B-24 Co-Pilot in WWII. Geologist, Paleontologist, NSF Program Administrator, Husband and Father.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Very Different Sort of Family Life

Although this blog is about my father's book, and his adventures as a copilot in WWII, my memories, now that I'm older than he was when he died, often revolve around growing up with him as a father. He never talked about the war, but very often discussed his work. This memory gives a glimpse of how that affected us:
The main differences between my household and those of my friends, revolved around the fact that my father's profession was unusual. When we first moved to Tucson, he was the only paleontologist in the Geology Department at the University of Arizona. Many kids I knew had fathers who were professors, but I was the only one whose father was a vertebrate paleontologist (he defined that as "a paleontologist with a backbone"). Anyway, two major differences were that dinner-table conversation in our house sometimes revolved around Pleistocene (Ice Age) mammals like dire wolves and mastodons; and the object that we used for a doorstop in the living room was a whale vertebra. I don't think it was a fossil, but I don't know for sure. It was pretty big, and looked much like this photo. --KL