Saturday, November 26

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Winfrey holds discussion group with Morrison at Lowrie House

The Oprah Winfrey-Toni Morrison duo was not exactly paradise for neighbors of Lowrie House Saturday.

Winfrey visited Princeton to interview Morrison, the Robert F. Goheen '40 professor of Humanities, about her new novel, "Paradise," in a taped conversation with 20 book club members for Winfrey's March 6 show.

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One neighbor said she objected to the University's choice of Lowrie House for the location of the Winfrey event.

"That used to be a private residence for the president of the University, and now they're renting it out," the neighbor said on the condition of anonymity. "I didn't realize the University was so pressed for money. I remember Mrs. Lowrie well, and I'm sure she would rise up in her grave."

However, not all neighbors were bothered by the event.

"I have to say it was very peaceful," said Anya Yates, whose backyard is adjacent the Lowrie House. "It was done thoughtfully," she added.

Reception

Irving Crespi, who lives behind Lowrie House, said several trucks brought food and preparations for the reception for the national talk show host and the bestselling author. Crespi said limousines arrived Saturday around 1 p.m.

"I came out at 3 p.m. Saturday and the limos were not around then – they were around earlier and many of them had disappeared," Crespi said. "I came out about 5:30 and the limos were beginning to congregate along Stockton, and around 9 o'clock they were all gone and most of the cars were also."

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"There were crowds of about 12 stretch limousines parked along Stockton," said neighbor Joe Mont-gomery. "The chauffeurs were having a good time talking among themselves."

Though none of the neighbors said they saw Winfrey, they came closer to catching a glimpse of her than any undergraduate. The University did not announce the location or the time of the taping, and Winfrey did not invite anyone from the University aside from Morrison.

Chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Colleen Shanahan '98 said she was disappointed that she did not have the opportunity to see her favorite talk-show host.

"She's an incredibly popular person and incredibly important for women's issues, particularly for minority women, and it's just a shame no one got see her," Shanahan said.

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"Last year, my roommates and I were an hour late for Houseparties because we were watching 'Oprah,' " Shanahan said.

Liz Baker, who lives across Campbelton Street from the Lowrie House, said cars filled the streets surrounding Lowrie House Friday and Saturday, but the limousines arrived Saturday.

"All I saw were cars and cars and cars," Baker said, adding, "There was a lineup of black limousines on Stockton Street on the seminary side."

Trevor Encalade of University catering services said he cleaned up Lowrie House Saturday evening. However, catering's Don Somebody said University catering did not provide food for the event.

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