Now I'm getting the chance to read books I didn't have time for before. Think of me whenever you see the slogan "So many books, so little time!" Now I've got the time. Cheers, Fred.
1. MY PRE-CHANGE BIOGRAPHY
Written on March 25, 2009
I was born in 1940 in San Antonio, TX, where my father's family lived. After several months we moved to Florida where my father, a civil engineer with expertise in sugar-cane refineries, had a great job. But shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, my father joined the army. First he took my mother, sister, and me to live in my maternal grandfather's big house in Franklin, LA. Grandpa and I were the only males in a home with three of his daughters and my sister. Grandpa became like a second father to me during the WWII years. After WWII ended my father and an uncle returned to their wives and to live with us. [In part (4) I tell about some significant events during my childhood.]
Jumping ahead, I got a B.S. in Physics from Louisiana State University in '62, then went to grad school at Indiana University where I met my wife Doris. We got married in '64. After I got a Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics in '67, we moved here to Ames, IA - a college town we love and where we raised two children, Jennifer and Steve. I started as a postdoc and worked my way up the academic ladder at Iowa State University to be a Full Professor of Physics. I had an exciting and successful career, but I planned to take early retirement in May '99 so Doris and I could travel before her rheumatoid arthritis curtailed traveling. However, on March 25, '99, she had to rush me to the ER at the Ames hospital when I was undergoing a rapidly-increasing weakness all over, due to a severe neurological attack. Much later, in Dec '02, I wrote the following letter to review and explain to non-family how this led to a major lifestyle change.