In the summer of 1974 after Jean and I bought 5.6 acres of secluded land in Marriottsville Maryland, I took a loan from Maryland National Bank for $7700 and installed the pool shown below. Why start this story with this picture? Because there was no house or electricity – just a pool in the middle of nowhere, just an inground pool in the wilderness with no neighbors for miles around. My mindset was if we were going to live through the humid/hot summers in the Baltimore area, we needed a pool.
In February of 1971, Jean and I moved from Pittsburgh to the Brookview Apartments at the northwestern edge of Baltimore City, not far from the Pimilco Race Track where the Preakness was held. It was there that we purchased our first color TV and I watched the World Series between the Oakland As and the Cincinatti Reds in 1972.
I had earned my Ph.D. in Biochemistry and had taken a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to work under Paul Ts’o in the Department of Biochemistry at the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. My building in the medical center was located on the eastern side of downtown Baltimore on Wolfe Street across from the back door of Hopkins Hospital and next to the Medical School. This section of Baltimore had not shown much evidence of recovering from the riots of 1968 when most of this side of Baltimore was burned down. Hopkins was sort of an oasis where intense medical research was conducted. As evidence of this, in 1977 Dan Nathans and Hamilton Smith at the Medical School received the Nobel Prize for their discovery and application of restriction enzymes for splicing genes into replicating DNA vectors – the beginning of recombinant DNA research. A few years earlier I had been invited to give a seminar to Nathans and Smith’s labs.
In late 1973 or early 1974, friends who had also moved to the Baltimore area from Pittsburgh, Becky and Frank Lindburgh, found some 5 acre lots for sale in a remote undeveloped section of northern Howard County due west of Baltimore a couple of miles north of Route 70 that headed due west to Grand Junction Colorado. Later on, I discovered that it took me about 35 minutes to commute to work from Marriottsville and it took Jean about 25 minutes to get to the University of Maryland Medical Center on the west side of downtown Baltimore where she worked as a nurse. Read the rest of this entry »