In the brown paper bag

Throughout my 17-year career as a part-time student working toward a journalism degree at Trenton State College/the College, I often said I had wished Bob Cole taught ALL of my classes. While his words of encouragement to me were always appreciated, it was his sense of humor that I found most endearing.

In 1988, when I had exhausted a good portion of my required journalism courses, I decided to take a “lightweight” Cole offering during the Fall semester: “Censored Literature.”

Here was a chance to read all these great “dirty” books that had once been banned in the United States. Of course, Cole’s intention for the class was to instill in us a knowledge of and appreciation for our Constitutional rights (Freedom of Press and Speech, in particular).

Already knowing his sense of humor, I burst into laughter when Dr. Cole walked crouching into the classroom on the first night of class wearing a beige trenchcoat, Fedora hat pulled down over his eyes shaded by dark sunglasses, and carrying a bulging paper grocery bag.

As the puzzled students watched this strange figure, he set the bag on the table, began to pull out each book and, in a low, sultry voice, said: “I call this the class in the brown paper


New students breathed a sigh of relief that they were not saddled with a nutty professor for the next 13 weeks!