For John Sampson Toll, PTP*

In nineteen hundred fifty-three,
There was no daily physics tea.
To welcome students, physics rookies,
There was a drought; there were no cookies.


From Princeton town came Johnny Toll,
To play a gastronomic role:
He heard the students' desperate plea,
And thus began the Physics Tea.

Most were smart, a few were dumbbells--
That's the way the cookie crumbles.
One guy thought -- there's no disputin'--
A unit force is one FigNewton!

They studied physics, made their mark.
They did it here, in College Park.
At half-past-three they flocked to tea,
Where they relaxed and felt quite free

To talk of profs in tones censorious,
Munching on those creamy oreos.
They took the time to shoot the breeze,
Constructed meals from cubes of cheese,

Loitered grandly, hands on hips,
Scarfing down the chocolate chips,
Discussed Republicans and Dems,
While decimating M & M's.

Drank not just tea but coffee too,
Though some would like a stronger brew:
Oh, what a crowd we would have here
If we could serve them wine and beer!

~Joe Sucher, 11/21/03

*Physics Tea Pioneer. Read at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Physics Tea at the University of Maryland