A local footnote to history

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The article about Linus Pauling by Syd Albrighht brings memories of my footnote to history.

On one of Pauling’s trips to Monterey, he invited me to his ranch below Big Sur to discuss architectural services for the house he wanted to build there.

When I arrived at the cabin, it had stopped raining. So Linus suggested we immediately go down to the building site, which was on the bluff above the ocean and in a grove of trees covered with wintering Monarch butterflies. Soon the sky opened up again, and we got wet.

When we returned to the cabin, Helen brought Linus’ slippers and bathrobe for me to wear while drying out. I walked in the shoes of a genius and wore his royal robe. And on the kitchen table were his papers, not of some new chemical formula, but his draft to the speech that he intended to deliver upon accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

Pauling was a far better scientist than an architect. He wanted a drafter to prepare construction drawings for the exact plan he had in mind. Since I did not want my name associated with that, it was “No.”

JOSEPH HENRY WYTHE

Sandpoint

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