...accident and happenstance,
branching pathways in chutes and ladders,
whims of the various gods...


As an anthropologist I'm interested in the minutiae of people's lives, in their stories and explanations and special pleadings, in how they get from hither to yon. My own tales and exculpatory yammerings seem like free-form macramé: there's always room for another knot or decoration or cross-linking. 50th Class Report entries can convey only the outer surfaces --accomplishments, points of pride, chronologies, curmudgeonly rumblings-- and I'm inclined to go deeper, though I have no specific audience in mind. This means exhuming and reorganizing a lot of scattered fragments (blog postings, bits of text I've constructed as their contents occurred to me, ruminations that only make sense when conjoined and explicated...) And that's what you'll find below, in more or less chronological order.

But where to start, and what to include and suppress? The Harvard I thought I knew, a shining City on the Hill of liberal education, was pretty much an illusion even 50 years ago, and its present incarnation, as a real estate empire and hedge fund with dependent college, simply doesn't interest me much. I still revisit Harvard Square from time to time, but find less and less to connect with. 1961-1965 seems very distant, though many memories are crisp and photographs from the time remain eloquent. I can't say that I was unhappy or unfulfilled, but I surely wasn't adequately prepared for the intellectual challenges of Harvard in 1961, and I made irresponsible and ill-informed use of the available resources, and basically drifted cluelessly through most of my classes (with some sterling exceptions). My extracurricular jobs (research assistant, photographer, photo lab assistant) were my most significant activities, and my spouse was then and remains the most important person in my life. I keep in touch with almost no other classmates, though I'm sure I'd relish contact if it presented itself. This hypertext labyrinth is at least partly a kitty kitty to potential interlocutors of various stripes.

The years since 1965 have been much more productive and positive, full of explorations and adventures, unmarred by tragedies and setbacks. The summaries I wrote for our 33 1/3 [Vinyl, or Long Playing] Anniversary still hold up pretty well through the 1990s, and the links found there to 30-odd years of photos are an interesting way to revisit our lives through 1994 or so. I've tried to update and extend those reminiscenses in the texts linked below. The entries for the 40th and 45th Class Reports also point to digital expansions that still seem relevant.

(all of these texts are still Under Construction)

Assembling the Metanarrative

Sarawak 1965-1967    Stanford 1967-1972    Fieldwork in Nova Scotia 1972-1975

Acadia University 1973-1990    Becoming a Librarian 1991-1992    Washington & Lee University 1992-2005     Since 2005

Avocations: My interests, enthusiasms, and areas of expertise are errant: they persist in wandering off, but they eventually seem to come back from their assorted quests and reassert themselves in my consciousness and activities. So it has been with photography, as with music and woodworking and Information and Science Fiction and Literature and and and... When a particular fascination resurfaces, it has a whole new set of previously unrecognized (or imperfectly appreciated) facets that tempt me into a new Odyssey of exploration. This generally means the acquisition of new tools and resources, to carry out whatever new Grand Schemes assert themselves as necessities. Fortunately, the spouse is well acquainted with the pattern, and is skilled at eloquent rolling of the eyes.

Computing     Writing and Reading    Music    Hiking the Appalachian Trail    Woodworking    Photography    Yoga    Food

Our children have busy and fulfilling lives. Kate's cartography site and Airstream blog and Flickr photostream tell many stories; John's life revolves around work at Yahoo and his young family, but he doesn't have a Web presence.