The 60's


1961    


      So I went back to Minnesota and my sister Helen's to stay till I found a teaching position somewhere. I whomped up a resume and fired it out to a lot of places. But the indelible finger of Bartlett probably got in the way and I got no answers. Needless to say I was getting rather depressed. Finally, I think it was August, I got a phone call from President Jones of Northwest Missouri State College in Maryville MO inviting me to visit for an interview. It isn't as though I had a lot of choice. I went, interviewed and was hired.
      I arrived and rented an apartment above the Preston Amos Photo Studio on Main Street, the N-S highway, Business 71, through town. This was a tough two years in many ways and in another sense one of the most important times of my life. I wound up teaching a lot of elementary stuff, including a lot of Physical Science. I actually got a kick of this although I was trained for "better things(?). I taught here for two years. One of the impossible courses I was supposed to teach was a non-mathematical Physical Chemistry. I tried and did the best I could, but I really don't think it can be done. It degenerates into "Physical Laws I've Known and Loved!"
      The Department Head was an oldtimer (not just in years) named Dr. Strong. He ran the department completely, telling me what to do, everything except when I could go to the john. One day a book salesman visited me to push one of his books for a course I was teaching. I told him I had no say in the choice, that Dr. Strong chose all books. He told me to come with him to Dr. Strong's office. He gave a small pitch for the book and then asked who chose the books. I was standing right there and Dr. Strong kind of stuttered for a minute or two and then said, "I do." I think he was just a tad embarrassed at having to say it out loud in my presence. The salesman got his point across. I smiled, inwardly at least.
      There was a beautiful young 17 year old working as an assistant in the stockroom. As a matter of fact the next year she was entered into the Miss Northwest Missouri contest and she won! She got a trip to Kansas City and a chance to compete in the Miss Kansas City Royal competition. She didn't win there but had a nice trip and got some nice prizes which she could well use. She lived with her mother, her father having died when she was 13. They had their house free and clear and had an apartment on the second floor with an outside entrance to rent. They lived on Social Security which they both received after her father died. I don't know how her mother did it but she did. I had enormous respect for her mother but her mother was not impressed with me.
      Of course, I have always been terribly socially inept, juvenile if you will and I still am. I had a very good telescope, a Questar. One Saturday I had been working on my car when twilight arrived. I had khaki shorts and a figured shirt. And of course I had the obligatory grease spots on my knees. I was not a pretty sight but it never occurred to me that I was not "presentable". The moon was at the first quarter and would be an impressive sight in the telescope. So "Ingenuous Me" went down to their house and knocked on the door. Her mother answered the door and I asked for Sauny. I think she asked me why and I said I wanted to take her out to the airport and show her the moon through my telescope. She said, derisively, "Yeh, sure!" and slammed the door. I didn't know that the airport was the local necking place. She didn't know that I was serious and truthful and would be the last one in the world to harm her daughter! But I caught on pretty quick. So we used to meet at the home of an older friend of Sauny and talk. I was thoroughly smitten by this time.
      My memory is kind of thin here but I believe I went to St. Louis to attend a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, probably on the lookout for a different job. I stopped to have lunch at a town about halfway back to Maryville. I also stopped in a jewelry store and bought a captured pearl necklace I saw there. I gave it to Sauny, She kept it out of the sight of her mother, but her mother discovered it, presumed with a mother's accuracy it was from me and took it down in the basement and threw it in the furnace!
      After the second year I couldn't take the trivial teaching I had been doing and accepted a job in Washington DC with "Chemical Engineering News", the house organ of the American Chemical Society. But before I left I told Sauny, "You're much too bright for this school. If you could get to Washington I think I could get you into the George Washington University and get you at least a part time job." I left Missouri in September 1960 with the very depressing thought that that would be the last time I would see her.
      I was an Assistant Editor and wrote articles in the Research section. This was a tremendous experience for me. I found out that ALL the chemical writing I had been exposed to was bilge, incredibly bad and uninforming writing. They straightened me out and taught me how to write informatively. I took to it like a duck to water and actually got some nice letters from people whose work I had covered.
      I find it a little bit amazing that I have so little to say about this period. The most interesting things happened at my apartment. I guess it was a messy bachelor's apartment. The kitchen was more a photo darkroom than a kitchen. I rarely cooked anything.
      One of the things I started investigating was the actions that take place when objects collide with a water surface. I decided to make high speed photographs of the fraction of a second when a drop of milk hits the surface of water. I wanted a contrasting background so I put an inch and a half of water in a black 16 x 20 photo tray. I wanted closeups and I didn't want splashes on my lens. I also didn't want the pseudo-distortion that occurs when a closeup picture is taken from close up. So I set up my tripod with my bellows. Then I connected my Alpa camera and my 300 mm telephoto lens. This made it possible for me to take a closeup picture from about three feet away from the actual event.
      I set up a funnel above, with a piece of paper towel plugging the delivery end. When I put a little milk in the funnel, it would soak through and then a drop would form. I would watch it, try to trip the shutter cable at the instant the drop collided with the surface of the water. I did this over and over. I was spooling my own film in these days, buying it in 100 foot rolls from which I would get about thirty 20 exposure rolls. I would shoot a whole roll, move over to the sink and develop it.
      Then I would want a picture just a hair later. So I would repeat the procedure, but this time at the time I would have tripped the cable release before, this time I tapped my foot and then tripped the release a fraction of a second later. After doing these variations I finally got a complete succession of events.
      But I needed something that would allow me to assign times to the events. I had a used but still operable Ziess Ikon movie camera, a rather remarkable piece of machinery. It even had a variable shutter. It also had a 64 frames per second mode. So I mounted it on the tripod, brought it as close as I could still focus and repeated the "drop".
      I found, about 1959, that the original collision of the milk drop caused it to spread out on the surface of the water causing a shallow depression, with little or no penetration of the surface. The energy of the collision deformed the water surface and produced the "crown" effect. The crown disappeared and the energy was re-directed back to the center and a medium tall, blunt column of fluid rose. And it was white! It was quite evident that the milk drop had hit the surface, spread out on the surface and then bounced back up.
      As I remember the column came up on the third frame of the movie, thereby establishing the time as 3/64ths of a second after the drop hit!       Also, I would like to have varied the energy of the collision by raising the drop point. I would have liked to replace the water with an water insoluble material like a thin oil, and then a thick oil. And then I would have constructed a lucite tank with one clear side and three black sides to get a picture from below the surface or even at the surface level. I could imagine that as the work progressed many variations would occur!
      This still has its excitement for me with no known usable product!
      ThIs would all been somewhat problematic with the rather primitive setup I was using then. Nowadays with digital cameras it might be much easier!
      I wish I still had these photos. The negatives are probably still around in a box in the garage.
      Some years later, an article appeared in Scientific American where they dropped colored drops into contrasting colored fluids showing the same general effects. Needless to say I was not impressed. I would have liked to continue with a number of variations. I would like to have used drops that were denser than water and insoluble in water, less dense than water and insoluble. I would like to have dropped solid materials that were very dense, like ball bearings. And then perhaps little beads of a hard plastic that would float!
      As far as I know, none of this has been done. I no longer have the pressing drive or time to set this up and do it right. Alas, it would be useful, I believe, and certainly very entertaining!

      At the end of January 1961 I got a phone call one night and was greeted with two words. "I'm here!" I didn't recognize the voice and it was so unexpected that I blurted out, "Who the hell is this?" And she answered, "It's Sauny!". She had sold her sewing machine to get the money for the ticket! That probably should have told me something. But, as usual, it didn't.
      Well, I did get her into the George Washington University. Some of my fraternity brothers worked in the Admissions Office. They leafed through the stack of applications and found hers, filched it out and put it on top! The Director of all Sponsored Research at the University was a friend of mine, Dr. Benjamin Van Evera. He had been a Physical Chemist and Department Head in Chemistry when I got my Master's Degree. For some reason he saw something in me that he appreciated very much. When I left GW after my Master's he wrote me a two page letter. This was very unusual. Among other things he said something that has stuck with me all my life. He said, "You have that research frame of mind. I let mine get killed under a load of administrative work. Don't let this happen to you!" And I never did! But I also never got the research opportunity I think I was meant for. I asked if he had room for a good girl Friday to run his errands. H agreed that he could use one, interviewed her and hired her.
      Sauny lived in Dolly Madison Hall on the campus. She was on the top floor (6th) with what they referred to as the United Nations contingent. They had a lot of out of the US girls. There were two from the Netherlands as I remember and her roommate was a girl from Puerto Rico. She always called me Charl-es, two syllables. She sang in the shower at the top of her lungs in a strongly quavering voice that was rather distinctively Latino. Sauny told me this, I of course did not hear it personally. We dated a lot and she came over to the apartment but there was never any funny stuff if you know what I mean. I was born too close the the 19th century for any of that. I hope you will understand when I say I was not aggressive. During this year I turned 39 and she was 19. I had earlier decided that if it was to be, she would have to be the aggressive one. And she was. We got engaged on 4 July 1961 while enjoying the fireworks at the Washington Monument. She had flown home earlier to lower the boom on her mother, telling her that she better get used to it and accept it. Of course I was usually standing around with my mouth open waiting for everything to happen. Later she told me that we were getting married on 11 August. I meekly said, "OK."       As a concession to her mother she decided we would go to the Methodist Church in Rockville, Maryland. We couldn't get married in DC because she was only 19. A few days earlier we went out to meet the minister. He came in and met us. We sat down. And when he found out that she was already a Methodist and that I was a lost sheep, he immediately ignored her and tried to work on me. I was civil but not very helpful. He agreed to marry us anyway!
      The guys at work gave me a bachelor party. We went to a Near East restaurant, called the Port Said (pronounced Sa-eed), night club and a few (many) drinks. I'm afraid I got quite blasted. I actually called her about midnight at the dorm. This ordinarily would have been a no-no, but I think they understood and connected me with her. I think she was quite embarrassed at the drunk that was calling.
      And then there was the night before we were to get married. She will never forget. She wanted to put a rinse on her hair so she bought one called "Coffee". Unfortunately, the maker of this rinse apparently did not put cream in his/her coffee and it came out almost black. She was mortified. She called me at almost midnight, crying and telling me about it. I tried to calm her down and reminded her I was a chemist. I told her that the company that had chemists working on hair rinses had another set of chemists across the hall working on how to get the rinse out. She got permission for me to pick her up and we found an all night drugstore over by Scott Circle on 16th Street and she bought a bunch of dye stripper. I took her back and she tried it twice and finally got it to an acceptable (to her) color. It had more red in it than she wanted but I thought she was beautiful. Always have.
      The next day after work, at 5 PM, I picked her up and we drove to the church. She had picked up the ring a bit earlier and SHE paid for it. Irene (my sister) and her husband Mac met us there to be witnesses. There were the six of us including the minister's wife. We went through the ceremony. I think I wore a tie but my pants did not match my jacket. What a slob. Irene and Mac treated us to supper at a steak house, the Black Angus as I remember.
      The next day we drove to Easton PA where I was the magazine's representative for the next issue. That was an impressive plant. It had a huge press. It had three of those large rolls of paper that printing plants use. They were mounted on a three way yoke. When the operating roll was getting low, the yoke moved to put the next roll in contact with the operating roll, thereby gradually getting it up to speed. The new roll had a blunt but somewhat tapered end of roll with something that looked like red nail polish painted on the edge. When the end of the other roll came through, a pipe just in front of the contact point of the two rolls sprayed a mist of the second part of a contact cement. The cement was activated and the new roll started through the press. When the double layer of paper came into the press, it tripped a sensor that stopped the printing while the double layer was going through and then it resumed printing when the single layer started through. It had an impressive roar. There was a man down at the end of the line looking at the results and then pushing some buttons to correct color and registration. I made some mention about how fast it was going and he told me it was loafing until he got it adjusted. When he had it to his satisfaction, he got it up to speed. That was something to see!
      The magazine went to press every Tuesday night and an editor had to be there to make any small adjustment to the stories to make sure they fit on the pages right. When the printing was done we returned to Washington.


Deep Springs College
September 1961 - June 1963


      I had accepted a teaching position at a rather odd school in the White Mountains of California, about 40 miles, over a mountain pass, from Bishop. So I tendered my resignation which they reluctantly accepted. They were planning to open a Boston Office, and they were going to put me in it.
      I don't think they had any idea how much money it would take to get me to live in Boston!

      We had three weeks to get to California so we started off on a "honeymoon" in our '57 red and white Ford Country Sedan. We were given a $300 moving allowance and Bekins estimated that they could move everything we had for about $250. So we had them do it all. Then we started off for Minnesota to visit Helen and the Moorhead crowd. They all knew me but were a little on edge when it came to Sauny. They thought I had married some Eastern snob that wouldn't fit in out there on the prairie. Sauny herself was a bit on edge, being thrust into this group of people, all more than 20 years older than she was. When we got there, they welcomed us warmly. The first evening they had a welcome party. As I understand it, Sauny was standing in the kitchen talking with a number of them, including Helen, of course. Something happened and Sauny said, "Oh shit!" You could see Helen melt probably thinking,"Oh thank god, she's one of us!!"
      We stayed there for a few days and then left for California. I had seen a lot of National Parks in my roaming around and I wanted her to see them. But I shouldn't have dumped all of them on her at once! But I did. We went to the Black Hills. We went up to the observation room and souvenir stand that looked out on Mount Rushmore. I remember we bought a yellow brown vase that she found attractive. We took the jeep ride up to the summit of Harney Peak and walked the stone steps up to the ranger station. It had a magnificent view. One side had a vertical drop of several thousand feet. There was a souvenir shop near the peak and we bought another vase, a green one.
      The Black Hills has been thoroughly destroyed by commercialism. Billboards everywhere, Visitors everywhere. Development everywhere. We left and headed out toward Devil's Tower.
      This was about thirty miles off the highway but was an impressive monolith when we got there. It is a volcanic plug rising out of a relatively level plain. It looked totally out of place. But it was very large, probably 600 feet high and striated vertically. One could understand the Indian belief that a huge bear had used it to sharpen its claws.
      We left here and headed for Capitol Reef. I enjoyed it but I think Sauny was beginning to be disenchanted with more rocks. But with my social ineptitude, I did not notice. Next stop, Bryce Canyon. What a beautiful set of rocks, at least to some people, not to Sauny. I still didn't notice. Finally we went to Zion. This was quite different, it had trees, water, large stone cliffs but not the colored ones like the others. It was quiet and serene. I think she liked this place, at least a little.
      We finally headed toward Las Vegas. There was a long stretch of dark desert. We finally were approaching Las Vegas in the dark. We broke over a ridge and down below, right in front of us, was the incredible sight of Las Vegas. I think this did impress her. The amount of light was almost unimaginable. We visited some of the casinos and were a bit dazzled. I gave her a roll of nickels (we didn't have a lot of cash.) and she put the whole roll into one machine and it gave nothing back. That was the end of that! We stayed in a motel. The next day we started north on the highway to Reno. We drove north past Beatty and Scotty's Junction, then finally arrived at the junction that led to Gold Point, over Gilbert Pass into California and Deep Springs Valley. As we passed Gold Point and approached the White Mountains, the sun had set and the moon was hanging just over the mountains


      The entrance gate is on the right. The brand for the cattle was the "Swinging T" and it hung in the middle of the crossbar on the gate. An enlarged version is on the left. The half mile road into the college from the highway is lined with large cottonwood trees.

      I don't remember where we spent that first night but the next day we were ensconsed in a duplex at the lower farm. The "Farmer" had the other half.
      Pretty soon the Bekins truck pulled up. He had our things and wanted $525. We didn't have $525 and the nearest bank was 40 miles away over a mountain pass. We said we could get it in a day or two but we just didn't have it right now. We also reminded him that we did have the less than $300 estimate. As I understand it they can't do that now. They can't raise the estimate more than a certain amount, I think 10%. The man really didn't want to have to come back over Westgard Pass again so he called the company. They chatted awhile and they finally accepted our promise to pay and he dropped our stuff off and left. I'm sure with a great sigh of relief. Westgard Pass is deceptive. It looks easy but turns out to be a bit of a problem. Most cars going east have a tailwind about the same speed as they're going so their radiator really doesn't function and it's very easy to overheat.

      They have built a new administration building there. It has a guest room which I was able to use when I visited. The picture on the right is the dining hall with kitchen.

      Deep Springs Valley was about twelve miles long and about four miles wide. Deep Springs Lake was at the southwest end of the valley. There were some fresh water springs along the south side. The lake itself was rather large but very shallow and we were warned not to walk out in it with bare feet because the bottom was full of sharp crystals that would cut your feet. Deep Springs was the only occupant of the valley and had all the water rights. The one exception was the highway maintenance station about a mile east.

      One Sunday we were visited by a man with a religious fervor. I had nothing better to do than "discuss" things with him. It wound up about a half hour later with me following him out to the car as he tried to escape. My last offer to him was to accept a year's subscription to the "Watchtower" and read it if I could buy him a year's subscription to "Scientific American" and he would have to read it. He escaped, scot free. And he never returned.

      Not having anything to do, Sauny occupied herself with the Elna Sewing machine we bought. Fancy stitches appeared everywhere. The lack of activity started affecting her weight in a way she did not appreciate. She spoke to her doctor about it and he prescribed some pills for her. She took them for a fair period of time and somehow needed to sleep a lot. We tended to blame it on the 5200 foot altitude and figured she was just having a time getting used to it.
      We went to visit the relatives in Minnesota. While there, Sauny ran out of her prescription so we went to their Dr. Rice. When he saw what she was taking he refused to give her the prescription and told her she shouldn't be taking them. They were amphetamines. This was before they became well known. To Sauny's credit she quit them on the spot and never took another.
      I was having a problem with bursitis in my right shoulder. So Dr. Rice gave me bunch of cortisone via a needle. It was painful as hell but did nothing for the bursitis.

      One of the boys was driving the pickup down to the lower ranch, rounded a turn and broke a telephone pole. I would like to have been a fly on the wall the next Friday night at the Student Body Meeting!

      As an example of their freedom, one night several of them wanted to sleep out in the open down by the dump. I went down briefly to visit and found them sitting around a fire in their idea of an old western tradition. They had soft drinks and some munchies and seemed to be enjoying the open space! They had no liquor of course. I think the Student Body put that restriction on themselves but in any case they agreed with it.
      The thin bit of blue at the end of the valley in the picture on the right is Deep Springs Lake, a mile wide and an inch deep!

      A couple of women, probably from Bishop were always trying to establish themselves at the southwest end of the valley but the school was very vigilant of their rights and I was under the impression that these interloper's shacks were torn down as fast as they were put up. The area they tried to put a shack on had a small pond. There was a special Asian frog. Buffo boreas exul, that grew there and no one knew how it got there originally.

      The cowboy was a man called Fogger Dunigan. He had a beauiful Palomino horse. I'm no judge of horseflesh but he was a pretty one (the horse, that is!). He let Sauny ride him a round the corral. And naturally, Sauny knowing of my aversion to anything of the genus, Equus , joined in on the chorus of people egging me to get on this animal. I'm fundamentally a cooperative person so I finally gave in. Sauny had to photograph it, of course.

      There was a small hill about midway in the valley on the north side of the road called Crystal Peak. A Rock Magazine listed it once and the people came and dug and left trenches and trash. I never saw anything crystalline except calcite and I'm sure that's not what they came for. Their bad treatment of the area may have been related to this disappointment.
      There was a low point in the hills along the south side of the valley that was called Soldier's Pass. There was a rumor that some military gold pay pack train had been ambushed there and the gold was never found, probably still there. Then again I suppose that story is told about every pass in the White Mountains.
      There was a small mountain to the north of the campus called Piper Peak. There was an old mine up there called the Copper Queen. We drove up there several times and went a little way into the mine. Someone sure did a lot of work with apparently very little reward.

      This is the original building. The wing on the left had the dorms for the students and the mail room and telephone. The wing on the right had a classroom, a guest room, the early office and a large library! The large central room was for the public speaking "class" and social events.

      This looks over an alfalfa field toward the duplex we lived in at the lower ranch during our first year. Large cottonwoods everywhere. This the alfalfa field where I photographed the bat.

      Sauny was very bored here and had absolutely nothing to do. We bought an Elna Sewing Machine and I wound up with a lot of shirts. All the pillow cases were decorated with fancy stitches. The altitude was 5000 feet and Sauny was sleeping a lot. She was taking some prescribed diet pills called amphetamines which probably caused a good bit of the sleepiness. Later, during a visit to Minnesota, she ran out of the pills. So she went to their physician, Dr. Rice about getting some more for the trip back. He refused saying they were addictive and that she shouldn't be taking them. We did not know that then. That was enough for Sauny. She quit cold turkey on the spot.

      Deep Springs was a classic male society. There were a few women there but they were almost considered to be non-existent.
      There was a functional presence called the Student Body. It was made up of the students that were in residence. Students floated in and out of the Student Body over the years but the Student Body remained as an omnipresent presence. One elected member of the Student Body was a full voting member of the Board of Trustees because the whole thing was owned by this mystical Student Body. They had meetings every Friday night and took on all the important decisions that had to be made.
      The students were assigned duties. One might have to take care of the chickens and the eggs. A couple more would have the care of the milk cows and the milking. They did butchering at the lower ranch occasionally but I don't know who was in charge of that. This assignment of duties was never looked on as a way of paying their way. They did it because they were "owners". No one checked up on them and if all the chickens died for lack of attention it would be taken up at the Friday night meeting and "Appropriate" action would be taken. It never happened when we were there so I don't know what would have happened. It was done this way so they could grow up and be responsible for something and really feel the responsibility.
      I have to admit it was heart-warming to see the sallow skinny kids come out of the concrete canyons of Detroit and watch them at the end of the year, bronzed and tossing 75 pound bales of alfalfa onto the truck! They would drink a quart of milk and eat six eggs for breakfast
      They had complete freedom within the valley. While the college did not own the entire valley, they had all the water rights and could prevent any incursions. The only exception was the highway maintainence station.
      Besides, when one gets that far out in the boonies one develops a peculiar attitude. The hair rises on the back of your neck when you see a car coming down the ten miles from Westgard pass.
      One fine day when the sap was running in the students, they got out on the ellipse in front of our house and started blanket-tossing each other. I went out to take some pictures and of course they started trying to get me on the blanket. I don't usually participate in dumb ideas but the weather was nice and the doctor was only forty miles away over a mountain pass, so I did it. As you can see in the picture!
      Egad! What form!

      If they felt like getting up at two in the morning and taking a horse for a ride out in the valley just to ride around in the moonlight, that was OK. As long as they did their work and their studies, no one told them what to do with their own time.
      The Student Body had a rule that they could not leave the valley without its permission. The only exceptions were the need for medical attention in Bishop and the student that drove the truck for supplies. They maintained a closed mouth attitude to the outlanders and we suspected that the people in Bishop thought many things about them, that it was a home for unwed fathers or something else even more exotic. The students did nothing to disabuse them of these ideas.
      In the middle of the Fall semester and the middle of the Spring semester they would climb on the 2 1/2 ton truck with supplies and go somewhere for a week. As I remember, one time they had a sign on the side that said " Happy Valley Orphans". One of these trips was to the Ubehebe Meteor Crater near Death Valley. They did not go to populated places but to interesting but isolated places.
      It could be a rather intense place to live. A Jack London type of microcosmal psychiatrist would have had a ball if he had come incognito and observed the various interactions. The Student Body would love to have had total say over everything. But the faculty held firmly to the control of the curriculum. I need to emphasize that these were a very bright and motivated group of boys. The total student body was only twenty and the faculty about five.

      I was the science department for two years. I taught chemistry, physics and mathematics. I felt more like a guide than a teacher. I had five of them in my math class the second year. I had picked a kind of middle of the road text with calculus. After a few meetings three of them came to me and wanted to change the textbook. They had found a calculus text by Thomas in their library that was used at MIT. I told them that since the book I chose was on the record that we would have to use it. But I made them a deal. I told them that if they went through the entire book I had chosen by Christmas, then we would use Thomas in the Spring Semester. But I told them that if they failed to do it they would flunk, even if they had done more than the ones that stayed with the "slow track". They agreed and so we did it. Two of the five elected to do the slow time. This gives you the idea of how things went there. Here I was with a math class of five and I split it into two sections. Again this was related to giving responsibility. If they said they were going to do something, they were held to it.
      One of the three flunked the accelerated math course. He was a bright boy but had been coddled and pushed all his life by the people around him. It was said that when his family brought him for his first fall semester, they stopped in the town of Bishop to get him a haircut. His little sister was telling the barber how to cut it. People had been telling him where and when to put one foot in front of the other all his life. He had never had to to plan or budget his time or anything. This experience while tough for the first semester was one the best experiences he could have had. He flunked everything that Fall Semester but that taught him that he had to start doing things for himself. He could no longer lay back and drift with the current.

      Oddly, I remember very little about the Chemistry course. I had my one and only clash with the students at this time. The lab was not very good. The Physics half in particular looked like something out of the 19th century. It had some large, deep, glass front, very old cabinets with shelves where the various pieces of physics equipment were stored. I wanted to get rid of them and put up some more useful shelves on the wall. The students objected for some unfathomable reason. It got to the point that I had to call one of the trustees to see if I was in charge or not. He said I was and I handed the phone to the student and I heard no more about it.
      There is a dry lake, probably 50 miles south of Deep Springs called Owen's Lake. Pittsburgh Plate Glass had a sodium sesquicarbonate plant there. They had several large towers filled with carbonate solution made from material from the dry lake bed. They would pass carbon dioxide gas through the solution and the least soluble component of the mixture was sodium sesquicarbonate. I got the idea of a field trip to this plant. We drove down and they showed us around. The most memorable part of the trip was when they allowed us up on a platform where we could look into the circa 10 foot wide tower. It was probably about fifty feet tall. When we got there all we could see was foam. With a smile, the guide picked up a small dipper, filled it with a defoaming agent which I remember as being cocoanut oil and threw it in. The eight feet of foam collapsed with an impressive roar.

      I had picked a great book for the Physics course, Physics for the Enquiring Mind, by Rogers. I encouraged them to figure out their own experiments to illustrate the principles. When talking about motion, we designed an experiment to measure the muzzle velocity of a rifle. We got a block of 4x4 wood and suspended it with two wires on either side of the door to the lab. We mounted the rifle near the floor and fired a bullet into the weighed block and measured its displacement. It worked quite well and we got a reasonable answer.
      One of the interesting but infrequent maintenance chores the students had to do was walk the route of the cedar water pipe and look for leaks. The line had been there for forty years and occasionally they would find a leak and then they would have to repair it. They certainly would not have to do such things in downtown Detroit. These were everyday lessons on how to cope with your problems.
      As for the people! The Chancellor for the first year was a man named Hal Kirkby. He was the first one to wonder what happened to their "graduates". I put this in quotes because the students got the equivalent of the first two years of a college education although they usually spent three years doing it. But the courses were incredibly deeper and more intense than they would have gotten anywhere else. And they got a good feeling of their specialness that would stand them in good stead all their lives. The college had a full five year accreditation by the Western Colleges Association. There was some suspicion that they did this because the place was so hard to get to that they didn't want to have to come back any sooner than absolutely necessary. Their degrees always wound up coming from other schools so no one hears of Deep Springs. Somehow they know they are doing the right thing and no one ever questioned it. So Kirkby embarked on a quest to find out what happened to them. The only figure I remember was that 40 of them went on to Harvard. All of them graduated and 26 of the 40 wound up with doctor's degrees or equivalents. That has to be an incredible recommendation.

      We had brought a B&W Zenith TV with us from Washington DC. We decided to turn it on once to see what would happen. Lo and behold we got a stable but quite snowy picture and sound from KSBY in San Luis Obispo, at least two hundred miles away! We were getting knife edge diffraction from the Sierras which bent the signal down into the valley, We told the people at the maintenance station about it. They tried it and got a clear stable picture because they were a little farther back in the valley. We found out later that the radio station in Bishop was re-transmitting FM broadcasts of the professional baseball games, originating in Fresno, but with 14000 foot mountains in between. They were apparently getting a steady reliable bounce from a face of White Mountain.

      We had met a friend of my brother-in-law, Rollie, in Minnestoa. This friend was working at the time for a company that manufactured a device called a Luralight. It had four circular fluorescent tubes that had a lot of ultraviolet light. They were mounted vertically, like the four sides of a box. There was a horizontal fan below and a bag below that. The idea was that the lights would attract insects and the fan would blow them down into the bag. Sauny was relatively fresh from her Entomology class at Maryville and it seemed that it would be an interesting thing for her to set up out here. They sent her one with the promise of some studies about the insects that were there. We set it up in the alfalfa field in front of our duplex. Wow, obviously there were many insects and the fan wasn't too kind to them but she did get some good counts of insects, such as the Sphinx Moth and the Curculio Beetle. But there is a story about this machine. When one watched it at night one could see something swoop in and out of the light but too fast to determine what it was. Back to this in a minute but I have to set the stage.
      Remember, Sauny was still very young and from the edge of the Bible Belt country and didn't know a lot about alcoholic drinks. The English teacher the first year was a man named Warren Carrier. One night his wife, Marge, was visiting us. We had a bottle of Vodka so Sauny asked if she would like a drink. Marge said yes and Sauny said that she wasn't familiar with the amounts one should use. Marge held up her fingers and said something like, "This and this" without specifying which was Vodka and which was water. Sauny misread it and reversed the amounts with the result that two drinks apiece killed the fifth! Needless to say we were not fit to travel anywhere. As a matter of fact, I was showing Marge some slides and she remarked, "Oh Charles, that would be so pretty in color." At which point I said, "But Marge, they are in color!" She apparently made it back up to their duplex at the main campus.
      But me, I decided it was time to find out what it was that was whizzing by the Luralight out in the alfalfa field. I had an electronic flash that on half power was supposed to have a duration of less than a thousandth of a second. So I went out to the field with my camera and flash in my pajamas at midnight and started to flash away. I took about six pictures. Meanwhile, Sauny was standing on the railingless porch, hollering at me, "Quit the foolishness and get back in the house." And then she fell off the porch. I do not recommend you try her recipe for a Vodka drink.
      But the piece de resistance to this story comes when we got the slides and projected them. The first five were good pictures of a black night! But there, in the bottom corner of the last slide was a bat!

      The second year, the chancellor was a faculty member of the English Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara named Ed Loomis. He was also a published novelist. I always planned to read one of them and never did! We had another novelist, a kind of artist in residence who also taught a course probably in English. Her name was Evelyn Eaton whose origin was England. I always felt that she thought she was favoring us with her presence. I liked her but felt that I was peripheral to her world. I thought the sciences were not very high on her list of desirabilites.
      The Rockfords cooked the first year. We bought an old 1942 military but converted jeep from them. Marge was proud of the fact that she was the only one that seemed to be able to start it. Being an orphan in 1936, I never had access to a car. So, as an old fighter pilot in Italy that learned to drive in jeeps in Italy while flying a P-51, I found this automotive behavior unacceptable. So I drove it up to the garage to work on it. Jim Hughes agreed to let me do it and provided backup knowledge when needed.
      I replaced the head gasket thinking that if it leaked it would ruin the vacuum in the cylinders needed to draw in the gas. That didn't help. So I started a more global approach and started to take things apart and clean them up just because they were there. There was a copper tube that came off the intake manifold and went to the crankcase. This was related to the military system making it possible to allow the vehicle to be operated under very adverse circumstances such as high water. There was a cylindrical object where the line was attached to the intake manifold. It was covered with grease and I didn't know what it was. But it was dirty so I decided to clean it. I took it off and cleaned it with the wire brush on the grinder. There was some lettering on the side which I finally was able to read, "This Side Up". It had been mounted horizontally. I could hear it rattle when I shook it and I finally realized it was a poppet valve, meant to open and close to allow the vacuum in the cylinder to draw in the gas. I asked Jim if he had a 90 degree pipe fitting that would fit. He did. I mounted the valve vertically, connected it to the crankcase. It started immediately! I drove it down to the circle past the dining hall, honking in jubilation!

      The So-called Ranch Manager had a jeep over the grease pit in the garage. He was busily racing around greasing it. A Jeep has a large number of grease points, approximately 28. When he finished, he came out of the pit and looked at the clock. He said, "Forty minutes! The irrigator can do that between sets!" Do you have any idea of what kind of person you get when you hire an irrigator? He was ignorant in the extreme. I hate to say that but it was true. We weren't even sure he knew how many children he had. They would come visit once in awhile.

      The first year we were there was the last year for Mr. Roodehouse, Business Manager and probably Ranch Manager. He seemed a bit beyond retirement age and had a bit of an alcohol problem, for which I don't blame him. He retired at the end of the year and it was his duplex that we moved into the following year.
      Sauny and I met him by accident after he retired when we were on a trip to Los Angeles. He invited us to his hotel for a drink and we went. It was called the Green Hotel or the Green Castle Hotel. It was an imposing building, a residence hotel I believe and extremely redolent of the 1890's.

      One year we had a kind of picnic up at Dead Horse Mesa. I don't remember if we were celebrating the arrival or the departure of the cattle herd. But we went up in our 1942 Jeep. My memory of this was the trip down Wyman Canyon. It was deer hunting season so it must have been in the Fall of our second year, 1962. We didn't trust the hunters that were out there taking shots at anything their warped minds told them was a deer. A Reader's Digest story once told of a hunter that entered a farmyard somewhere. The woman was hanging out her freshly washed clothes. Their cow tied in the backyard and had a whitewash sign on the side saying, "I am a cow." The hunter lifted his gun and shot the "deer"! And there was another story about a man in North Carolina that brought his deer draped over his front fender to the ranger to be tagged. The ranger tagged it and sent him home. The ranger didn't have the heart to tell him it was a mule. He was probably better out of the forest anyway. These stories and our own observations made us very hinky, driving around out there in deer season. Some idiot might think our jeep had antlers.
      I had a friend in Minnesota that had been in the infantry in WWII, He lost one leg below the knee. He and his father were hunting in northern Minnesota one winter, with snow on the ground. They were cooking a meal over a campfire when a shot rang out and snow spurted up in the air. They immediately reverted to the infantry mode and returned a few shots in the general direction. They finally worked their way over to the source of the shots and found footprints. The incoming ones were close together, then a trampled spot and then giant steps leading away, obviously at high speed. You have to be agile when the deer start returning fire. It's dangerous to be in the forest in deer season.
      About halfway down the canyon there was a loud noise like a rifle shot, ricocheting around the rocks and hills. We all bailed out of the jeep thinking it was a flatland hunter. When we calmed down a little we noticed that one of the rear tires had blown. When we changed to the spare we could see that we had gone through four plies of the six ply tire! I wouldn't want you to think we were pretty broke but I guess we were.

      As I said, Sauny was totally bored there. To amuse her I bought a pellet gun and for a while she had a lot of fun with it, shooting "targets of opportunity". One day down by the dump she took aim at a sparrow on a top rail of the fence and shot. The bird didn't move. She went over to it and it didn't fly away which she thought was a bit strange. She touched it and it fell to the ground. Apparently she had killed it and some kind of muscle spasm made it clutch the rail. This really upset her and she never shot the gun again.
      A corollary story happened in San Luis Obispo, probably fifteen years later. She still had the gun and had put it strictly off limits to our son, Daniel. One day she caught him in the backyard with it. She took it out of his hands, went over to a tree and beat it to pieces. A delayed reaction to the bird episode probably.

      Here is a picture of a couple of the milk cows and some of the 75# bales of alfalfa that they tossed around by the end of their first year.

      The boys' favorite milk cow, probably somewhat beyond her real production years, was called Celestine. For the city folks that don't know, milk cows have to have a calf now and then to continue the production of milk. Well, she had a calf while we were there. It was a male and male calves were not considered very useful on the ranch and ordinarily would have been disposed of somehow. But this one had a most unusual shade of rich dark brown. There almost seemed to be a hint of purple there and the boys considered it a "Royal Purple" and named it "Prince Hal". They pampered it and treated it very specially. Unfortunately, it got pneumonia and died while still less than a year old. If it was neglect, I'm sure the neglector caught it at the Friday night meeting of the "Student Body".
      As I said earlier, the students came from all over, mostly cities and had not experienced ranch life. I grew up in a small town in North Dakota and we knew all about the birds and the bees by the time we were six. What we didn't know by observation of the animals was clarified by the older brothers or sisters. Most of these boys did not have such advantages. So when one of the milk cows was about to calve, the word went around the "campus" like wildfire. I was teaching a math class in the classroom in the main building. I adjourned the class to the corral. They sat on the top rail of the corral and watched. The cow was lying on its side and gradually the calf emerged. The cow cleaned it up and it started to struggle to get up. It would get up on its front legs and fall over trying to get the rear ones up. Then it would get the rear ones up and fall over trying to get the front ones up. This must have gone on for at least fifteen minutes and it finally made it. I don't remember a cheer but I'm sure there was one. It was very instructive to these city kids.
      While I was working on our Jeep, I noticed a small room with a tank and some equipment in it. It was a water softening system that was not being used. The principle was simple. When water flows over limestone in nature in the presence of air, the carbon dioxide and water react with the limestone, and create the very soluble calcium bicarbonate. When this solution is allowed to evaporate, the reaction reverses and liberates water and carbon dioxide and re-forms the calcium carbonate. This is the mechanism that produces stalactites and stalagmites in a cave. It is also the explanation for "temporary hardness", the kind that can be removed by boiling the water. The limestone collects on the sides of the pan!
      So our water coming from Wyman Creek had a lot of calcium bicarbonate in it. This could be precipitated by adding just the right amount of slaked lime, calcium hydroxide. This produced a fine suspension of limestone. To take this out one adds alum, potassium aluminum sulfate. The water was alkaline and under these conditions it would hydrolyze into gelatinous aluminum hydroxide. If the water containing this was allowed to stand quietly, this gelatinous mess would gradually settle to the bottom of the tank taking the finely divided limestone with it. It also, of course, removed any other undesirable and insoluble impurites like dirt!
      I started to clean it up. There was a flush valve at the bottom of the tank used at intervals to remove the precipitated materials at the bottom of the tank.
      The clean water was then taken from near the top of the tank and if the process was working right you would get nice clear water, approximately neutral in pH with a hardness around 50-60 ppm.
      There was a series of filters to clean up any undesirable materials that made it through. The main tank was about eight feet high and about eight feet across so it had a useful volume of about a four hundred cubic feet or about 3000 gallons. My memory of the dimensions is approximate. There was a mixing tank on a shelf at the height of the top of the tank. One would fill it with water about two thirds of the way up. One would then titrate the water to find out the incoming water hardness. Then one would go to a graph I constructed that indicated how much lime was to be added. Alum would also be added and the oldfashioned lawnmower reel type mixer would be started. This would get mixed. Then as the reel turned there was a little cup that dumped a little of the mixture into the tank at the water inlet. The water coming into the tank came in a rush from the top into about a ten inch vertical tube leading to the bottom of the tank. This is where the softening material was added. The volume of the tank was such that the small inrush of water did not disturb most of the water. The water would rise very slowly in the tank and the gelatinous precipitate would gradually settle to the bottom.
      I was doing this on my own and wasn't telling anyone about it. I wasn't trying to surprise anyone, I was doing it as a chemical exercise. If we had the equipment, why not put it to use? But Holy Consternation, they were doing the midday dishes and they couldn't get the soap off the dishes. I had brought the hardness down from around 250 to around 50 and suds were everywhere! It wasn't as bad as Ensign Pulver's laundry fiasco in "Mr. Roberts" but it was our own pale imitation! I was able to keep the hardness around 60 while I was there. I don't know if it is still used or not.

      The second year we got a chef and his wife. He was a real chef and had worked in some of the finest restaurants in San Francisco. I think he took this job as a kind of lark. He was a large man with grey peppered hair and beard. He had skinny legs and looked the very epitome of Tweedle-Dee. He had a zest for life and would sing ribald songs while he was cooking. You could order what you wanted for breakfast and he would produce it. He had several students working with him in the kitchen and he tried to teach them how to cook. Liquor was supposedly forbidden in the valley but no one said a word when he cooked with wine. He and his wife were a crazy pair. She was skinny as a rail and had a dry deadly kind of humor.
      One day things weren't coming together right for lunch in the the kitchen. He was starting to get a little testy, a rare thing for him. He hollered at Joyce to get the wine from the larder and put it in the soup. She went and got the wine, came back and said, "How much?". He said testily, "Put it all in. Put it all in." So she did. She dropped the gallon bottle and all into the soup. It cracked him up and he came down to earth.
      One time he was teaching the boys about making chicken soup. He was doing his little lecture thing, not looking at what he was doing. While telling them that one always adds a little yellow food coloring, the students watched him pour in red food coloring. Our soup was orange that day!
      The Board would make a visit, probably once a year. They were a conservative and straight-laced bunch. But they enjoyed the cooking and there was nary a peep about the wine. When he made a special something it looked like it was straight out of a food magazine. He even cooked rattlesnake one time for those that were gourmet enough to try it. Later he started a restaurant in Idylwild, fifty or so miles southeast of Riverside in the mountains.

      His restaurant was called, The Chef in the Forest. It was said that he was becoming the darling of the Hollywood bunch. And some executive in Ohio would put the whole Board in the company plane once a year and fly out to the restaurant.
      His kitchen was out in one corner of the restaurant, right up front where people could see him as they came in. Again he would sing ribald songs and obviously enjoy himself while cooking. When you sat down they would bring a tureen of soup before one had even ordered. They would explain that they would be there for awhile, that it would be an experience and if they didn't have the time, they should have the soup and then come back when they wanted to spend the evening.

      Some years later when we were living in San Luis Obispo we visited them at Christmas. Snow all over. They lived up a hill and it was so slick that it was all we could do to make it up there with our '57 Ford. We had our St. Bernard with us. There was no room for him inside so he was tied to a tree outside and he apparently enjoyed it. There was going to be a lot of people so Warren had to use a snowbank outside to supplement his refrigerator. He threw a whole panel of ribs out in the snow. Unfortunately Toby's rope was not short enough to protect the ribs and he started having at them. Warren discovered it, salvaged what was left and had a great huge laugh about it.
      I wish this story had a happy ending but it doesn't. He was getting quite a reputation and a San Diego television station gave him a cooking program. He had a truck with a camper on the back. One time another person was driving him back to Idylwild, late at night. Warren was sleeping in the back. There was an accident and Warren was killed!

      ΚΚΚ We came to San Luis Obispo in mid-August 1963. We stayed in the Sleep-off-the-highway Motel for two weeks while we searched for a home.

      ΚΚΚ There was a lot of construction going on in the Laguna Lake area. A man named Ray Skinner was on the fifth phase of his development. They looked attractive but local realtors warned us about the terrible wind that came down Los Osos Valley from the Pacific Ocean about ten miles away! But when we looked at other areas of town we found used and abused houses that were not very attractive. So we went back to Laguna Lake.

      ΚΚΚ Now, 43 years later, there is a wind every afternoon. But it has been moderated by the buildings and the trees. We don't sit in the front yard anyway.

      ΚΚΚ We found that Mr. Skinner was being very ingenious in an effort to avoid the "Levittown" appearance. In each of the phases he had three standard floor plans. But he introduced variability by reversing the plans, changing the garage entrance from the end to the side, by changing the roof pitches and the roofing materials. Now twenty five years later it does not look like a development.

      ΚΚΚ Another man, Morgan Flagg, wanted to cash in on the popularity of the Skinner development but at a much lower price. He built a neighboring group of houses with carports instead of garages, similar designs and uniform setbacks and orientations. One could have shot out all the porch lights on a block with one bullet!. Little imagination. The three Skinner homes, two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom sold for $15,800, $17,900 and $19,100. The Flagg homes went for around $12,000. He could have used some imagination without significantly increasing the price.

ΚΚΚΚΚ The picture on the left was taken on the 14th of October 1963, six weeks after we moved in. The picture on the right was taken today, July 4, 2007, almost 44 years later.

ΚΚΚΚΚ We needed financing of course. The GI Bill gave us a 100% loan at just over 5% interest. One three bedroom home had been completed. It faced almost north and was on a triangular lot that gave a large sunny backyard. They would not let us buy the four bedroom house next door with an even bigger backyard because I did not make enough money! Anyway it wasn't finished, so we accepted our three bedroom home gladly!

ΚΚΚΚΚ There was no street lighting and the road was still gravel. And there was no driveway yet!!. We had no mail service for four months! We essentially moved in as the carpenters moved out. They had to come back and reset the master bedroom window when the sliding panel fell out on the floor.

ΚΚΚΚΚ I don't even remember our early furniture but was probably what might be called early primitive.

The Skylights
      ΚΚΚ I'm writing this on 1 July 2007, 43 years later. We are still here and have made many changes in the house. It started with a skylight in the living room. I built the skylight myself, about six feet long and sixteen inches wide using glass with wire in it to prevent danger should it become broken. I made metal flashing (I had them bent on a brake at a local plumbing shop) and thought I would try to get it under the existing rock and tar roof. Bad Mistake! I wound up cracking the existing tar paper underneath, which had become quite brittle. This compromised the roof quite seriously. As they say education is not free. I called a roofer and he fixed the damage and explained what I should have done! I have since installed three other skylights in our house and one each in two neighbor's houses. No leaks that I know of!

      ΚΚΚ To encapsulate the procedure, get in the attic and measure the distance between the rafters so you know what skylight to buy. Cut the hole to fit a commercial skylight, often 22" x 22". Pre-drill the flashing on the skylight. Slather a half gallon of Henry's Asphalt around the hole to cover the area of the flashing. Leave no channels for water to get in. Place the skylight and press it down till you have a good seal all around. Nail the skylight down through the pre-drilled holes being careful not to get too enthusiastic and bend the flashing. Put some Henry's all around. Then place a 6" band of fiberglass cloth across the bottom seam, then one up each side and the fourth one across the top. You do them in this order for the "shingle effect". Lastly, slather the rest of the gallon over the top of the fiber glass being sure it is worked in thoroughly.       ΚΚΚ There will be some drywall work. I strongly recommend hiring a professional to finish it off. Drywall is not a skill, it is an art! For this first skylight I had stripped a 4 x 8 foot piece of ceiling drywall off, leaving the rafters and the bottom of the roof in view. Also the eight foot wall now had to go to the roof! I have been incredibly fortunate using the "Services Offered" section of the local newspaper. I'm sure there are some bad workers offering their questionable efforts but I have never had a bad one. This time I got a wonderful old retired drywall man that only did occasional jobs if they interested him. He was a wonder to behold. He measured the size he needed, went out to his pickup and with a box knife scored the sheet. He then grabbed it on the end, give it a kind of snap and it broke off cleanly and perfectly. To him it was usual and pedestrian. To me it was a wonder!       ΚΚΚ When I took the 4 x 8 sheet down I ripped into the neighboring sheet just a little, probably about the size of three handprints. And the ceiling was textured. This didn't faze him. He started puttering around with drywall patch and and then called to Sauny saying, "Have you got a little instant coffee?" Sauny said, "Yes, Do you want me to make you a cup?" And he said, "No, I just need some to adjust the color to match the rest of the ceiling!" You don't get that kind of education out of books!       ΚΚΚ I left the rafters exposed and we just painted them white!       ΚΚΚ The bathroom had no windows. It was the "Black Hole of Calcutta" even with the lights on. So that was next! I did this one right! I then built a frame with 2 x 4's for the drywall. I tapered it as much as the ceiling structure would allow to get the maximum reflected light into the room. Again I hired a drywall artist to finish it off. The room is painted bright yellow. The overall effect was startling. The yellow color made the reflected light look like sunlight! For years afterward, when I passed the door, I would reach in to turn off the light I thought was on!       ΚΚΚ I then put one in the master bedroom and another in the third bedroom that had poor lighting. I lined these last two with vertical shiplap boards. Again we painted the rafters and left them exposed.

      I had done a Reserve tour at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Sauny had accompanied me. We had been interested in getting another dog. We drove over to a St. Bernard kennel in Indiana as I remember. They had a cute little pup about two months old, far too young to sell. But they said they could ship it to us.
      As we were about to leave Wright Pat and were driving on the entering road to a freeway. Our little dog, Mike, was in the back seat. I looked over to the right and saw a little dog, running along with us. I said, "Hey, that dog looks like Mike." A pause and then I said, "It is Mike!" We pulled over and let him in. He had been leaning on the window and when we turned to go on the entrance road he had lost his balance and out he went. If we hadn't seen him when we did we would have lost him!

      So when it was about seven months old they told us it was being shipped to San Francisco and we could pick it up at the airport. So we drove over from Deep Springs, up 395 toward Mono Lake and across the infamous Tioga Pass! We got to the airport and found the crate with "Toby" in it. There was a little bag of dog biscuits attached the side with a little sign that said, "I'm a little Saint. Feed Me!" We got him out of his wooden jail and drove back to Deep Springs. He was a terror to watch, all legs and head with a body that was about half the size it should have been. He was almost as clumsy as a new born moose. We had our great little "unpedigreed" dog called Mike. He was about a quarter the size of Toby. He would run and Toby would follow. Then he would make a right angle turn, Toby would get his front end around the corner but the rear tried to go straight and he would fall over on his side. One time when he was chasing Mike across the road to the circle, he tripped on the curb and went right down on his chin.
      We had an occasion the second year to take advantage of an invitation from the English teacher, Joe Meeker, to use their family cabin on the Rogue River by Crater Lake. On the way up, we went through Mt. Lassen Park. We let Toby out in the snow and he had a ball. He would put his nose down in the snow and run, spewing snow like a snow plow.
      We spent two weeks there, It was a beautiful A frame building with one large room. The river was straight out of the snow country and it was cold! Toby would run along the bank, go down and jump in and swim down about a hundred feet, then climb out on the bank, run back to where he jumped in and jump in again. Round and round! We were taking a walk one day and we crossed the river on a log. Toby came swimming toward us and tried to climb up on the log but couldn't quite make it. It looked like he was running out of energy and we were afraid he was going to drown. But we got him up on the log. In the thrashing about, trying to get on the log, he bruised his "elbow".
      When we got to San Luis Obispo it had developed into a kind of fluid sack that needed attention. We went to a vet on the north side of town. The vet wasn't there and we had to leave him overnight. We came back the next day and nothing had been done for his elbow but they had given him some shots without our permission or knowledge and they charged us an amount of money that seemed very large at the time, and unjustified. So we took him out and drove all the way to Bishop to have our vet there take care of him. He kept him for two weeks, did the operation and charged us very little considering what he did. He showed us how to clean the drainage hole and gave us the name of a vet in Morro Bay. We were very relieved and pleased with his treatment of us and did not feel a bit bad about the great distance we had to to travel.
      One time, earlier, when we were at Deep Springs, Toby swallowed a whole rib bone! Sauny panicked and I called that vet. He laughed and said, "Don't worry, it will dissolve in his stomach. If he should show some distress, bring him in."

      I might give one amusing anecdote. The Meekers lived in a duplex across the circle. He taught English. They had two very young boys. They were being raised bilingually. Shrock sounds like a German word. So after hearing their parents continually talking about Schrock, one of them asked, "Was ist ein shrock?"
      The lower ranch had a couple duplexes usually for the "workers" on the ranch. We had a Farmer that took care of the seven alfalfa fields. There was an Irrigator. And there was the obligatory and indispensable cowboy, Fogger Dunnigan and his wife. He of course had a big palomino horse. There was also a Jack-of-all-trades handyman named Jim Hughes. He did all the accessory work, the heating, the plumbing, the lawn and the maintenance of all the vehicles. And there was a man in charge of the non-academic part of the ranch called the Ranch Manager. I've forgotten who that was during our first year but they got a new one the second year. He was a graduate of University of California at Davis and was the son of the Chancellor of the California University System. His wife was a veterinarian. You would think he would have been great but he was a total bust, a bad ad for Davis! We had seven alfalfa fields which had to be irrigated. The Irrigator would get out with his shovel and direct the flow where it was needed.

      Twice one of the parents flew in in a Cessna, probably a 180. They landed on the highway. Both times they took Sauny and I up for a ride so we could see and photograph the campus from the air. The campus was at 5,200 feet and I wanted to be at 10,000 feet. The first time the pilot knew what he was doing and it was no problem. The second time I told him that there was always a good thermal at the mouth of Wyman Canyon. So he went over there, and flew right through it without noticing that his rate of climb indicator went from about 200 feet per minute to 1200 feet per minute and then back to 200 feet per minute. I told him that he had just flown through it. So he turned around and flew back through it again with noticing it. I said nothing but let him do his thing. He should not have been flying in mountains. He was what I would call a flatland Kansas type pilot.

      Wyman Creek had wild trout in it. I say wild trout because it was never "seeded" by the state. A couple times, fathers of one of the boys would have his fishing gear. We would put them in a Jeep, give them a lunch, drop them off at Wyman Creek at 10 AM and pick them up at 4 PM, shaking their heads. They said they could see them but none of them ever got a trout.
      But Sauny is a good old Missouri fisherman, being taught by one of those non-related maiden aunts with a feel of nature. She got out there in her bathing suit and stalked them and pulled in a 17 inch brown trout! So it could be done. She's the only one I knew that had caught a trout out of Wyman Creek.

      One day Sauny felt like taking a walk. She left about 9AM to walk down the valley toward Westgard Pass. I was to come about noon and pick her up. I did and she was about ten miles down the road.

      The second year we moved from the duplex at the lower ranch to a duplex on the circle at the campus.
      Toby was getting big but he was still a puppy by St. Bernard standards. He had the run of the place but refrained from chasing the cattle.
      One day we looked out the window and saw Toby coming up from the lower ranch where they did the butchering. And he had a prize! He had tugged the head of a steer they had butchered all the way up from the lower ranch, tugging it backwards the whole way, probably a half mile. Of course, we didn't let him keep it.

      And speaking of pets, the farmer brought us three Magpie nestlings he had found. He had killed the parents. Ranchers hated these birds because the bothered the cattle, probably picking insects off them. He knew Sauny was biologically oriented and didn't have a lot to interest her there, so he was trying to be nice. We got a cage for them somewhere. We went out in the field to find bugs and worms to feed them. One evening one of them was down on the floor of the cage and the next morning he was dead.
      So we redoubled our efforts and a number of days later the second one was down on the floor and in the morning he was dead.
      We tried even harder and finally the last one was down on the floor and I realized he was going to be dead in the morning. So I got to thinking and since they were carrion birds I went to the refrigerator, got a little hamburger and rolled it in my hands to mimic a worm. then I rolled it in the dog vitamins and we got it down his throat. The next morning he was up on the perch. He got hamburger and dog vitamins from then on.
      He grew and grew and became almost full size. He was about half trained but very wary. We would let him out of the cage and then would coax him back with a hamburger/dog vitamin worm. We had him outside one day, which we had done before, but this day we couldn't coax him back. We tried and tried and finally had to give up. He didn't fly away but he avoided being captured. The next morning we found some feathers on the lawn. We figured since he didn't have much flying experience. He was on the ground and one of the number of feral cats on the ranch had a good meal! We felt bad but I guess that's the way of the world.

      There was a knock at the door one night, probably about two in the morning. Two guys were there. They needed water for their car. They had been coming from Las Vegas and had come over Gilbert Pass. It was below freezing and they didn't have antifreeze in their car. They thought as long as the engine was running that they wouldn't have any trouble. What they forgot was during the long low power coast down the pass, the thermostat would close and not circulate water the radiator. The radiator froze and when they got to the valley floor and they had to use the accelerator and the water warmed, the thermostat opened and their water dumped out on the road. We gave them every container we could find so they could add water at intervals and hopefully make it over to the downslope of Westgard Pass where they could probably coast to Big Pine. They must have made it, we didn't see them again.

      One September 25th on our way to Bishop, we saw a number of tarantulas crossing the road. This "Tarantula Trek" continued for a month. Every time we went over we would see at least a dozen of them somewhere on the upslope from the valley.
      There was a long flat area between the two sides of Westgard Pass. About halfway there was a road to the north. It led up toward White Mountain to a UCLA Field Station of some sort. If one continued by, one would get to the 11,000 foot level and there were the famous Bristlecone Pines, said to be the oldest living things. They were impressive, windswept, contorted and looking like they had been dead for a longtime except for the little tufts of green that showed there was "life in the old girl yet".

      We had a rural postman. He would leave Bishop at about 8 AM six days a week and head over to Tonapah NV. Then he would come back to Coaldale? and turn down Fishlake Valley toward Dyer NV. This was our postmark. Then he would come over Gilbert Pass to Deep Springs. He would usually arrive around 5 PM, deliver the mail and then get on the road back to Bishop. He drove like a bat out of hell and it was considered somewhat hazardous to be coming up Westgard Pass between 5 and 5:30. You had to hug the blind curves, expecting him to come barrelling by any moment! On Sunday, he did maintenance. I think he told me he drove 5000 miles a month.
      I really should tell you about our telephone! Our postmark was Dyer NV, our postal frank was Dyer No. 1, and our phone came through Bishop CA. We really were in the proverbial boonies. It was a party line, one of those with a number like two shorts and a long. The wires were strung across the mountains from Bishop and were placed in between two power lines. This had an unfortunate consequence in a wind, which was rather common. The phone lines swung back and forth as did the power lines. But there is a magnetic field around the power lines. When the telephone lines swing back and forth through the lines of magnetic force from the power lines a current is generated in the phone line. If you were not careful to be grounded when you answered the phone, you could get one helluva shock. I had heard of people being knocked across the room!

      And then there were the "beer" hunters. They would leave their empty beer cases out in the hinterland. Apparently the empties were too heavy to carry home although they managed to carry them in when they were full.
      We heard about one of these so-called hunters that was probably hunting quail with a shotgun. Another hunter from Bishop, who presumably knew how to behave in the woods, had his young Weimeraner dog and was training him for hunting. They were in the same area. The first hunter, the ignorant one, drew a bead on a moving quail, followed it without clearing the field and shot the dog right in the rump. The owner could do nothing but put the dog out of its misery. He then went over to the other guy, yanked the expensive finely decorated shotgun out of his hands, went over to the nearest tree and beat the gun to pieces. The ignorant hunter just stood there and watched.
      There was a lot of quail running around all year, until the first shot of the hunting season. Then they would disappear until there were no more shots!

      Another time some of the students wanted to camp out over in the next valley, Saline Valley. I went along, not as an expert but just to go. I showed my ignorance when we decided to go to bed. We were on a slope and I couldn't figure out how to lie down in my sleeping bag so that I wouldn't start rolling the minute I went to sleep It was a miserable night for me.
      One time a couple of the fairly new students drove their old Plymouth (?) over to Saline Valley. They planned to be back by suppertime. They didn't show up and by about 10 PM we were getting worried. So several "expeditions" set out to find them. I had several students with me in our old jeep. We went up on top of Gilbert Pass, turned off the road and headed for a wash that led down to the Saline Valley floor. My thought was that if they were anywhere in the valley, they would be able to see our headlights as we came down the wash. We then drove down the length of the valley. We had a rifle and we started doing a shot once in awhile hoping they would hear us and flash their headlights so we could find them. We finally gave up and went back to the school. They showed up the next day after walking out to the road from Death Valley that crossed the valley toward Big Pine and were lucky to be able to hitch a ride on a passing car. They had gotten stuck in the sand in the large dunes at the south end of the valley. Then instead of staying awake and looking for the lights when they must have known we would be looking for them, they just went to sleep. Out there one can see a match for ten miles! I don't know what happened to the car. For all I know, it's still out there.
      Another time we were going down Westgard Pass on our way to Bishop. I was driving about 40 mph which was normal, at least for anyone that knew the pass as well as we did. The road was twisty as you might expect and we came around one corner and there was a Los Angelino coming up pulling a trailer and right in the middle of the road. There was a ten foot high cut in the rock on the right and a moderate drop on the left. I squeezed over as close to the rocks as I could, while braking. As we went by I heard the tick-tick tick-tick as our four bumpers just touched as we went by. I stopped, got out and went over to the other car, mad as hell. I told him, "If you don't know how to drive in the mountains why don't you stay home on the flatland." We were very lucky. And so was he.
      One time Sauny was driving, around the curves, right, then left, then right, then left, etc. I started watching her and something didn't look right. She looked fixated. After watching briefly, I reached over with my hand, blocking her vision for a very short time. If she was aware, she would have hollered at me. Not a peep. I didn't dare try to "wake" her, she was making all the correct turns. When we got to the bottom I tried gently talking to her and she became aware without realizing what she had just done. I have never understood how she did this. It must have been the same kind of semi-awake motor control that saved my life when I crashed my A-36 in Italy.

      Our chancellor, Ed Loomis, had a friend in the geography department at Berkeley. He was making a study of the glaciers in the White Mountains on the north side of White Mountain. There was a mesa-like flat north of White Mountain called Pellisier Flat. Ed and his friend, Doug Powell, were going to go up there overnight. They invited me to go along. I grabbed at the chance to do something new.
      I was not equipped for this. I was just plain ignorant. Doug would go up and down many times a year so it was easy for him. I made a kind of backpack to take along. It was very poorly designed and put too much pressure on my chest, particularly when I had to breathe hard. We drove around, over Gilbert Pass to Dyer NV and then up Fishlake to a Canyon with Indian as part of its name. While we started probably around 4,000 feet, we were going to go to 11,000 feet. With the restriction on my chest I had a hard time doing it but I got there. We camped up there with a cowboy that spent most of his time up there, I don't know why. He was affable, soft spoken and didn't talk a great deal. As I recall his name was something like Lloyd MacDonald. This is very vague so I don't put much stock in it. I was so rushed that I went off without my food. They put up with me and shared theirs with me. I was very embarrassed. Sauny noticed that I had left it behind, got into the Ford and followed us to try to catch us. She told me she was up to 100 mph going down Fish Lake Valley. But she was too late.
      One of my most interesting memories of this expedition was the time I wandered off by myself. and found myself in a kind of a broad saddle. On one side it sloped down to Owens Valley and Bishop. The other way it went down to Fish Lake Valley. I would swear that I found two creeks parallel to each other and not too many feet apart that flowed north for a bit and then each turned away from each other, going down to the two valleys on each side of the mountains. I was lying on the ground with my Alpa Camera and a 300 mm telephoto when a couple of mountain sheep passed by about a hundred feet away. That sight made the trip worthwhile.

      The college got its water from several miles away through cedar pipes from Wyman Creek. This was a year round creek whose water was very hard, running usually about 250 ppm. Crooked Creek also flowed into Wyman Creek but was seasonal. The water came into the reservoir and this supplied the entire ranch. It's water was fairly soft, running around 50-60 ppm. But it would dry up in late summer and only run when the high altitude snow was melting.
      Wyman Creek actually was underground for part of its length. They had a weir (calibrated flow measuring device) before the water entered the wooden pipe. It would then go several miles across the desert and empty into a reservoir. Once a year there would be a rather disgusting operation when they cleaned this reservoir. It was a mucky, dirty job but the students turned it into an extavagant fun time.

      When Christmas came, we decided to drive to Sauny's mother's home in Maryville MO. Several students wanted to go to a couple places in Missouri so they wanted to ride along. We agreed. We all piled into our 57 Ford Country Sedan and took off. Down through Las Vegas, to Flagstaff Arizona and over the Sangre de Cristos Mountains into New Mexico. I didn't know whether I could trust any of the students to drive so I drove till we were coming down the east side of the mountains toward Tucumcari NM. I was getting tired. So Sauny took over the driving for several hours while I napped. I took over again and we went through Amarillo. Tulsa and eventually got to Kansas City. As I recall we let one of them out here and proceeded to Maryville. I don't remember where the others got off. I don't know which was dumber, me driving all the way or letting one of the students drive. The old fighter pilot just couldn't let any of them drive, not knowing anything about their driving habits. I don't remember the drive back ar all. We obviously took it slower, probably stopping at a motel when part way back. I suspect we drove to Las Vegas and stayed there overnight. Their prices were excellent. They make their money on the machines.

      In the spring the students would have an Equinoctial celebration. They would light a huge fire up on the top of the rocky hill and do a lot of ritualistic kind of things mostly invented on the spot!

      This so-called Ranch Manager wanted to tear up all 7 alfalfa fields and relevel them all in one year. It takes several years to establish a good crop. You just don't tear them all up at once. He also bought an expensive bull which proved to be sterile. He was relieved from his duties a little later. We saw him one other time. He was a traveling salesman for some agricultural firm. He came through San Luis Obispo and was short of cash at an off hour. I took him down to Long's Drug and vouched for him and they cashed his check. I would not have been surprised if it bounced but it didn't.
      Fogger, the cowboy, was trying to upgrade the herd of about 500. When he came they were really of very poor quality but he had brought the quality up over several years by careful selection. In the summer they were driven up to a high meadow (Dead Horse Mesa?) at around 11000 feet where they grazed all summer. Then in the fall the students (with the cowboy, of course) brought them down and they had a roundup. The students looked forward to this and had been practicing their roping on a sawhorse with a fake bull's head on one end. It was an old fashioned roundup. The students had to rope the animals, throw them down on the ground, do the ear marking thing and the branding. They got a real large kick out of this although it probably got pretty tiresome after they got past three or four hundred head. I remember them herding the cattle through a chute with a double swing gate. One student would be on top of the fence and he would swing the gate to one side or the other to separate the calves from their mothers.

      There were Indian paintings near the bottom end of Wyman Creek and the story was that people had collected a number of Indian artifacts down by the corral.

      They brought in guest speakers occasionally on educational but interesting topics. One time they brought in Dr. Halton Arp, from Palomar Observatory as I remember. We had our old Jeep, a 1942 military one unpdated to using a 6 V battery. I offered to take Dr. Arp on a little drive down to Deep Springs Lake at the south end of the valley. The Jeep had a canvas top with an opening in the back. This acted like a vacuum sweeper. The dirt I turned up just whirled up and through the back and all over us. This had never happened before. What I hadn't taken into account was that they had just brought down about 500 head of range cattle which had pulverized the ground into a fine gray powder. I thought sure it would quit just a little bit farther down the road so I kept going. Suffice it to say that after probably an hour of this we finally arrived back at our duplex. Dr. Arp and I were both totally gray, head to foot, and he was supposed to give a lecture in a few hours. Sauny rose to the emergency. He took off his suit and she cleaned and brushed it till it was presentable. He cleaned the rest of himself, got dressed and delivered a nice lecture with nary a nasty word about his afternoon adventure.
      This picture was taken from the Web and will be removed immediately if there is an objection.

      An interesting feature of the education here was their feeling about Public Speaking. All the students participated in the Commons Room. It was required for all students every semester they were there. There were a couple of special nights. One night the student was to get up to the rostrum, the instructor would then give them a topic. They would be given a period of time, probably five minutes and then they were to give a five minute lecture on the subject. The one I can still remember was a lecture on the topic "Marginal Farming". The student thought and then described how a farmer would farm the margins of the field, between the fences and the roads. It was beautiful, very imaginative.
      Another night was the heckling night. The "audience" would do their best to rattle the speaker. It was kind of fun and provided an opportunity to learn how to hold one's temper.

      It was usual for the teachers to leave after two years. So I wasn't particularly surprised when the Chancellor and I were walking somewhere out in a field and he told me that I would not be retained.
      There was one exception. A history teacher named Martin. I'm not sure he was a real good influence on the students but I always hoped they would be smart enough to see through him. He didn't seem to like most people. He called them anthropoids and seemed to feel everybody else was on some lower plane of evolution.

      I remember looking out our back window one day and I saw a couple pretty blue birds hopping along in the field behind our duplex. When I looked closer I could see they would move a little bit and then stop. And then I noticed other birds doing it. And finally it was evident that there must have been at least a hundred of them, slowly, in spurts, moving across the field. Must have been a bunch of insects there. They were Mountain Bluebirds and were very pretty.


      When I got to San Luis Obispo I joined the local Reserves. It was the 9379th AF Reserve Unit.
      Several years later I transferred to the Wright-Patterson AF Base and worked as a chemist in the Materiels Command.

      About the year 2005, I was asked by Don Morris of the RAMs (Retired Active Men) to write a memoir of my time at Cal Poly, from 1963 to 1990. This is what I sent to him which I feel sure was sent to the round file as not in keeping with the Polyanna Spirit of the Request.


      It is with some reluctance that I comply with the request for Poly Memories. I have little confidence that what I have to say will be recorded for posterity. There is a tendency to glorify Cal Poly which will probably militate against any negative views, however justified.

      I came to Cal Poly at a critical time for the school and a rather unfortunate time for me. It was 1963. The school was rather small, probably around 5500 students. President McPhee was still in charge and had a lot of unique things going on that made Cal Poly special to the Legislature. It was said at the time that there were 17(?) State Colleges and Cal Poly. This attitude allowed the Legislature to make special concessions to us because we were "different" and had the reputation to back it up. The existing faculty was top heavy. There were no Chemistry or Physics Departments, instead there was a Physical Sciences Department, headed by one of the old time faculty members, a physicist, Dr. Bowles. There were seven chemists, all longtime employees and all full professors. They had had their own way for years and had no intention of releasing anything to any "new professors".

      I was the first addition to the chemists. I was also not young at 41, not fresh out of graduate school. I had been an orphan in 1936 and had learned to survive. I was a former Captain in the USArmy Air Force with 94 combat missions as a fighter pilot, straffing and divebombing in Italy, Corsica and Southern France. I left 28 of 45 comrades over there. After the war I went back to college on the GI Bill, earning a BS degree at ND Agricultural College, an MS at the George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Harvard University in 1956. I had several other jobs in industry and teaching before arriving here. I had encountered problems in these jobs which did not square with my ideas of how people ought to be treated and had formed certains opinions about what was acceptable and what was not. I had also formed the strength of character that allowed, even forced, me to act in certain ways when I encountered something I defined as unacceptable. This set up an inevitable confrontational scenario. I have never stood up for something that would benefit me. I have always stood up for that undefinable principle we call education and decent treatment for the underdog. I was an untenured Assistant Professor.

      I attempted to fulfill my duties within the existing framework. But it soon became evident that there were things that could not be accepted as they were. The laboratory manuals were written by existing full professors. I never knew what pecuniary advantage they received for this but the manuals were almost totally unacceptable. I started out trying to improve the manuals by re-writing the experiments and using handouts. They still had to buy the manuals but it eventually came to be that we never used them. After several years of this I thought the department should consider the re-writing on a departmental basis. At considerable personal risk, I finally was able to force a discussion in the staff meeting and we voted to re-write the manuals. I gladly accepted the "blame" for this and incurred considerable enmity within the entrenched full professors that were displaced from this probable income.

      We began to acquire more new, young Assistant Professors, and eventually became a department of 30 Ph.D. chemists, probably the largest in the State. One of the Full Professors took all the Senior Projects. They would not allow any participation by the lower ranks. This professor took two ideas of mine and in my opinion, butchered both of them. In anger, I demanded that my name be removed from one of them because of the poor chemistry that I wanted no part of. These were two of several confrontations.

      At the end of my fifth year the Physical Sciences granted me tenure and promoted me to Associate Professor. I credit the Physics professors for this promotion. I had encountered a particular problem with one of the Full Professors. At the end of this fifth year the Physical Sciences Department was phased out and there appeared a Chemistry Department and a Physics Department. The particular professor that thoroughly disliked me became the Department Head.

      Life became quite difficult for me. But I had no illusions that a different job would be any different so I decided to dig in my heels and make my career here. The payback for my actions came in scheduling and choice of classes I was allowed to teach. We had a one year organic chemistry class for majors, a third year course and was the first class where we began to train professional chemists. While it would be quite accurate to say that I was never allowed to teach this course in 27 years. I do have to admit I was allowed to teach the first quarter once on an emergency basis. They had the need and no else to assign it to. It was added at the last minute, the class room was in the engineering building which had none of the usual chemical assists like a periodic table. There were no textbooks for around five weeks, half of the quarter. I followed the grades of my students for the following courses and could not detect any radical change in their performance indicating that they were handicapped by this quarter and I do accept the credit for this. It was a very difficult quarter for me.

      I never got any equipment I asked for. I wanted a Carver Laboratory Press for making KBr pellets to use with the Infrared Spectrophotometer. I never got it by ordering it. Several years later one of the "newer" professors was given the job of re-vamping the B-Wing of the Old Science Building for use as a series of Laboratories for Physical Chemistry. He knew of my desire for this press so he ordered one for his labs and gave it to me when it arrived. I soon quit trying to order anything because I knew it would not come.

      They used to have a sign up sheet in the mailroom asking us what classes we would like to teach. I tried to sign up for this "professional" organic chemistry sequence and eventually got to indicating that it was number one and the rest were number five. This exposed that fact they would not schedule me into a class as a result of my desires or capabilities. So I quit participating after about fifteen years and never filled it out again. There was obviously nothing to be gained but irritation. About this time the Department Head had lost the confidence of the faculty, largely I've always believed because of his obvious treatment of me. I paid the price willingly to advance the professional welfare of the entire department. At this point the junior faculty took over the department although none of them were full professors.

      About this time I came up for Full Professor. There were six Full Professors still there and I was rejected unanimously. A year later I came up again and was again rejected unanimously. But this time the University-wide Personnel Review Committee asked if I wanted them to look into it. I told them to go ahead, that I thought they would find it interesting. While I don't remember ever seeing it, I was told that they wrote an excoriating letter to the department, after which the Department Head, the Dean and the rest of the train voted to promote me, over the unanimous objections of the Full Professors. Later it became apparent what happened. There was a system in place that required the person voting to assign a number between 1 and 5 to the person they were evaluating. One had to average 3.5 or better to be promoted to Associate Professor, But one had to average 4.5 or better to be promoted to Full Professor. I did see these numbers and 5 of the 6 were 4.5 or above, one was 3.3. It was a rather obvious "blackball" system since they had an unwritten agreement that which ever way the vote went, they would all sign the final document that way. So, although 5 voted to promote by the number, when the final document was signed they all signed for non-promotion. I have always felt that they didn't mind "changing" their vote, knowing that if I got into their club I not only wouldn't change my vote for anyone, I would make it clear to everyone else just what they were doing. I have always considered them as hypocrites and have little respect for their behavior.

      About this time is when the "return to active teaching" of the department head turned the department over to the junior faculty. I was in the department for probably another ten years. I went through a lot of hell to make the department into the decent department that it became. BUT NOTHING CHANGED FOR ME. I was still the academic pariah, even to my "friends".

      I retired, finally, with a good deal of happiness and relief. I doubt anyone has ever retired from Cal Poly with the alacrity and relief that I did. I have little or nothing to do with it to this day. Somewhat later I went to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, one of the junior chemistry faculty that came to us right out of graduate school, and asked him to please take my name off his maiing list, that I got angry every time I received a letter from him and I didn't need that aggravation.

      This is the first time I have written about this. And I believe it will be the last. The now-old faculty still does not understand what they did to me. Frankly I no longer think they even care, if they ever did. [End of letter]

      I might recount a few things that happened while there. My first day, in September 1963, Dr. Kennelly was showing me around the department. As we went down the hall we passed a small laboratory that was set to run Kjeldahl analyses for nitrogen in foods, fertilizers etc. It was the old method that involved maybe a dozen samples in flasks with probably at least 100 ml of concentrated sulfuric acid heated by an electric heater to close to 200 degrees C. A weighed sample of the material was in the flask and the mixture was digested for a certain period of time. Then the mixture was poured into another Kjeldahl flask with 100 ml of 50% sodium hydroxide. This was in itself a relatively dangerous process if it got out of hand.
      This hot soulution was placed on a second rack above the first rack and heated by another set of electric heaters. The top of these flasks had a rubber stopper, a bent glass tube leading to condensors and the other end of the condensors was connected with another bent tube that led to an acid soluton to absorb the ammonia that was produced. The acid was then titrated with a standard base which led to a calculation of the amount of ammonia produced by the sample. The % nitrogen in the original sample could then be calculated.

      The first danger was the possibility that the hot sulfuric acid flask could somehow be tipped over spilling this exceedingly corrosive mixture over whatever was between it and the floor. And of course there would be the inevitable splashing on whoever's unlucky foot was in range.
      The second danger was that the rubber stopper in one of the overhead flasks could come loose and then that flask would be freestanding on the heater and almost inevitably would spill its hot very concentrated lye solution over the person below. It never happened that I know of but the hazard existed and would have been extremely serious.
      The problem with it was that someone, that was trying to avert such a dangerous process, had worked out a small scale version with little hazard that could be done out in the regular rooms. A special room was no longer needed. And it was accepted as a legal analysis for nitrogen.

      The presence of this room surprised me and in my direct, often tactless way, I blurted out with a bit of a laugh, "Good grief, you're not still doing that here?" How was I to know that he took special pride in the large process and said, "The small prodcedure is not accepted legally." I didn't argue the point but it was my understanding that that was not true! That made me a pariah to him and five years later he became department head.

      Many years later, after he was gone, the department decided to dismantle that equipment. The man that was put in charge of doing it, ran the stockroom and we got along very well. He brought me a wrench and invited me to take out the first bolt!

      One of the other full professors also taught biochemistry. I hate to say I didn't have much respect for what he did. He had what was called an animal room. There was a time when he raised Cuban cockroaches in it for some "educational" purpose. But they were so careless in handling the excrement and other droppings that they allowed many eggs to hatch. The cockroaches got into the basement and mutiplied and mutiplied! I had an occasion to go down there one time and I went right back up. They were all over the place! It was a collosal infestation. I told the other people about it but they just didn't seem to care and I made no further fuss.
      He, ostensibly, used the room to show the effects of feeds on chickens. This room was just across the hall from the Kjeldahl room. It was a terrible room. There were no lights or windows and the door was almost always closed so the chickens were in total darkness 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
      One time he opened a sack of chicken feed in the lab and it had some kind of larvae in it. So he sprayed it with a chemical to kill them and then proceeded to feed it to the chickens. It almost killed them. They had diarrhea and other problems. I had no idea how this could be justified as some kind of education. I made no secret of what I thought of this.
      Eventually the department finally decided the room had to go. I was very pleased when the stockroom manager asked me to make up a regimen for cleaning the place. It was a job!

      Another of the full professors taught analytical chemistry. He also wrote the lab manual for the two quarter Chemistry for Engineers course. It was a totally inappropriate group of experiments, a kind of mini-quantitative analysis lab. It was a bunch of things he liked to do but the engineers got nothing pertinent to their needs. I was put in this sequence and I admit I enjoyed teaching these labs. But I gradually replaced all the experiments with handouts. When the department finally decided the manuals should be re-written, they gave me the responsibility of rewriting this manual. It was easy. I had all the experiments on handouts. I was determined to make an extreme example about how this could be done. I used all the editing tricks I learned while working at Chemical Engineering News, had it produced at Achievement House and the Bookstore was selling them with their 20% markup for 37’! I eventually found a reasonable and good commercial printer and he kept the price under a dollar for several years. We finally set up a non-profit corporation, off campus, and took a royalty. We used it to buy things we couldn't get through the normal buying procedures and to help students attend chemical meetings.

      An organic professor retired a number of years after I got there. Another organic professor went with the anti-Dills group. I wondered why. I finally grabbed onto the idea that I alienated him one day at lunch in the Faculty Dining Room. I have no use for religion but we live in a world littered with them and I am curious about things. He happened to be a Mormon so I started asking him questions about it. I think he completely misunderstood my interest and thought that he might have a potental convert on his hands. After a time he gradually realized I was not and never would be a candidate and I think it turned him against me.
      He still calls me around Christmastime, just to chat. I think he is fulfilling some Mormon duty.

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