Snow was expected


Grodon L. Hammond Jan.2021

– – – during the night. However, it did not happen. It started to rain, and the train whistle blew three times. That meant the bridge had fallen. The engineer called for everyone to run. I got off and ran as fast as I could run through the trees. I saw a hobo camp and recognized 4 hobos. They offered me a cup of coffee. They were my uncles, and one was my father. He had abandoned his family and I didn’t recognize him. I asked him if he could repay the 5 dollars he had stolen from my piggy bank. He took up a collection from his brothers, and he repayed me. He died a month later.

I could see the Interstate highway and traffic was moving at 70 mph toward the river. I knew the road shared the bridge with the train. I tried to stop the traffic, and I knew there was a catastrophe ahead. So, I just sat down and watched and listened and prayed. The sound of train cars tumbling over and over, and the screams of car passengers, made me doubt the power of prayer. However, I saw people and children climbing out of the ravine and toward me. I helped some children to get into the cars that had stopped and turned around.

I recognized 2 young girls, they were hand & Hand and crying and their clothes were badly torn. However, they were my neighbors ! I could not find their parents. The girls said their father was using his cell phone. I don’t use a cell phone. Many people with cell phones can not remember the number for 911


Gordon is my first and best friend from Phillips Academy Andover as we were both assigned in 1947 to stay at Green House, Mastered by Mr. Harold Howe III, a history teacher who later became Secretary of Education in President Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet. I consider Gordon one of my best friends, for he, indeed, helped me prepare my homework while I was struggling desperately with the English language. Gordon also invited me to spend Thanksgiving at his home – my first Home Stay Experience in the United States.

Upon my request to write something for my Friendshipology website, he sent me this short essay with a newly published book called , “ A Run-Of-The- Mill Yankee Scientist “. Below is the cover of that book with a photo of “ That Handsome Dude.” The book is actually a Condensed Oral Interview of Gordon by Sanlyn Buxner in 2016 for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Historical Astronomy Division.

The interview succinctly captured very personal family history as well as Gordon’s professional achievements and hobbies. I did not know that his father abandoned the family when he was ten years old. I am glad that he enjoyed and did well in Golf, Riflery, and Sports Car Racing. Wow, I am fascinated and impressed by his White Dwarf Stars Explorations.

I am particularly grateful that I am one of only five Friends he has so far shared this personal story book. His essay is still a puzzle to me, but I also can not remember why and when I started to address him “NODROG” in my letters to him. I think it was after his visiting me at Camp DeWitt at Wolfeborough, New Hampshire, before he departed to fight the Korean War.


Gordon L. Hammond

Prof. & Scholar/Research Scientist
Astronomy Program, University of
South Florida, Tampa, Florida 1986-