00:51:23 - 00:57:03 Youngs, Robert L.
Youngs, Robert L.; University of Massachusett; Comstock, Gib; Whyerhowzer Corporation; Beckler, Roy; Tarkow, Harold; wood preservation; Montre, Hank; coffee group, employee buildings and facilities; Caulfield, Daniel F.
Well, I guess maybe switching gears a little bit; do you have any specific memories about working at the Forest Products Lab with certain people or interesting stories, memories that you would like to share?
Well, I'll have a shot at it. Certainly the people, I mentioned Bob Youngs, you know he visited my University of Massachusetts as an undergraduate and he had a lot to do with my getting to the Lab in '65 and then '67 and then '69. He went on to become a director. The work that I did for my master's thesis, I worked in a lab overseen by Gib Comstock, who later went on to Weyerhauser Corporation, but I was dazzled by Gib, he was a very brilliant guy and to this day I regret I don't think I gave him proper due, but he was very helpful and kind and generous in guiding my research then. I mentioned Roy Baechler, in the field of wood preservation, I just hold him in the highest regard. Another fellow was Harold Tarkow and I recognized his name, read about him as an undergraduate, on some of the physics of wood really, or physical chemistry of wood, and some years later, Harold, I think it the second or third reorganization at the Lab I ended up in an area where he was assistant director. I was in wood preservation and one of the things I really liked about Harold was that he would quite often wander down the hall and stop in, and plop down in a chair and ask what was going on and propose ideas.
Of course we were under the gun to publish and while we could spend a little time messing around in the lab just trying out things, we had [laughs] to keep our focus mostly on specific studies to meet obligations and deadlines and get publications. And so quite often I would---I really enjoyed and was stimulated by conversations with Harold, but I would have to say to him, that's a nice idea yeah I'll have to think about that. If he came back a second or third time, then I would follow up and run this little experiment that he had suggested. I always admired Harold and appreciated the fact that as an administrator he still found time to---because it really wasn't in his job description---but he would stop and have a real genuine interest.
Another one that I have fond memories of is Hank Montrey. I didn't know him well, he had been in the engineering area early on when I was at the Lab, I knew him a little bit because we would sometimes play ping-pong over the noon hour and I loved that and he was an outstanding ping-pong player. But he left, he went to industry for quite a while, he then went, rejoined the Forest Service and went to the Washington Office and then came to the Lab as deputy director and head of research. Later went on and took a Forest Service position as I think a station director or something like that. But anyway, Hank was very good for me in that we had some conversations, he pressured me one time to overcome my fear and stand in, be an acting project leader. I didn't really aspire to administration and I very reluctantly agreed to do that, and mostly because he did quite a bit to bolster my self-confidence so I'll always be appreciative of that. But I guess those the main ones, there were a lot of other people, a lot of good friends at the Lab.
I have to mention our coffee group over in building 33 and the wood chemistry and wood fiber people who were in building 33 and 34 as opposed to the main building 1, you know the original. We had coffee breaks twice a day, and pretty much the same group, and it was always really stimulating, I mean topics were all over the place, but lots of times they had to do with work, or politics, or [laughs] or you know one thing or another, it was pretty wide ranging, but real stimulating. Dan Caulfield was one of these, a physical chemist, he's retired but continues to be a friend and an amazing guy, incredible memory and very original thinker, so I really valued those conversations although you know our work didn't overlap much at all. Once a couple of times it did over the years a little bit. So I guess that probably in terms of that question.