembered by marathon dances and flag-pole-sitting. In as much as the future will not know why we held this "folk ritual," just as we don't know why the people of the twenties watched marathon dances. Shepherd suggested that the Ford Foundation fly the entire party to Flushing. It could then be covered with plasticene and buried, time-capsule fashion, with an admonition not to open until 4057. Todd, Shepherd later commented, along with most newspapers, represents a great dream, which we confuse with reality. As a case in point, he cited "Sputnik," the Russian satellite. While newspapers were telling us that the Russians were 15 years away from a satellite, they launched one. A day later, they detonated a hydrogen warhead, and now newspapers are telling us they are 15 years away from building a rocket for it. "If they should blow the top from the Empire State Building tomorrow," he concludes, some newspaper is bound to yell 'they'll never make Cleveland.'"

October 15,1957
Columbia Spectator

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

October 17,1957
Columbia Spectator

Courtesy: Steve Glazer