How I Did Get to See Einstein
In the fall of 1952, when I had just entered graduate school, a friend of mine was admitted to the Institute for Advanced Study as a temporary member in order to continue his research in physics. He invited me to Princeton to visit him and to see what the Institute was like. This was the first time I had been there and I was very impressed by the serene beauty of the campus. We spent a couple of hours poking around and then set off to drive to town.
We had not gotten very far when he pointed out the window. There was Einstein walking along the side of the road. Yo u could not mistake him for anyone else. He was wearing what looked like a sailor's jacket and had on a navy blue woolen cap of the kind that seamen wear. He walked slowly but steadily. His face was creased with age. He seemed completely unaware of us, or of anyone. I wanted very much to stop the car and at least to thank him for what he had done for our science—indeed for humanity. But he was deep in thought. I don't know what about— probably his unified field theory. In any case it was the kind of reverie no one has the right to interrupt. I nodded to him. I don't know if he saw me—and we drove on.