Thursday, April 23, 2015


     The ski season ended for me on April 11, 2015.   After  100 days of skiing for the season it seemed appropriate to wrap it up on my 80th birthday.   One would expect spring conditions in mid April but not so.   More like the usual firm conditions of winter.   To confirm the end of the season, I had my skis waxed and sharpened to be stored in my locker in anticipation of the next season.  You might say it was a transitional ritual.  
   This is the time to transition to other things.  Although we play tennis indoors during the winter, we always look forward to the start of the outdoor season.   Fortunately the weather for the second week of April cooperated.  Not the case this week!  Cold, rainy and snowy weather has eliminated outdoor tennis for now.   Exercise in lieu of skiing or tennis now takes the form of long walks on the treadmill in the sun room.
   Reaching the beginning of the ninth decade of life brings on some reflections.   Now that I am eighty do I see myself differently and likewise do others.   Now that I am through with skiing, I spend more time in my emeritus  office at Cornell so I get to interact with a much younger crowd.   The late teen to early twenty students that I advise seem to accept me as a "wise" and seasoned prof.   The active faculty group seems tolerate the old guard with a certain respect.   In some respects returning to the campus is like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes.  So the routine changes.  Days on campus involved in projects that both serve and pique my curiosity.  Days at home completing chores and playing tennis with my wife are further satisfying.   And I throw in a bit of travel now and then to change the scenery.
    Further, speaking of transitions, Cornell University is in the midst of celebrating 150 years of existence.  My association with Cornell started in a a formal sense in 1953 as an undergraduate student so by now I have 62 years of involvement with this great institution.   In honor of that involvement, I will participate in the Charter Day celebration this coming Monday including marching in the procession in Barton Hall.  Should be fun!
Mann Library Gallery of Exhibits
    Finally, it is also good to be returning to a pet project of displaying objects from the Cornell Agricultural Museum first established in 1877.   We have just finished setting up a display of antique model plows other farm machinery in the Mann Library Gallery at Cornell.  See the photos below for the display.   Come one come all and take a look.  
   Meanwhile transitions will continue.   Perhaps there will be more frequent posts to this blog!
 Sales and Patent Models of Farm Machinery

Models of Farm Machinery and Fences

Rau Model Plow Collection - Evolution of the Plow