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PostWAISers: Ronald Hilton's 99th Birthday--Upcoming Centennial Conference (David Pike, France) (John Eipper, USA, 07/28/10 6:10 pm)
David Pike writes:
Saturday (31 July) marks the 99th birthday of our founder, and Saturday will not be a normal day for me. I believe that all who knew him, but especially those who worked in Stanford's Bolivar House, have memories that they will always treasure. Of course he could be a tyrant (Stanford knew him as 'the wild bull of the campus'), but when relaxed he could be endlessly entertaining--and instructive. I could have gone on listening to him for years and still have found new inspiration. Some of the postings on WAIS today now seem to drip with Google. Ronald Hilton's intellect was the opposite. He carried it in his head. His analyses were his own.
One day the events of 1964 that ended the life of Bolivar House will be properly recorded. A few men of narrow ambition were enough to undo his life. Wallace Sterling was not among them, but the Stanford Administration of that time will not come out of it looking good. By a quirk of fate, I was not present at the end. I was in France, and heard the news from Sir Harold Mitchell. Perhaps the WAIS old-timers will throw in their memories of studying under Sir Harold, Jim Taylor, Burnett Bolloten, Joaquin Duarte and many others that taught at the Institute on Alvarado Row.
JE comments: David Pike collaborated with Prof. Hilton for many years, and few WAISers knew him better. David's post reminds me that we have one year to plan the gala RH Centennial Conference. We have yet to choose even a venue. Any suggestions--or better yet, offers to do some of the heavy lifting/hosting? As for locations, how about Paris? Spain? England? Or Adrian, Michigan? All of these places, except Adrian, were important in the intellectual life of Prof. H. Stanford's campus, of course, is always an option, but I favor somewhere different. Let's have a conversation on this.
Happy Birthday, Professor Hilton!