Saturday, January 07, 2006

Old friends...

Old friends are the best friends, and Friday we had a chance to spend an afternoon with two of my oldest academic friends. Carroll Pursell and Angela Woollacott are up from Australia for their annual Christmas stay with family, and joining us for lunch was Bruce Sinclair, who actually has been Carroll's closest friend since undergrad days at Berkeley in the late 1950s. Angela's celebrating the release of her new book, Gender and Empire, to which we all drank a toast.

Carroll was my mentor at U.C. Santa Barbara during the 1970s, launched me on my first big book project, a history of energy production and consumption in California, and gave me many other opportunities over the years.

I met Bruce in 1977, at my first annual conference of the Society for the History of Technology, held at the Smithsonian Institution. Bruce is a sailor, too, and with his wife Gail (another academic friend, with whom I went to graduate school), sails a Bristol 35.5 in Maine during the summer and fall, and sails a Gary Mull 30' sloop (one of four built) on San Francisco Bay during the winter and spring.


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