Thursday, March 20, 2008

(SNEC) Member Remembers Arthur C. Clarke

One of my heroes died recently, Arthur Clarke. If I haven’t read everything he ever wrote, I consumed a big chunk. 
It’s strange how life works…I didn’t know that he was good friends with Bucky. Whenever Bucky was in the vicinity on one of his 40 or more around the world speaking tours, they’d get together at Clarke’s home in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They were friends for decades. I wish I knew more about their relationship…someone will have to do some digging in Bucky’s Chronofile at Stanford and make their correspondence available.

I found out that they knew each other quite by accident. I was reading Bucky and Clarke at the same time. Both were important to me for different reasons. I spent many a happy hour on the beach reading one book after another. My two favorites are Childhood’s End, and a non-fiction book, Ascent To Orbit , which is the finest introduction to all things space related. I could even understand the math. I learned for the first time how radar came into being. He was a part of that during his stint in the RAF during World War Two. Fascinating stuff, and highly recommended.It was also something of an autobiography, and very humorous at times.

He was waiting for a call from E.T. ‘till the day he died. As I write this, my computer is crunching data for SETI at home. I hope they call soon.

Phil Haggerty
March, 2008

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