I’ve been waiting for a rainy day to bust this one out and today is that day. Going through the box of Faculty Club records I came upon what at first seemed to be an unremarkable notice of a Saturday night party in 1939. As I read through it I kind of ticked off a couple of faintly interesting things–Refreshments served at 11:00 p.m.! What is bottle pool? Who was A.H. Burr?–but nothing really noteworthy.
Then I got to the note at the very bottom:
I know whose coat that is! It belonged to my friend Maxwell Reade, Ph.D ’40, who passed away a couple of years ago at 100. We became friends several years before that through an accident that turned out to be providential. He was an incredibly engaging person, a vivid personality who enjoyed a distinguished career as a mathematician at the University of Michigan. We talked several times before he died. They were long, productive, and jolly telephone conversations and the last time we spoke he gave me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received: “You know how to make an old man happy.” I can’t think of anything better than that.
You can find the post I wrote about him at this death here, and it wouldn’t be a waste of your time to click through the links.
Bonus: I’ve never really understood this.