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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #938: Sykes, Marguerite (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (July 22, 2008)

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00:35:35 - 00:39:18 Memories

memories, stories, social activities, Forestettes, picnics, colleagues, blizzard

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Were you involved in any other social activities associated with the Lab?


Not very much at all. I think it was a group called the Forestettes and I felt I really didn't have that much in common with them but I went occasionally, not very often. I guess occasionally the Lab had picnics and I would go occasionally to that. No I didn't, I wasn't a socialite. And I guess maybe I'm a more reserved person, I don't seek out those kind of activities.

Other people from the Lab though who were meaningful, I think we had such wonderful support from editing, the women there, and from photography and from statistics and there were just key people all across the Lab who I think about very often because they were just so super to support what you were doing and that was very nice. [I worked closely with John Klungness and Freya Tan on several projects in recycling and fiber loading.]

One thing I had jotted down about some little story about the Lab---at one time---this was in the recycling period and so I guess we're talking about the late '80s, early '90s maybe---the pilot plant did some contract work. They didn't call it contract work it was ["co-op" work] something like that but it was trying to solve industry's specific problems and so industry would come with some product that they were trying to evaluate on a pilot plant scale. This was, this specific event, was the first weekend I think it was in December and there was, well it turned out to be a blizzard, but I knew because of the storm that was coming, not many people would make it in to the Lab, I knew these people had come from New York and it was a very simple thing for me to walk in. There probably were five people out in the pilot plant to staff, you know, the group coming. And when the guys came here from the visiting group it was like you know what is this? Oh the Lab was closed because of the bad weather and the University closed down that time too and they said [thought] what are these wimps in this town, you're closing everything down just because of a little snow. Well this was the, what seven o'clock in the morning and by noon when we all were going out to lunch we couldn't get the cars out of the parking lot, so we had decided to walk just down a little ways on University Avenue. It took forever to plod through the snow and the wind blowing. And we got to a restaurant, which was only two [three] blocks away, their help hadn't come in, their supplies hadn't come in. We ended up with having a bowl of soup essentially served by the same person, and it was kind of wild but we got the project done and I don't know how long it took to get those guys out of town. But that was one fun event that I kind of remember.

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