After returning from California, after the cross country motorcycle trip, the discovery trip after my discovery of the Bahá’í Faith McLean, I went back to school. So in 1971 in Oxnard and Santa Barbara California, I decided I wanted to go back to school. I looked at options in California, but returning to Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia was the logical choice until I could do something better. So in the autumn of 1971 I returned to Old Dominion as a Bahá’í, no more counter-culture free living, it was time to decide what I was going to do with my life. Mostly I was oriented on the advice of the Huddlestons, and with a little help from Geoff Hougland, I transferred to Virginia Tech and started in the Agronomy/Soils Department.Click here to add your own text
Before getting to Virginia Tech, I remember mostly a period of self-study of the Bahá’í teachings. I read just about everything I could find in English. I also connected to other Bahá’í youth, and one that stands out is Francie Higgins White. She was raised a Bahá’í and I used to tell her how lucky she was, and how many things are “natural” to her because of her family, and how many things I had to work hard to achieve.Click here to add your own text
I decided to start playing the violin in Norfolk, and continued on and off up to the present. And that is the reason I don’t play well. To play the fiddle well you have to start young, and never stop. But I did play student recitals in Norfolk, played in a quartet in Blacksburg, took my violin to Haiti and Ivory Coast and Starkville (but didn’t do much with it), played in the University symphony in Raleigh, played with a small group in Kandy, and I’m thinking to get serious in my dotage.Click here to add your own text
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When I moved to Starkville/Virginia Tech I roomed with Geoff Highland, first in a house full of alternative types. Geoff and I made a soup on Sunday, and added to it all week. I eventually got tired of roommates and decided to lease my own flat, and sub-lease it to others with conditions! If they didn’t keep the place reasonable, I sent them packing. Besides Geoff, an Indian from Madras (Srivivasan), and a classical guitar player (forget his name) shared the basement flat until my marriage to Carolyn.
There is a song, “Almost heaven, West Virginia”. Blacksburg was near the border of West Virginia, the same culture, and it was heaven to me. I loved the mountains, the activities, the University, the life. The small Bahá’í community was close, loving, and mutually supportive. I’m forgetting names, but maybe they’ll come back one day. I remember Barbara and Jerry Craig, Bruce Cotton, 2 faculty members at Radford University, a engineer student, a forestry student, a student who played the bagpipes, etc.(forgot names).
The students created a Bahá’í Club, in 1972 which was very active during my time at Virginia Tech in 1975. I have heard that this period had the most number of Baha’ students and faculty, and in the last 20 years most have moved on to other areas.
The club was recognised by the University administration and used rooms at the student union for firesides an other meetings. We also set up a booth at the beginning of the semester with the other clubs to invite other students to learn about the Faith.