I would like to take time to thank Bob Harris and Keith Nightingale for the letters you recently sent me.

Bob’s Easter letter was a very interesting recounting of his career starting at General Atomic in January 1968 after he graduated with a Ph.D. in particle physics. Soon after he joined GA to work for me, Gulf Oil bought the company, and I left to start SAI in February 1969. When Bob’s contract ended at GA, he joined me at SAI, becoming one of the company’s earliest employees in June 1970.

Thank you, Bob, for the letter and for your summary of the lessons that you learned at SAI. I hope you had an enjoyable Easter, and that you will send me copies of your big-picture books when they are published.

* * *

Keith sent me a paper he wrote on the meaning of Normandy in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion in 1944. Keith’s story centered on a small village in France by the name of Hemevez. Each year the townspeople honor 7 American parachutists of the 82nd Airborne Division who were captured by the Germans and executed on June 6, 1944.

Some years ago I visited the Normandy beaches and battlefields where so many Americans lost their lives in the name of freedom. It was a very sobering experience. We owe our World War II veterans, both living and dead, a great and eternal debt. Thank you Keith for sending me your paper.

* * *

As I mentioned last week, Ron Arnold chartered the America’s Cup replica yacht America for Betty and me and a small group of friends to tour San Diego Bay. I have included a few photos from that very enjoyable day.

— Bob

2 Responses to “Letters from Friends”

  1. 1 Tsahi Gozani

    Hi Bob,
    I was happy to receive today your blog, after missing it for a few years.
    It was good to see your and Betty’s pictures.
    I have retired from Rapiscan Laboratories at the end of 2012, after 56 years of work, 29 of which at General Atomic and SAI/SAIC.
    I started at General Atomic in 1966, two years after we first met at 1964 Geneva Atom for Peace Conference where you were member of the US scientific delegation and I was in the Israeli scientific delegation. At that time our topic of discussion was my recent Pulsed neutron work and your work on neutron thermalization.
    In 1967 we wrote the innovative GA proposal to employ photofission for quantitative nuclear material detection as a part of the US nuclear material safeguards program. in 1968 we were awarded large multi-year program by the US AEC. This and other related programs was the backbone of the GA, IRT and the incipient SAI contracts for several years. It is interesting to note that in 2005 I’ve initiated at Rapiscan Laboratories a major program to employ high energy x-ray radiography and photofission for the inspection of marine cargo containers and trucks for smuggled nuclear materials as part of the Homeland Security mission. The physics has not changed much, but what we can do with it and with the available computer power and the fast digital (and even analog) electronic devices is amazing.
    Looking back over those many years moving through the ranks at, JRB Associates, SAI, SAIC, being CEO and CTO of ANCORE and Rapiscan Advanced Neutronics, CTO of Rapiscan Laboratories and academia-I believe that the early years at GA and SAI/SAIC were the most formative under your leadership in terms of what a technical oriented company should be, how to incentivize employees (ideally as employee-owners) and in general creating a vibrant and productive environment which encourages innovation, while maintaining financial responsibility.
    I’ve have attempted, through my career to practice and implement these principles, often with good results.

    Adit and I would like to wish you and Betty good health.

  2. 2 Dr. Beyster

    Tsahi: I enjoyed reading your post on my blog. It brought back many good memories of our days at GA and the early SAI/SAIC years. I am glad to hear that you are doing well and happily retired. Betty and I both thank you for your well wishes, and we wish you and Adit the same in return. — Bob

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