At a recent alumni association field trip (see ^zhurnal 9 May 2001, ZenGeology) I met "GR", grad student from the University of Maryland --- a funny, pretty young woman, who grew up in the Washington DC area, went away to study in the Pacific Northwest, and recently returned to this region. We talked a bit at the luncheon afterwards and the conversation turned from geology to geneology, especially the risks of discovering less-than-savory characters in one's background. GR mentioned a "Sally Hemmings" type event in her North Carolina ancestral past, and described some of the detective work that she had undertaken to learn more about it. We exchanged stories about crazy uncles who either killed themselves or somebody else, criminal forefathers, and so forth. Both of us were lucky to have had somebody in a previous generation who cared enough (and had the time and resources) to trace back at least some branches of the family tree.
Another lunch-table conversation that day was with a Caltech grad from half a century ago, Class of ~1950. He had been a member of Dabney House, one of the original four 'Tech undergraduate dorms, but somehow never ventured into the steam tunnels that penetrated the underside of campus. And back then, as far as he knew, the graffiti "DEI" (= "Dabney Eats It") and "FEIF" (= "Fleming Eats It Faster") weren't yet in use. Both are now ubiquitous, and have appeared as in-jokes in such movies as Real Genius.
Friday, May 11, 2001 at 06:10:26 (EDT) = Datetag20010511