John Mueller with grandkids Today, Karen and I drove to New York to attend John’s award dinner. Neither of us was quite sure what to expect, as we have no experience with either pollsters or fancy award dinners in New York City.

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research was awarding John for his 1973 book, War, Presidents, and Public Opinion. John used based much of the book on public-opinion poll results archived — mostly on IBM cards — at Roper, Gallop, and other sites. This was long before the internet, so “sites” of course means boxes and shelves and filing cabinets at each of these organizations. (The Roper Center was at that time still located at Williams College in the beautiful but out-of-the-way town of Williamstown, Mass.) John was one of the first to use archived Roper Center data (in the case of War, Presidents and Public Opinion to compare the progression of public opinion through the Korean and Vietnam wars); the data had hitherto been considered ephemera.

Karen and I had a delightful time, met many fine people, ate delicious food, got to spend a little time with John, and met some of Warren Mitofsky’s family — practically neighbors of ours, from Montpelier, Vt. Bryan Mitofsky owns the not-to-be-missed Coffee Corner.

It was a fun evening, and definitely worth the drive down to “the city.”