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Inner courtyard of Stanford

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My first little composition at Stanford

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Teamsters, Chaeuffers, Warehousemen and Helpers Union

 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA AND UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
 


Following my first military service and continuing after my second tour of duty, I spent three magnificent years studying at Stanford University, coupled with a semester at the University of California, Berkeley. These experiences filled a liberal arts gap in my education, which had been largely technical up to this time.

At Berkeley I studied art, music and philosophy just the opposite of my previous education. Life at the International House located high on the Berkeley campus was ideal. Can you imagine a typical breakfast, sitting next to the gorgeous panorama window looking out on the campus and discussing Plato’s philosophy!

Across the bay, my first years at Stanford were like a dream. I still can’t imagine how I did it all. The first two years I was enrolled in the Graduate School of Business but I could also enroll in the famous Stanford undergraduate courses — Humanities, World Literature, World History, Music Theory and Techniques. I managed to get my MBA (Masters in Business Administration) with the required credits but I actually achieved more college credits in the liberal arts courses I loved so much.

Afternoons found me in a little music practice room on the knoll working on some simple music composition for my course in musicianship.

The lecturer that I best remember now was Professor Harsh. He was a specialist in Greek civilization having spent many years as an archeologist. The first day of his class in Humanities he offered the following observation to the class, “If some of you may be searching for some spiritual meaning in your life, Plato could be your answer.” What a simple statement of such a powerful suggestion!

Later, after my second tour of duty in the Navy I went back to Stanford to take a years post graduate study in the prestigious Graduate School of Electrical Engineering. This was an audacious move on my part since I had nothing even approaching an undergraduate degree in that subject.

I found a quiet place on campus to study, a basement law library very seldom frequented by anyone. There by sheer perseverance I overpowered my courses in Differential Equations, Maxwell’s Equations, Physics of semiconductors and other courses which provided the technical foundation for the new company I would be founding, WILTRON.

It seemed that I had time for everything, In order to pay for the baby we were expecting, I also worked nights at the Libby Owens Ford fruit-packing plant in nearby Sunnyvale. I was weighmaster for the fruit cocktail plant. My familiarity with the processing of canned fruit cocktail gave me a life-long aversion to that dish; but I earned good wages. I was a member of the Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Union, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.

 

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