I spent most of last week at my grandfather’s memorial service, and associated events.
He was a Yale professor and one of the leading biophysicists of his time — having discovered that proteins were not colloids as had been thought, but were actually much more complicated structures. He was also a wonderful grandfather. In a sign of how separate those worlds can be, I had no idea someone had made a wikipedia page for him until just recently. (It was also mildly stunning to find that his date of death had been entered within two days, and by someone who isn’t part of the family.)
A memorial blog (!) has been set up for him, for those who are interested. My own contribution is below the jump.
Fred was my grandfather, and though I know he gave much much in the way of useful advice throughout my life, this is the one that I remember most clearly. We were at a family reunion when I was about 14 or so. There was a dinner, and at the cocktail reception before hand Grandpa Fred came up to me and said
“I’m going to teach you the single most important piece of social advice you’ll ever need to know: Develop a taste for tonic water.”
“You start out the evening with a gin and tonic. Make the rounds and be sure that everyone knows that’s what you’re drinking. After that, you just keep going back to the bartender and asking for straight tonic.”
I live in a bit of different world from him, but someday I’ll find an use for that advice.