Home

Bud and Ellie

May 16, 2015

Look who came to town… my Aunt Ellie and Uncle Bud!

IMG_6496

These crazy kids — 82 and 90 — drove all the way up from Long Beach. Their trip has included stops along the way in Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Oakland.

Our first Davis day included a trip to Farmer’s Market, lunch at Bistro 33, a stint at the finish line of the annual Davis Double Century, and a short tour around Davis which included a drive through campus, a train station drive-by, and a stop at Compassion Corner.

We ended the day with a wonderful bbq’d salmon dinner at our house. Thanks, Jim; great job!

Uncle Bud fascinates [us all, but especially] Peter. He became even more fascinating to our physics-obsessed kid when he learned that Uncle Bud’s doctorate from CalTech was in physics (we thought it was chemistry) and that J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atomic bomb) was on his PhD review committee. And that Uncle Bud’s research included making adjustments to what was then the accepted calculation for the speed of light (which attracted Oppenheimer to his lab in the first place). And he went to Berkeley. And UCLA.

I think Peter has a new hero.

(No hero will ever supersede his dad. But Uncle Bud is his new physics man crush, for sure.)

And I learned, among many other things, that Uncle Bud is *extremely* humble and would likely not be comfortable with even this amount of sharing. He would not have copped to any of this, but for Aunt Ellie’s giving it up. Accomplished and humble.. one of the better human combos.

(And she’s no slouch… UCLA and Stanford for that one.)

I am very glad to hear he’s taking a memoir writing class at CSU Long Beach. This is great, because there are numerous other parts of his life that are worth documenting, from flying P51 combat missions in China at age 17; to getting shot down over Burma, breaking his leg after bailing out, and getting rescued in the jungle a few days later; to working for Howard Hughes on the Spruce Goose. Ho hum.

I even volunteered to help him write the memoir (wouldn’t that be a great gig!).

Anyway, until now, all this college talk would have been beyond meaningless to Peter, but now, immersed in college planning, he’s pretty impressed with all the family connections to schools that are at the top of his dream list.

Context is everything.

Well, we have one more day of visiting tomorrow; we’ll see what else we can uncover. It’s nice to have so much time with my aunt and uncle.

Do you know how long my Aunt Ellie has been in my life? Well before she even met my uncle (to whom she’s been married over fifty years)…

This long:

IMG_6495

In case this isn’t readable, this is what it says, sent via Western Union from Lubbock, TX–where she was on some kind of business trip–at 8:46am, January 26, 1956 (the morning following my birth):

IT’S WONDERFUL TO HAVE YOU IN THE FAMILY SWEETIE TELL YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY I THINK THEYRE PRETTY SWELL AND TELL THEM NOT TO SPOIL YOU BEFORE I GET A CHANCE, SLEEP LOTS AND BE A GOOD KID MUCH LOVE TO YOU KARIN FROM YOUR PROUD AUNT ELLIE

Addressed to me, Karin Ann Peterson, 129 39th St., Manhattan Beach, Calif.

[Note: My name isn’t Karin now, nor was it then. Someone in the Western Union office goofed up.]

2 Responses to “Bud and Ellie”

  1. basykes Says:

    My physics claim to fame, in addition to typing a textbook (Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics), still used in some places today, is that I worked briefly for both Owen Chamberlain and Emilio Segre, who together discovered the anti-proton. Autographs available on request.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: