I didn't begin writing travel journals until I was traveling overseas.  So I am relying on memories of my early travel adventures before my first trip to Europe in 1967.




            At age 5, I began walking to school for kindergarten at the old Lents school in southeast Portland, Oregon.  I remember wearing a dorky hat to school that had earflaps. An older boy grabbed my hat and ran off, but my cousin who was six months older and her two friends beat him up and I was never bothered again.  My cousin often stayed with us while her mother worked.  One time we walked to her father's house several miles away, and we were punished for walking along and crossing 82nd Avenue, which was a busy street.       

            At age 6, my family moved a mile away from my grandmother's house after having live a few blocks away, and I often walked alone to visit her.  I would walk with her to the Goodwill store, which we called Grandma's Department Store.  She would buy used clothing, which she said she just needed to "fix a little bit."  She would then take the item apart and completely remake it to fit her grandchildren. 

            My grandmother was a seamstress and made money to help make ends meet, since my grandfather would spent part of his earnings at a local tavern.  He was an alcoholic, and would often yell at her and I felt helpless to intervene.  She never left him because she felt that she couldn't support herself, but I believe she could have as a seamstress.   Years later his legs were swollen, and my uncle told the doctor to tell the son of a bitch that he would die if he didn't stop drinking.  When my wife met him before we were married, she wondered why everyone hated this nice old man, who was no longer drinking.

            I walked half a mile to the new Lents school that opened when I was in the first grade.  During the next and subsequent summers, I spent many days doing crafts and playing in Lents Park several blocks from my house, being free to wander around the neighborhood.  A family that lived half a block away had a boy about my age, a girl my sister's age, and younger siblings like me.  We often played hide and seek together in the neighborhood, and my family's back door was always unlocked as we went in and out during the day.  

            At age 7, I rode a city bus halfway downtown alone to attend summer school.  I remember learning about different kinds of clouds.  The bus stop was next to a YMCA that had a poster advertising a summer camp.  I rode the YCMA bus to camp each day for a week, with an overnight stay at the end that was my first night away from home not at a relative's house.  I remember being on a bridge when one camper was casting a fishing line, and the hook caught in another camper's ear. 

            From age 8-12, I began rode the bus all the way downtown alone every Saturday morning for music lessons, and spent the rest of the day downtown. One of the city newspapers had afternoon activities for kids, including a talent show and stamp collecting.  I often met there the neighbor boy mentioned above, who was into stamp collecting.  I also remember exploring a Five and Dime store, and often having a snack at a diner that specialized in Buttermilk, which left a yucky coating inside the glass.  On the bus ride home, I sometimes stopped at a park along the way.

            During those ages my cousin and I would sometimes ride a bus halfway downtown to the nearest movie theater.  The neighbor boy and I would walk a mile to Johnson Creek, where we would catch crawdads to use as bait while he fished.  We also often rode our bikes 8 miles to Gresham and then back.  Years later he and I went camping at Mt. Hood, where he liked to fish.

            In addition, I went to Bible camp a few times at Camp Colton, where I spent a week in a cabin.  The first time I felt homesick the first day, but then I quickly made friends and didn't want to leave the camp at the end.  I especially enjoyed being around the campfire and singing songs.

            My family occasionally drove to Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast.  I remember riding the bumper cars there.  We also drove to Walla Walla, Washington a few times to visit relatives.  I remember one trip a bird crashed through the front window, landing in the back seat.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

            At age 10, I was captain of the Safety Patrol and responsible for monitoring other student crossing guards before school.  It was my first leadership position.   I remember realizing at that age that I was just as smart as the adults around me.  I wasn't arrogant, but self-confident in speaking up.  Back in the first grade my teacher had written on my report card that I had good ideas, but had trouble waiting my turn to speak.  I remember my sister telling me. "You aren't always right.  You just sound right."  

            At age 11, I was responsible for running movie projectors for teachers through the school.  I was out of the classroom a lot, but still kept up with my schoolwork.  While practicing singing for a school performance, I got into an argument with my teacher about which measure of the music to start the song.  He asked the band director, who agreed with me, and then he apologized to me in front of the class.  He told the class that I could skip seventh and eighth grade and go to high school, but I am glad that I did not.




            At age 12 my family moved from Portland to a small town called Madras in central Oregon.  I missed the excitement and freedom of exploring a big city.  So until I got my driver's license,  I often got a ride into Portland with the man who delivered produce to the supermarket where my dad was manager.  I remember having to pull weeds around our house before being allowed to ride into Portland in June.  I also remember riding the truck across snowy Mt. Hood in the winter.  I would be dropped off on Powell and would walk two miles to my grandmother's house.  I also visited a friend who lived near Lents Park, whom I later lost contact with, and was pleased when years later he contacted me on Facebook!

            I remember babysitting my younger brothers and sisters at age 12, and also babysitting for two other families, while living in Madras.   When my family prepared to go picnicking and boating on the Deschutes River, I would get my two littlest brothers (8 and 9.5 years younger than me) ready while my mother took care of my baby sister (11.5 years younger than me).  As the oldest of six, I was used to being a big brother responsible for others, which provided a pattern for leadership roles in high school and college as well as advising students and organizations later in life.

            My parents trusted my judgment, and always gave me the freedom to make my own choices.  However, I felt that the privilege of making my own choices was contingent on my making the right choices, and I always took into consideration what choices I thought they would want me to make.  On the few occasions when I something wrong, a tongue lashing from my mother had far more impact than a spanking from my father, since it reflected on trust in my judgment.   Exercising good judgment is an essential part of developing independence and the responsibility that comes with it.

            At age 14, while I was visiting in Portland, my best friend in Madras was killed in an auto accident.  This had a profound effect on me.  I had previously had to deal with death when a cousin was killed in an auto accident when I was 11, and when my grandfather died when I was 13.  But since this was a friend whom I saw daily in school and as a neighbor, not a relative who lived far away, I began wondering about the meaning of friendship.   Many years later I would conduct research on friendship and other close relationships.

            In high school, I assumed many leadership positions, including class secretary my freshman year and class president my sophomore year.   As business manager of the school newspaper and the yearbook my junior year, I sold ads for these publications to businesses around town.  Although I was successful, I realized that I didn't want to be a businessman as a career.

            The only foreign language that my high school offered was two years of Spanish, so I took those, and became president of the Spanish Club and founder of the Spanish Honor Society.  My Spanish teacher agreed to teach me third year Spanish in independent study as an extra class.  I met with her in the library during lunch hours and after school, since she was also the school librarian.

             I had become an avid reader in elementary school.  I discovered my local public library in Portland when I was in the first grade, and began reading shelves of fantasy books.  In the fifth grade, I read science fiction books like those by Asimov and Heinlein.  In the ninth grade in Madras I read books about old England like Robin Hood and Ivanhoe.  By the twelfth grade, I was reading Grapes of Wrath and

other books by Steinbeck and other authors that were recommended by the school librarian, which stimulated and expanded my thinking.  Over the years, reading increased my vocabulary and reading comprehension tremendously, while introducing me to other worlds.

            Since I was 6'8" tall in high school, the basketball coach recruited me for the freshman team my first year, and the varsity team after that.   When I was 16, he taught me how to drive a car so I could make it to practices and games, since my dad was busy at work and my mother didn't have her license then.  He also arranged for a local restaurant owner, who was a team supporter, to give me daily free malted milkshakes the summer after my freshman year in an effort to fatten me up, since I weighed only 155 pounds.  As a tall, skinny, awkward teenager, I wasn't that great a basketball player, but when I substituted in I could catch rebounds and give them to my teammates who were excellent players.  Our senior year we won the state A2 championship.

            What I liked best about playing basketball were the trips to other towns around the state for games.  This was a great opportunity to travel.  I also went on trips my sophomore year to weekend journalism conferences at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.  While in Seattle, another student and I spent all night talking at a coffee shop then walked to my aunt's house for breakfast.  My liking for the big city of Seattle influenced choices that I made years later.  That summer I attended a weeklong journalism workshop at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and liked that campus very much.

            My junior year I thought I wanted to be an electrical engineer, since I was interested in understanding how electronic devices worked.  So I attended a summer engineering conference at Oregon State University.  But I hated it.  I was given a scholarship to attend, but was then told that those on scholarship were expected to "volunteer" to wash dishes in the cafeteria.  I also didn't like that engineers were expected to keep their findings secret for the companies they worked for, instead of publishing their findings for others to learn.  So my senior year I decided to major in physics, instead of engineering, and attend the Honors College at the University of Oregon in Eugene.




            My freshman year I lived in a college dorm.  I went through fraternity rush, and pledged one of the houses.  But I didn't like the pledge captain, and the guy who recruited me moved out to live with his girlfriend, so I de-pledged.  My sophomore year I moved into an apartment with a friend, but he spent all of his time in a lab, and I was lonely.  So I pledged another fraternity, that another friend had just joined.  I then moved into the fraternity house in the spring of my sophomore year and stayed there until I graduated.  It was a wise decision, since I gained lifelong friendships as well as more leadership experience, serving as vice-president of the group.

            I never drank alcohol in high school, or even my first year in college.  But when I moved into the apartment my sophomore year, my roommate and I visited his sister who offered me my first drink.   In the fraternity, there were always pre-functions and post-functions, that were cocktail parties, before and after college events such as dances.  Hard liquor could only be bought at a state liquor store, so officers of fraternities and sororities who were 21 would shop there with lists that included several half-pints, several pints, and several quarts of various liquors. 

            The fraternity provided opportunities to travel to regional meetings every semester, where I stayed in chapter houses at other colleges.  The summer after I turned 21, I rode a bus to San Francisco, where I met a fraternity brother and we hit the bars in North Beach, before boarding a train to Los Angeles and then New Orleans.   We spent most of the time playing cards in the Club car.  In Los Angeles, we had two hours between trains, and I walked across the street to look for food.  It was a Sunday and the street was empty, so I walked against the WAIT signal, but a cop on a motorcycle was hidden a block away and gave me a ticket for jaywalking.  In Texas, we ran across the border into Mexico to buy cheap liquor.  In New Orleans, we attended a national fraternity conference during the days, and drank in the bars and on Bourbon Street at night.

            I also was involved in a church group in college, and each year attended regional weekend retreats. When I became regional president, I organized the retreat.  A group of us also spent a week in San Francisco, where we learned about urban problems, which stimulated my later interest in sociology.  One summer, several of us took a road trip in a Volkswagen bus to Wisconsin for a national conference.  While there, we decided to drive into Chicago, and we took a couple of young women from the conference with us.  When we each said where we were from, one of the young women said Wolf Lake, Minnesota.  I asked if she knew a man who was my mother's cousin, and she said that he was her uncle.  She was my second cousin!

            In the fall of my senior year, I flew to Chicago for a national church group conference at Northwestern University in Evanston.  It was my first trip on an airplane.   I remember being concerned that the plane was dropping long before the airport, but then realized that it would take time for the plane to descend!  While in Evanston, I remember taking the elevated train into Chicago where I explored downtown.

            Intellectually, college was s time of tremendous growth.  In the Honors College, I was required to take yearlong courses in Writing, Literature, Western Civilization, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.   I also took courses for my major in physics.  The first paper I wrote was given a grade of D, which was a shock since I had earned all A's in high school.  I then realized that I had learned grammar in elementary school and how to write paragraphs in high school, but not essays.  My senior year of high school, my College Preparatory English class was taught by a young teacher who didn't know the difference between an adjective and an adverb, so it was no preparation at all. But I worked hard rewriting my papers in college, and by the end of the first quarter, my writing improved enough that I earned an A in the Writing course.  

            At first I spent a lot of time struggling to write the introductions to papers, then I learned to write the introduction after the rest of the paper was written.  I also found it easier to talk about a topic informally than to write formally about it, so I would carry on a conversation with myself.  I would type questions like "What am I trying to say?" and "Why do I think that" and type answers to the questions.  I would then edit what I wrote removing the questions. I eventually learned to ask the questions in my head without writing them on paper.

            The Literature course explored a variety of genres.  I remember writing a paper analyzing the poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn."  The Western Civilization course was extremely stimulating, since it traced the development of ways of knowing, from Greek philosophy to religion to scientific thinking.  At the time, I was struggling to develop various ways of understanding life.  The Social Sciences course introduced psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science all in the same course, taught by a Social Psychologist.   The interdisciplinary approach of the course would influence my thinking years later.

            I had taken a psychology course in high school and enjoyed it, but my freshman year in college I volunteered at the campus radio station, having my own radio program of classical music, and at the campus television station, operating the control board that switched among cameras, and I helped broadcast the Introductory Psychology course via closed circuit TV.  The course was horrible, and turned me off from taking further psychology courses besides the required Social Sciences course.   Ironically, years later I would teach Introductory Psychology, but in a totally different manner.

            The philosophy course that I took my senior year was a major disappointment.  I had learned about philosophy in my Western Civilization course, and a great deal about science in my physics major.  But my philosophy professor knew little about science.  I understood the various philosophies that he taught, but he did not understand the scientific philosophy that dominated my thinking.  I remember that the best essay I wrote in the course was one I wrote in half an hour just before class, after remembering it was due that day.

            As an elective, I took two years of German.  The first year the class was at 8:00 in the morning, and the Teaching Assistant who taught the class was not fully awake just like the students.  So I was not fully prepared for the second year class taught by a professor from Berlin.  He called on students, and if the response was not perfect, he would point his finger at you and yell "Falsch."  It was sink or swim, and I decided to swim.  I worked hard in the class and learned German with a Berlin accent. Later while traveling in Germany, people thought I was from Berlin.

            I also had planned to study Russian.  My father's parents came from a German village called Walter-Khutor near Saratov on the Volga River in Russia.  They left in 1901 during the increasing nationalism that preceded the Russian Revolution in 1917.  Their ancestors were recruited from Saxony after Catherine the Great of Germany married the Czar of Russia and displaced him in 1762.  To create a buffer between the Russians and the Ottoman Turks, immigrants were offered land, no taxes, and no military service, which was increasingly resented by the Russians.

            However, my physics advisor said that I needed Optics more than Russian, and it turned out that the Optics lab was one of my favorite courses, using prisms to bend light into rainbows of colors.  I enjoyed my undergraduate physics courses, since they helped me understand how some things worked in the world.  I remember that my senior year, my lab partner and I would work on our homework together, and reward ourselves when it was finished by going to the Bavarian restaurant for German sausages and beer. 

            For my physics major, I was required to take a Chemistry course, and that was enlightening too.  However, the Chemistry lab course was Quantitative Chemistry instead of Qualitative Chemistry.  So instead of conducting experiments to determine what was in a sample, we had to measure the exact amount of something in a sample.  This required carefully weighing, drying, mixing, and titrating, which took a long period of time.  Often the bell would ring in the middle of a titration so I would open the spigot more and lose precision.  We were required to run three samples and take the average, which I did.  But some pre-med students only did one sample carefully, and made up numbers for the other two.  The primary skill I learned from the lab was how to wash glassware, rinsing it four times, since we spent so much time doing it.  I called the lab Dishwashing 101.

            I did not take a Biology course in college, since I didn't like Biology in high school.  Back then we had to dissect a frog, which was okay, but we also had to memorize the names of all of the parts of every system of the frog.  I thought that was a waste of effort.  If we had learned the names of all of the parts of every system of a human being, that would have been useful to me.




            I was offered a fellowship to attend graduate school in physics at the University of Washington in Seattle.   The first day of class, a female student arrived late.  She had gone to the wrong class, and had to walk up to find a seat in from of the professor and 80 students, all male except for one other female.  She recognized me from the University of Oregon, and sat next to me. We had met our freshman year as a result of my dorm and her dorm having a mixer.  I didn't go, and she didn't go except to grab some cookies.  But while she was there, my roommate spoke with her and invited her for a coke date in the student union.  I happened to run into them in the student union, and he introduced her to me.   We didn't see each other again until our senior year when we briefly met at a scholarship interview, even though her sorority was only two blocks from my fraternity. 

            After class at the UW, we would have coffee together to commiserate on how terrible our physics classes were.  That year the student government decided to begin rating teachers using letter grades.  All of the physics professors were given all F's except for one who had all D's.  They were more interested in research than teaching.  I remember sitting at a cyclotron copying down numbers, being bored, and not wanting to do that the rest of my life.  But I was torn about quitting the program, since I felt I had made a commitment to continue.

            Commiserating over coffee together led to dating the first year, engagement the second year, and marriage the third year.  The first summer, she participated in an Experiment in International Living program and stayed with a family in Switzerland, while I worked as a Customer Engineer for IBM.  I thought that the IBM program was to recruit employees, but instead it was to recruit future customers.  I attended a training session in Palo Alto where I learned about all the wonderful things that IBM could do. 

            I was then assigned to work with an insurance company in Seattle to help them adapt a computer program for accounting.  Knowing nothing about accounting was beneficial, since the accountant I worked with had in mind the hundred different forms that the program had to deal with and tried to adapt it for each.  I, instead, looked at the way in which the program needed to handle each form and saw that there were only three ways.  That greatly simplified the adaptation.  I was impressed with the dedication of the people I met at IBM, and enjoyed computer programming, but didn't feel that that was what I wanted to do the rest of my life.

            The second summer I traveled around Europe with three friends using a Eurail Pass.  That trip is described in another journal.  In preparation for the trip, I audited a French class for a year, so I would know some French in addition to Spanish and German.