Betsy, meanwhile, wanted to study film in the Communication and Journalism department, but when they saw her GRE scores the Communication Research Ph.D. program recruited her as a doctoral student, saying that she could do film as well. In that guise she and Kathy Hansen made Pour, a film about a bronze sculptor who used what he called "the lost-everything process". Alas, our copy of the film disappeared.
Stanford in the late 1960s was paradisical. We found a wonderful cottage behind Alfred and Karen Truesdell's house in Menlo Park, and made a circle of friends many of whom are still among our closest. There were a number of other ex-Peace Corps folks (Diarmuid McGuire, Ken Stallcup, Dick Goldman) and people from our respective departments (Bernadette Nelson, Peter Shapiro, Kent and Shel Anderson, Andy Collins, Ron and Kip Nigh, Joan Larcom, Merida Blanco, John Cordell, Kathy Hansen), and the various rites of friendship (talking, playing music, etc.) were really of greater significance in our intellectual development than courses.
A million tales come to mind, especially as I look through the pictures from the period. We were pretty serious about photography for several years, took many photographs of all sorts of things and people, and made a memorable week-long trip to Death Valley in 1969.
The most life-changing event of this period was Kate's birth on 10 May 1970, at a time of great disruption on American college campuses. We became family-centered, of course, and photography veered to recording that state. But another series of events was also formative: our closest friends Kent and Shel Anderson left for fieldwork in Bolivia before Kate's birth in 1970; the town of Menlo Park discovered that we were living in an 'illegal' cottage and forced us to move; and we decided to share a house with Kip and Ron Nigh.
I had intended to return to Sarawak to do fieldwork, and was interested in the consequences of infrastructural development: what does it do to an area to have a road (or dam or other major public work) appear where there was none before? Such questions were not of great interest to funding agencies at the time (and I was hazy about how to ask and answer them), and it seemed clear that Southeast Asia was becoming impossible. So I started to think about other locales for fieldwork, and a series of serendipities led me to thinking about Nova Scotia: it was largely unstudied by anthropologists, it was outside the U.S., and it seemed just exotic enough. I was interested in regional (as opposed to 'village' or local) levels of organization, and cartographic serendipity led me to wondering about a dense pattern of roads I saw on the map in one area of Nova Scotia --which turned out to be the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia's agricultural heartland. That projected me into a fit of learning about agriculture, and led to a research proposal for study of the evolution of an agricultural region.
This narrative leaves out (among other things...) Betsy's dissertation work, but she should tell that tale herself.
We left California in early May 1972, the ink on Betsy's Ph.D. drying as we drove to Nova Scotia.