Picture of Stanwood Cobb. He was 90 something when he visited Blacksburg. The Bahá’í Club invited him for some lectures and he stayed with me in my flat for a few days before I was married. This always meant a lot to me, because Stanwood Cobb knew ’Abdu’l-Bahá and often gave talks about his recollections. Important to me because it demonstrated just how recent the revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, so recent that I could listen to a person who had personal contacts from the heroic age of the Faith.
The members of the Bahá’í Club, probably 1973. I think this was before my marriage to Carolyn in 1974. Carolyn was living with the engineering student behind her right shoulder. Raymond Campinoli (sp?) is in the middle of the back row, both Carolyn and I knew Raymond from our time in McLean. Barbara Craig is in the middle of the front row.
Carolyn and I, and other members of the Bahá’í Club, belonged to an international dance club. We danced a couple of times of week, and we were even invited to “perform” for others from time to time. We were happy in Blacksburg and the Bahá’í Club was a united and wonderful group.
Carolyn transferred from Tuffs to be with me at Virginia Tech. She arrived in the fall of 1973, and we were married on Naw Ruz in 1974. More about this in the section on Carolyn.
Married Naw Ruz 1974
She doesn’t look like this today. She was known in the Bahá’í community as a quiet, and pleasant girl. I was told by one of the Persian Bahá’ís before our wedding that I needed to protect her character. All this is true, but part of what was not obvious is that she had self-esteem issues, resulting in my opinion from her mother and older sister. Over time a mismatch in characters started to play a role in our marriage, especially when the tests with Aileen and pioneering impacted our lives heavily.
This is a picture of the Va Tech campus and surrounding mountains. I loved this place. On the right is a picture of Dr. Thomas Hutcheson, Department Head for the Crops and Soils Department.
Our house after marriage. My friend from Colombia, Carlos Castilla, rigged the door during our wedding so that, when we arrived home in the middle of the night after the wedding party, a bucket of water would fall on our heads. Then, he hid all the light bulbs in the house. Fortunately for me, I didn’t carry Carolyn across the threshold and sent her ahead while I took care of the bags. So, I heard a scream and rushed to see what happened.
hiking, biking, caving in the mountains
This is Hutcheson Hall, named after the father of Dr. Thomas Hutcheson who started me on a pioneering life.
When I arrived at Va Tech, I received $100 per month support from my parents. I think more precisely, from my father’s child support payment to my mother. So I had to work for the flat, food, books and tuition expenses. I worked in the student union at least 20 hours per week, probably more, and then I found a job at a research lab in the Agronomy department and Soils Lab.
Up until Virginia Tech, I was not a good student. At Va Tech, I moved to the top of my class with a 5.0 average. This allowed me to receive an academic grant for the last 2 years of my first degree (BS), and a graduate research stipend for the MS.
When I finished my MS, Carolyn and left to pioneer in Haiti as a faculty member at Va Tech (“Research Associate”), my first University job.