01:13:04 - 01:20:24 Swiss Exchange Student
Swiss exchange student; Weatherwax, Dick; ACME Industries; Moore, Wayne; characters, memories; Clark, Ira; Hall, Alfred; Harris, Elwin; Stan, Al
Yeah, it's great.
Well we had a Swiss student you know. I don't know, what was his name, I can't remember his name it started with a "B"---that worked under Jack. You know we had foreign students that would come and work under people here. What in the heck was that guy's name, I can't remember. Anyhow he was a Swiss grad student that was working under Jack. Well he and Jack clashed also, he had nothing good to say about Jack. Well it takes all types. And then we had Dick Weatherwax, Dick was a chemist, Dick had maybe a master's degree, I forget from where. Dick was sort of a rich man's son also. Dick's father and uncle owned ACME Industries over at Jackson, Michigan I think it was. ACME Industries was a supplier to the auto industry, they had a big three hundred person plant over in Jackson. For some reason Dick did not want to go with the family business, one of his cousins was in the business, his father's brother's son was in the business, and Dick for some reason didn't want to go with the business. So at first Dick was working out at Trona in California, it's a big dry bed lake where they were getting out the salts, well that was his first job out of college and eventually he ended up here. Oh Dick was a good guy, he was a nice guy, but he had this rich man's son's background but he wasn't as stuck-up as Rowe was. Now I don't know whether you like this stuff or not or want this stuff, there are always these conflicts, there are always these personality clashes in any organization that you run into, you will find things like this going on.
We also had another rich man's son, well maybe he wasn't, his wife was rich anyhow. Wayne Moore, Wayne was the head of our analytical laboratory, chemistry lab, you know, analytical chemistry lab. Wayne was sort of a quirky character, I would go in with him sometimes, sometimes I needed a special analysis one that wasn't routine and I would go in and say Wayne can you devise a technique to analyze for this. And Wayne, one time I was sent to his office, Wayne whipped open his drawer, pulled out a memo from Locke and the memo said that he didn't have to do that [laughs], which he didn't. He was okay, I mean on routine analyses he was okay. He had worked on at Badger ordinance and he was from the South and his wife was from the South and she owned vast tracts of timberland in the South so when he retired he went south down to Arkansas and built himself a nice house and all this. Oh anybody else? I'm talking about the characters you know.
Well there was Ira Clark of course [laughs]. Anyhow there are lots and lots of people that I knew. I mean I worked here for forty years and so you know you got to know a lot of people that's for sure. Ira was always bugging Ed Locke for a promotion. Well first he was bugging Hall, J. Alfred Hall. Hall was sort of a, well I don't know if I should go into Hall or not. Hall had worked here before he was out at the Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, before he became director out there he was just a chemist here. The primary---the big names at that time were Elwin Harris, E.E. Harris. E.E. Harris was working on ethanol from wood, he was doing work to get data for the Springfield plant. Al Stamm, I don't know if you've heard of Al Stamm or not, Al wrote a couple of books and he was a well known chemist, you can still find references to Al Stamm's work in today's literature. Al Stamm was sort of our super scientist, not working on the real practical stuff but on more theoretical stuff, Al Stamm was. So there was Elwin Harris, Al Stamm---those were the two big names when I first came, well Harris had gone when I came because Hall was made director. Now I don't know if you want all this gossip or not [laughs].
It's up to you.
Well I'll tell this story anyhow. Hall had worked here, he had worked with Elwin, he had worked with Stamm. Stamm did not like administration he was a division chief at one time, he was unsuited for administration. And when they learned that Al Hall had been promoted to director of the Laboratory, Harris and Stamm sort of organized a meeting where they were sort of wringing their hands, what are we going to do, Hall is coming, J. Alfred Hall is coming, what are we going to do? Apparently there were several people in this meeting, quite a number because it leaked out and Hall heard about this [laughs]. By the time I had arrived Al Stamm was working with one Swedish graduate student, you know, that was it and Elwin Harris had moved off to Rose Polytechnic Institute in Indiana. So that's how it used to be. Now I just heard this you know I had nothing to do with this, these were just stories permeating the place when I came. I knew Stamm a little bit. But Stamm was sort of the super scientist, well Harris had done a lot of work on hydrolysis as had Jerry Saeman who did some of the main work, theoretical work, on wood hydrolysis and Jerry is still quoted today in some of this stuff too.
Oh I'm trying to think of others, well really that was about the list of quirky characters. Stamm was a nice guy.