It is a small world and I always get a kick out of discovering connections between seemingly unrelated people and events.
A few weeks ago I received a mailing from my high-school alma-mater, The Webb Schools of California, that was the typical “send us money” thing. It contained an article on Kurt Pitzer who was a year ahead of me and whom I played soccer with at Webb (he was goalie). The article talked about how Kurt had recently co-authored a book with the scientist who ran Iraq’s attempt to manufacture enriched uranium for it’s nuclear weapons program, Mahdi Obeidi. The book is titled The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam’s Nuclear Mastermind.
Sounded like an interesting book and the Amazon reviews looked positive so I ordered it. (I also ordered John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War; John also went to Webb and was a year behind me).
Yesterday I set down to read the book and found it super interesting. It’s well written and an easy read.
On page 83 I found this:
“As the flight descended into Denver International Airport, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains appeared just as I remembered them, rugged and eternal. As Dr. Farid and I stepped out of the terminal, the crisp mountain breeze brought forth a rush of memories. I drove us to the Colorado School of Mines campus in nearby Golden. So much had changed. The town had grown into a little city in my absence. At the administration office, I learned that most of my old professors had retired. I briefly stopped in on Dr. Stermole, a junior professor at the time I was a student, and I was saddened to learn that Dr. Dickson, the head of the Chemical Engineering Department who supervised my master’s work, had died.”
“Dr. Stermole” is my father-in-law who had just been out visiting the previous week! It does not surprise me that Mahdi Obeidi mentioned Frank given how he appears to have been loved and respected by so many of his students. But it was still shocking to see this in the book. As I was reading page 83, but before I got to that paragraph I just knew Frank was going to be mentioned. Wild.