As good friends and Kappa Sigma brothers, Bryce Jewett ’68 and Steve Martin ’67 were bound by a common desire. As Jewett recalls, “We wanted to get rich.”
During Jewett’s sophomore year, they were inspired by the success of some Ivy League students they saw on The Tonight Show to create two guides for college students in Virginia. These were guides for students navigating colleges and universities in search of parties and companionship.
The two spent the later part of spring semester in 1966 taking road-trips, interviewing students, administering surveys, and taking photographs. That summer, they spent their evenings and weekends at the office of the advertising agency started by Martin’s brother David Martin ’52.
Come fall of 1966, Boys’ Scouting Manual and Girls’ Scouting Manual were ready for eager students across the Commonwealth.
At Hampden-Sydney, they sold them door-to-door in the dorms. On other campuses, they recruited agents to sell the books on commission. The guides are clever and funny, but Martin says with a laugh, “Maybe some freshmen actually learned something.”
Did it make them rich? Maybe. Martin says they made enough money to pay for a Spring Break trip to Nassau, and Jewett adds, “We made pretty good money, but it made us notorious at best.”