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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ed Curtis, aka Dad

William Edgar Curtis in office, Roberts Hall, Spring 1941
His doctorate involved a study of food location by bats and owls; a Google check turns up citation after citation for "Curtis, 1952." That'd be him. He also wrote a book I was startled to find recently in Amazon listings: The Learning Game. It was published in October 1974 - but by "published" I mean mimeographed by Mom. Print run was 100. But there it was on Amazon (though not actually available). Here's his preface to that volume, designed as a guide to college students:

Most books have prefaces. I do not know why.

Few persons read them. When they do, they rarely get better set for the reading of the book that is being prefaced. Sometimes I read a preface pretending that I am a scholar and should proceed through the book in an orderly manner. When I do this, I usually lose interest in the book before I get started with the main reading.

Ed Curtis in the 1930s
The usual preface (at least my impression of them) seems to assume that the reader has already read the book! "In chapter four, I take the concept of depriphasiality seriously to task." But I do not know what that is because I have not read chapter four yet.

There is no preface in this book.

In the process of going through a number of family photos recently, I came across a lovely batch of photos of dad - photos I don't think I'd seen before. He was born December 11, 1917, and died June 15, 1975. He was a pioneering researcher in echolocation in bats, a hobby painter, and an associate professor of biology at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. And I miss him. Love you, Dad!

4 comments:

Cassandra Mortmain June 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

Your family seems singularly great, Maggie. I just love reading about them. And I know just how your dad feels about prologues.

Valerie June 20, 2011 at 3:05 PM  

I am shocked by how much your dad/Grandpa looks like Paul (the shot I'm reacting to is the "what" shot at his desk, looking over his shoulder).

Katherine Curtis December 11, 2017 at 6:20 PM  

I have been wondering where the ice skating picture ended up. I referred to it just the other day, when describing my amazing father to a friend.

Maggie Thompson December 11, 2017 at 6:46 PM  

Hey, Katy, I have the photo. Somewhere. Hoping to put photos in order at some point in 2018.

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