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A Brief Summary of

UB: A Memoir of Uncle Bob Mead

edited by Sylvia Field, with technical advice from Claire Mead and Larry Young

Bob at the Alhambra fortress, Granada, Spain

After the death of our sister Laurie at age 33, my brothers – Jerome 37 and Steve 35 – and I got together for dinner and to share some family photos. I was the oldest in the group at age 39, which is not a wide margin of seniority, but I found that I could remember more details of our history further back than either brother.

When I turned 67, I determined to set down what I could remember of the earliest years for the benefit of my brothers, their children, and Laurie’s children. By this time, I had been publishing articles on math and astronomy, and offering puzzles of my own making for over twenty years. When I sent my brothers the first two chapters, there was a flurry of email exchanges, so I kept writing. I kept it light and used a conversational style that you might enjoy.

After the section on childhood I realized the rest of the stories would be primarily about my life, and I had things to say. Certain experiences in my college and military service set me on a path to a rich life in teaching mathematics and in making music. I also wrote about love, marriage, gardening, travel, and the outdoors.

The “book” is divided into sections, beginning with childhood and my early adult life. In “Music Makers,” the reader can come with my wife Claire and me on tours abroad, help us navigate the English canals in a longboat, and be our guest at our annual Madrigal Dinner. In “The Good Life,” you can come with us on back-country walks, gaze at the stars in our dark skies, and possibly pick up some gardening tips. You’ll see that math teaching and learning, solving and making puzzles, and singing are the things that make me tick.

"Come sit the porch."

As I saw it, there were two main benefits to publishing this memoir in html. Since music has ever been sweet to my ears and swimming in my head, I wanted to share some tunes with you, both classical and popular, through web links. The other benefit was in doing our own layout of over 200 illustrations.

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