By Harlan Rips
Omaha was not teeming with individuals wanting to go to Columbia. Those that did were Jewish and driven to succeed. I was merely Jewish. My mother was enamored by the idea of the “Ivy League.’’ Like the clothes she wore and the furniture we sat on, only the best would do. I relied completely on her judgment in picking schools. We assembled a list of distinguished eastern schools; I filled out the forms and took the tests. Columbia was the best––most famous?––school to accept me. Like many Columbians of my day, I didn’t get into Yale....