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In footnotes or endnotes please cite AIP interviews like this:
Interview of William Hay by Jean Yehle on 1992 March 9,
Niels Bohr Library & Archives, American Institute of Physics,
College Park, MD USA,
For multiple citations, "AIP" is the preferred abbreviation for the location.
In this interview William Hay discusses topics such as: the University of Illinois and Enrico Fermi; Fritz Coche; Bob Ginsberg; biostratigraphy; Mohole project; deep sea drilling project; Maurice Ewing; Bruce Heezen; continental drift; University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; Lamont-Doherty earth observatory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; National Science Foundation; Cesare Emiliani; sea floor spreading; Warren Bixley; Max Bromwitz.
There are three things I would like to talk to you about. One is when you used to come through here with your students, you were pretty young yourself and you had a bunch of students. And two was when you joined the faculty and who was here and three would be the beginnings of the deep sea drilling project, which I’m sure you had a big part in. And four would be the period of time when you redeemed before you back to Jordan. So, let’s start with Fermi and the students and what you were doing there.
Well, we started out from the University of Illinois. I was a new professor there. And it was suggested to me there that they didn’t have anybody who was doing work in recent marine things and they thought that would be a nice thing for someone to undertake. So I did a survey of labs, which was in 1961 in the winter and looked at laboratories in several different places: down at Texas, along the Gulf Coast, and then went over to the Binamy [?] laboratory, also stopped by here, but we were looking for a marine field station primarily. And then wrote a proposal to study the carbonate sediments and the Binamy area. And that was funded, and so for about eight years we used to come down and several times a year and spend two weeks at a time and considerable part of the summer over at the laboratory in Binamy, and then would stop here on the way to and from and visit people at the lab here. And that’s how I got to meet Chezare and Fritz Coche and Bob Ginsberg. Bob Ginsberg was in town at that time and he used to drop by from time to time too. Later on we started coming down taking a field trip with students with students down here. We’d have about 25 students on the field trip and usually bring them by up here on the way to Binamy and give them a chance to see this place on the way. Then I spent a sabbatical year here, and I guess that was 1966-67. Well, let’s see, the people who were here then were Chezare, of course, Jim Jones and Buddy Bach, Chris Harrison.
And by this time you were working in biostratigraphy.
Yeah. Out of Illinois.
Out of Illinois.
But travelling to Europe a good deal, I can imagine.
Fairly frequently, yeah. Spending a lot of the summers and time during the summer here at that time. So I had two things, two projects I was working on, one was there shallow water carbonates in the Bahamas, and the other was calcareous nano-fossils and their biostratigraphy.
I remember your giving a lecture and for some reason I was the designated person to go. I was then taking marine biology with Harding Arory [?] and she wanted me to go and listen to you talk about coccoliths. And when I came back she says, “Well did he say what they were?” And I think you had. I think you had said they were platelets that fell from a plant or something. She, of course, worked in zoplanes. Anyway, I interrupted. Go ahead.
So, people sometime during that sabbatical year, that Ruth Trencher told me, she said sometime you ought to talk to Fritz Coche about moving down here. And that seemed like a pretty wild idea to me, but I went and I talked to Fritz, and he was very enthusiastic about it and Chezare was very enthusiastic about it. And so starting in 1968 I guess, I think it was ’68, we worked out a joint arrangement where I was a professor at the University of Illinois and at the University of Miami, and alternately on leave of absence from one institution to be at the other each semester.
Did this further your work in anyway?
Oh, yeah, it really did.
Because you could work in the sediments here?
Were you interested in the Florida base sediments, I remember us doing quite a lot in Florida. That was Buddy Boch and some other people.
Yeah. And we have a lot of Illinois students that came down here and worked in the Florida Bay and on the Reef Track. And they spent different lengths of time down here. I was trying to think. Then there were a good number of students — I used to teach in Oceanography course at Illinois and there were a good number of students that actually came out of that. Some of them came down here. I don’t know who they all were, but I do remember Howard Hansen and John Steinmets and Jim Belinsk. There was a pretty good number. They weren’t just in Geology.
But they were more general. Oceanography. Hansen became actually Atmospheric Scientist, didn’t he?
How about Dr. Huffmeister?
I didn’t know Ed that well, really.
And he was working still in coral reefs.
Right, yeah. I think he was already retired when I came here, but I’m not sure.
Well, he retired of course from Rochester in about 1961, and he came down here in a second retirement and he worked from about ’61 to ’70 or so on the similarities of sediments in the bank of the Bahamas and here. Mostly on the structure of Florida. And then of course, he did that definitive book for the lay person which is called Land From the Sea. Gray Molter was the him.
Yeah. Yeah. Gray was down there for a year.
But tell me about Project Loco, if you remember it. Chezare’s project.
Well, let’s see I was involved in reviewing the proposals for that. And I remember that I had gotten one of the proposals to review, and I called Bill Benson at the National Science Foundation and sent them out. And said I would like to review it but I can’t because I have a conflict of interest. Because if they actually do this and recover the corals then I would want to get samples of it. He said, “Oh, well that’s fine.” Just like that.
He didn’t care.
Yeah, because there wasn’t any — they were really looking for to find out how much interest in the project there was. And so I got started in it that way as a reviewer. Of course I had heard about it before from being down here visiting with Chezare and he had talked to me about it. And I had also heard a lot about the Moho project. We had engineers that had visited the University of Illinois, and I don’t know if it was just a general tour they were making or whether they were talking with the soils people at Illinois. But we saw the plans they had for a gigantic floating platform that would barely fit under the Golden Gate Bridge and was going to drill to the Moho, and was getting more expensive by the minute.
I can imagine.
In those days. And so the Loco Project had a little spin off called Submar X.
And I worked on the cores from that project that were recovered by the Submar X on the Nicaragua rise.
So those were the longest cores taken to date, weren’t they?
Yeah, those were the longest ones that were taken up to that time.
Was that taken with that hydro core that Chezare was talking about last night?
I’m not really sure how those were taken. I never really understood how they did that. So, I’m not quite sure.
I’ll have to ask him. Yeah. Because I hadn’t heard of that before. That doesn’t appear on anything I’ve read and that really is kind of interesting.
Yeah. I think he’s kind of described in the Sea Volume VII, but it was a different technique all together that was used in those days. And that was done with Hunts Boley, and there was a number of people who worked on the biostratigraphy and it showed that you could get good stratigraphic sections with a drill pipe to the sea floor. And then my relationship with the deep sea drilling project started pretty much after I had come down here and I was put on several panels.
So the Deep Sea Drilling Project — I’d like to credit Chezare more than he’s ever been credited before. It arose pretty much from his ideas, didn’t it? About taking cores —
About taking cores of the sediment where I had been drilling for the Moho.
Right. And then, somehow the four institutions were brought together, and that would be the LaMont and this institution and Scripps and Woods Hall.
There was a proposal sent in from LaMont, there was the Loco proposal that Chezare had sent in, there was a prop —
It was all from the National Science Foundation.
Well, I’m not sure about the LaMont proposal, whether that was actually sent to the National Science Foundation as a proposal or whether it was sent for information. But there was a proposal that Maurice Ewing had put in for recovering sediment core. But I think that came after the Loco proposal. After that had been sent out for review.
Under Ewing’s guidance, LaMont had been doing an awful lot of seismic profiling.
And out of their seismic profiling, plus the Navy and everybody else that could get in on it, came those maps, right? Hazen and Thorp.
And that was late ‘60s. So out of the maps, didn’t a great deal of excitement about the possibility of sea floor spreading, didn’t that begins the percolate?
Well, actually that was before the late ‘60s, which was not in the late ’50s and early ‘60s. And there was a lot of interest in the idea of sea floor spreading was just beginning to develop at that time, and continental drift. And I think the first—
You all were joking about [???], right? But they are the ones credited with finally stating the hypothesis; however, it had been stated 25 or 30 years before, had it not?
Well, it had been long, a lot longer before that.
It sort of just blast out of existence. Yeah.
Yeah. Let’s see, the first time I met Bruce Hazen was at the Geological Society of America meeting in St. Louis in the late ‘50s. And he presented a paper there on the similarity of the margins of North America, Africa, and Europe. And he was only hinting about continental drift because at that time it was a very bad — considered a very bad implausible idea.
Almost silly idea.
Yeah, and you were not credible as a scientist if you even brought it up. And I saw him afterwards because I had my early training in Germany, and they taught us stratigraphy based on maps of continental drift.
Was it Wagan was one of the —?
Weganer [?] was the original one. I had my courses from a fellow in Munich by the name of Richard Dane, who since then told me that those were exciting times then too because it wasn’t the widespread view in Germany either, but I didn’t know that. Nevertheless, Bruce, was — we were always close friends after that because he liked to have someone to talk to. Maurice Ewing did not believe in Continental Drift. Almost until he died.
He would not accept the idea.
No, and at first he was very hostile. And Bruce Hazen kept turning up these bits of information, and the more they would come up with the more, Ewing would get upset about it.
That was a tough environment for him wasn’t it?
Yeah, it really was. And of course, those maps were done the way they were. They were done as pictures of the sea floor. Because the Navy didn’t want the pathimetry published.
Of course, and the Navy probably paid for a lot of that.
Well, a lot of it was from the navy. Navy — well, I don’t know how much of that is really true, but an awful lot of it was from LaMont vessel. But the Navy paid for it. So they had to produce the maps of the Atlantic Ocean without showing the pathimetry. And they chose to show it as physiography.
Yes, and they did a beautiful job.
Marie Tharp did it. So back to the Rosenstiel School and getting these four institutions together. These maps and LaMont and we talked about, they were brought in on it. Scripps was brought in on it. Who was working at Scripps?
Well, Scripps had run the Moho project.
And so it was the National Science Foundation that suggested probably, Bill Benson at the National Science Foundation that suggested there should be a — that the four major institutions, Scripps which had been running the Moho project, and Woods Hall, that had been heavily involved in the planning for the Moho project, and LaMont and Miami all submit a joint proposal for using a drilling ship. And the first things that were done were the six — what were called the Jordons holes on the Blake Plateau. This was before the deep sea-drilling project, still.
Okay, we are using another ship then, you weren’t using the Glomar Challenger at all. But it wasn’t a ship from Glomar was it? I think it was.
I think it may have been, I’m not sure. And I don’t remember who managed it, but it wasn’t Scripps. I think it may have been Miami that did the management of it, the logistical management.
This is the Blake Plateau?
Yes, we did.
And LaMont did most of the geology and analysis and examples.
So this is really kind of a trial run then? The Blake Plateau.
Yes, it was very successful trial.
Was Emiliani there?
He wasn’t out on the ship.
No, no it was almost all LaMont people.
Oh, okay. But we had a part in site selection, and —
And actually the logistics.
How about the stratigraphy? Did you work on those cores?
Not, not when they originally came out. But do you think — I’m not sure you would have to ask Chezare about that. Jim Jones may have worked on that.
Yes, he may have.
I don’t really remember who was involved. But there was, oh Junie Sieto and Allen Bay. And I don’t remember who all was involved in the analysis. There was USDS people also involved.
And it looked like a practical thing to do then.
So the National Science Foundation told us to get together?
Encouraged another one.
Oh and put in a proposal for a ship?
For a mother — yeah, for a longer-term project, because this was just a matter of weeks. And so a proposal was put in. I think the first proposal for was one year. And that got the deep sea drilling project started. And then we started off with an 18-month extension and then it started into a three-year proposals, so they kept running through the ‘70s.
Because it was showing great results.
And so what part did you have then in the analysis and working with Jordon?
Oh, well, we did routine age dating on the samples, Steve Garner, Steve was here. We did routine age dating on the samples using nano-fossils for we were shore based laboratory for all of the legs. And the other thing was that most of the students who went out were substantial part of them were my students. The people that went out to do the nano-fossils.
On board the ship?
On board the ship.
So what would they do? They brought up this long core and they would take those tiny little sections of it and put those stoppers in?
Well at first, the way the nano-fossils got popular was at first the program was guided largely by Geophysicists who were drilling up high now particular seismic reflector was, so they would pour only very occasionally when they thought they were near a seismic reflector. And then they wanted the core dated immediately so they could find out whether to take another core or not. So people would go up and as soon as the core would come on board they would take the sample and run down the laboratory and make a smear slide and look at it and get a date, and hall back up, and on that basis they decided whether to take the next core or not. And the nano-fossils became very popular on Leg One because the core recovery was very poor on Leg One. Frequently there were just little smears.
If they’d had run Leg One?
No, that was Leg Four.
Leg One was in the Gulf of Mexico.
Right. Mark Ewing was on there, and Dave Buckley was nano-fossil person. He was from Princeton, but he was at the University of Illinois at that time on leave from Princeton working on nano-fossils with me. That was after he had just gotten his Ph.D. thesis I guess a couple of years earlier, and he had spent a year at Illinois running around nano-fossils. So on Leg One they couldn’t get enough material frequently to be able to get a date with planktonic foraminifers. And they were amazed you could get a date so fast with the nano-fossil making a smear slide. So that’s when the nano-fossils suddenly became very important.
Up until that time it had been planned that planktonic form was going to be the standard tool that was used to date fossils.
Because we knew more about them.
Right, they were already well known.
Chezare was using those to get dated to date climatological.
He was using them for aplanstacy [?] climatology. And there had been a couple of studies that — well the stratigraphy with planktonic foramanifera had been the major works that had come out in the late 1950s. So there was already a good database then. When the deep-sea drilling project started, we were still working on establishing biostatographic database with calcareous nano-fossils.
And just what for the record are calcareous nano-fossils.
Minute calcareous fossils up to about 20 microns across. Probably mostly made by planktonic algae.
Okay, rather than forams, which are made by planktonic zoplanes.
Little animals. Okay, and of course the deep sea drilling project gathered steam and brought in so much information, and pretty soon we had the theories that had been laughed at, being by the ‘70s, actually wasn’t it, only after three or four years after the ship started to drill that it was excepted as —
Well, I remember we had a symposium at AAPG meeting in ’69 or ’70, and at the end of that symposium someone asked how many people in the audience believed in sea floor spreading and continental drift, and it was only about twenty percent, but within a couple of years after that it was —
Must have been fun. Could you control yourself from getting up and saying I told you so?
No, not with the people at work. Objecting to it.
So by the early ‘70s you were here full-time then?
I came here full-time in ’70 — it would have been ’74.
Oh, it was that late.
Yeah, I spent seven years going back and forth to Illinois and here. Spending the fall semester there and the spring semester here.
And by ’74, there were ten institutions in the Joydees [?] and you were accepting applications from institutes from other countries, were you not? Which was the first, was it Germany, was that the first to come in to Joydees?
Well, the Soviet Union and Germany came in simultaneously. That was a political decision. The Germans had already made applications wanting to be in and the State Department wanted both to come in at the same time. So that I think was ’72? I’m not sure.
‘72 or ’73, I’ve got in the records because I did a news release on it and I kept that release, so I know that it is in there somewhere.
I was chairman of the Joydees planning committee at that time.
Which is a very exciting job.
A very exciting job, yeah. Lots of arguments about how to bring the foreign countries in, whether it would be graded, whether their fee for coming in would be grade according the gross national product or a set amount or whatever. And finally wound up with the Soviet Union and Germany, France, Great Britain and Japan coming in, and at the same time — so there were five of those — the University of Washington had been added to the list of Joydees Institutions about 1969, and so then the question was whether shouldn’t we have more American institutions that wanted to come in, and those were Rhode Island, Hawaii, Texas A&M, Oregon State, and one more.
Have we added to that basic group?
No, there that’s the solid core. But we have added some other nations haven’t we, other than Germany. Don’t we have some Scandinavian?
Well, they formed a group; there are twelve or thirteen countries that formed a group under the European Science Foundation. They all contribute to the kitty. They all have one vote. And that just happened in the ‘80s.
So the planning must have been horrendous when you have this many interests.
It wasn’t too bad at first, but of course, there was already a lot that was already planned at first, but it got more complicated as things went along.
So it was about that time, ’73, Dr. Smith left the chairman — I meaning being the — and Wooster came in. Smith was very proud of the fact that he had been a member of the first, what did they call it the Committee of the Deans? There was a planning committee of the Joydees, and there was the ...?
He was very proud of the fact that he had been — he wanted that in his epitaph, he told me. That was to him a major achievement. And I guess they meet at Woods Hall and kind of put it together when that NSF asked them for that proposal for a ship and so on. He was very proud of that. But along about ’72 or so he was getting more and more involved with IOF and he was moving out of being dean. And in September of 1973, Warren Wooster came in. You were probably the most sympathetic faculty member to Warren Wooster. What exactly do you think he was trying to accomplish?
I think he was trying to increase the stature of the school. He was trying to bring some interesting ideas from the University of California, to transplant some intricate — particularly about salary equality and so on, for you to have the same — it would be independent of the field you were in, the salary would be the same for a given rank. And he was very interested in building up the libraries, as you remember.
Yes, he was instrumental in bringing Allen Spaldic [?], who was a very fine librarian. Did he give you any reason when he decided to leave? Because he more or less left the whole thing in your hands. I knew that Holly was not particularly happy here.
No, but part of it or a lot of it was the retirement plan. He suddenly realized he was going to have the University of Miami retirement.
Oh, I see well that’s off the record. And he was offered a chair.
That’s not the present retirement; that’s the old one.
Well, it’s not any better. That’s much better, yeah, I can see why that would have influenced him because he was, I guess, approaching 60, wasn’t he?
So we lost him and gained an interim Dean. And when you first accepted that position, you made it very clear that you only wanted it for a period of time that it took to find a Dean. And then you changed. Why? Did you get involved in wanting to do something —
Oh no, because what we found out was when I got into the job we found out we were going to be broke by the end of the year.
No. Oh, really? Well, how awful. What a terrible to thing to be confronted with, no wonder it wasn’t your last.
Yeah, well I don’t know whether he knew that or not. And I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t actually started to do some detailed fiscal planning. At that point we were still talking about doing something with the Rosenstiel building fund money, and before I became the interim Dean, when I knew I was going to get that job, I just happened when I was visiting LaMont at a committee meeting, I called up Max Labrownwitz in New York that I had known from Illinois and told him we had building plans, and that I didn’t know anything about that and asked if he could give some advice.
Because you knew him from University of Illinois?
Right. And he said well sure, come on into the city and let’s talk about it. And then he was the one that explained to me well, you’ve got to figure out what the record of the school is the money, the fiscal record and so on and so forth. Not just the present one, but you need to know what the last ten years has looked like whether the money is increasing or decreasing and what the projections are, and you have to figure all that out in order to justify. So when we started figuring this entire thing out, we found out that what had happened was everything had been on the increase until Warren Wooster had gotten here, and then we had been on a financial decline that partly the changes he had wanted to bring about…
In salary equality…
…in salary equality in fact reduce the amount of money coming in. And so we did some —
Wasn’t the University beginning to cut back some, too on our support?
Well, what had happened was the University — no, the University had included the school in several salary increases after that, and hiring freezes. And in fact the schools, most of its finances came from overhead cuts. So if you don’t bring in any more money in terms of salary or new people bringing in salary, which means that you have…
You come to a certain standstill.
…you have the declining financial base, and that is exactly what had happened to us. And so during that first year I was Interim Dean, we figured all of this out, and we didn’t really want to trouble the faculty with it, for fear that we would lose them.
So you very quietly went about this, you and Bill Muff?
Bill Muff and I talking to Clyde Winfield, and then meeting with the board of trustees to explain the situation to them.
I remember all of those beautiful charts you had Chuck make.
They are still in there if you want to use them, yeah.
Yeah, well you can go see that.
They are in my archives, yeah.
Well that’s good, yeah. And the trustees had no idea how the place was funded, none at all.
Well, until you started this, you didn’t either.
No, I didn’t either and I don’t think that anybody in the University had a very good idea of it.
That was pretty clear. That was pretty clear.
So we made the point that they made the point if they would take off the salary limit and the hiring freeze, we would bring in a lot of money. And because in fact the money was already sitting there in people’s grant accounts, but they couldn’t use it.
But they couldn’t get to it.
They had put in through the years, they had been putting in so and so much for regular salary increases and they hadn’t been getting it and it was sitting there in the account. So they figured out a way to allow us to have a special arrangement for salary increases.
Which the main campus faculty resented very much.
And didn’t we have a problem with overhead, too?
But, well they resented —
Weren’t they charging an awful lot of overhead at that time? Charging the federal government —
Yeah, they were charging 72% or something like that. And then of course, what happened was, as I recall, we came close to doubling the overhead income in one year.
Is that right?
It was, and then of course, we just over recovered a lot and we had to cut it way back and that meant we had to cut the overhead way back.
Which made it a little easier to get grants.
So I have to credit a lot of that to Max. I’m proud of it, of having it explained to us that you got to do this in order to get going.
To know where you stand, yeah.
Yeah, yeah. And there were some good people on the board of trustees. Gee, I don’t remember what the names were. Oh, Patton.
Stuart Patton, yeah. One of the most sober and conservative members of the Board of Trustees.
The chairman of the Board of Trustees at that point was, he lived in Kevas Cain [?], I can’t think of him now. But he wasn’t sober and conservative.
But, Patton was somebody they listened to, and Patton picked up and understood this whole thing, and that was a big help. And then when we saw the way this was going to have to work, I figured I couldn’t just stop that job in one year, because somebody who understood the whole situation, they had to stay with it. So if we got somebody in that would be good fine, but it would have to be somebody that was going to take advantage of this.
So you became a businessman without really wanting to.
And meanwhile, didn’t we start to establish visiting committees? Was that under your time?
I think Wooster had started visiting committees.
Yeah, yeah. I remember Max became a member of the visiting committee, and you have some other capable people. Did they ever give you any assistance?
Well, we had scientific visiting committees. I remember Art Maxwell was on one. I don’t remember who they all were. Oh, yeah, they were, well they were helpful to a limited extent.
Because the new president — well, he wasn’t president yet was he — he was pretty strong on visiting committees, he didn’t become — Bush became President in ’81 —
That was after I left.
That was after you left. He pushed the visiting committee idea. So, —
Winfield was the provost when I was in, and he had just come in and I had just come in and we made a — he understood this.
And Green did too, didn’t he?
And Green understood it, yeah, they all understood the situation. And so the deal we made was basically you can hire as many people as you want, if you can figure out a way to pay them.
Which is what we’ve been doing. From the very beginning that’s how we grew really. Fritz started doing —
Firtz had started but he put a lid on it.
Fritz had put a lid on it. Fritz had started that. You know, he would have a bright idea and then just write in divisions and then find people to fill them.
And then the granting agency seemed to be delighted to go along with that. But of course, there was another factor at work which you had to confront, and that was science funding was beginning to diminish.
Not so much under the Nixon administration, or did it? I know he set out NOAA.
No, I had already gone with the really big cuts. It was more or less level funded during the Nixon/Carter administration.
Alright, yeah. The big cut came under Reagan then, yeah. Okay, then you achieved the construction of that beautiful building.
Well, I got it started. And there was lots of good fun things there. Max Labromwitz came down here — you may remember that, he and Jerry Shipp, and Max’s wife. They all came down at their own expense and they just wandered around the place and Max’s comment when he looked at the campus was he says, “This looks like a piece of Brooklyn that just fell out of the sky.”
Yes, it was pretty grubby.
And he also looked at some of the buildings, the Rosen building, he said, “Someday find out if they paid any money for the plans.” I said I designed that building as a generic Navy building when I was in the Navy in Panama.
And you can buy the plans for a dollar from the government printing office.
I bet you that’s what Smith did.
That may well be.
And you know he had them put up high.
So he said I hope they didn’t pay any money for it.
They put the windows high because he had this idea that people shouldn’t waste their time looking out the window. This building though, came in-between, and this building was very, very well designed.
And Max pointed out we went and we looked here and we went over and we saw the atmospheric sciences thing on the main campus. And we came back here that night and he said you don’t have any problem about moving those people out here; there is plenty of room in this building.
Of course by this time we had moved the IOS out. See, they had occupied the whole top floor.
Wooster accomplished that. He threw them out.
And so we quickly did that, and we made a couple of modifications in the Grossener north wing that got more space right away, because up until that time they were just, they had no space.
The Space Wars — we used to call them the Space Wars.
Warren Bixley and I used to go on space walks. We just got a set of master keys and we would go looking for unused rooms. And it was amazing the room that people could remember about twenty years ago we were going to use this for such and such a purpose, and it’s been —
And never quite go there
So we got a lot of space all of a sudden when we cleaned things out.
And the Seamist building.
That’s right, and then we built the Seamist building to keep the agreement with NOAA alive and get some space really.
And the money toward that came from the Rosenstiel foundation?
That came from the Rosenstiel
And that was that whole chunk of money that had come to the school in…
So when Max was down here, Max Bromwitz was down here on that first trip, he said, “Well the problem is you don’t have enough land. Somehow you have to get more land because there is no place to put anything right now without tearing something down first and you can’t do that.”
Well at that point, we were still in negotiating on land across the cross way, hadn’t Smith initiated that, where we were to get a strip of land that is now occupied by the fish hatchery. Weren’t we talking about land over there at one point?
Well, we had a piece for the experimental sewage treatment plan.
I don’t know if we ever talked about doing much else over there.
At any rate, so we talked to the county, and the upshot was that there was a parking lot, remember, in front of the school, and we talked to Walton about it, and Walton said he tried to get that and there wasn’t any chance at all.
From the county.
Yeah. And so we started taking pictures of it, showing it empty all of the time, no, it was never used by anybody. And then we went and had some preliminary discussions with people from the county. And the first reaction was well, what would you need it for? And so we contracted the architects then to prepare a plan that showed how it would be used. And so the new building was located mostly on that land.
That was the master plan then?
That was the master plan.
And we made that model. And we made up the books, the master plan book.
Right, and we gave them to everybody in sight.
Yes, and they had the phases we hoped to go through.
Right. The county’s biggest concern was all through this building project we would have enough parking spaces.
Yes, they are always concerned about parking spaces. No the Seaquarium is going through that.
Are they really?
So we had to demonstrate, we had to use these complicated formulas and demonstrate that at every point there would be enough parking places. And that took about a good two years to go through that and then we were all set to go, but nothing kept happening, we couldn’t get anything to happen. I was getting very discouraged. And I called up Max and I said nothing is happening, we are just not going anywhere with the county now. He said, “Well, you’ve got to find the person in the county offices who makes up the agenda for the county commissioners. And you’ve got to go talk to that person and explain to them why this has to come onto the agenda and sell them on the project as well.” So we found the gentleman who makes up the agenda and gave him a copy of the master plan, and he thought it was wonderful. And we explained that we needed it by such and such a date so that we could go with the proposal to a foundation for part of the money for the building. And sure enough it was on the agenda.
Great, once you found the right man.
Right. And then came the day when we had to go down to the county courthouse when it was going to come up for discussion. Warren Wizby [?] and I went down there, and we had all of these beautiful diagrams they had done for us. We didn’t take the model of course, but we took all of this stuff. We kept it closed so nobody could see what it was, but we had it there in case anybody asked the question. And we got there. Who was the lady who was the sort of the environmental watchdog for this?
Maureen Horawitz, was she the one?
I don’t know.
A former teacher from North Day?
I don’t remember.
Or was it someone from Kevus Cain, the Kevus Cain Tax Payers?
No, it wasn’t Kevus Cain taxpayers.
Although somebody, not Olga. Olga died incidentally, you knew that?
I don’t remember what her name was. At any rate, she was there and Warren said, “Uh oh.”
Don’t open that cage.
So all morning we sat there and waited your turn.
Waited our turn and they didn’t get to us, they spent all the time talking about a stop sign and a traffic light and so on and so forth.
Yeah. I’ve been through this. Many times.
And it was very scary.
And so they told us to come back in the afternoon. We came back at 2:00, and they said well here’s this item, here’s these 24 items, here’s a new lock for somebody’s door and they argued about the new lock on the door for that was going to cost ten dollars or something and they argued about that for twenty minutes. Warren and I are both getting more and more nervous. And they got down to the item, above the school, and said alright, now we got more items, let’s see oh there’s some land for the Rosenstiel School and there’s a traffic light over here and there is a school sign over there. Anybody have any objection to any of these? No, nobody has any objection to these, fine done.
They got around her.
No, afterwards she got up and said, “Well, I’m so glad it went that way, she said I had come here in case and in case somebody was going to raise and objection, I was going to tell them what a wonderful job the school does.”
And so all of your fear was misplaced. That’s wonderful, I wish you could remember name, she must have been from the Key. They are the ones who are watch-dogging everything.
I’m not sure what her name was, Warren would know that though.
Yeah, I’ll call and ask him, he’ll know. That’s a wonderful story.
So we got the land, of course, but we got the land with a stipulation that if we didn’t build something on it within a certain period of time it reverted back to the city. So that started things.
Well, of course, you had the money for quite a while.
The money had been there for quite a while.
And didn’t the Rosenstiel foundation begin to raise some questions about when you were going to build the building?
Oh they had been raising those questions forever and ever.
Because that money was for a building, it wasn’t for a general fund which is pretty much what you were using it for.
We had the endowment money and we had building fund money, which you couldn’t use the building fund money for anything other than the building fund. But the problem was the building fund money was invested but it wasn’t increasing in value as fast as the construction costs were going up, so every year you held it, it meant you were going to be able to build less with it.
And we weren’t getting all that much from it anyway, were we? We were only getting five percent or something.
Something like that, yeah.
So it was time to spend it.
And we needed to upgrade and modernize, and of course Jerry did a beautiful job with that and he still I love it, he is still an architectural laboratory, he just finished one for Rockefeller University.
He kind of enjoyed that I think.
And he did the ocean drilling fest too, the laboratories on the ocean drilling fest.
I was still there when that land and that was a beautiful job.
Well they did to build that, they went a looked at all the marine institutions, the major marine institutions, and talked with people in every single one.
To determine what they needed?
Yeah. To determine what the problems were and the best ways. You still never could get everybody to agree.
No, but they handled cores a lot better in the days when your students were out there taking a smear, you know.
Pretty automated now. And they work so much better. Where did the cores go? Still to LaMont and to Scripps or is there a different core depository now?
They have the core depository too? I guess LaMont just filled up with cores.
Well, not entirely, it still got some.
But they do save those, those are still available.
Oh, yeah, those are archived forever.
You can go back to those if you want to. Yeah. Interesting. Okay, well let’s talk about the fact that when Smith started the lab with three or four people who became eight or ten people who became more and more, it was kind of a jolly place to work and Smith had a great ability I think in organization. No one gave him much credit. But if you look at how things are set up, his filing system for his photographs, his filing system for answers to sea secrets, he was a very methodical person. And he had the school set up so there was a typing pool, there was a publication, there were all these different departments that served the needs of his faculty. But he also had a way with people in that he went around to people like Don Heward, who was the kind of person who would just give you his car and stay there all night if necessary, and told him what a good job he was doing. And even though he was not able to pay Don very much, the satisfaction of the job. And when I came here in ’63, that was very much the atmosphere and Christmas was a time of great parties in Dr. Korman’s Lab and elsewhere around the campus. And we all used to have our lunch out on the end of the dock and everybody new one another and there was sort of the familial feeling. We lost that a little bit with Wooster even though he was trying very hard to be fair, he isolated himself in this building on the third floor, and it became a little bit more of a corporate structure than anybody was used to. Then when you took over again, you were able to restore that feeling of Mardi Gras, and when was that great beer drink off that we were talking about?
I’m not sure what year that was.
I think you were the chairman of MVG then weren’t you? That must have been during Wooster.
No, no that was —
No? About ’76 maybe?
That was, yeah.
When you were Interim Dean.
When I was Interim Dean, yeah.
There was a real conscious effort to get everybody back into the swing of things.
And the Mardi Gras were just absolutely great. Whatever possessed you to think of that?
Well, we needed a way to — we have lots of people coming in from lunch and that sort of thing, visitors, and we wanted to interest more people in the school. And we were also out after the lay people. We have to do things for the city. And you may remember that Grace Wing Bonet was an enormous help. And she would have me or the school or something the school was doing you know in of all places the social column every two weeks. And it was as regular as clockwork. And so it was both a way of building up internal spirit and introducing themselves to the public, because that was opened to the public. And it became a Miami affair. And of course, we always had invitations out to the members of the city council and people of that sort, and a number of them came.
Yes, I’m sure that they did.
So when they finally passed that thing, they knew what the school was all about. They felt comfortable. So it was basically — And we did the same thing, you remember the Kevus Cain Concert series.
Yes, with Olga Tonkalson.
Which Olga Tonkalson organized. And we put that on here.
Actually those were beautiful concerts.
They really were. And the auditorium was beautiful.
Oh yes, he chose some great artists. I enjoyed them tremendously I was usually up in the booth because I controlled the lighting for and all that. But I left the windows up open and the music was great. You could hear beautifully up there.
But those concerts are the most nerve racking thing you can put on. Because you commit the money — the school didn’t have anything to do with it but the board of the concert series, of course, I was on the board. The boards committed the pay for it, and you commit to the artiest and you don’t know until that night whether you are going to make money or not.
She seemed to make it every time though.
And she made it every time. And it was always just as exciting as it could be. But you never know down to the last minute whether people are going to turn up. But that was part of the idea behind that was being of service to Kevus Cain.
Well, you had a group too. I had forgotten what they were called — the Sea Foundation.
That got off to a pretty good start. And you were looking for both donations and other money too as well. But that kind of died when Seamyer went to IOF. I don’t think Valicky picked up on that particularly. Of course a lot of those in the Sea Foundation had close friends of Ted Tumire.
So there was good reason why Valicky wasn’t able to keep it going.
Well Valicky started with another group, basically.
Another thing you did.
Of course, the boat business, Walter did that marvelously well.
But then about the time that left Ted Tumire went over there, they changed the tax laws too.
Just at exactly the time he went on.
Yeah. And that made it much touchier to try to get donations of boats that were really going to be helpful.
It just about killed the boat thing.
Yeah it did.
Except for that one large boat, the Maria or the something or other that. Remember that one?
It was Formica that gave us that. I don’t remember but it is in the records I can go back to the records. Now about your relationship with the IOS. Smith of course had sort of cushioned — that was his golden parachute, and he left here to build his planet ocean. And Wooster and Tumyre or whoever was under Wooster (I have forgotten who his development officer was) but they were very anti IOS. As a matter of fact they didn’t even invite Smith back for some function, but you sort of patched that up.
Well, I know I had always gotten along very well with Walter. And he always explained that he had that one of his goals was to make that a funding base for the school.
That’s what I thought it was supposed to be originally. Yeah.
Yeah. And what he had hoped IOF was what they actually did with the Monterey Aquarium.
That it would produce a lot of income, and it didn’t. There is too many competitive attractions and that sort of thing. And oh, I remember we spent a lot of time arguing.
Because you were on the board over there, and you religiously attending meetings. But of course, Smith was going to do it his way.
I think that was one of the problems.
Well, it was both that, and plus she had some built in barriers, they you can’t have an attraction in Florida that will draw in lots and lots of people that’s in a dark room.
That’s not why people come here. And also you have to have live animals to get lots of people. And they basically have the Le Metco people on the board. They had basically agreed that it wasn’t going to be in competition with the Seaquarium. But in doing that they sort of cut themselves out of one major source of interest. And I think the thing that makes the Monterrey Aquarium such a spectacular success is the fact that it is an aquarium with live things, and it is also very educational.
Yes. Well, actually, Planet Ocean was pretty educational but you have to work at it. It didn’t come and present itself to you; you had to go and actually read it and think about it. I got a lot out of Planet Ocean. I could go over there when I had something I had to write about that I didn’t know too much about and get it. It was there. But it was like going to the library and finding the right reference. Was too bad that it didn’t catch on.
It would have done well in a —
In an inland city or a northern city or in Europe. And maybe that’s it — the thinking was in terms of European museum, but it wasn’t designed to be —
Walton loved to teach, and Walton [???]. But he didn’t have the common touch. He really didn’t like grubby people. [laughter]
No I don’t think he liked the average tourist.
And I think it kind of showed. But it was too bad that it failed. I was sorry that it did. And I had hoped that Enechto would pick it up when he was looking for someone to take it over and they wouldn’t touch it so. It went by the board.
I think they knew the formula.
And it was passed redemption. And of course what they are going to build now is $70 million worth of attraction, not so much like the Monterey which is too bad; it will be more like Seven Flags over Atlantis or whatever it is. It is going to be a water wonder land. Too bad. Missed opportunity for us, too, I think. Because I always felt we needed that connection. We needed some place like our sea farm over there that would attract the public in a comfortable sort of way. Rather than just touring them around the buildings and all of that.
Well we had — Walter had put me on the IOF board long before I had become Dean.
From the early ‘70s.
I didn’t realize that, I thought it was bout ’76 when you joined, but it wasn’t.
It was before.
So you were in on it right from the inception really, because he started building in ’69, ’70, or ’71 somewhere in there you know from the offices he had. No I guess it wasn’t until ’73 that he started building. The planning had started.
The first meeting — I don’t know where the first meeting of the IOF board was. I have to go back, but at any rate it was — I remember Wooster was not terribly pleased that I was a member of the board.
Yeah, the Smiths and the Woosters just didn’t get along at all. So that just about ties it up.
Can’t think about anything else to add, possibly about Elizabeth Rosenstiel.
I don’t know anything about Elizabeth.
Blanca was the one you had to kind of… And Blanca was more interested in Blanca than she was in furthering her goals.
Well, she was helpful.
She would appear and come to things and bring friends and so on and so forth.
She had the Polish/American Institute. And remember when she had the Conrad Extravaganza here with in the auditorium, yeah.
Yeah. And the Chopan Foundation. She started that. I was never on the board of the Polish Foundation; I was on the board of the Chopan.
Well, after you left she kind of drifted away. The main campus captured her. But we captured Elizabeth at that point. So that was a good connection too. But the Rosenstiel picture has seemed to faded, and that’s too bad.
So, thank you.