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Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

University of California 
Source of Community Leaders Series 

Joel W. Hedgpeth 



With an Introduction by 
John A. McGowan 

Interviews Conducted by 

Ann Lage 

in 1992 

Copyright 1996 by The Regents of the University of California 

Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading 
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of 
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of 
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a 
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well- 
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the 
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for 
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected 
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and 
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material, 
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete 
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in 
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, 
and irreplaceable. 


All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement 
between The Regents of the University of California and Joel W. 
Hedgpeth dated October 29, 1992. The manuscript is thereby made 
available for research purposes. All literary rights in the 
manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. No part 
of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written 
permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University 
of California, Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication should be 
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, 
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include 
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated 
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal 
agreement with Joel W. Hedgpeth requires that he be notified of the 
request and allowed thirty days in which to respond. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: 

Joel W. Hedgpeth, "Marine Biologist and 
Environmentalist: Pycnogonids, Progress, 
and Preserving Bays, Salmon, and Other 
Living Things," an oral history conducted 
in 1992 by Ann Lage, Regional Oral History 
Office, The Bancroft Library, University 
of California, Berkeley, 1996. 

Copy no. 

Joel W. Hedgpeth, Salt Point, Sonoma County, 1984. 

Photograph by Steven Obrebski 

Pity ddysg im, pa ddunies gain, 
Wir araitli i aru-yrain? 

The motto reads, "The squirrel against the world." 
The original Welsh is "The truth against the world." 

qwir-- truth 
qwiwer squirrel 

They sound very much alike. --JWH 

Cataloging Information 

Joel W. Hedgpeth (b. 1911) Marine Biologist 

Marine Biologist and Environmentalist; Pycnogonids. Progress, and 
Preserving Bays. Salmon, and Other Living Things. 1996, xiv, 329 pp. 

Hedgpeth and McGraw family history; childhood in Oakland and the Sierra 
foothills; studies in biology at UC Berkeley, University of Texas; comments 
on Monterey Bay marine biologist Ed Ricketts, Steinbeck character and 
ecologist; founding the Society for the Prevention of Progress, revising 
Between Pacific Tides; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1950s; 
director, University of the Pacific's Pacific Marine Station, Dillon Beach, 
1957-1965; discusses opposition to Pacific Gas & Electric Company's 
proposed nuclear power plant at Bodega Bay, CA, 1957-1964; director of 
Oregon State University's Marine Science Center, 1965-1973; pycnogonid (sea 
spider) research, lifelong and worldwide; research trips to Antarctica; 
estuarine studies; research and testifying on San Francisco Bay and Delta 
environmental issues. 

Introduction by John A. McGowan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

Interviewed 1992 by Ann Lage for the University of California, Source of 
Community Leaders Series. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley. 


The Bancroft Library, on behalf of future researchers, wishes to thank the 
University of California Class of 1931 Oral History Endowment and the 
following persons and organizations whose contributions made possible this 
oral history of Joel W. Hedgpeth. Special thanks are owed Michael Herz, 
the Baykeeper project of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Preservation 
Association, William T. Davoren, and Irwin Haydock for their leadership in 
organizing the funding. 


San Francisco Foundation 

Mar in Community Foundation 

David and Lucile Packard Foundation 


Carlo and Eleanor Anderson 

Bill Austin 

Karl Banse 

Dick Barber 

Mary Bergen 

Charles P. Berolzheimer 

Jerry and Faith Bertrand 

Harold Bissell 

Michael Black 

Thomas E. Bowman 

Margaret G. Bradbury 

Gray Brechin 

Richard C. Brusca 

Ralph Buchsbaum 

James T. Carlton 

Lloyd Carter 

James S. Clegg 

Peter and Carolyn Connors 

L. Eugene Cronin 

William T. Davoren 

Paul K. Dayton 

Douglas R. Diener 

Alyn C. Duxbury 

Evan C. Evans III 

Phyllis M. Faber 

Daphne Fautin 

Rimmon C. Fay 

Harold Gilliam 

Gordon Gunter 

Cadet Hand 

Irwin Haydock 

Alice Q. Howard 

Douglas L. Inman 

Ray B. Krone 

Kris Lindstrom 

Wesley Marx 

David T. Mason 

Mr. & Mrs. John A. McGowan 

John L. Mohr 

William A. Newman 

Frederic H. Nichols 

Larry C. Oglesby 

Barry Paine 

David E. Pesonen 

Joseph & Freda Reid 

Nancy J. Ricketts 

Michael Rozengurt 

Virginia Scardigli 

Doris Sloan 

Mr. & Mrs. Felix E. Smith 

Robert B. Spies 

Edgar M. Tainton 

Margery & Fred Tarp 

Eleanor S. Uhlinger 

B.E. & Toni Volcani 

Craig J. Wilson 



INTRODUCTION- -by John A. McGowan ill 



Mother's Familythe McGraws 1 
Nellie Tichenor McGraw Hedgpeth- -Joel's Mother 9 
Joel Hedgpeth, Mountain Blacksmith 10 
Some Early Memories and a Traumatic Injury 13 
A Family of AuntsFamily Stories 16 
Early Interest in the Natural World: Ants, Seashells, and 

Childhood Reading 22 

Book Collecting, Book Critiquing, and Music 28 

Boyhood Wanderings in the Sierra Foothills, 1920-1921 34 

Father's Tenuous Tie to the IWW 42 

Solitary Time in Nature 45 

Public Schools, Homes, and Family in Stockton and the Bay Area 47 
Palo Alto Military Academy, 1922 56 
Junior High and High School in Oakland 57 
A Summer Idyll 61 
San Mateo Junior College, 1929-1931 62 
Studies at UC Berkeley, Class of 1933 65 

English from George Stewart 67 

Zoology Studies 70 

Choosing Marine Biology, and Sea Spiders 71 

Professors S. F. Light and Joseph Grinnell at Berkeley 77 

The Controversial Professor Lund at the University of Texas 80 

A Boyhood Interest in Shells and Sea Creatures 83 

More on College Studies in Zoology and Biology 87 

The Concept of Ecological Communities in Marine Biology 90 
Ed Ricketts, a Marine Biologist and Steinbeck Character 93 
An Ecologist and Systematist 96 
Revising Between Pacific Tides 97 
Ethology: A Recent Development in Ecology 101 
Ricketts and the Influence of Between Pacific Tides 104 
"Philosophy on Cannery Row" --Ricketts, Steinbeck, Joseph 

Campbell 107 

The Society for the Prevention of Progress 113 

Various Articles and Papers Noted 117 

Jinglebollix 120 

Ed Ricketts' Innovative Work 122 

An Introduction to Pycnogonid Studies 127 
Evolution of the Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology 131 
Research Biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and 

Editor of the Big Red Book 135 

Cold War Concerns of Naval Intelligence at Scripps 137 

Responsibilities of Editing the Treatise on Marine Ecology 142 

Association with College of the Pacific 149 

More on Graduate Studies in Texas 151 

Director of the Pacific Marine Station at Dillon Beach 156 

Alden Noble 156 

Charles Berolzheimer's Contribution 158 

Classes and Oceanographic Studies at the Station 160 

National Science Foundation Program for Teachers 166 

Other Studies and Researchers in Tomales Bay 169 

Proposed Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Nuclear Power 

Plant at Bodega Bay, 1957-1964 173 

Potential Hazards of a Nuclear Plant 176 

Public Involvement in the Controversy 178 

University of California's Involvement 181 

Opponents to the Power Plant 187 

More Citizen Activists 191 

Leaving Pacific Marine Station 194 

Program, People, and Problems at the Yaquina Biological 

Laboratory 196 

Working with Bill Fry at Dillon Beach on Pycnogonid Research 204 

A Research Program in Antarctica 207 

Some Interesting Characteristics of Sea Spiders 208 

Tourists at Palmer Station 213 

Studying the Impact of Scientific Activity on the 

Antarctic Environment 216 

Hedgpeth Heights 222 

More on Oregon State University 224 

"Steinbeck and the Sea" Conference 227 

Retirement 230 

Estuarine Studies 231 

An Encounter with the Archdruid 233 

Estuaries in Texas 235 

The Sea of Azov 236 

Research on San Francisco Bay- -Geological Survey, UC, and 

Stanford 238 

Testimony Regarding Water Rights 243 

Conflict between Agribusiness and Environmentalists over Water 

Distribution 244 

Testifying for the Bay Institute, 1987-1990 247 

The Sea of Azov Comparison 248 

Problems with Water Diversion in Russia 250 

Using Some Texas Estuarial Data 252 

Measuring Water Conditions in the Bay 254 

The Tule Hypothesis and the Oyster Shell Challenge 257 

Striped Bass Population and the Flood of 1863 262 

Outcome of the Bay-Delta Hearings 26A 

Testimony by Scientists on Public Policy Issues 265 

Questions for Future Bay and Delta Research 269 

The Roman versus Celtic View of Life 273 

Recognition for Work to Save the Environment 274 



A. "A Boy's Life at Mather, 1921-1922" by Ted Wurm. 278 

B. "Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida)", introduction to the 
proceedings of a meeting held in 1976 at the Linnean 
Society in honor of Joel Hedgpeth, and a listing of 

Hedgpeth entries in "A pycnogonid bibliography." 282 

C. "Ed Ricketts, Marine Biologist" by Joel Hedgpeth, from 

the Steinbeck Newsletter. Fall 1995. 293 

D. Letter from Aldo Leopold, 1947. 295 

E. "ProgressThe Flower of the Poppy," by Joel Hedgpeth, in 

American Scientist, vol. 35 (3) 1947. 296 

F. Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology, 1957, Foreward 

and Contents. 300 

G. Family placenames: Tichenor Rock, Nellie's Cove, Nellie 

Lake, Hedgpeth Heights. 302 

H. Statement on San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary--An Ecological 

System, 1969. 303 

I. The Edward W. Browning Achievement Awards, 1976. 305 

J. Curriculum Vitae of Joel W. Hedgpeth. 308 

K. Commencement Speech to Class of 1970, Fresno State College 316 

INDEX 326 


On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our graduation from the 
University of California at Berkeley, the Class of 1931 made the decision 
to present its alma mater with an endowment for an oral history series to 
be titled "The University of California, Source of Community Leaders." The 
Class of 1931 Oral History Endowment provides a permanent source of funding 
for an ongoing series of interviews by the Regional Oral History Office of 
The Bancroft Library. 

The commitment of the endowment is to carry out interviews with 
persons related to the University who have made outstanding contributions 
to the community, by which is meant the state or the nation, or to a 
particular field of endeavor. The memoirists, selected by a committee set 
up by the class, are to come from Cal alumni, faculty, and administrators. 
The men and women chosen will comprise an historic honor list in the rolls 
of the University. 

To have the ability to make a major educational endowment is a 
privilege enjoyed by only a few individuals. Where a group joins together 
in a spirit of gratitude and admiration for their alma mater, dedicating 
their gift to one cause, they can affect the history of that institution 

The oral histories illustrate the strength and skills the University 
of California has given to its sons and daughters, and the diversity of 
ways that they have passed those gifts on to the wider community. We 
envision a lengthening list of University- inspired community leaders whose 
accounts, preserved in this University of California, Source of Community 
Leaders Series, will serve to guide students and scholars in the decades to 

Lois L. Swabel 
President, Class of 1931 

William H. Holabird 

President, retired, Class of 1931 

Harold Ray, M.D. , 

Chairman, Class of 1931 Gift Committee 

September 1993 

Walnut Creek, California 



Robert Gordon Sproul Oral History Project. Two volumes, 1986. 

Includes interviews with thirty- four persons who knew him well. 

Bennett, Mary Woods, class of '31, A Career in Higher Education; Mills 
College 1935-1974. 1987. 

Browne, Alan K. , class of '31, "Mr. Municipal Bond"; Bond Investment 
Management. Bank of America. 1929-1971. 1990. 

Dettner, Anne DeGruchy Low-Beer, class of '26, A Woman's Place in Science 
and Public Affairs: 1932-1973. 1996. 

Devlin, Marion, class of '31, Women's News Editor; Vallelo Times-Herald. 
1931-1978. 1991. 

Hassard, H. Howard, class of '31, The California Medical Association. 
Medical Insurance, and the Law. 1935-1992. 1993. 

Hedgpeth, Joel W. , class of '33, Marine Biologist and Environmentalist; 

Pycnogonids. Progress, and Preserving Bays, Salmon, and Other Living 

Heilbron, Louis H., class of "28, Most of a Century; Law and Public 
Service. 1930s to 1990s. 1995. 

Kay, Harold, M.D. , class of '31, A Berkeley Boy's Service to the Medical 
Community of Alameda County. 1935-1994, 1994. 

Kragen, Adrian A., class of '31, A Law Professor's Career: Teaching, 

Private Practice, and Legislative Representative. 1934 to 1989. 1991. 

Peterson, Rudolph A., class of '25, A Career in International Banking 
with the Bank of America. 1936-1970. and the United Nations 
Development Program. 1971-1975. 1994. 

Stripp, Fred S., Jr., class of '32, University Debate Coach. Berkeley 
Civic Leader, and Pastor. 1990. 

Trefethen, Eugene E., class of '30, Kaiser Industries administrator, in 



I first met Joel Hedgpeth in the winter of 1951 when I was a 
beginning graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). I 
was very uncertain of his position at Scripps but soon discovered that here 
was a very interesting, knowledgeable, and accessible man whose outlook on 
biology and on many other topics appealed to me. Further, he was able to 
express these views brilliantly, wittily, and often. It took some time to 
discover that his role at SIO was "editing" Volume I of the great two part 
Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology to be published as Memoir 67 of 
the Geological Society of America. This Treatise became one of the great 
classics of marine ecology and paleoecology. Volume I alone has 1,296 
pages. Joel wrote six of the chapters in this volume and they are among 
the best in this or any other book on this subject of the next two decades. 

One reason it was difficult for us young students to understand just 
what he was doing was his habit or arriving at 5:00 a.m., working hard at 
editing for maybe five hours, then spending the rest of the day visiting 
various offices and laboratories around Scripps. Typically, Joel would 
arrive unannounced, with a great, long complicated story which he began 
somewhere down the hall about events and situations that were frequently 
obscure, but always amusing. Some time into these monologues, it might 
turn out to be about a dispute between eminent Victorian naturalists that 
took place some 90 years earlier. It took me some time to realize that 
these were not pointless recitals but rather his way of introducing 
important, fundamental questions that had cropped up during his early 
morning editorial work. Joel was very democratic about these excursions, 
everyone's office was fair game, and I /suspect he used his visits to us 
students as sort of warm-ups for visits to the higher strata. This method 
of scientific interchange unfortunately did not go over well with some of 
the old mossbacks in white lab coats, especially since he had the habit of 
sitting on the corner of one's desk and sorting through the mail, 
interjecting parenthetical comments on it during the mostly one-way 

It is perhaps not well known that in addition to the six chapters in 
the Treatise which are clearly his, he did heroic editing jobs (practically 
rewrites) of several others so the term "editor" in this case involved 
considerably more than tinkering with, correcting, and arranging the work 
of others. The same is true of several editions of the equally famous 
textbook, Between Pacific Tides. But it is typical of Joel to be reticent 
about claiming credit where it is clearly due him. 

In those days, even at Scripps, we were aware of the "Molecular Wars" 
chiefly through the efforts of the geneticist Adriano Buzzati Traverse 
(whom Joel persisted in. calling transverse). Apparently Roger Revelle, the 
then director, had been convinced by Buzzati and others that the kind of 
"bug-counting" observational ecology we were doing was on its way out and 


that "a revolution was needed in marine biology." As a reaction to this, 
we bug counters formed the Neo-Victorian Biological Society, an evening 
seminar group that included plenty of home brew. Joel was one of the 
founding members and in many ways its mentor. 

Joel did manage to do some other writing while he was working on the 
Treatise. One effort was a lovely letter to the La Jolla Light, our local 
newspaper. He noticed that on the morning of certain days of the week 
there were large numbers of dead skunks on the streets of La Jolla; they 
had been hit by cars. He pointed out that not only was this very unseemly 
for patrician La Jolla, but that skunks were intrinsically valuable and 
beautiful. There followed a wonderful description of the sterling 
qualities of the skunk and a suggestion that everyone get up half an hour 
earlier on garbage days instead of setting out their cans the night before. 
Nothing came of this, of course. The letter was signed Jerome Tichenor, 
president (and sole member) of the Society for the Prevention of Progress. 
Many of us graduate students rushed to join the Society but were turned 
down; after all, additional members would have represented progress. 

In 1954 a major, five-month expedition set out from Scripps for the 
North Pacific. One of the many purposes of the trip was to dredge the deep 
ocean with the newly invented Isaacs deep sea dredge. But the operation 
was run by an exceedingly timid technician more concerned about losing the 
dredge than exploration of the depths, so rather few hauls were made. 
There was a total of three successful dredge hauls, one of which caught a 
single pycnogonid. Joel wrote a paper on this result where the purpose was 
" discuss the interesting capture and its significance to science and 
the welfare of mankind." [See page 120a] . 

In this one-page report with a grandiose title, he compares the 
Scripps Expedition (Trans-Pac) results with the Swedish Deep Sea Expedition 
(fourteen months at sea) results by means of a "detailed statistical 
analysis." He points out that the Swedes caught only one pycnogonid as 
well, but out of nine deep dredges, so that number of "pycs" per haul for 
Sweden was 0.11 while SIO caught 0.33, and the Swedes' number per month was 
0.07 while SIO's was 0.20. Therefore as can be seen from the table of the 
results, the SIO expedition was three times as successful both in terms of 
catch per unit of effort and per unit of gear. 

"But the only justifiable conclusion, one that cannot offend any 
national sensibilities, is that the pycnogonid population of the world 
ocean has increased threefold since 19A8. At this rate it is estimated 
that the pycnogonids may support a major fishery sometime in the next 
millennium." My reprint is signed "compliments of the author and 
statistician." A few years later a very serious professor of statistics at 
UCLA told her class that this paper was a serious misuse of statistical 
strong inference and null hypotheses testing, which, of course, was exactly 
Joel's point. 

About the time his work on the Treatise was winding up, Scripps 
received a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, presumably to 
foment Revelle's "revolution" in marine biology. Buzzati-Traverso was in 
charge of a large symposium supported by this grant, one of the first with 
global representations. He sought Joel's help with the invitations. Joel 
wrote (in 1995) to me "I told him (Buzzati) also that the CIA had a ringer 
who would attend as a zoologist, although it was his fluency in Russian 
that they wanted him there because several Russian bigshots would be there 
(they never showed up). 1 knew also that the State Department was sending 
an official Russian speaker to tell them what it was all about. I told 
Buzzati that there would be both official and covert Russian speakers, but 
that we needed a Russian who was also a real zoologist, so he obligingly 
invited Gene Kozloff, and more Russian was spoken than if Zenkevich et al. 
(the invited Soviets) had appeared. The State Department's Russian was 
really someone from the East Side who knew Yiddish better than Russian, and 
one morning they let go comparing dirty words, and Dave (Joel's friend) 
apologized to Gene (Kozloff) who said he knew all those words, after all he 
was the son of a Czarist officer." This little story is rather typical of 
Joel for he not only remembered the darndest stuff (the above event took 
place around 1958) but he was a confirmed Russophile (also an Anglophile 
and a Germanophile) and delighted in deflating the pretentious (i.e. the 
CIA and State) . 

Part of the Rockefeller money allowed the appointment of some new 
research/ faculty, and Joel had quite a clique recommending him. He also 
had written a very fine and detailed memorandum to the director on a 
"Proposed Program in Marine Biology." That is what he would propose to do 
at Scripps. In it are three specific suggestions: (a) the establishment of 
a course in invertebrate zoology, and as part of this course "there would 
be assigned ecological exercises which would serve to accumulate repeated 
observations" in the same place throughout the years; (b) expansion of the 
activities of the museum to include research and reference collections; and 
(c) a chair in the history of oceanography might suitably be included in 
the museum building. 

He was particularly concerned about the matter of continuing 
observations: what we now know as time-series. What followed in the memo 
was a superb essay on the value and need of time-series. Without one bit 
of the statistical jargon which, in any event, he did not know or had not 
been invented yet, he clearly was talking about what we now know as 
frequency spectra, aliasing, correlation length scales, coherence and cross 
correlations. All this stuff is now on the verge of high fashion in marine 

He went on to point out what dire straits the field of taxonomy was 
in and that a proper museum at Scripps would include taxonomic work and a 
study collection for ecologists and physiologists. This sort of argument 
is now high fashion also; it's called diversity studies and is one of the 
darlings of the National Science Foundation. Anyone at Scripps today, 


reading his words, would sincerely regret that none of this came to pass. 
Our science would have been greatly enhanced. 

After the last manuscript had been sent in for the Treatise 
(Revelle's, of course), Joel informed Revelle that he had a comfortable 
offer from somewhere else, but Roger informed Joel that all had been 
arranged for him at SIO, budget, supplies, equipment, etc. Hadn't anyone 
told him? No, nobody had told him. When he was finally shown the budget 
he discovered that one of the "eminent" mossbacks had already spent $5,000 
of it. It was clear to Joel that he was to be part of someone else's 
department. The someone else in this case was well known to be arbitrary 
and self-important, characteristics that would not bode well for a 
productive, happy future for an unconstrained free thinker like Joel. 

This was a great loss to Scripps Institution as subsequent events 
were to prove, for Joel went on to become a distinguished leader in the 
environmental movement, a prolific author in the history of West Coast 
marine science, a much sought-after consultant and lecturer, and a highly 
successful director of two important marine biology stations. 

He was not bluffing Revelle when he told him of his other offer. He 
became director of the University of the Pacific's outstanding marine 
biology teaching and research laboratory, the Pacific Marine Station at 
Dillon Beach on Tomales Bay. Joel has said, "I think some of the best 
years of my life were spent at Dillon Beach." Certainly these were some of 
his most productive years, ones that firmly established him as one of the 
west coast's premier environmental scientists and a world reputation as a 
marine scientist. Many students look back on their experiences at Dillon 
Beach with great fondness for their time there and for their time with 
Joel. Many remember collecting specimens for class at 5:00 a.m. on the 
foggy > wet intertidal rocks, with Joel perched on one, serenading them with 
his Irish harp. Whether this happened more than once, I do not know, but 
it seems hundreds of former Dillon Beach students "remember" this. We all 
wish it happened to us. 

Along with the teaching program, a first-class research effort was 
going on, particularly that of Ralph Johnson of the University of Chicago 
who was stimulated by Joel's great knowledge of natural history and 
invertebrate zoology. Some very fine community ecology of mud flats was 
done at this time. 

But perhaps the most famous episode of these years was the Battle of 
Bodega Head. Bodega Head is a remarkable headland jutting out into the 
Pacific with Bodega and Tomales Bays to the south and a cold water, 
upwelling coast to the north. This was (and is) an ideal spot for a power 
generating plant from an engineering standpoint because of the availability 
of cooling water, so Pacific Gas and Electric began, apparently in the mid- 
1950s, to discuss acquisition with various state and county agencies and 
probably the University of California, Berkeley, who had plans for a marine 
laboratory on the head. None of this "gray labyrinth of maneuvering in the 


back hallways of power" was made public and not until 1957 did Joel hear 
some vague allusions to it in a casual conversation at Berkeley. 

Since Dillon Beach was very near Bodega Head and Joel has a great 
fondness for the local landscape, he tried to learn more and he did. PG&E 
did indeed plan to build a large nuclear-fueled power-generating plant on 
Bodega Head, and negotiations were well underway with no public 
announcement, let alone hearings, but with the full cognizance of the 
administration at UC Berkeley. The news broke in a local paper (Joel's 
secretary at Pacific Marine Station was a local correspondent) . At that 
time Joel wrote the president of PG&E questioning the wisdom of siting a 
reactor near the San Andreas Fault. This turned out to be a very prescient 
question. He wrote many letters and recruited many allies to oppose this 
venture, but the iron-pants management of PG&E, the bureaucrats from the 
county, and the studied ambiguity of the UC Berkeley administration formed 
a solid phalanx of orthodoxy against which the nobodies of the opposition 
were supposed to shatter themselves. 

This did not happen. Opposition, both well reasoned and semi- 
hysterical, grew and grew to PG&E and its plan. One inspired public 
relations stunt in 1963 engineered by Lu Watters, the great Dixieland jazz 
musician, was to release 1,000 balloons at Bodega Head, each with the 
message "This could be a radioactive molecule," to the jazz tune specially 
written for the occasion, "Blues over Bodega." 

Joel wrote in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March, 1965, "The 
battle was finally won on the basis of geological uncertainty," (a research 
vessel from Scripps Institution of Oceanography had done a seismic 
reflection study near Bodega Head and discovered a new complex of faults), 
"yet it [the battle] has become part of the growing movement in California 
to prevent the destruction of California as a livable environment by 
freeway builders, subdividers, and developers." 

It is not clear to me which of the principles in this affair Joel was 
most angry with. He was certainly hurt by the attitude of the university 
for somewhere within the university administration there was a willingness 
to oblige outside interests. He has written " seemed to me at the 
outset that the university should serve the highest interest of the people 
of the state and that such interest should be above that of a mere gas and 
electric company no matter how large it was. It was this conviction that 
committed me to fight for Bodega Head." But sometime around 1963 or so, I 
asked him why he spent so much of his time and effort on the fight. As 
near as I can remember he said, "I just don't like the way those sons-o 1 - 
bitches do business." [See "The Battle of Bodega Head," p. 177a.] 

Jerome Tichenor memorialized in 1965 the affair in a thin book of 
poetry, "Poems in Contempt of Progress," published under the auspices of 
the Society for the Prevention of Progress, by the Clandestine Press. On 
the last page is the colophon, "We regret to inform the reader that this 
book has been printed with the aid of electricity." 


Of course he did many other things while fighting the Battle of 
Bodega Head. Teaching and running the highly successful marine station 
occupied much of this time, but as his fame grew he became a very popular 
lecturer on environmental issues, especially among the "don't trust anyone 
over thirty" crew. They saw immediately that this man was not about to 
pander to them nor indulge their many biases, but rather was one who had a 
great store of information in his head and the social and historical 
perspective to make sense of it. At the same time he was a frequently 
invited keynote speaker at national and international conferences and 
workshops . 

He was so well connected with European scientists that most of them 
made a special effort to visit Pacific Marine Station to see Joel, and he 
was always a wonderful host to them. One special incident was his 
entertainment of a group of Soviet scientists and their political shadow. 
Joel crammed the group together in a small car for a trip up the coast to 
Fort Ross, the former Russian colony (now a park). The countryside was 
quite rural, but Joel kept up his usual rapid fire and erudite commentary 
on all manner of thingsespecially the not-very-interesting local history. 
In the middle of this monologue he said, "See that circular barn over 
there? A hired hand went mad there looking for a corner to piss in." How 
much of this the dignified and rather puritanical Russians got I do not 
know, but perhaps they missed it all together, for Joel's conversations 
were (and are) so full of parenthetical cracks that one tends to evolve a 
sort of low-pass filter. 

I know little of Joel's spell as director of the Marine Science 
center at Oregon State University, but I have the suspicion that the 
administration who hired him thought they were getting a big Grant Swinger. 
In this they were surely disappointed, for although he surely could have 
played the right sort of footsy games with program managers in Washington 
(he'd seen enough of them to be an expert), this not only was not his 
style, but was repugnant to him, I am sure. 

But it was during this time that a renewal of interest in John 
Steinbeck's early years was occurring among the literati. Joel had already 
written on the Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts collaboration on the book, The Sea 
of Cortez , and knew them both from his own early days on Cannery Row. His 
marvelous editing of several editions of Between Pacific Tides was also 
linked to those times. I believe it was then he began his historical 
research on Ed Ricketts 1 life and his late relationship with Steinbeck. 
This culminated years later (1978) with an extraordinary history of, 
chiefly, Ed Ricketts and his philosophical interweaving of ecology and 
society. The ecology, of course, was marine intertidal ecology. This 
history appeared as a two-volume set called The Outer Shore, and was 
published by the Mad River Press. I asked him why them, since it could 
have been Oxford or Chicago (but not Stanford) . I got only a very 
ambiguous answer. My theory is that he liked their name--Mad River 
further they did a very good job of printing it. 


Once again there is much of Joel in these two volumes and the term 
"editor" does not fully describe his contribution. His introduction to 
Volume One is a pocket history of Monterey in the 1920s and 1930s and of 
the philosophical backdrop of marine ecology. This was very important in 
those days of the beginnings of experimental embryology (which relied 
chiefly on the eggs and larvae of marine organisms) and the "Organismal 
Conception"-- especially the study of colonial organisms such as ascidians. 
Part of Joel's fascination with Ricketts had to do with their shared 
fondness for poetry. These two volumes are history in the best sense of 
the word and are important contributions to our understanding of the 
development of marine science on the west coast of North America. Like 
most of Joel's publications, The Outer Shore will have a long intellectual 
and scientific half-life. 

Surely one of his most famous papers is "Models and Muddles," (1977, 
Helgolander wiss. Meeresunters, 30, 92-104). Subtitled "some philosophical 
observations," it is often thought of as another Joel joke but it is 
anything but that. It is a sophisticated and witty dismemberment of 
mathematical ecosystem models. The practitioners of this field rank only 
slightly below molecular biologists in their messianic manner and their 
"I'm smarter than you are" tone. Joel could never resist deflating the 
pompous. He shows two box model diagrams of impossible complexity and a 
set of equations (all three from published sources) with so many parameters 
that no numerical "solutions" are remotely possible. 

He goes on in two beautifully written pages to describe the work of 
Karl Moebius on the oyster banks of the North Sea, from which Moebius 
derived the concept of the biocoenosis. . .what we now call communities. He 
compares Moebius' descriptions to the amount of information it is possible 
to include in modern mathematical ecosystem models. But he does not damn 
models categorically, after all. Moebius had a conceptual and verbal model 
of oyster reefs which Joel suspects is quite incorrect or at least "to 
proceed upon them [Moebius' ideas] for the management of the oyster beds 
would have been unsuccessful." I think what generated this paper was 
Joel's experience with various workshops and public hearings on 
environmental matters. He says himself that this paper is a sequel to an 
earlier paper on "The Impact of Impact Studies." I'm sure he heard many 
models presented which were grossly oversimplified abstractions but which 
appealed to managers who needed "answers" and needed them quickly. 

He says, "There is of course no inherent evil in attempting to 
simplify what we know or suspect of nature. . . . Unfortunately, however, 
many, and for the most part those not directly concerned with modeling 
activity, see in equations facts rather than ideas." This paper was 
reprinted in Russian and perhaps other languages. The question he raises 
is, what, after all, do we really know? 

Joel in retirement has accomplished more than some do in entire 
academic careers, and he continues to be a much sought-after speaker and 
advisor. He continues to be an unusually alert environmental watchdog (and 

advisor. He continues to be an unusually alert environmental watchdog (and 
attack dog). He still plays the harp, sings, and writes poetry. He still 
calls his friends around midnight with animated and zealous orations of 
events and persons they are only dimly aware of, but are soon made to 

So take a good look at Joel Hedgpeth everyone, for when he's gone 
there will never be another! 

John A. McGowan 

Professor, Marine Life Research Group 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

August, 1996 

San Diego, California 



The Bancroft Library has an ongoing collection emphasis on the 
environmental history of California and the West, and its Regional Oral 
History Office since its founding in 1954 has interviewed major figures in 
the development of the environmental movement, forest and park policies, 
and California water issues. So we were very receptive and pleased in 
August of 1990 when we received a call from Michael Herz, then executive 
director of Baykeeper, the watchdog project of the San Francisco Bay-Delta 
Preservation Association. Mr. Herz urged us to undertake an oral history 
with Joel W. Hedgpeth, marine biologist and environmentalist. He knew Joel 
through their joint efforts to preserve the San Francisco Bay environment 
and knew from their many conversations that Joel's memory bank contained an 
irreplaceable record of coastal and estuarine scientific research, as well 
as memories of California history dating to his early childhood. 

When we consulted with some of Joel's colleagues and collaborators 
for more information, he was described variously as "a character, 
irascible, bristling with opinions"; "widely educated, with an archivist's 
instincts, has a tremendous amount to say and will say it"; "a true 
Renaissance man--a respected marine biologist, a poet, an incisive 
commentator on the human condition, a raconteur of wonderful talents, 
friend to hundreds of people in the arts and in science who revere him." 

David Pesonen, who led the citizen battle to defeat a PG&E nuclear 
power plant at Bodega Bay, spoke for Joel's environmental credentials: 
"Joel's trenchant correspondence, his enormous energy, his knowledge of 
many subjects, and his unflagging determination kept a flickering 
opposition alive [in Bodega Bay]. I am convinced that were it not for his 
determination there would be today a menacing nuclear power facility 
sitting on the San Andreas fault a few miles upwind from San Francisco." 

It was clear that Joel Hedgpeth was an ideal candidate for an oral 
history memoir. Since all of our work is funded by outside gifts and 
grants, we turned to Mr. Herz for help. He was able to obtain 
initial support from the San Francisco Foundation and the Marin Community 
Foundation to enable us to begin research and interviewing. The UC Class 
of 1931 was happy to include the Joel Hedgpeth memoir in the University of 
California, Source of Community Leaders series funded in part by their 
endowment for the Regional Oral History Office. Additional funding came 
from more than sixty friends and admirers of Joel Hedgpeth, who responded 
generously to a request from Mr. Herz, William T. Davoren (founder and 
former director of the Bay Institute of San Francisco) and Irwin Haydock (a 
former student of Joel's at Pacific Marine Station). The David and Lucile 
Packard Foundation, through the efforts of Mr. Davoren, supplied the final 
gift that allowed us to complete the processing of the oral history. 


Not surprisingly, given his interest in history, Mr. Hedgpeth 
responded positively to the idea of working with ROHO to produce an oral 
history memoir. At the age of eighty, he still was leading an active life, 
attending conferences, giving keynote addresses, editing papers, and no 
doubt keeping up a steady barrage of letters-to-the-editor on issues of 
concern. But he was willing to set aside time for the oral history 

Preparation and planning for interviews included research in the 
papers Joel Hedgpeth had placed in the Bancroft Library, which consist 
largely of documentation of the Bodega Bay controversy; reading a variety 
of Hedgpeth publications on Ricketts, Steinbeck, and marine biology; 
perusing poems (written under his psuedonym Jerome Tichenor) , letters-to- 
the-editor, hearing testimony, book reviews, and reports written by Joel; 
and conferring with Hedgpeth colleagues in his many enterprises. 

We began interviewing in June 1992 at his home in Santa Rosa, 
California. In July he underwent open heart surgery, but bounced back 
quickly, and we resumed our interview schedule in September, with the 
seventh and final session (a total of fifteen recorded hours) on November 
19, 1992. Joel's wife, Florence, was quietly present during many of the 
interview sessions and a supportive ally in the editing process, as well as 
an active figure in her own right. She was most often busy reading 
prodigiously to help select appropriate titles for her large and well- 
organized book club. 

Taking Joel Hedgpeth from tape to type was challenging: his speaking 
style was idiosyncratic; the interviews were filled with allusions to 
people and works known only to Joel; his comments were sometimes elliptic; 
his progression not necessarily linear. The transcript, filled with more 
than the usual requests for clarification and elaboration, was sent for his 
review in June 1994. Joel's review of the transcript took some time; his 
schedule continued to be full. Finally, when we enlisted Mrs. Hedgpeth to 
encourage him, he set himself to the task. He went over the transcript 
carefully, responded to our queries, made a number of additions which are 
noted in brackets in the text, and returned the corrected transcript in 
March 1995. After we had entered his corrections and prepared the text in 
final format, he again read the entire oral history and made a few more 
additions and corrections. 

Initial interview sessions dealt with Hedgpeth/Tichenor family 
history, with Joel commenting on photos and memorabilia in a family 
scrapbook. He described the roots of his interest in marine biology--the 
childhood books in his grandfather's study and the seashell collection of 
an Oakland neighbor. He had vivid memories of his childhood stay in 1920- 
1921 in the small town of Mather in the Sierra foothills, where he 
witnessed the building of the dam that flooded Hetch Hetchy Valley and 
where he incurred permanent injury to his hand while playing with a 
blasting cap. In a later unrecorded conversation Joel recalled that even 
at that early age he viewed the damming of the Yosemite National Park 


valley as an act of destruction, and as he talked I had the impression that 
in some way the simultaneous injury to his hand was connected in his 
youthful mind to the environmental destruction he was witnessing. These 
correspondences might help explain his fierce lifelong opposition to 
environmental devastation. 

Other discussions of his early life, complete with colorful anecdotes 
and characterizations, indicate landmarks in the development of Joel 
Hedgpeth, ecological thinker and founder of the Society for the Prevention 
of Progress. These influences include his education, both formal and 
informal, in grade school, junior college, at UC Berkeley, and the 
University of Texas; his youthful contact with Monterey Bay biologist Ed 
Ricketts and his later work revising and updating Ricketts* Between Pacific 
Tides', his field work in 1938-1940 on the Shasta Dam and its potential to 
destroy the salmon runs. 

And, of course, the interviews covered the major epochs of his career 
as a marine biologist: editing and writing significant sections of the 
monumental Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology (known as the Big 
Red Book) ; directing the Pacific Marine Station at Dillon Beach and the 
Marine Science Center at Oregon State University; research far and wide on 
pycnogonids (sea spiders); and his contributions to estuarine studies, from 
Texas to Russia to the San Francisco Bay. 

An interview with Joel Hedgpeth is bound to be accompanied by 
appendices, because he liberally refers to his many writings as he speaks 
and then produces copies of letters, reports, articles, poems, and 
illustrations from his copious files and the extensive library in his home 
office. Nine appendices are included in this volume, along with numerous 
illustrative pages inserted in the text. Additional supplementary papers 
have been placed in the Bancroft Library, where tapes of these interview 
sessions are also available. 

When the oral history was nearing completion, Joel suggested that we 
ask John McGowan, professor of marine science at Scripps Institution of 
Oceanography, to write the introduction to this volume, and a felicitous 
suggestion it was. Professor McGowan has produced an introduction that not 
only captures Joel and his unique personality but makes very clear his 
contributions over more than fifty years to marine science and protection 
of the marine environment. This is especially important because our 
narrator was sufficiently reluctant to claim credit for his accomplishments 
that it is difficult to access his contributions from his own words alone. 
We thank Professor McGowan for his comprehensive introduction and recommend 
it as a first stop for readers of this volume. 

Ann Lage 

September 1996 
Berkeley, California 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley. California 94720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 
Your full name Joel XX/dlkflY h ftd (TV &"bV> 

Date of birth 

be/ r 19 U Birthplace 



Father's full name <Jo&t 
Occupation IB \ qpU S mi 



Mother's full name (\|e/l 1 i p "DcAo e>vi ov N\ 

Your spouse 


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Vwfo>t) Birthplace 0,0 

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Birthplace nf. Cg<iar y/ i>le . Mpd oc Co 

Your children 

V)e/dpe-t/V> 13o 


Where did you grow up? 

Present community j_ 






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Areas of expertise 

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Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 

**>/ U"f 

[Interview 1: June 25, 1992] ft 1 

Mother's Family the McGraws 

Lage: As sort of a rationale for what we are doing, I want to read 

something I found that you had written. You wrote it in talking 
about Ed Ricketts, I guess. You said, "Boys do wander about the 
cities they live in. And the little events during such 
wanderings that may have had a large part in shaping their way 
of looking at the world are seldom remembered and even less 
often recorded for the benefit of those who come later." That's 
what I want to get at, the little things that shaped your way of 
looking at the world. I think some of that is your parents' 
experience too so maybe that can be in the back of our minds as 
we start up. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Do you want to start telling about what you consider the most 
important in shaping you, in terms of your parents and their 

Hedgpeth: There is a problem there. My parents weren't too well matched. 
They probably shouldn't have married. My father was a 
blacksmith, and he didn't belong to my mother's social class. 
He never really made enough money to support us, so he lived 
apart from us a great deal. He worked off in the ranches and 
small towns that needed blacksmiths. 

About the time I got to college, he had a pretty good job 
rebuilding some of the very fancy ironwork on the big estates on 
the Peninsula because he was a master blacksmith. He had about 

'If This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 


Grandfather McGraw's Home 
929 Chestnut Street, Oakland, California 







a fifth-grade education but somewhere along the line he learned 
to read plans very well. You would just lay a diagram out for 
what you wanted and he would do it. So [he would be] 
reconstructing all those fancy iron gates which I suppose 
subsequently were taken down and sent in for bullets later on. 
A couple of them are maybe still around down there. So we 
really didn't have much family life until--. 

Lage: So your father was away while you were living in Oakland? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, or in other places. Well, we lived together when we were 
in Stockton. 

Lage: Where were you born? Let's start with that, the most 
fundamental kind of question. 

Hedgpeth: I was born [September 29, 1911] in a very large house. It had 
three floors. The third floor was really an attic but my 
mother's girlhood room was in a little room there under the 
eaves of that house. It was in Oakland, West Oakland. It was 
built by Dr. Cole, who was a dentist. Cole School in West 
Oakland is named for him, of course; that was in the 
neighborhood. I went there for a period. Then the house was 
purchased by Governor Perkins, who lived there several years. 
Then my grandfather bought it in 1889 and moved his family from 
San Francisco. 

Lage: Do you know why he moved from San Francisco to Oakland? 

Hedgpeth: Not really, except that I think the climate was considered 

better, though the house my mother was born in in San Francisco 
is still standing on 21st Street between Valencia and Guerrero. 
The fire stopped at 20th Street. They say the climate is better 
in the Mission. It's sunny in the Mission, they used to say. 

For one thing, the family was simply too large for the 
house. A total of thirteen children were born, and nine or ten 
survived into adulthood. My mother was the fourth born. 

Lage: She was Nellie? 

Hedgpeth: She was Nellie. She was named for her mother who was called 

Nellie, though her given name was Sarah Ellen. But apparently 
Nellie was a fairly common version of Ellen in those days. The 
first daughter, the first girl, was named Ellen Isadore. Sarah 
Ellen was the youngest girl in southern Oregon in 1850. She was 
brought over from Ohio, I think by way of ship, and then crossed 
the Isthmus [of Panama] rather than in a wagon across the 

Lage: So the family didn't stop at San Francisco. 

They went on up to 

Hedgpeth: The other way around. They probably stopped over briefly at San 
Francisco. My great-grandfather William Tichenor was a coastal 
sailing master who founded the town of Port Or ford, Oregon in 
1850-51. Then my grandfather met my grandmother, apparently as 
part of his legal business. He was the first city attorney for 
Portland, Oregon. He got his law degree in about 1859 or 1860 
and he came to Portland. At that time there was hardly anybody 
in that town. Portland until our time was considered a suburb 
of San Francisco. 

Lage: What was the attraction of Portland for your grandfather? 

Hedgpeth: Well, he thought there might be a future there because there 

wasn't anything around. Everything was up for grabs, I guess, 
including a law practice. He apparently had a very good 
knowledge of law. I still have one of his law notebooks; he 
went to the Albany School of Law in New York after graduating 
from Michigan. He met my grandmother in Port Or ford, Oregon. 
Then he moved on to San Francisco; it was about 1867, I think. 
Edward Walker McGraw and Sarah Ellen Tichenor were married at 
Port Orford, Oregon, on June A, 1869. 

All the children were born in San Francisco or Oakland. 
They came over to a hospital or something on the Oakland side. 
What did I do with that darn book? It will tell us. Here, the 
Walker book. This was my grandmother's personal copy. She 
entered all the family one by one. My mother carried it on, so 
I've carried it on too, only I don't have the one from my last 
cousin who died a few years ago now. So we have them all listed 
here exactly as they arrived, except for one slightly amusing 
note. My mother put down the wrong year of the marriage of one 
of her sisters, making one of my cousins look illegitimate, 
[laughter] We had a laugh over that one. 

My mother, Nellie Tichenor McGraw, was the fourth girl, 
then fifth was Susie Lois Sue. She was the tomboy of the 
family. Then a boy finally occurs, Edward Walker McGraw, Jr., 
San Francisco, January 31, 1877. And Aldyth McGraw. 

Lage: The boy didn't live long. 

Hedgpeth: 1877, January, 31, to February. No, he did live just over a 

year. I was often told that he died of lead poisoning from poor 
plumbing. That always kept me from drinking water from bathroom 

Lage: But none of the rest of the children were affected? 

Hedgpeth: No. So I don't know what it was. Probably just a convenient 
diagnosis in those days. So we go down through Aldyth. She 
died of exposure. She was about four years old. My grandfather 
laid her out on the marble-topped table and couldn't bear to see 
her go for several days. She was apparently a beautiful little 

Then Aunt Elva Brinkerhoff McGraw; that is another old 
family line from New York State that comes in. You know the old 
ferry Brinkerhoff? They are mainly in New Jersey. 

We go right on down the line. Hazel, born in San 
Francisco, July 1882. Rena Geraldine--! think she was named 
after some character in a popular novel at the time, Geraldine. 
I've seldom seen the name Rena. The first name she never used. 

Lage: Those aren't traditional names of the time, it doesn't seem. 

Hedgpeth: I think this was, as I say, a novel of some sort. At least I 
was given to understand that. We all called her Spud. Why, I 
don't know. 





Was she another tomboy? 

No. She was the beauty of the family, as a matter of fact. She 
was born in 1884. Then Alexander Tichenor. He didn't live very 
long either. There was a problem with the boys. Two of them 
died. The last born child was a boy. 

Was this Frederick here? 

Yes. Frederick. 

He was killed in an automobile accident in 

But he survived into adulthood. 

My grandmother became ill before all the children were born, 
from rheumatoid arthritis we think. So Isadore raised most of 
the younger children. She was the little mother of the family. 
When she died in '94 or so, it was very sad. 

Was that traditional that the grandchildren were born there in 
Oakland at the family home? 

No. You see, Aunt Edith was having trouble. The Bigelow she 
married, he ran off with another woman or something. He said 
she wasn't exciting enough, so she got divorced, and she came to 

live in the big house. I don't know why my Aunt Sue did. I 
guess she just came home to give birth because it was near a 
doctor. They lived out in Moraga then. That family owned what 
is now the big reservoir there in Moraga, the one that extends 
from Moraga down to near Richmond. 

Lage: The San Pablo Reservoir? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They were sworn to deep, dark secrecy what they had been 
paid. They owned the key property in the middle of the valley 
that had to be had if you were going to have it at all. So they 
lived off of that the rest of their lives. The Rowlands were 
pretty sharp. 

Lage: Was your family of some means? 

Hedgpeth: My grandfather was a very successful attorney. I only have two 
items of my grandfather's professional practice. Of course, 
they lost so much in 1906. He was completely burned out then. 
That [indicates document] is probably one of the dullest things 
ever written. I can't get anywhere with it. 

Lage: This is a petition of the San Marino Company and a brief in 
support of said petition in the Supreme Court of the United 
States in 1918. 

Hedgpeth: I don't know if he had any other cases before the court there or 
not. Anyway, that's all I have. I don't know about always, but 
sometimes he would read Alice in Wonderland before going into 
court. It put him in the right mood for what was coming up, I 
guess. [laughter] 

Lage: He must have had a good sense of humor. Do you remember him? 

Hedgpeth: I remember him pretty well. He was going blind. He would come 
home in the evenings. He would commute to San Francisco. We 
lived on Chestnut. That part of Chestnut no longer exists; 
that's the middle of the Acorn redevelopment thing. So they 
tore all those big houses down and built that pseudo something 
or another. 

So anyway, that's the kind of family my mother came from. 
I have pictures here of the whole lot of them. 

Lage: Was that your mother who put this scrapbook together? 

Hedgpeth: No, I did this. 

[Mrs. Hedgpeth enters and comments] 

Mrs. H.: 

Mrs. H.: 
Mrs. H.: 

Mrs. H.: 








His grandfather was an authority on maritime law and Spanish 
land grants. He was a famous attorney. He sent his underlings 
to most of the hearings but when it was a big one, he would hop 
on a train to wherever. But at that time Spanish land grants 
were being contested and marine rights. So many ships had been 
abandoned in San Francisco Bay. He had a famous lawyer- 
grandfather who practiced . 

He's not giving me a straight story? 

I'm going to stand here and cue you. [laughter] 

That's all right. 

For fifty years he practiced on Pine Street. He was known far 
and wide as Judge McGraw. He had this huge house [at 929 
Chestnut in Oakland], twenty-one rooms. He had installed an 
elevator for his invalid wife, and these ten girls grew up, you 
see, in it, what he bought. 

There we go. Look at those pictures of those girls. That's 

This is the one that I never knew. That was Isadore. She died; 
maybe from TB or maybe something else. 

She was twenty-nine and she had something in the bowels that 
bothered her. She dined out at restaurants and they gave pork 
and eggs . But they said later that now all they have to do is 
open it up and let the air hit it and it cures them. 

She is the one who had raised the younger ones. 

This is my mother. My mother had copper red hair, 
strawberry blond types. 

These were 

So this is the house? 


That was a big festive place. 

This is Spud in her young days. So she really was--. 

Very pretty. 

Her problem was that my grandfather never brought any young men 
home for dinner. He built a fourteen- foot fence to keep them 






all in when they were young and skittish. 
meet very many men. 

Did most of them not marry? 

So they just didn't 

Yes, four of them married out of all of these girls. 

Their father didn't go about trying to find them good matches? 

No, and of course he met all the best men in town. The curious 
thing though, the F-2 generation- -this is F-l of course in the 
genealogical slangout of these four marriages there were six 
children. My father had a single sister and I have the same 
number of first cousins, all from one marriage. Six. My Aunt 
Carrie, my father's sister, had six children. Four of my 
mother's side had a total of six. So the population hasn't 

really grown, you see. 
anyway . 

It's shrunk a bit. Our share of it 

Very interesting. Now tell me about your mother's going into 
missionary work. Was that something her father encouraged or 

Well, I think by that timeit was the 1890s of course she was 
heading on into her twenties I presume. She was twenty years 
old when he gave her that big book on China. She was a very 
devout member of the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland. It 
was the largest church in northern California. 

You mean the actual, physical--? 

In members of the congregation. She got inspired by one of her 
teachers there, Julia Fraser, the owner of that fancy chair 
which she finally claimed--. When these ladies get old, they 
start promising things to everybody. Sometimes they forget and 
promise something to somebody else at the same time, then the 
inevitable bickering comes from that. 

So you had a chair that she later reclaimed? 

No, what happened was that my mother decided that she had better 
hurry up before dear Julia lost her mind and gave it away to 
somebody else. So she went over there with my aunt in her car 
and persuaded her that she might as well give it up now since 
she was hardly ever using it anyway. I don't know why my mother 
wanted that particular chair. It's a very nice chair. It's 
down in the other room here. You see, all this furniture in 
here came from the old house. Not all of it, not the coffee 

table. The chairs and that great, big, overstuffed thing are 

So anyway, this is the way the family name ended. 
Lage: You're saying that with the death of your uncle . 

Hedgpeth: Yes. You see, he had no children. So that branch of my 

[grand] father's family ended with him, that is, the name. On 
the other hand, my [grand] father's brother Theodore lived in 
Grosse Pointe, and there is still a Theodore McGraw there. 

The old Alexander, my great-grandfather, made a great pile 
of money. I think he outfitted shoes and boots for a good part 
of the Union Army or something like that to make all that kind 
of money. He was a manufacturer of shoes. 

Hedgpeth: We have all these family records from the McGraw side. They 
were stuffed in a lap desk. 

Lage: When you were a little boy, did this kind of thing interest you? 

Hedgpeth: I got interested right then and there not so much in what was in 
the letters but--. It was a coolish night. My Aunt Jane had 
appeared on the scene with this box. She opened it up and 
started to pull these papers out one by one and was starting to 
throw them in the fireplace. Evidently my grandfather brought 
the box over from his law offices. 

Somebody said, "What are you doing there?" I don't 
remember which of my several aunts were around there at the 
time. My mother was there. They started picking them up and 
looking them over. They said, "Look here, this is a letter 
dated 1837. It's our grandfather's proposal of marriage to our 
grandmother." They found the reply too. Fortunately nothing 
particularly serious had burned. There was a very nice letter 
offering my great -grandmother her first Job as a teacher in 
upstate New York. She got $136 for the year plus living 
privileges with the chairman of the school board. Of course, I 
gather that in those days, if the chairman of the school board 
had eligible young sons, that was a fringe benefit not to be 
scorned. [laughter] 

Lage: What happened to these letters? Where are these letters now? 

Hedgpeth: I've got some of them. Those letters which were specifically 
referring to matters of the University of Michigan, I sent to 

the Michigan people, because two of my great-grandmother's 
brothers were regents of the University of Michigan. The letter 
that started me off on that years later when 1 was looking them 
over said, "President Tappan (the guy who was president of the 
University of Michigan at the time) visited me yesterday. I 
gave him $100 for a new telescope for the university and a pair 
of boots for himself." I sent that back to the archivist and 
said, "You ought to hang this up in a frame as an early example 
of fringe benefits." 

Nellie Tichenor McGraw Hedgpeth Joel's Mother 1 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, my mother was the saving one. I think it had something 
to do with the fact that she had gotten burned out when she had 
been teaching missionary school in North Fork, California. Then 
she was asked to go on speaking tours; she left a lot of her 
notes and a lot of her books with some friends who stored them 
in a cabin, and it burned down. She always lamented that loss. 
She was kind of conditioned. 

Lage: So when she became a teacher, basically, was it? Or a 

Hedgpeth: Right. She was teaching missionary school. 
Lage: Did she travel in northern California then? 

Hedgpeth: No. She was based first in the Hoopa Valley, the Hupa Indians 
there. Before that, she had gotten interested in taking 
pictures in a very casual way. So she had a big box Brownie to 
start with. 

Lage: Wonderful. Did she do her own developing? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, she did. There were a couple of notes in some of her 
journals that survived, indicating that. 

I had quite a few of these pictures here. There's some 
kind of a picnic going on, obviously. I sent them to Anne [Bus] 

'See Nellie McGraw Hedgpeth, My Early Days in San Francisco (San 
Francisco: Victorian Alliance, 1974) and Nellie Hedgpeth papers, San 
Francisco Theological Seminary Library. Also published in two installments 
in Pacific Historian. 


Lage: Did Anne Brower know your mother? 

Hedgpeth: Her mother and my mother were very good friends. Her mother is 
also named Anne. Her maiden name is Bus. As we were waiting in 
the rain for Clem Miller's funeral, she said, "You don't know 
who I am." I said, "I'm afraid I don't." "Does the name Anne 
Bus mean anything to you?" I said, "I have heard that name 
fairly often." That's the way she introduced herself. 

Lage: These are your mother's pictures of her missionary days? 

Hedgpeth: These were taken in North Fork. My mother had some very dear 
friends she made in North Fork she never gave up all her life. 
I stayed with them one time or another, a thing I don't remember 
at all. It's funny about memories because every time I would 
see one of the girls, the one nearest my age, a few months 
younger, she would point at me and say, "Frogs." Apparently, 
when we were about four years old, I had dropped frogs down her 
dress. [chuckling] 

Lage: She didn't forget. 

Hedgpeth: She didn't but I did completely. I don't know why. 

Lage: I can understand that it would be more vivid to her. 

Hedgpeth: I suppose, but there were a whole lot of other things. Even 
being there, I have no clear memory except of eating a lot of 
olives one time. I guess I ate a whole small barrel of olives 
in the course of our stay there. 

Lage: These are pictures of the Indians. 

Hedgpeth: There were just a few selections I put in here [the photo 

album] . The negatives of all the Indian places are on file in 
the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. 

Joel Hedgpeth. Mountain Blacksmith 

Lage: Now we're coming to you. How did your parents meet? Did your 
mother meet your father out in this country? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was in North Fork. He had a blacksmith shop there. 

Lage: It does seem like an unlikely match now that you have described 
your mother's background. 


Hedgpeth: Yes, it was. Of course, these were hill people really, 

Lage: This is your father's family? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: So they were not urban or educated? 

Hedgpeth: They were all pretty well educated one way or another. Of 

course, most of them were men of the Book. Four of my father's 
uncles were ministers. 

Lage: I see. 

Hedgpeth: And cousins. Lewis, the one who settled in Arizona, apparently 
founded the Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. There is a 
place called Hedgpeth Hills near Phoenix. I saw a picture of it 
in an engineer's display down at the Bay model, of all places, a 
while back. 

Lage: Hedgpeth Hill at the Bay Model? 

Hedgpeth: Well, they had a picture of something they were doing in the 
middle of Arizona. They had a series of big posters of their 
projects all over the western district, which included Arizona. 

Lage: So your father was in a family of parsons but he didn't take up 
the call? 

Hedgpeth: I had a copy of a letter was sent to me from Sheridan, Wyoming, 
out of the blue. I didn't know my great-uncle Thomas Riley who 
was one of the senior members of the family. He was writing to 
my grandfather and saying, "I'm getting on. Barely enough 
strength to chop enough wood for breakfast. Praise be to God I 
can preach as loud and as long as I ever could." [laughter] 
They were circuit riders of course, most of them. One of them 
got burned out in the troubles in Missouri in 1859, I think it 
was. I always thought that was why they came West. They packed 
up in 1858, manumitted their slaves and came across the plains. 

Lage: Where did they settle? Or did they settle? 

Hedgpeth: They settled in the valley around first, I think, Visalia, then 
up in Millerton. Then my grandfather moved up to the high lands 
a bit, to North Fork, to get out of the malaria. You may know 
that malaria was endemic in the Central Valley until fairly 
recently. So it was a very different group of people, yes. 


Lage: Did the Methodists and Presbyterians fit well together or did 
that present any problems? 

Hedgpeth: I don't think there was any quarrel about that. 
Lage: Not that much doctrinal difference? 

Hedgpeth: I think some quarrel arose somewhere along the line when my 
father and I argued over who was going to bless the food, so 
finally my parents decided to give that up rather than struggle 
with me. [laughter] 

Lage: When your parents married, did they live in North Fork? 

Hedgpeth: They went back to North Fork first. They weren't making enough 
in the winter time so they had to move on out. A number of 
places I have been told that I've been to but I have no memory 
of, like Purissima down south near Half Moon Bay, and Fort 
Bragg, to one shop or place or another. They borrowed money 
against the estate and it didn't pan out. 

Lage: You had kind of a traveling childhood it sounds like? 

Hedgpeth: Well, in my school record--. 

Lage: A year in each school. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Was your mother a predominant influence, would you say? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, that and the house. Of course, it was a big house. 
We stayed there. It was probably my generation that spent more 
time--. We called the house 929 [street address]. 

Lage: This is the one in Oakland. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 



How much time were you there? 

Several years in the twenties. For a while, we lived in 
Berkeley and I took the streetcar to 929. My father was working 
in shipyards during the war. First he started out in Stockton. 
We moved down from Clipper Gap to Stockton. That was around 
1917 or so. He got a job at the Holt manufacturing plant. They 
had the contract to make tanks for the British army. He worked 
on the big steam-powered hammer, bending armor plates, curved 
ones that fit in the front of the tank. Once in a while, I used 


to take his lunch over there to him. We lived about two blocks 
away. That house is still standing; it was a cheap little 
cottage, but it's still there. At least it was the last time I 
was in Stockton and I went by there. It is on Pilgrim Street. 

So then we moved up to the mountains, up to Mather. 
Lage: Do you remember that pretty vividly? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 1 was ten years old. 
Lage: You were in Oakland in between. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, or actually, we lived also in South Berkeley. That was 

where we lived when he was working in the shipyard. Of course, 
in 1919, the contracts ended and work wound up by 1920. 

In the summer of 1920, we spent a couple of weeks near the 
Big Basin in a rented cabin on the San Lorenzo River. The train 
stop was Brackney. It was our family's happiest memory. 

Some Early Memories and a Traumatic Injury 

Lage: You told me, before we turned the recorder on, your earliest 
memory was being reintroduced to your mother. Do you really 
remember this? 

Hedgpeth: That's what bugs me. I have this memory, very distinct, of 

about three men and a woman. I was in a crib. One of the men 
was wearing a head mirror, like those used by doctors. 

I was just coming into consciousness. I had been here 
unconscious or asleep or something. I don't know which. I 
don't know whether he said, "Don't be frightened," or anything, 
but anyway I do remember he said, "This is your mother." That 1 ! 

Lage: This was when you were ill at about age six months and went to 
the hospital for several weeks? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Isn't that strange. Did you ever talk to your mother about it 
to see if she remembered that? 

"Sierra Bill" at Mather, Yosemite National Park, July, 1921, 
[About a month before my accident.] 


Hedgpeth: No. In fact, I'm not sure it occurred to me until afterwards. 
It's not the kind of thing you would make up as something you 
wished had happened or anything. 

Lage: No, not at all. But it seems so young to really have a memory. 

Hedgpeth: True. Well, I don't know. I see by his latest book [Let the 
/fountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run, 1995] that Dave Brower can 
also remember from the same age. 

Lage: What about this note [in the photo album]? "It's a long story 
why I remember these flowers." You have a drawing which I 
assume is your drawing. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, what happened was my father, of course, being a 

blacksmith, didn't quite understand what an automobile was. It 
works by explosions, and the force is transmitted by gears, and 
the thing is controlled by electricity. These three different 
things were all a little much for him to figure out. We had 
some great big old Haynes automobile, we were heading out one 
afternoon for an excursion, slid off the road and wound up 
against a tree about six or seven feet off the road. Nothing 
spectacular or unsafe or anything, but I think he had put the 
steering gear back with baling wire or something, which he 
shouldn't have done. 

So anyhow, while they were arguing and waiting for rescue, 
I sat in the middle of this beautiful patch of these little owl 
clover, the yellow ones. Very nice little flowers. 
Orthocarpus. Cream sacs is the English name. 

Lage: This must have been about age four? 
Hedgpeth: No, a little older than that. 

Lage: What would you say your parents encouraged in you as you were 
growing up? Maybe not the same thing from each parent. 

Hedgpeth: That's true. My mother definitely didn't want me to go into a 

trade or become a blacksmith. She hoped I would become a lawyer 
or doctor, something like that, go to college, that sort of 
thing, which I eventually did. 

Lage: Did your father think that was a good future for you or did he 
want you to work with your hands? 

Hedgpeth: No. He didn't offer to teach me his trade, though he asked me 
to help him now and then when he needed somebody to hold the 
other end of a large piece of iron or something. I never asked. 


Of course, after I hurt my hand it was impossible for me to do 
that anyway. 

Lage: That happened at Mather? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: What were the circumstances? 

Hedgpeth: There was a fulminate of mercury cap that I found in a shack I 
was putting on the end of a stick. 

Lage: What kind of mercury cap? 

Hedgpeth: A blasting cap. They are mean things. 

Lage: You were just playing? 

Hedgpeth: I was working it onto this stick and it went off. 

Lage: Did you know what it was that you had in your hand? 

Hedgpeth: No, I didn't know what it was. 

Lage: You were just playing. That must have been pretty traumatic. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it was. [I should have thought to remember that I was 

playing at blacksmithing at a small forge my daddy had made for 
me. Every trace of it was gone when I returned from the 
hospital. --JWH] 

Lage: How long were you in the hospital then? 

Hedgpeth: What was it? Six weeks or something? No, it wasn't that long. 

Lage: We had the bill we were looking at. Six weeks and the bill came 
to $90. 

Hedgpeth: $90.11 does it say? Three weeks? August 17-September 9, 1921. 
About three weeks. It was shock and everything. 

Lage: Your mother's shock must have been great also. 

Hedgpeth: Oh yes. She accompanied me to the hospital of course. They 
just put us on an empty boxcar and that was that. 

Lage: You took a boxcar down ? 


Hedgpeth: It was a regular running train, 
anything . 

There was no special run or 

A Family of Aunts Family Stories 

Lage: Then you moved back to the Bay Area. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. My mother bought this place over in San Leandro and set up 
a drygoods business, emulating her sister, my Aunt Edith, who 
had become a very successful merchant in Walnut Creek. 

Lage: So the sisters did go into business? 

Hedgpeth: She was the only one who really went into business. My Aunt 

Elva was a probation officer. She worked with Earl Warren when 
he was D.A. for Alameda County. Then of course, my Aunt 
Geraldine was a school teacher. She had been asked by a chum to 
go over with her when the friend was trying to enroll in the 
normal school in San Francisco. I don't know what she had with 
her. My impression is she didn't have anything except she wrote 
her name on a piece of paper along with her friend and got in 
there. The superintendent came out and said, "Yes, you are both 
accepted." My Aunt Geraldine was too flustered, I guess, to say 
no, so she entered normal school and became a teacher, 
[laughter] At least that's the story. 

But she became a very good teacher. She was held up as a 
national model for her handling of retarded and disadvantaged 

Lage: So she went into special education? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, but she had never had any training in this. Some of her 
methods are now, of course, illegal. She went around and got 
written permission from all the parents to thump the kiddies 
with a ruler or whatever other corporal punishment might be 
necessary. She told most of them, "You're not stupid. You just 
haven't got the advantage. You're trying to speak a foreign 
language. Your folks don't seem to know anything at home. 
You'll just have to do it by yourself." For years later, her 
students used to come around to see her. They had gotten jobs 
as waiters and bellhops and similar levels of employment. Just 
a few years before she died, quite a delegation there were a 
couple of dozen of them I thinkcame around on an occasion, her 
birthday or something, I don't know what at this point. There 
is a piece in the paper about that. 


Lage: Was she teaching in Oakland? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. She taught what is called Z-section. They are the same 

kind of people they have too many of now. There is nothing done 
at home to help them out. Their parents may not even speak 
English. She once got into quite a fight. She was taking a 
course teachers are always taking courses to get more units to 
get another raise in pay or keep their salary status in 
Berkeley, or starting to. 

Anyway, she got into an argument with an instructor and 
said, "You don't know what you are talking about." The 
instructor got annoyed and said, "Madam, there is not room for 
both of us in this room. Either you or I are going to have to 
leave." She said, "That's all right. I'll leave." The other 
teachers said, "No, we want to find out what this is all about." 
The poor guy had to back off a bit. Finally, she had gotten him 
tamed down, I guess. He was afraid to say anything serious, I 
presume. Then he said that he wanted to obtain some returns 
from the students on their reading. He handed her a bundle of 
forms. She said, "This is a waste of time." 

Lage: She said, "This is a waste of time"? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. "They will sit down and write something about a book they 
have never read just to satisfy you." 

Lage: She was pretty outspoken. 

Hedgpeth: I think you should knew that this whole crew of ladies had very 
strong opinions of what they were going to say. They seldom if 
ever spared you their opinions. 

Lage: Is this true of your mother also? 

Hedgpeth: I had a feeling she was a bit more diplomatic, but not too much. 

Lage: They all should have been lawyers, probably. 

Hedgpeth: Probably. They missed their calling. Of course, in those days 
women lawyers were just beyond the pale. It was a thing ladies 
didn't do. Don't ask me why. 

My mother loved to tell stories about her adventures, 
mostly involving my father's misfortunes or something or another 
like that. He used to leave the room. But when she got 
together with this Mrs. [Constance Bigelow] Mainwaring, the 
friend she had made in the mountains, they really could spin 


Lage: Were these told at the expense of your father more or less? 

Hedgpeth: No. These were just stories about everything, about adventures 
in the mountains or snakes and robbers and so forth. In fact, I 
have memories now of wild days in Clovis and Samson's Flats and 
other places in the Sierra--. 


Hedgpeth: I still see Dan's [Mainwaring] professional name and credit 

line. He wrote a lot of the scripts for Errol Flynn under the 
name of Geoffrey Homes, his two middle names. The Bigelows had 
some genes for writing, and one of my cousin's boys, Michael 
Bigelow, is on the Chronicle staff today. 

Lage: Did you know him from Clovis and Samson Flats? 

Hedgpeth: Oh yes. He was one of the kids whose little sister I favored 
with the frogs. 

Lage: I see. [Laughter] 

Hedgpeth: Dan wrote a novel. His first novel [One Against the Earth] is 
very much like In Dubious Battle [by John Steinbeck] . A piece 
got written about that by a friend of mine. [Richard Astro, 
"Steinbeck and Mainwaring: Two Calif ornians for the Earth." 
Steinbeck Quarterly vol. 3, no. 1: 3-11, 1970.] 

Lage: About the similarity? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. The piece was partly my doing. 

Lage: When did he write the book? 

Hedgpeth: The book was published in 1933, which was three years before In 
Dubious Battle was written. 

Lage: Was it enough alike that you assumed it was an influence on 

Hedgpeth: Well, nobody knows. His mother thought that Steinbeck stole 

Dan's thunder. It was talking about the same things. They both 
had the same ability for describing scenery. I have a copy of 
that I loaned to Gerald Haslam, to see if he could do something 
with it. I told James Hart once, "You left him out of your book 
of California writers." Dan was writing detective stories by 
the bushel under the name Geoffrey Homes for years. Hart said, 
"Go ahead and write him up." About that time, Dan's sister 









Nell, named for my mother, began to lose her mind. It was 
probably Alzheimer's. 

I've been talking about this with other people, that Alzheimer's 
seems so common now and yet, looking back, do you remember a lot 
of older people that had similar symptoms but just no real 

It never happened in our family. Everybody kept a clear mind. 
Did they all live to a pretty good age? 

My Aunt Doll lived to be ninety-nine. Most of the others lived 
to their eighties except Isadore, who died young, and Elva who 
had bone cancer. My Aunt Jane was run over by an automobile in 
what is now the Haight Ashbury District. She wore dark clothing 
and was attending various evening classes for self -improvement. 
She was into everything like this at one time or another. She 
once had a soldering iron and did burn work on nice new pine. 
It was called xylography. 

They sound like very independent women. 

Yes, they were all different, to say the least. My Aunt Elva 
was the domineering one. She was the one who arranged things 
after my grandfather's death. I was looking at his will 

When did he die? 

He died in 1921. [shows will] He wrote this will on the 6th 
day of June, 1921. Since it is typed, I assume he dictated it 
to his secretary. He was almost completely blind; he could 
barely find his way home. He goes right down the list and he 
specifies, being an attorney, some material object from the 
house for each and every one specifically. There is a legal 
reason for this, you see. 

What's the legal reason? 

So that they not be neglected in anything. [Reads from will] "I 
give and bequeath to my daughter Nellie T. Hedgpeth of Berkeley 
two water colors frames hung in the front of my house." These 
happened to be pastels. I don't have them here on the wall 
anymore. "A framed agate piece made by her grandmother 
Elizabeth Tichenor, now hanging in the sitting room, and my 
library table now at the library at my house." That's the table 
there [indicates]. I got the agate thing. It was a box with a 
glass cover and the agates are all glued up in designs. After a 


Mrs. H.: 




few years, it began to fall apart. Finally, the whole thing 
fell apart. So I don't have that anymore. 

Then you go down here. "Painting and frame representing 
school examination. Woodpath Library of University Literature 
in twenty- five volumes to my daughter Susie. To my daughter 
Elva, the picture of the old harbor and my marble-topped 
rosewood table." My cousin has that now. That's the one they 
laid out the babies on when they died. "Aunt Hazel [Doll] 
Nasburg, sailboat on the beach." 

Each cousin in 

Then he even includes me in this thing, 
the next generation, we each get $100. 

Seventy years ago that was a lot of money. 

I got two framed "water color" pictures, each of a single bird, 
now hanging in the library. Those turned out to be chromos of 
magazine covers. I had to take the glass off one once. They 

That's all I got 

are not paintings but they are nice frames, 
out of it except, of course, the $100. 

Was his money--? 
He was a lawyer. 
I know, but what did he do with the--. 

Okay, that's complicated, because the money borrowed by Edith he 
cancelled, because she was divorced. 

That was not approved of? 

Yes. He disapproved of him. He cancelled for her. The one 
successful one, Hazel--he called her Doll--had married a 
merchant in Coos Bay, Oregon. It used to be known as 
Marshfield. They ran a stationery store there. Paying back, 
some of it he cancelled. 

He had made a loan to her also? 

Yes. "I nominate and appoint my daughters Elizabeth McGraw, 
Edna McGraw and Elva B. McGraw the executrixes in my last will," 
and so forth. He had given all his money in sections. I think 
each got about $20,000. 


So he divided that rather evenly? 


Hedgpeth: Here we go. "Section 21, I give and divide and bequeath all the 
rest, residue and remainder of my property whatsoever situated 
in equal proportion to my daughters," listed all by names, "or 
the survivors at the time of my death provided either of said 
children should die before I do leaving a child or children 
surviving. Such children will receive that share. I make no 
other provision for my son Frederick B. McGraw for the reason 
that he has already all of that portion of my estate to which I 
think he is entitled." He did give him his gold watch. 

Lage: He had given him a considerable portion earlier? 

Hedgpeth: He was borrowing money all the time. He was in all kinds of 

little things that didn't amount to anything. You can follow it 
through the city directories. I went down to Bill Sturm, his 
little parlor down there in the Oakland Public Library. 
Incidentally I made a file about the old house, photos of the 
interior (by my mother), floor plans and all for his collection 
about old Oakland houses. 

Lage: Did Edith, the one who had been divorced, get an equal share? 

Hedgpeth: Who? 

Lage: Was it Edith who had been divorced? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Did she get an equal share? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It calculated out. "Whereat and Whereabout, April 4th, I 
purchased my daughter Nellie some lots of land and so forth, at 
the expense of $2,650." He took that out. Of course, she sold 
the property at Clipper Gap later anyway, so that isn't quite as 
bad as it looks there. A loan and so forth, $500. "Said sum of 
$2,000 ought to be considered an advancement to my daughter 
Nellie and shall bear interest from the 24th of April until my 
death 3 percent per annum. The distribution of my estate, 
7/8ths of said sum and interest earned shall be deducted I/ 8th 
share," and so forth. You won't follow all that stuff. But 
anyway, they were all cared for and I think they each got about 
$20K. He would have had a lot more money if he hadn't invested 
in mines and similar schemes. 

Lage: Did this make your mother secure then? Would that have been a 
sum of money that would have left her in a secure position? 

Hedgpeth: Little enough to get along with. The story of all this--. He 
wrote this will on the 6th of June. He died on the 3rd of 


August, 1921, two months afterwards. He came home, said, "Well 
daughters, girls, I've given up. I'm not going to work 
anymore." He went to bed and died, several days later, of 

The reason the family lived there was because he couldn't 
get around too easily. He knew the way, the trains in San 
Francisco. His office was on Pine Street. It was only about a 
quarter of a mile from the Ferry Building, I thinkthe 300 

There is something here about his law. He had a junior 
partner at the time. There we are. Barry. Yes. The number is 
35A Pine Street. "I here bequeath to my friend, Joseph E. 
Barry--" all his legal library. Of course, he had built up 
quite a heap of that too by that time, and he must have replaced 
most of his loss from 1906. 

Early Interest in the Natural World; 
Childhood Reading 

Ants. Seashells, and 

Lage: Did any of these early experiences, any of them, bring you in 
the direction of your interest in the natural world? That 
hasn't come out. 

Hedgpeth: No. 

Lage: Were you a budding naturalist as a boy? 

Hedgpeth: My mother said she could always find me if she knew where the 
nearest ant hill was. When I was very small, she would visit 
people, especially out in the mountains and so forth, I would 
wander off, so she just kept looking out for the ant hills and 
she would find me watching the bugs crawl around. It was more 
than ants quite often. 

Lage: Are these vivid memories for you? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I do remember looking at ant hills and just looking at 
things moving and wiggling around. 

That's where the natural history aspect became serious. 
Lage: When did your interest in natural history become serious? 


Hedgpeth: Well, see, next door-- [shows picture] Next door to my 

grandfather lived Henry Hemphill, who was a very famous shell 
collector and a pretty good student of mollusks. He didn't just 
gather them. He arranged a lot of his shells on cards to show 
all these evolutionary sequences or relationships in a rather 
interesting way. But the whole house was full of stuff. It was 
sort of like the pictures of the grand salon of the Nautilus 
from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. They had a parrot that was 
quite often aired out in the backyard. 

1 used to go over there quite often to see the seashells, 
and ask Bee [Jennie Hosmer], who was Hemphill 's granddaughter, 
to open it up so that I could see them. In fact, it all started 
one day when she offered to show me and my cousins the 
seashells. They never came back, but I kept coming back and 
looking at them. 

Lage: So it really kind of entranced you. 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: You say that it was all organized and displayed in such a way 
that it made some sort of--? 

Hedgpeth: Well, all these displays were not in view. They were in drawers 
and things. They had very fancy cabinets of course. [The 
remains of the collection are now in the possession of Dennis 
Murphy at Stanford, a descendent of Hemphill. --JWH] For a 
while, my Uncle Fred was trying to collect shells. He started 
to build up a collection. He had a cabinet but it was relegated 
to the attic in my time and there was hardly anything in it. 

Lage: You didn't build on that. 

Hedgpeth: Right. The other thing of course was that my grandfather had a 
library. My education may be mid-Victorian rather than post- 
World War I influences because the attic had a good stock of old 
children's magazines, serials and things. Harper's Roundtable. 
How they happened to subscribe to that instead of St. Nicholas I 
don't know. This man Kirk Munroe was a very good writer. He 
edited the magazine. 

Lage: Was this writing for boys or for adults? 

Hedgpeth: Primarily for boys and/or girls. One of the best ones he wrote 
was called The Flamingo Feather. It was in print as late as 
1940. He moved down to Florida and became very friendly with 
the Seminoles. I looked him up in the Cyclopedia of American 


Lage: What was his name? 

Hedgpeth: Kirk Munroe. Apparently, he was the person who introduced 

organized cycling in this country. Those were the days when you 

had wheels about six feet in diameter. How you managed I don't 

Lage: But he wrote natural history? 

Hedgpeth: No, he wrote stories and they had quite a lot of natural 

history. Actually, in reading about him I find that one of the 
things that he did is that he never wrote about an environment 
that he hadn't seen. So he was going out on all kinds of field 
trips casing up these places. He wrote one about the Painted 
Desert, which I remember very well. Then I remember something 
else. [retrieves book] In one of these books is a little 
German song. For about seventy years I've tried to find that 
song. Anytime I saw a book of German folk songs I would flip it 
open. The last trip to the local library sales about two or 
three months ago here, I found it in this book. The reason I 
hadn't found it was because it was Swiss. This book is brand 
new, obviously never been sung out of, not been squashed flat on 
a book rack or anything. It's got nice little color plates in 
it. The first line of the song is "Wohlauf in Gottes schdne 
Welt." My Aunt Edith translated it for me. It was the first 
time I had ever become aware of the German language. This was a 
story about people coming West in the wagon train and they were 
singing this song. 1 

Lage: That's why the song appeared in the story. 

Hedgpeth: It appeared, and I had been looking for it ever since. Then all 
of a sudden. . . 

Lage: You really had vivid memories of these books that you read. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, I had one--. It was a nice big book. I can get it 
for you if I had to. It's very easy; I know exactly where it 
is. That's why I wish I had been there, because this copy is 
not very good binding; it's secondhand. 

Lage: You mean, you wish you had been there when they divided up your 
grandfather's things. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

"'Wohlauf in Gottes schone Welt," Schweizer Singbuch. Mittelstufe, 
Ausgabe fiir den Kanton Zurich, Verlag Hug & Co., Zurich, 1960. 


Lage: Did you get much of the library? 

Hedgpeth: My mother grabbed a lot of stuff. He had a big library. 
[Wanders off to get the book and sings] 

Lage: What was that you were singing in the distance? 

Hedgpeth: That was "Deutschland iiber Alles." [laughter] It's a very 
pretty tune. Do you have this thing on again? 

Lage: Yes. 

Hedgpeth: I've been to Helgoland and the words to "Deutschland iiber Alles" 
were written by Hoffman von Fallersleben during a weekend at 
Helgoland. He deliberately wrote the words to fit Haydn's tune. 
The tune that Haydn wrote of course is the national anthem for 
Austria. The story goes that he once heard "God Save the King" 
and tried to write a similar tune for his own country. Haydn of 
all people knew how to write singable music as you may have 
noticed. Have you ever been in a choir? 

Lage: No, I haven't, unfortunately. 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, I thought it was kind of treason to a take a tune like 
that, the so-called "Emperor Quartet" or "Emperor Waltz," or 
anyway, Haydn's name for it. "Deutschland iiber Alles" is 
essentially a bunch of corn. I took some satisfaction in 
learning that this publisher had paid him 30 Kroner for it. 
[laughter] . 

Anyway, this is one of the principal influences. This is 
Sea and Land [Sea and Land: A Natural History of the Sea, by J. 
W. Buel] . [shows book] 


Lage: Was this a book of your grandfather's? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it was in his library. Not this particular copy; I bought 
this one at a book store later for I think seventy- five cents. 

It was sitting in his library; it looked like a law book. 
Same old calf -colored thing, about four inches thick. This is a 
subscription-only thing, by a man named J. W. Buel. "A 
wonderful curious thing of nature existing before and since the 
deluge. An illustrated history." 

Lage: I can see how this picture, this frontispiece, would capture the 
imagination of a young boy though. 


Hedgpeth: Yes, it looks like a circus billboard, a little bit of 

everything. It's got all these pictures. Some of them are not 
very well--. 

Lage: [Reads] "Mysteries of the deep sea." 

Hedgpeth: Yes. This copy, alas, is falling apart. 

Lage: How old would you have been when you discovered this? 

Hedgpeth: It was right down on the lower shelf. I discovered it as soon 
as I could read, somehow. 

Lage: You had to read pretty well to plow through this. 

Hedgpeth: The second half is about land. Obviously all these animals do 

not occur on the same continent. You have an anaconda, a 

crocodile, lions and tigers all mixed up in a glorious mess. 
Here are South American Macaws sitting there. 

Lage: Is there an evolutionary approach? 

Hedgpeth: Not really. It's a rather primitive evolution to say the least. 

Lage: It refers to the deluge, "Shall the earth be again destroyed?" 

Hedgpeth: Some of the facts in here are not exactly facts. One of the 
most notorious is of the nautilus flying in the air. This of 
course is an octopus, the argonaut. They build a little shell 
for the egg case. There is a picture in here somewhere showing 
it getting up and flying around. That is something we know 
can't be. Here are serpents: sea serpents! 

Lage: There is the octopus, battle with the octopus. 

Hedgpeth: This is from 20,000 Leagues; that's the picture. Doing a 

hatchet job on the octopus, or the great Kraken or whatever. 
Now, here we are. It shows this thing flying, which it can't 
do. These are specialized surfaces for building this egg case. 
It didn't walk around carrying it like a hermit crab either. 
Here there are sails, holding up the sails, the sail on the 
surface. It doesn't do any of those things in those three 

Lage: There are probably a lot of mistakes like that in there I would 

Hedgpeth: But in the middle of the book, there is something that is very 

fascinating. My first introduction to poetry. The pictures are 


a bit small, but here is the entire text of the Ancient Mariner. 
Tossed in the middle there just to separate sea from land. 

Lage: Did you like this book a lot as a child? 
Hedgpeth: Oh yes. I read it over and over again. 

Lage: Is this something you shared with your mother and aunts, or was 
this solitary? 

Hedgpeth: No, just all by myself. In fact, my Aunt Edna unlocked the 
cases for me and that was about it. 

Lage: Did the sea part interest you more than the land part of this 
book, do you remember? 

Hedgpeth: I think it is accidental because it begins with the sea. By the 
time you've gotten all the way through and read the Ancient 
Mariner, there is nothing left of the day to go on. So you 
start all over again. I got into some of this: the troubles of 
Paul du Chaillu, a Belgian explorer in Africa in the 1860s who 
was alleged to have carried on improperly with gorillas, 

Lage: This is in this book too? 

Hedgpeth: I don't think that is. I picked that up somewhere else. So 
anyhow, I'm fond of the Ancient Mariner, to say the least. 

Lage: Did your grandfather have a pretty extensive library? 

Hedgpeth: He had a lot, because he had some personal experience, I think, 
so it was the year 1876 that he had gone back to Detroit for 
some purpose or another. Anyway, he had been pursued by Indians 
and barely got to a boat in some river like the Platte or a fork 
of the Missouri, or some place. So he had a lot of the 
classical books about exploring the West. 

He had some pretty rare stuff, I gather. [After he died,] 
they called in the dealers. First came Paul Elder, the biggest 
second-hand antiquarian- type dealer in the area. He picked out 
what he wanted and then they moved on to Harold Holmes. My 
mother decided she wanted the encyclopedia. She put her name in 
the first volume so he took volumes 2-24. I argued with him 
ever after, but never got anywhere. 

[Holmes was a bookseller long before the store on 14th 
Street in Oakland was built in 1924, and was called in to bid on 
parts of Grandfather's library. In fact, my mother knew the 

Title Page, SEA and LAND. - R indicates lines printed in red. 



flic Wonderful and Canons Tilings of Nature Existing More and since the Deluge. 




Illmtratod by Stirring Adnturt wHh WkUi, Deil-F,th, Giant Polypi, Sharks, Sword-FitK, Dog-Fnh, 

3tingitf-Fiih, Crocodile*, etc. ; to which are added DcriptioM of ill ttve PVeaonttuI Crturt 

-epd Thing* that r Found in tta D*ep 8, togther with Full Account of the 

RemarkabU Legdt and Sapontition* *o Prrlent among S*ilor. 







Such M Lioni, Tigert, Elephant*, Rh!noeri, Hippopotami, Gorilla*, Cfiimpanzeet, Mandrill*, Brt, W7W 

Dogt, ic. with Hundradi of Thrilling Ctcapade* illuttnting their Character and Oifpotition. 



Their Customs, Habita, Ferocity and Curious Ways. 


Author of "Th World'* Wonders," "Heroes of the Plains," "Exfl* Life b 8rt>erla," etc., etc. 




Printed on verso: Copyright, 1887, by J. \v. BUF.I- 





Original page size: 6.5 x 8.5 inches. 


27 b 


This ponderous book. ^ 
whose outer appearance jf 
was that of a forgotten 
law book, not only in 
troduced me to the won 
ders of the sea, but also 
the beauties of poetry 
by including as sort of 
divider between the 
creatures of sea and 
land, the complete text 
of The Ancient Mariner, 
with the woodcuts by 
Gustave Dore. When I 
ventured to ask our 
local ancient mariner 
an opinion about the art 
ist's acccuracy, he put 
me properly in my place. 


|T is an ancient mariner, 
J. And he Ktoppfth one !' three. 
" By thy loiu; grey Ix-anl and glittering eye, 
Now wherefore ti>|i|i'sl (him me! 1 

The bridegroom's doors arc ..|K>iied wide, 
And I am next of kin; 
The guest* nrc met. the (east is et : 
ilnyst hear the merry ilin." 

He hold* him with his skinny hand, 
"There was a ship," <|imlh lit-. 
Hold off! unhand me, gn-y-l>eard loon ! " 
KllMMiiix his hand dmpl hr. 

Ho holds him with his glittering eye 
The. wedding-guest S|<HM| slill. 
And listens like n three-years' child : 
The Mariner hath his will. 

Tin' wedding-guest sal "ii slnne; 
He eanmit HHMWC l'l hear; 
And thus spake on that ani-ii-nl man, 
The hriKht-i-yed Marim-r. 

The ship was checivd, the hnrlmur cleared, 

Merrily did we ilmp 

Below the kirk, U-hiw the hill, 

Below the light-house top. 

The sun cnme up upon the left, 
Out of the sea came he ; 
And he shone bright, and mi the right 
Went down into the sea. 



St* Fraucita, Citifinria 94109 
Karl Kortum, Do-tQor 


Dear Jol 

It flung the blood into my head, 
And I fell down in a swound. 

Art, not accuracy 

I hesitate to begin . . 
planks, wrong angle catheads, rig: 
too close to bows, <*y" * * 
two jibs where there should be < 

But it is still as good an illust 
tion for those two lines as Is 1! 
to co along. 


Dr Joel Bedgpeth 


family, and evidently met Emily, Harold's sister, in Berkeley, 1 
think when she was living there with me during my last two 
undergraduate years. We wound up one summer at Emily's cottage 
near Occidental. By that time, she was getting dotty and the 
family was embarrassed by her, and trying to forget her. 
Fortunately, she began to worry about all the rocks the 
neighbors were throwing into her yard in Berkeley and left us to 
spend most of two weeks undisturbed. It was just after the 
narrow gauge railroad had been abandoned; most of the tracks 
were still there and the trestles were sound enough to be walked 
on safely, so we explored the countryside. 

[Holmes Bookstore was for many years my favorite place to 
go and with its sad demise earlier this year I no longer have 
much to attract me in my native city any more. Harold C. Holmes 
was an entertaining fellow, often quoted Marcus Aurelius, but he 
died some years ago. For a while we impatiently waited for his 
memoirs, but they turned out to be a bust. He just didn't know 
how to write. But I found many good and interesting books 
there, and the great store's demise is another part of my life 
now forever gone. --JWH, October 1995] 

Book Collecting, Book Critiquing, and Music 

Lage: So you didn't get many of those books. 

Hedgpeth: No. Some years later, I went in to the senior Holmes--. It's 

still the same store right by the Hotel Oakland. He had a great 
big German book, two volumes. There were a lot of textbooks 
that benefit from its illustrations. I grabbed it, a gold mine 
of nice pictures of animal gizzards and guts and also entire 
critters. Two great big heavy volumes, labeled $3.00. I said, 
"Haven't you made a mistake here?" It was in Fraktur type. 
"Hell no. Nobody can read that stuff." The last catalog 
listing I've seen, it was $250. 

Lage: Did you buy it? 

Hedgpeth: Of course I bought it. [laughter] I had an amazing experience 
here a while ago. I'm not sure I should have done it but my son 
Warren was asked into a big old house downtown by a client. It 
belonged to one of the early families around here, related to 
the Comstocks of Cornell University, great naturalists. He 
wrote a famous butterfly book. Warren said there were a couple 
of old books in there, so he arranged that I'd go look at them. 





Two branches of that family don't agree on anything. So I 
looked at the books, and they had this autographed copy of 
Comstock's Butterflies of North America. I said, "That's a 
family heirloom sort of thing. You shouldn't get rid of that." 
She said, "I've had a hysterectomy." "Sorry about that." 
Anyhow, that ended that part of the conversation. Then there 
was a two-volume--. Actually, different editions of the same 
thing, of Perry's Opening of Japan, the book on the Pacific. 
These are books that had a famous picture that caused so much of 
a row that the government refused to pay for the publication of 
some of them later on, namely the Japanese bathhouse scene. It 
was considered very, very improper to even indicate that naked 
men and women wandered around together in such a condition. 
This was of course the 1840s. In some editions, these plates 
had been torn out. 

They had two copies? 

They had one copy of the first edition and the second copy of 
the library edition published a couple of years later, which has 
more color plates and very fancy full leather binding, a heavy 
processed thing. I said, "I don't know but I think these are 
probably worth about $300. I'm not a specialist. Whatever you 
do, don't go down and let that swindler around the corner get 
his hooks into these things. He will tell you they are only 
worth about $50 and offer you $20." When I was away, she 
presented them via my son to me. She invited us to their 
housewarming. They built a nice house out at Dillon Beach. 
Warren designed and built the house for them, by which time I 
had learned that the real value of the second book, the last 
auction price, was $650. I said, "I'd better tell you this." 
Oh, well... [laughter] 

So you have them? 

I have them . ' 

Do you have quite a book collection? 

Fair. I have a fair collection of books on the oceans and this 
[Sea and Land] was one of the starters of it; [unwraps it] this 
particular copy is a wreck. I would like to get a good one but 
I don't know, they're probably as scarce as hen's teeth now. 

'Hawks, Francis L. Expedition of an American Squadron to China Seas 
and Japan, Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854, Under the Command of 
Commodore M. C. Perry. 1856, 1857 (second, library edition, larger page 
and type size, with added illustrations). 








Have you ever had it looked for? 

I'm scared of those guys. They find it for you for $100 and 
they get really mad if you don't buy it. 

It might be worth it. 

I don't think it's worth that much. I don't think it will ever 
sell for that much. There is so much rubbish in it. A lot of 
it is pure fantasy. 

But do you think that's what attracted you in a sense? 
very romanticized view. 

It's a 

Of course, I didn't know how bad, how inaccurate, some of it 
was, but somehow I didn't feel it was all quite up to snuff. I 
don't want to say I was wise before my time. 

I know that the late George Myers, an ichthyologist at 
Stanford, said he had this book in his home too. It started him 
out. In fact, I wrote a little essay on seashore books and 
things like that, published in the American Scientist or 
something, a long time ago now. 

On early books like this? 

Yes. This business of writing books about the sea as such came 
along fairly late. There were all these books about cannibals 
and how to cook a missionary and that sort of stuff. They had 
been going for a long time. 

Would Jules Verne have had some influence on popularizing it? 

Yes. He had a great deal of influence. [holding copy of 20,000 
Leagues] This is a new edition. I'm writing a review. I'm on 
the editorial board of the Quarterly Review of Biology. Some 
chairman of the French and Italian Department at Indiana has 
translated it. He has no sense of humor and absolutely no 
knowledge of biology. He warns us that Jules Verne was fond of 
making puns and sly jokes. Then he gets completely suckered 
into one of them. There is a statement about quadrupeds and 
there are also quadrumanias. He gives a very solemn footnote 
verifying this as mammals that have four hands. 

You don't think he's trying to be funny? 

He doesn't know anything about it, or he wouldn't have said it 
that way. He said this is Latin for having four hands or 





Lage : 


something. The only animals that behave as if they were four- 
handed are sloths. 


The great three-toed sloth. It hangs by all four feet which are 
all more or less like this, a hook. In fact their rear feet are 
so thoroughly adapted for hanging just like that it can't even 
walk on them to flatten them out. They are obviously not hands. 
They are all toes. But anyhow... 

Hand -like. 

There are some other things, more technical. He corrects Jules 
Verne's statement of the longitude of a place "south of Japan" 
to read 37 degrees west, when it should have been east. So he 
states that the longitude of Tokyo is about 37 degrees west. He 
does that to correct Verne. I would hate to go sailing with 
this guy because I don't know where he would land us. I had to 
point out in my review that this places Tokyo about halfway 
between San Francisco and Honolulu. It has to say east 

I met some people from Indiana a couple of months ago and 
asked about this guy. They said, "He's probably the most stupid 
man on the whole Indiana faculty." Well, I didn't know about 
that, but I'm not surprised. 

He'll be waiting for your review, I' 

m sure , 

I don't know. Most of the people who do these things don't even 
know that the Quarterly Review of Biology exists. 

He may never see it. You can send him a copy. 

I may do that because another edition came out about five years 
ago now, making some equally stupid mistakes. In both cases 
these guys haven't hired biologists or sent it to anyone for 
corrections or adjusting. Oh, well. 

[looking at photo of grandfather's library] You see these 
great big enormous bookcases. There were two big units like 
that on this side. Then on the other side, this was the library 

In the scrapbook here, you say, "Here I read my grandfather's 
books stretched out on the carpet." 

I read at them. There is a piano here too, isn't there? 


Lage: Not in the picture. 

Hedgpeth: This was probably the most unmusical family in town. 

Lage: They had a piano but it wasn't much used? 

Hedgpeth: Nobody played it except my Aunt Edith played a little, but I 
don't think she ever took it seriously. The thing is, they 
would stand up for things like "Hail, Columbia" because they 
thought it was the "Star-Spangled Banner." They admitted that. 
They bought my grandfather a phonograph one year. This was the 
time when they still all were mechanical. They got some records 
to go with it. They got things like, "They gotta quit kicking 
my dog around," and "Mickey the Pumpum Man." They were very 
trashy black seal records. They turned it on, Grandfather 
listened and said nothing. The next day he came back from the 
city having bought half a dozen great big fancy red seal records 
which cost about ten times the price of these black seal jobs. 

In those days they sold things by sort of a rough scale. 
So when you bought a copy of the recording of the sextet from 
Lucia, you were paying for all six artists. It would cost six 
dollars. If you bought a single Caruso record, it might be a 
dollar. So he bought a lot of opera. They weren't much on 
symphony in those days . It was mostly vocal things because 
orchestras didn't record very well. And he kept on; there were 
a lot of them. One of my idiotic cousins made static machines 
out of some of them. 

Lage: So your grandfather had more musical taste than the rest of 

Hedgpeth: More than suspected. 

Lage: How did you develop an interest in music? 

Hedgpeth: Well, my father was a singer. He had no musical training. He 
couldn't sight read, and he couldn't sing parts. There is 
nothing more irritating than to be in the middle of a tenor 
section with some guy singing soprano. 

Lage: I think we should wind up for today because we've talked for a 
couple of hours now. 

[Tape is turned off. Resumes with Mr. Hedgpeth singing in 
German. ] 

Lage: When did you get an interest in choral singing? Was that as a 
young person? 







No. My father always sang. I don't know where he learned some 
of the things he sang. He knew "Bonny Bobby Shafto." Every 
single trace of anybody from Northumberland in the family was 
long forgotten. My great-uncle Joel thought we were of Welsh 
descent; that probably came from memory about his grandmother 
Ruth Jones from Anglesey, but not a single word of Welsh came 
down to us . 

How does "Bobby Shafto" go? 
to my daughters. 

I used to read that nursery rhyme 

[Sings "Bonny Bobby Shafto"] The town of Shafto, or the place 
of Shafto, is very close to the little village or farm of 
Hudspeth [pronounced Hedgpeth] in Northumberland. That's where 
my father's family came from some centuries before. It's very 
curious that the McGraws, to whom I owe most of my background, 
were the last that I know of to come to this country. They came 
to New York in 1801. Two brothers came as indentured servants 
from Ballylain, County Armagh in Ireland. 

Your father's family came much sooner? 

Well, the Hedgpeths were showing up in the 1690s in Virginia and 
the Carolinas. They were in the Revolution and the War of 1812. 
Of course, later some of the Hedgpeths wore gray uniforms. On 
my maternal grandfather's side, his brother was a surgeon in the 
Civil War. 

On which side? 

The Union. Michigan Volunteers. One of his McGraw cousins was 
killed at Gaines Mill. That part of the history is also 199 
percent U.S.A. Our names are plastered all over the place. 

Has the spelling changed? You've pronounced it sort of Hudspeth 
when talking about the older--. 

That was for the sake of making it plain. It's pronounced 
Hedgpeth. To this day it's spelled Hudspeth in Newcastle, and 
the man whose name is Anderson who now lives in the place called 
Hudspeth in Northumberland pronounces it Hedgpith. There are 
thirty Hudspiths in the Newcastle phone book, and the American 
spelling Hedgpeth is a phonetic spelling. In our family line my 
great-grandfather Joel Hedgpeth married Jane Hudspeth. 


But the spelling is the same. 


Boyhood Wanderings in the Sierra Foothills. 1920-1921' 
[Interview 2: July 2, 1992] it 

Lage: Last time, we talked about your wandering around in the deep 
meadows, out of Oakland and up to the mountains. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And how that might have made you who you are. How much time 
were you in the mountains and what part of the mountains and 
what kinds of things did you do there? 

Hedgpeth: That was after World War I. My father had gotten a job with the 
city of San Francisco in Mather. He had gone up ahead of us. 

Lage: That was related to the Hetch Hetchy project? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Mather was where they had the sawmill. The place was 

originally "The Hog Ranch." They had to run the sawmill to cut 
timbers. They did a lot of tunnel work and concrete pouring 
requiring all kinds of timbers and so forth and planks, so they 
had their own sawmill. There was another mill about a mile away 
over the hill for the peach growers. That primarily was for 
light duty stuff, namely for boxwood. In those days, wooden 
boxes were the thing. 

My mother and I started off. We traveled by train. San 
Francisco had a railroad, going up from Oakdale through 
Groveland ending at the damsite, so we changed cars. I remember 
it was a very hot day. 

Lage: Was this about 1921? 

Hedgpeth: 1920-21; in that time frame. After Groveland, which was the 

project headquarters and main division point of that railroad, 
where they kept the roundhouses and the sidings and all that 
sort of stuff, the route began to look very pretty. It was 
right along the edge of the Tuolumne River gorge, so we were 
going really into the mountains. Obviously, it was spring in 

'See Appendix A, "A Boy's Life at Mather," for more memories of these 








the mountains, primarily nearer to summertime down in the 
lowlands . ' 

Was that your first trip up to the mountains? 

Well, it was my first trip to that area. I had been in the 
mountains when I was very young, though. I have no clear memory 
of it, except on Whisky Creek, when I was just a few years old, 
several times. I have a dim memory of that, of my father 
carrying me for miles through a snowstorm. I remember very 
clearly, when we got into a warm house, how good that felt. He 
had walked along ahead and left my mother to find her way. She 
wandered into some farm house and spent the rest of the night 
there, and waited until morning to find out what had happened to 
me. That was one of the stories she used to tell with great 

You had gotten caught out in the snowstorm unexpectedly. 

I must have been about three years old. Anyway, at Mather we 
arrived in daylight. At first, there weren't any places for us 
yet. So we stayed in tents in a couple of places. First at 
Buck Meadows; you know where that is. That was a few days. 
Then down in the deep low meadow below the tracks, which is the 
loveliest place for mosquitoes; it's simply unbelievable. 

You stayed there for a while? 

Not very long. 


There were dorms for the working crews, who were mostly 
bachelors. There were not very many family units, probably only 
a dozen or so. I was the only child of my age there. 

Why did they need a blacksmith? 
was he doing ? 

Were they still using horses or 

That was still before the days when you had complete parts and 
things, ordered from the factory. So when some of these big 
machines broke down, parts had to be repaired by hand. 
Sometimes it would be recast and it was stuck and you would have 

'Ted Wurm's Hetch Hetchy and its Dam Railroad (Howell-North Books, 
Berkeley, 1973) is a thorough, lavishly illustrated account of the entire 


to part with a lot of minor things. It had to be maintained 
that way. 

Lage: So it was machine works. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Finally, we had a house up there on a little crest 

overlooking the mill, but you couldn't see very much because 
there was a fair number of trees there at Mather. Of course, 
the last time I was up there, they had let part of it go bad. 
The meadow that I remember was all this thicket of second-growth 
small pines and a horse corral. Because it was a national park, 
they weren't supposed to do anything. 

Lage: So is it part of Yosemite, this area? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it was part of Yosemite National Park. In fact, it was a 
way stop for the excursions from down in Yosemite up to Hetch 
Hetchy. You would stop there for lunch. These great big, open, 
green touring buses Pierce Arrows there were probably twenty- 
five or thirty people apiece. They were considered pretty big 
things in those days. 

Lage: Did you see those go through? 

Hedgpeth: Oh yes. They stopped there for lunch. These box lunches were 
very elegant things that they packed in those days, little bits 
of candy, pieces of pie and all kinds of things. I began to 
sing for the hors d'oeuvres. 

Lage: Sing for your supper. 

Hedgpeth: I did also that. If I knew a new dirty or a new swear word, 

why, the cook would give me a piece of pie. It wasn't really a 
town, it was just a mill and the accompanying buildings. Most 
of them were bachelors; they did run a mess. They came to the 
mess hall, so they had a cook. He made a particular brand of 
probably what I would now consider indigestible apple pies, that 
he would give me a nice big piece of if I learned a new bad 

Lage: That's encouraging you in the right direction [laughter]. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, wasn't it? The tourists called me Sierra Bill. 

Lage: What did the tourists like to hear? 

Hedgpeth: They liked to hear me sing. 

Lage: What kinds of songs? 








I don't remember what I sang in those days. I stood on a tree 

So that was what a boy did who didn't have any boys his age in 
that area. 

That's right. Actually, I think most of the kidsthere were 
not very many were teenagers. Older children of families, you 
see. There was this gal- -I never did learn her last name, but 
never forgot her first name. It was Leafy Fern. She had a 
suitor who kept carving her very nice heart-shaped boxes out of 
yellow sugar pine bark. He was pretty good at it; I remember 
that. After a while, they went down to the towns somewhere, and 
I suppose they got married; I don't know. 

Did your mother try to encourage you in different directions 
from the cook? Did she know about your carryings-on? 

I don't think she did too well. There was one day there where 
this old character appeared on the scene with his two burros and 
the saddlebags full of hymn books. There was kind of an arena 
in a grove there, campfires and so forth, public functions. The 
nearest thing to a meeting place the town had. A fireplace, 
just some logs or planks to sit on. I started helping him 
unpack the books. He wanted to know what my name was and I told 
him. He said, "Oh. I know your mother. Please take me there." 
He was one of her old missionary friends. His name was Hugh 
Furneaux. In that thing you have about Mather and later in the 
Tuolvmne County Magazine, he's there. 

Right. With his two burros. 

He had custody. One of them was called Bagpipes. I don't know 
what the other was right now. Anyway, when he went down to the 
city, he left them with us. At that time, we were staying at a 
different place. We moved out for a while for some reason and 
down near what was then the Oakland Municipal Camp, which was 
about five or six miles south. He left his burros with us while 
he went down into civilization for three or four weeks or 
something like that. Time in those days gets confused. You 
don't know which came before or after. Some people do. My 
memory didn't keep the times too well separated. 

I wouldn't think so, this far removed. 

Anyway, I rode one of those burros around, 

It was quite an 


An education about burros? 


Hedgpeth: Yes, about burros, donkeys. They have minds of their own. 
Lage: That's what I've heard. 

Hedgpeth: There was, I guess, a branch of the upper middle Tuolumne going 
through there. It wasn't much of a river there; it was pretty 
shallow but it had a big plank bridge across it. Trying to get 
that donkey to go across that bridge! He stomped on it with his 
feet. Because it wasn't nailed down tight, one of the planks 
jiggled under foot. He backed off. He wouldn't go. He backed 
off again. So I went down to where the river looked shallow 
enoughit was and we got out in the water. He decided he 
didn't want to ford the river with me aboard, so he threw me off 
into the river, walked across by himself, about a foot deep or 
so, and he stood there and waited for me to wade the river, 

Lage: So maybe you learned something about stubbornness from him. 

Hedgpeth: Maybe. I don't know. But I learned something anyway. 

Lage: What about the preacher friend? Was he a memorable character? 

Hedgpeth: Well, he was a very nice man. He baptized me. That's about all 
I remember of him clearly. He corresponded with my mother for a 
while. He had this very fancy, heavy handwriting. I seem to 
have lost or mislaid the gospel hymnbook he left with us. He 
had written in it and put a date in it by the way too. The date 
was '21. 

Anyway, I led him back to our cabin. My mother had him 
over for dinner and had him baptize me. 

Lage: She had been waiting for someone to come along. 

Hedgpeth: I don't know; I think she just had the idea that maybe it was 
about time I had a middle name, I guess. 

Lage: Now Mather, it became the San Francisco Family Camp? 

Hedgpeth: It still is, I think. Amywhat is her name? She is a very 
active environmental type. 

Lage: Amy Meyer? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. She was up there a few years ago. 

But the tree they had cut down on a Sunday one day there, 
some of the logging crews I guess, felling crews, this was the 


biggest tree around there, right near our house. They cut it 
down and cut it up in lengths of four or six feet. I went away, 
and those pieces were still there the first time I went back 
with Bill Boly, my daughter's brother-in-law, to show him the 
ground and how to get from here to there and all that sort of 
thing. We went all the way up to the dam at that time. Then Amy 
wrote me a note saying that after that, those pieces had 
disappeared. They were all weathered, an ash white color. 
There a long time, forty years I guess. 

Lage: Someone carted them off. 

Hedgpeth: Finally. It was one way I could recognize the site of the 
place. I have a very good memory for places. 

Lage: Did you get up to see the dam being built? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Any memories about that? 

Hedgpeth: They had an excursion for employees. It was on a Sunday, I 

believe. Well, at that time, there may have been Sunday crews 
working, they had to go down an incline, down on the cable tram 
in a kind of crude conveyance lowered by cables on the track 
down to about the level of where the tunnel comes out at the 
dam. We went through that tunnel for several miles on a flat 
car, on a little two- foot-wide train. 

Lage: Through the tunnel? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, we went through the tunnel. There were electric lights 
along the roof. It came out at Early Intake and then they 
turned us loose to walk back, to go back up the hill to Mather. 
I didn't like it because it was kind of a scary thing, to go 
down a steep cable tram like that and see all the fresh blasted 
sides. They were still making the key ways. The key ways are 
the part of cutting into the rock on either side and through all 
the wires and timber supports. So you could see what they were 
doing to the country; you could get a view of the valley. 

Lage: But the valley itself was still intact then? 
Hedgpeth: No, it was pretty well cut down by then. 
Lage: Oh, they cut down the trees? 

Hedgpeth: Oh yes. They would clear out all the trees. They would do this 
any time they would build a dam. I think probably they were 












going to use some of those logs, take them down to the sawmill 
and chop them up. 

Did that make an impression at that age? 

It did indeed. I never cared for dams after that. I went back 
there with a Boy Scout troop in 1924, and we went down inside 
the dam. That's just kind of a scary business, too, because 
whatever else you may think and how safe it may be, if you go 
down in those tunnels, very far down, they are kind of drippy. 

There is always the water leaking. 

Yes, and when they are operating the turbines, it makes a noise 
and gives you a sense of something going on, quivering within 
something of the structure. It doesn't feel like it's a very 
good place to stay. So you were very happy to get out of there 
of course. I'll have to brush up. I don't know how to describe 
the process anymore. 

It will come to you. 
reservoir was there. 

So when you went back the second time, the 

Yes, it was pretty well established. 

The dam was finished and the valley was a reservoir. It's 
interesting that at that age you were aware of the kind of 
devastated landscape and all. 

Yes, I always remembered that. I suppose the accident I had 
didn't help either. 

What kind of impact did your accident have on you, do you think? 
This was the dynamite--. 

Well, the immediate impact was extremely sensitive. Certain 
things you couldn't do with your hands I still can't do, as a 
matter of fact. They put a thing like this back together as 
much as they can. They don't put nerve endings in anywhere. 
Some tactile sense is gone and others are increased. When you 
bump it against something it really hurts you--. 

The pain is . 

It doesn't last long but it is very acute. 

Even now? 


Hedgpeth: Oh yes. Of course, copper pieces worked out of my hand for ten 

Lage: Again? I didn't--. 

Hedgpeth: Well, this thing has a copper jacket, too. 

Lage: Oh, the dynamite? 

Hedgpeth: Pieces. 

Lage: And they got imbedded in your hand? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They couldn't get them all out. One thing, they didn't 
want to keep me under too long. 

Lage: So the copper would work its way out? 

Hedgpeth: Right. 

Lage: Did it make you a more careful person? 

Hedgpeth: I suppose. 

Lage: It must have horrified your mother. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes; it was pretty hard on her. 

Lage: Do you think it made her more protective? 

Hedgpeth: Well, she was afraid of that, so what she did was send me off to 
a military academy for a year and a half. 

Lage: That was in response to your accident, do you think? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: To keep you out of trouble? 

Hedgpeth: Also, the other thing was I had missed a year of school. 

Lage: From your recovery time? 

Hedgpeth: No. Because we lived up there through the winter. 

Lage: Oh, so there really was no school. 

Hedgpeth: There was no school. I think we went down the first year. 

Let's see, 1921 was the year of my grandfather's death, so that 


ended the big Christmases at home. One of my aunts married a 
Nasburg, one of the old pioneer families in Marshfield, as they 
still want to call it up there. 

Lage: Up in Oregon? 

Hedgpeth: Coos Bay. The Nasburgs were one of the founding settlers of 
that part of Oregon. 

Lage: Did your aunt marry after your grandfather died or before? 

Hedgpeth: Before, because a picture of my grandfather's eightieth birthday 
shows--. I guess we were all born by that time. Six of us. 
The trouble is the youngest one, Bud, got hysterical and they 
carted him away so I don't think he got into one of the 
pictures. It was a very hot afternoon; everybody was dressed up 
in their finery. It was worse than waiting to be mugged for the 
county jail as far as I could see. 

Lage: But look how much we enjoy those old pictures. 
Hedgpeth: Yes, I know. 

Father's Tenuous Tie to the IWW 

Lage: One thing you mentioned in that article I wanted to ask you 
about was something about finding your father's IWW 
[International Workers of the World] card. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, that was when we had the donkeys, yes. 

Lage: Now, what was that all about and what does it show about your 

Hedgpeth: Well, my father was not very sophisticated and, of course, he 
didn't know too much about the IWW. I don't think I ever saw 
him reading a newspaper, come to think of it. He would read the 
Bible or try Emerson or Thoreau once in a while. But 
interestingly enough, he had as a teacher the man who became his 
own brother-in-law. But heavens, how much older he was than my 
Aunt Carrie I don't know. [Caroline Elizabeth Hedgpeth married 
Aaron Frederick. JWH] But he was a schoolteacher to a lot of 
these people including my father's first cousin, George, who 
remembered him very well. 


Would this have been in Whisky Creek? 

Hedgpeth: No, that would be down in Academy and Clovis, that area. They 
moved up, followed my grandfather up to the Whisky Creek area 

Lage: I see. 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, this fellow was an old school master from Pennsylvania 
and I think he was already about finished with his career when 
he turned up here. He was one of the first teachers at Academy. 
His name was Aaron W. Frederick. 

Apparently, in his later years he went up to Oregon, 
because they hired people in these mountain schools that were 
long past age limits of any kind. He didn't do much but read 
poetry to the kids when they were young, so my father may have 
heard some of that sort of thing. I don't think he got beyond 
the fifth grade. 

Lage: He didn't necessarily keep up with current events? 

Hedgpeth: No. He was apprenticed to a blacksmith. He called him a 
blasphemous old Welshman. 

Lage: The blacksmith was? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He obviously knew tricks of the trade that went way back 
before our days, and he taught them to my father. 

Anyway, the IWW card is a very heavy thing and kind of 
shiny outside and red, white and blue with a screaming eagle on 
it. It looked like something similar to the old passes they 
used to give out to constituents in Washington when they were 
attending a session of Congress. 

Lage: That's ironic. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it's a very similar looking thing. 

Lage: You discovered this and you said it created kind of a ruckus in 
the family? 

Hedgpeth: I asked my mother what it was, it looked so pretty. She knew 

what it was. As soon as he got back, she laced him up and down 
with, "You dangerous radical. You're contributing to that sort 
of thing." So it disappeared from the scene. 


Was your father very committed to it? 


Hedgpeth: No, I don't think he was very active. He just didn't know what 
it was. It seemed like a good idea to him, that was all. 

Lage: Maybe he thought it was a pretty card also. 

Hedgpeth: He didn't read the papers. He didn't know about burning the hay 
fields and all that kind of stuff they were doing. Of course, 
down here in Petaluma, there was a banquet for the twenty- fifth 
anniversary or twentieth, 1 guess it was, of the Bodega Head 
fight; all the Berkeley radicals were there. I told them my 
father had been a card-carrying member of the IWW. That brought 
down the house. [laughter] Of course, that was stretching it a 
little too, but I thought I might as well make something of it. 

It wasn't that long after the PG&E tried to find out 
anything about me . 

Lage: They could have used that against you? 

Hedgpeth: In fact, they tried that stuff on Dave Pesonen. His father was 
a radical activist. I don't think he was a member of the 
Communist Party or anything, but he and the Associated Farmers 
didn't get along very well. Pesonen was active in the Unitarian 
Church. He wrote a wonderful piece about all the other values 
that should be observed in water, in our rivers and streams, for 
the governor's 1945 water conference. It's published in the 

Lage: David's father wrote this? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I asked Dave, "Did your father write this kind of stuff?" 
He said, "I didn't know about that particular one, but I 
wouldn't put it past him." I found that thing very useful for 
me because that's where Governor Warren said the same thing Joe 
Stalin said, just about. 

Lage: At this governor's conference? 

Hedgpeth: This is 1945, the governor's conference on water. 

Lage: And what did Earl Warren say? 

Hedgpeth: Earl Warren said, "We should not rest until we put every drop of 
water in California to work." Stalin said, "We must not allow 
any water to reach the sea." I've used that several times. 


What did Dave Pesonen 's father say? 

Hedgpeth: Well, they were libertarian and environmentally oriented sort of 
things which were not very popular then. He was asking us not 
to forget the fish. 

Lage: And he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, as I remember. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. But he made these statements speaking in behalf of the 

Unitarian Church. He wasn't on the official program. 1 think 
he wrote a letter which was printed in the back of the report. 

Solitary Time in Nature 

Lage: Maybe I'm being too teleological here, but did the mountain 

experience turn you into a scientist in any way, or a naturalist 
or an environmentalist? How might it have? 

Hedgpeth: Well, breathing the flowers like Ferdinand [the Bull]. I also 

had many pleasant hours seated by lovely little springs they had 
in the mountains. A lot of these springs are boxed to make them 
easy to dip water out of them. They come from little small 
rivulets or actually lowland places. They are all full of nice, 
charming, interesting bugs paddling around in them. Beetles of 
various sorts and that sort of thing. 

Lage: Did you have a lot of solitary time? 
Hedgpeth: Well, I was mostly by myself. 
Lage: That probably had its impact. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. There was a big oak tree with lovely acorns, great big fat 
ones with a golden kind of powder on the cup. I don't know if 
that was Quercus chrysolepis, or which one. I'm not a scholar 
of oak trees, and we have quite a few in California, I know, 
three of them in plain sight of this house. One there, one over 
there. There's a scrub oak, a black oak and I don't know what. 
I think there is another one down the road, a great big- leafed 
one. Those are natives. This particular area has been planted 
over with conifers by some fellow. One day we found our roof 
leaking. A large limb had been broken off by the wind and 
floated fifty to sixty feet like a falling feather, and punched 
a hole in our roof. 


Hedgpeth: The fir breaks off that way; it comes down like a feather. You 
watch a feather fall; it sort of turns around on the nib. The 
branch happened the same way. This guy next door is an 
insurance broker and said, "That's one of your trees." I said, 
"We have six species of conifer right here and the only Douglas 
fir is the one on your side of the fence." 

Well, anyway. Of course, he claimed it was an act of God. 
Lage: So who won? 
Hedgpeth: God. [Laughter] He cut down his fir tree a short time after. 



Public Schools. Homes, and Family in Stockton and the Bay Area 

Lage: Okay. We are going to get you into the educational system. We 
are moving you right along. You went to Palo Alto Military 

Hedgpeth: Well, if you want to go back to the beginning. You see, I was 

born on the 29th of September, so when I turned five years old I 
was not eligible to go to first grade until I was nearly as old 
as a second grader. We were living in this place called Clipper 
Gap, about five miles north of Auburn on 1-80. It consisted of 
about six family groups and the store and the school. I don't 
think there was a church there. We boarded the school teacher- - 
we lived right across the road. I remember the kids were all 
older than me, talking about starting school, asked me what I 
was going to do. I had never even thought of it; it had never 
even been mentioned to me, as a matter of fact. About that time 
I was reading funny papers with some idea of what they were all 
about . 

So I trotted off, more or less followed the teacher I 
guess, presented myself in the lineup. She said I couldn't 
attend. I would have to go and play by myself for a while. I 
couldn't be in the school. 

Years later, I talked to her. She had never lived very far 
from Sacramento. I think she was born in Sacramento and I think 
she died there. I lost track of her. She was pretty old when I 
caught up with her. 

Lage: You looked her up? 

Hedgpeth: My mother corresponded with people and after her death, I found 
all kinds of addresses of people I didn't even know she knew. 







So I had to go around and tell them, wrote them letters, that 
sort of thing. I looked up Miss Flower. Her name was Enola 
Flower. I think it was her first school. I told her I still 
remembered that. She said, well, she had made a lot of mistakes 
in her life of teaching but she wasn't sure that was one of 
them. She gave me a book, a history of California, she had 
written for the lower grades. 1 didn't see her again. I was up 
in Oregon at the time. She got quite a write-up in the paper 
once about her career as a teacher, so she was fairly well 
known. The schoolhouse is still there. Our house burned down 
and there's nothing else left of Clipper Gap. Highway 80 wiped 
it out, including my father's shop. 

Anyhow, we came down from the hills to Stockton. My 
father's blacksmith business hadn't panned out so he sold it out 
or just abandoned it; I don't know which. He got a job at the 
Holt Manufacturing Company. That was probably 1917 or early 
1918. My first school was the big red house, a brick school 
that is still standing in StocktonLincoln School. Holt had a 
contract with the British Army to make tanks. That was a big 
event in the history of the Holt factory. 1 

My father was working at a big steam hammer bending sheets 
of heavy steel. 

Not quite the same as his blacksmith work. 
Well, he made pretty good money at it, I guess. 
How long were you there in Stockton? 

We were there through Armistice Day. I remember the armistice 
parade very well, dragging Kaiser Bill's effigy behind the car. 
One of them was tied to the front of the car, and another was 
dragged behind. 

So they really personalized it. 
Oh yes. Kaiser Bill and all that. 

I remember also the influenza plague. We all had to wear 
white masks. 

That came right after the war. 

'Benjamin Holt. The Story of the Caterpillar Tractor. General Editor 
Walter A. Payne. University of the Pacific, Stockton, 1982. 














Yes. Then, coming on to late 1919-1920, we moved back to the 
big house for a while. 

You went to school in Oakland. 

Yes. My father worked in the Alameda shipyards, also finishing 
off a war contract. They were building cargo ships there in the 
Moore Shipyards. The Moores were old family friends of my 
mother's and the McGraws in general. The Moores and the Rolfs 
in San Francisco in the old days. Right after that, we went to 
Hetch Hetchy where my father disappeared from the scene for a 
while. We lived in Berkeley for a while and I attended second 
grade there. 

The big house in Oakland was built about 1886, I think it 
was. My [grand] father got a relatively new house, built by Dr. 
Cole. My grandfather bought it in 1889. That kind of 
information I got out of the Oakland library's Oakland history 
room. In fact, I submitted a dossier on the house and the 
family to Bill Sturm there. 

Did you mention that it had been lifted up and turned 180 

I think so. 

That's a fascinating thought. 

My aunts always delighted in telling me that. You can tell it 
from the address in the city directories. The first address of 
the house is on Adeline Street. I think it turns out that the 
address then becomes Chestnut at the time my [grand] father 

bought it, so he probably had the house turned around, 
why my aunts remembered so well. 


You say you lived in Berkeley, 
were in Berkeley? 


Did you go to school when you 

Which school did you go to there? 

It was Lincoln. 

Did you live in the south end or the north end of Berkeley? 

I lived down there in the south end where Adeline, Ashby, and 
Grove all come together there. And Shattuck. The house I think 
is still there. We lived on Fairview, which is a funny little 


street which didn't come through. We found an Indian burial 
site in the back yard. We were digging around, as kids. A 
skull... we kept the skull for years. It finally fell down. We 
used to carry it around on Halloween. It broke. The Indians 
would have lynched me if they knew all that stuff. And a whole 
lot of arrow points and other things that we didn't know the 
significance of. I don't think any of the arrow points I have 
now are part of that at all. I think those all got lost. 

My cousin, who lived in Lafayette, found a great big 
ceremonial point about seven inches long. He gave me all that 
stuff; he had no interest in that. They had a beautiful dragoon 
pistol of 1840 vintage which they ruined by trying to fire it 
and putting too much powder in it. They blasted off the cap 
holder and all that stuff. It was a lovely, big pistol. 

Lage: Which cousin was this? 

Hedgpeth: Ed Rowland, my oldest cousin on my mother's side. He was the 

first born of our generation. He was about six years older than 

Lage: So you became the repository of these kind of family things, 
because of your interest? 

Hedgpeth: Well, no, not really. What happened was that his mother, one of 
our aunts, built an antique house out nexL to the garage and put 
in it all the heirlooms, including the appointment of my great 
grandfather as postmaster of Port Orford signed by Abraham 
Lincoln and all that kind of stuff. It all went up in smoke. 

Lage: It all burned down. 

Hedgpeth: My dear cousin came home one evening, not in complete command of 
his faculties, and tossed a cigarette or something. Anyway, it 
all burned down. Whatever was left was in the attic, just 
shards and things. A couple of pieces here characteristic of 
the kind of stuff that gets kicked around. [Goes off to get 
something] This came from his attic. 

Lage: What are they? 

Hedgpeth: Fids. 

Lage: Fids? F-I-D? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Fids are for working ropes, working out knots and for 

splicing. These are Eskimo, of course. That's fossil ivory; 
the new ivory one was probably made by a white man. It's been 


turned on a lathe to make that symmetrical a head. This is 
probably Indian work. This is so-called recently dead walrus. 

Lage: What is this that I'm playing with here? 

Hedgpeth: That is one of my mother's souvenirs. That is a purse, an 
Indian purse. This is deerhorn, antler horn, and it was 
designed to hold those things. Those are Dentalium which is a 
scaphopod mollusk shell, and they used that as money. 

Lage: This is the money and this was the way they kept it. 

Hedgpeth: And they wrapped a piece of sinew around to keep things in 

Lage: What a treasure that is. So this was something your mother--. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It comes from the Hoopa Valley. One of my aunts went up 
to southeast Alaska who taught Indians, the Haidu. 

Lage: Then you had another aunt interested in teaching Indians? 
Hedgpeth: Well, several of them tried to teach in missionary work. 
Lage: Look at this. Is that abalone? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. The very interesting thing about that is it has been in 
the family for about eighty or ninety years now. I guess my 
Aunt Edna had it there. That's what she brought back. She 
brought back some other carving that went to her nieces. This 
was left in the house. It got split some time. 

But you notice that abalone? I got a strange letter from 
the museum of Victoria, British Columbia, wanting to know if I 
knew why the abalone in the Indian carvings was turning white 
and if there was any way to stop it. The lady was writing to me 
because she knew I was a director of a marine laboratory and 
wanted to know, since one of the authorities on the mollusk 
shell was a man named Alex Comfort, whether he was still in this 
business. I wrote back, "The problem is, I have been up to 
Victoria, and you have these in air-conditioned, permanently 
controlled protective cages and boxes. You are taking the water 
out of the shell, and it is the water in this shell that does 
that . " 


The water gives it its color? 







"So preserving them in those air-conditioned boxes is ruining 
them," I said. "We had this one in the family for eighty years, 
and the abalone eyes are unchanged . " 

Did you know that quality about the shell, that the color came 
from the moisture? 

Yes. A lot of it does, the iridescence. Of course, as for her 
question about Alex Comfort, I couldn't resist pointing out that 
he had gone into another businesswriting do-it-yourself 
manuals for the bedroom, [laughter] 

This is the same Alex Comfort? 

Yes, of course it is. 

How interesting. Did you know him in his former life? 

I didn't know him, but I think in one of those books, there is a 
little prefatory statement, or maybe it was on the flyleaf 
somewhere, it said this. 

Now, we had you living in Berkeley; then we were going on to 
your next . 

Berkeley, yes. Then the next school I went to, I guess, was in 

Did this have an effect? 

Changing so rapidly from one school to 

Well, I never knew any teacher very well. None that helped too 
much. In Alameda, I guess Dad was still working in a shipyard. 
He moved over to Alameda to get away from 929. It was a little 
further away, I guess. 

Do you think your father was restless in the old home? 

I don't know. Maybe my mother was restless. That was 1919. 

[I should have remembered something that has always been 
with me: one evening around 1920 when my father was jobless, he 
had set up a crude drafting table in a remote back room in the 
attic, and I asked him what he was doing. He said he was 
designing a pump system to deliver gasoline to automobiles that 
would register the amount of gas involved. It sounded practical 
to me (gas stations were in their beginning then). They were 
nice looking drawings. Then I went down the stairs from the 
attic room to the warm fireside of the upstairs sitting room. 


My mother and several aunts and George Wightman, my aunt Spud's 
adopted son (an orphan from her first school assignment, the 
orphanage at Tiburon) were there. They had been talking about 
my father being out of work and what he was going to do (it must 
have been just after the shipyards had closed--! was going on 
towards nine). One of my aunts asked where he was and what he 
was doing, and 1 said he was designing a measuring pump for 
gasoline. George Wightman immediately remarked that that had 
already been done. 1 was ordered by one of my aunts (my mother 
did not say anything that I remember) to go back upstairs to 
tell him not to waste his time. It was a long slow way up those 
stairs. All my father said when I told him was, "Is that so?" 
By morning the plans had disappeared and the matter was never 
mentioned again. I did not remember it again until only about 
ten years ago, until it came back to me and I realized it was a 
cruel thing to ask a boy to tell his father. 

It was to be many years, indeed to his last illness in the 
Ring ' s Daughters Home on Broadway in Oakland that was founded by 
the order where my mother was an active member, that my aunts 
who were left began to visit him. Aunt Spud took it upon 
herself to visit him regularly and he died there. George 
Wightman had died long beforehe never worked out as an adopted 

The last time I saw my father was at a nursing home in 
Walnut Creek. He asked me to take his tools to the shop. (He 
had borrowed a 200-pound anvil from Machado--the last blacksmith 
in Walnut Creek.) I knew I would not see him again (I was at 
Scripps in La Jolla then) . 

My mother was at home with a companion to care for her. 
She insisted on walking out to my car and watch me drive away, 
and she died not long after. 

After they were gone, the world belonged to me.] 1 

[In Alameda] I remember a silly little episode; we were 
standing in a vacant lot, and all the kids began to scream and 
run away. What were they doing? I should get out of there, 
because there was a dragonfly that would sew up my mouth if I 
kept standing around there. 

Lage: This is what they said? 

l Mr. Hedgpeth added the preceding bracketed material during his review 
of the draft transcript, and included a poem In Memoriam to his father. 
See following page. 


In Memoriam (Joel Hedgpeth, 1875-1956) 

A rusted wagon tire, 

relic of some forgotten smithy, 

half-buried and tilted from the ground 

to mark a neighbor's entrance way 

reminds me to remember seventy years ago 

my father's ancient single-handed skill 

as men came to stand around and watch: 

he brought the red-hot circle 

of shrinking iron against the felloes 

and tightened it by turning in the tub 

with the quickness that was the essence of the task 

From hundreds of years before 
this art of Celtic smiths 
had been handed down to him 
by a blasphemous old Welsh blacksmith, 
my father said his name was Morgan. 
I was there that day it ended, 
as the watchers came in motor cars 
on rubber tires at the time beginning 
of our age of motor poisoned air. 

My mother never wanted me 
to put it down on the forms from school 
that he was a blacksmith 
but instead to write "machinist." 
I would not do it - I never could forget 
Mow his hammer shaped white to red hot iron 
on his sounding anvil. 

It would not be until long after and he was gone, 
that I learned he had been known in his time 
as the best man with iron in the valley. 

Joel w. Hedgpeth 



Cylchgrtwn CcncdUclhol o FarddonUcth Ncwydd 

Editor Meic Stephens 
VOLUME FOUR SPRING 1969 NUMBER THREE county, California. 

Poem by Joel Hedgpeth, 

inspired by his 

Welsh heritage and the 

cemetery of the 

Welsh mining town of 

Somersville , now 

part of a regional park in 

Contra Costa 


Epitaph at Somersville 

Mt H*I btdd o dan gudd-mewn arch o goed 
Mian nis gttlir Jy nganfod. 
Na dyn bywjy mvyj adnabod, 
AW cau Jy medd ond coffy mod. 

Boxed in boards, buried here below, 
From where I can no longer see, 
No living one may learn my woe: 
Come, close my grave, remember me. 

(Transl J -H.,1994) 

A hundred years now gone 

John Williams of Llanfabon 

Lived and worked here in the mines. 

Praised the fine Welsh spoken here 

And wrote of thai arid year 

In his letter home to Wales: 

How they welcomed with their smiles 

EThe rain that ended the drought 
In this valley far from home. 
How they lived their hours out 
On Sunday with their sermons 
. First in English, then in Welsh. 
And how they learned their lessons. 
~For if a man has nothing 
To raise him he will seek out 
The things that arc degrading." 

So John Williams wrote back home 
From this forgotten valley 
Where no houses stand today 
In these hills above the mine. 
Where no voices speak the tongue 
Once alive and cherished here. 

The living grass grows lightly green 
Beyond the high and barren hill 
In this time abandoned- place 
Where the battered headstones 
Plead for paradise and peace 
In a language long unheard 
For lives now unremcmbercd. 

Anguish faded from these graves 
Quietly as growing leaves 
On the young stems of the year. 


Our green remembrance holds 
A wingbeat stance of startled bird. 
Time's sequence reconciled 
Within an interval now heard 
By innerness of mind: 
Our moody sunlit presence 
Lost in quietcness whence 
Grass and flowers of the year 
And ourselves may end. 


John Williams' letter of November 29, 1864 
is published (in English) in The Welsh in 
America-Letters from the Immigrants), edited 
by Alan Conway, University of Minnesota Pres: 
1961, pp. 266-267 

The names on the headstone above the epitaph 

In Memory of 

Born in South Wales 
Died Aug. 4, 1874 
Aged 30 years 

son of 

John and Mary Richards 
Died June 2, 1874 
AgeJ 17 months. 





Yes. I didn't believe that. There were a lot of dragonflies 
flitting around; they never came close enough to do anything. 
So 1 just stood my ground and they all disappeared. Why 1 
should remember such a silly little episode as that? 

Anyhow, the chief thing there, that was the last time I saw 
my father's father. He stayed overnight with us, he and my 
grandmother. My grandmother was blind. That's on the Hedgpeth 
side, of course. They had brought me a lizard in one of these 
big, old house match boxes. 

That was a big gift for a boy your age. 

I reached for it. Grandma grabbed it because she was afraid I 
would let the thing loose, and she killed it in the process. 
Which was too bad, very sad. Anyway, the next morning, before I 
woke up, my grandfather had gone on to Oregon. I never saw him 

1 never saw my grandmother again either. She came from a 
very distinguished line, which I didn't know about at that time. 
She was a Brearley. She was descended from the signer of the 
Constitution from New Jersey, I think. Or was it that that was 
her great-great uncle. One of the Brearleys, or both of them, 
were officers in the Revolution, in the Continental Army. 
That's a fairly old family, a fairly rare name. It's a very 
strange thing that happened in Oregon, which was that there was 
both a Tichenor and a Brearley on the faculty at Oregon State, 
but neither of them were closely related. 

When you went to Oregon State there was a Brearley and a 

Hedgpeth: Well, the Brearley turned up later. I immediately phoned him, 
to know who he was. He came from a Canadian branch of the 
family, had nothing to do . 

Lage: And the Tichenor wasn't related either? 

Hedgpeth: Wasn't related either. Those Tichenors were all over Oregon. 

[interruption for phone call] 

Hedgpeth: Well, the city of Santa Rosa wants to build a pathway along the 
Santa Rosa Creek. Back about 1964, the city of Santa Rosa, the 
[Luther] Burbank Housedo you know this town well enough to 
know where the Burbank House is? Burbank' s place used to border 
on the creek. They put all that underground--. 


Lage: They moved the creek underground? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They put in a big culvert, and they built city hall on top 
of the culvert. I publicly stated that I was not anxious to 
promote this business, at least until they blow up the city hall 
and get rid of the culvert, because that was a site locality of 
what is now the endangered shrimp, Syncars pacifica. Somebody 
else a while ago said they ought to blow up the city hall too, 
but I think he had architectural objections. It doesn't look 
very good. I have characterized it as having been poured into 
forms made out of old piano boxes. 

Lage: So you are advocating IWW tactics here? 

Hedgpeth: I fear so. I am not the only one apparently who doesn't like 
city hall architecturally. 

Lage: Or environmentally, it sounds like. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. The contents of the city hall especially [laughter]. This 
guy said they want to condemn a big hunk of his land, take about 
twenty-five acres. He's got a piece of property, and I guess it 
straddles a creek somewhere out west in the pastureland. 

Lage: They want to take it to build a path? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They've got to do something. They want to spend something 
like $50 million dollars or some crazy sum of money. I don't 
know where that money will come from or what it will be spent 
for. One of the things they've got to do to rehabilitate that 
creek . One of the main branches, Brush Creek, runs along this 
road. One mile of it is a straight line. Nature abhors 
straight lines in streams. 

Lage: That isn't a natural stream. 

Hedgpeth: All you've got is a culvert. Well, anyway, that's what that was 
all about. I'll go out to see what his problem is. 

Lage: Let's see if we can get your education taken care of to feel 
like we've really accomplished something here. We were in 
Alameda. You were there a short time, it sounds like. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And then, the mountains in 1921. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Then we went back to the mountains, to Mather, Tuolumne 
County . 

Joel W. Hedgpeth, ca. 1922. 

Photograph courtesy of Joel W. Hedgpeth 



Where you really didn't go to school. 

Palo Alto Military Academy. 1922 





Right. Then I went back to the [Palo Alto] Military Academy [in 
1922]. I did very well there, I gather. Of course, you have to 
weigh these things a bit because military academies are 
commercial enterprises and they want to have us little dears as 
long as we can be paid for. I'm not aware that they ever 
flunked anybody out. But I was bemused because I found this 
letter to my mother from the headmaster, who called himself 
"colonel" of course; I don't know what his real army rank was. 
He might really have been a colonel for all I know, but 
everybody had a military title there. He wrote this letter to 
my mother saying what a nice influence I had been on the other 
little boys. 

What do you think he was referring to there? 

I don't know, because I remember one time I had been 
accidentally pushed into the swimming pool. No great harm about 
that, but I had an old dollar watch and it got wet, so it 
wouldn't run. This other kid had this cigar box of postage 
stamps. Of course, we were all collecting in those days. We 
arranged a trade. He got back to his room, and he found the 
watch wouldn't run. I got back to my room and found that there 
were no triangles that I had seen at the top of the heap in this 
collection of stamps. 

You both cheated each other. [laughter] 

So there were mutual recriminations, and an order went out that 
trading was not to be conducted except on Saturday afternoons in 
the presence of one of the presiding teachers or officers. 

Anything academically from that experience? 
very young. Eleven years old? 

You must have been 

We had to memorize "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and so on. 
Of course, the other thing I did was bop a kid over the head 
with a sack of marbles I had won from him- -he claimed I had 
cheated himso we were not allowed to play marbles for keeps. 
I had to walk track for that one. Instead of being free on a 
Saturday afternoon to go to the five and dime movie downtown, I 
had to walk around the racetrack with a wooden gun for hours . 


Lage: Holding a wooden gun? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. In the military, as punishment you got so many demerits 
for this sort of thing if your hands weren't washed in the 
morning or if your necktie wasn't straight, among other such 
things . 

Lage: That was a long way from Mather. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. This was when I really lost interest in organizations. It 
was a ghastly Sunday afternoon and I wasn't feeling too well. 
They served creamed cauliflower, a dish I wasn't too fond of. I 
asked to be excused. Major So-and-so was presiding over us. 
"Eat up your cauliflower." So I ate up my cauliflower. "Here, 
eat up some more." He gave me a great big plateful of the damn 
stuff. "Eat all that." I got it all down. Fortunately there 
was a thicket of bamboo just outside the door. I headed for 
that and managed to get rid of most of that cauliflower. I've 
never been able to eat cauliflower since. 

Lage: It sounds a little sadistic. 

Hedgpeth: I think it was, but anyhow. Also, I've never remade my bed so 
that I could bounce a nickel off of it since. 

Lage: Then your mother took you out of that academy. 

Hedgpeth: I think she ran out of money. 

Lage: It wasn't because you didn't like it. 

Hedgpeth: Well, I didn't have much to say about that. They wanted to make 
a little man of me. That's what they told her it was doing. 
So, back in the public school, I discovered I was now back in 
step with my age class. 

Junior High and High School in Oakland 

Lage: That's when you went to San Leandro. 

Hedgpeth: We were there through high school, so we were there for about 
six or seven years. 


That was the most stable. 



Hedgpeth: Well, my father took to working away in other parts of the 

state. He worked for quite a while in Pleasanton, out there in 
the sticks. 

Lage: Did your mother have a little business, did you say? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, she ran a little dry goods store for a while. It didn't do 
very well. It wasn't a very good neighborhood for it for one 
thing . 


You said you went to Fremont High School. Was that in Oakland 
or San Leandro? 

First I went to junior high, Lockwood. San Leandro at that time 
had no junior highs or high schools. When it came time, we had 
the option of going to either Fremont in Oakland or Hayward. 
Hayward seemed a long way out. Fremont was fairly close, about 
twenty minutes. You see, the big, red train ended right near 
where we lived in San Leandro. It went all the way down to the 
ferry landing, big Southern Pacific red train. They ran right 
on Seventh Street in Oakland, clear to the ferry landing. They 
would stop a block from Fremont. That was pretty easy. 

For the first year, I had to go to Lockwood. I had about a 
mile and a quarter to walk from where we were. We were in the 
Broadmoor district of San Leandro. We would go down to East 
14th to get the street car to go to Lockwood. 

That was in Oakland too? 

Yes. The only thing I remember about Lockwood was that I had an 
interview with the administration for having drawn up a cartoon 
of a cigarette oozing smoke, shaped like a skull and crossbones. 
I labeled it "The Curse of the Nation" and stuck it on the 
bulletin board. I was told this was an unauthorized thing. I 
hadn't gotten permission and they didn't like this kind of 
conduct, so forth and so on. 

Lage: What made you think it was the curse of the nation at that 

Hedgpeth: I don't know why I did that or anything. All I remember was 

having done it and then being reprimanded by the principal and 
the vice principal. 

Lage: But you don't remember where your feelings about cigarettes came 












Surely there wasn't the health concern there is now? 

No. Of course, up in the mountains I had smoked coffee. 


Well, I made a pipe. There's a picture of me, with a piece of 
plumbing, a small-diameter elbow and the nozzle from a big oil 

And you put coffee in it. Ground coffee? 

Yes. My mother was an inveterate coffee--. She couldn't 
survive without her morning coffee. Anyhow, that was Lockwood. 
Then I went to Fremont for three years [graduated 1929]. 

Were you thinking about going to a university after that? Was 
this a goal? 

I wasn't thinking about that. It was expected that I would do 

I see. 

That was the goal in the family, or your mother, at 

My eldest cousin, he was sent to a military academy too when he 
was young. He was sent over to San Rafael; 1 don't know why, 
except they lived out in Orinda in the Walnut Creek area and 
there wasn't as much in schools in those days out in that part 
of the woods. I think he got through high school but I'm not 
sure. My other male cousin, Jack, pulled out after a year or 
two. He was a Bigelow so he was rushed for a frat. He wanted 
to be a chemist but he wasn't cutting the mustard, I don't 
think, so he pulled out. 

Pulled out of college? 

Yes. So my other two cousins, the girls, I guess they both went 
through college. One of them was what you would call legally 
blind most of her life. Both of her parents were devout 
Christian Scientists. After they died, she had an operation so 
she can read a little now. That impressed me, a rather sad 
affair. So I'm the only one who made anything out of an 


Lage: Of all your mother's relatives. What kind of a school was 

Fremont? Were there any teachers there that made an impact on 
you or any scientific studies that helped direct your interests? 

Hedgpeth: Fremont was a big, city high school. By that time, I don't know 
how it had happened, I obviously knew more biology than the 
biology teacher. 

Lage: Just from learning on your own. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Then my English teachers encouraged me to read things like 
Vanity Fair. [I was also writing for the school paper; in my 
senior year I was associate editor of the school paper, the 
"Green and Gold." I wrote editorials and a column. 

Perhaps the greatest influence on my writing was the letter 
I got from my aunt Edna in Oregon. She wrote: "I hear you are 
writing for the school paper. Whatever you do, don't become 
another Ambrose Bierce." She underlined the last words three 
times. My immediate reaction was to look up Ambrose Bierce in 
the library. 

After my aunt's advice about Ambrose Bierce, I gobbled up 
things like "Black Beetles in Amber," and made a left-handed 
acknowledgement to his influence by the remark about my alter 
ego Jerome being possibly "a natural son of Ambrose Bierce." As 
for writing verse, that is a gift from my mother she was the 
poet of the family.] 1 

My mathematics experience wasn't very good. You see, I've 
always had hearing out of one ear only. So I didn't hear too 
well in a lot of classes. Anyway, I never did very well in 
math. In Fremont, they had a very interesting math teacher 
named Albrecht who was actually a professional engineer. Very 
early on, he was greatly distressed about the lack of competence 
in mathematics he was seeing in the young people around him. He 
turned himself into a high school math teacher, and he was very 
good at it. But the counselors always reserved for him the kids 
that were doing good at math and steered us others away. 

Lage: So he just got the top-notch kids. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He had them into calculus before they had graduated high 

'Mr. Hedgpeth added the preceding bracketed material during his review 
of the draft transcript. 



Did you not get to study with him? 

Hedgpeth: No. The counselor never thought of sending me to Mr. Albrecht, 
but ordered me to drop the chess club instead. 

A Summer Idyll 

Hedgpeth: The summer after graduation from high school left many of us 
with nothing much to do until the university required us to 
appear on the scene. Somehow, in a manner I cannot remember, 
DeWitt Briley and I started correspondence. I lived in San 
Leandro near the end of the big red SP [Southern Pacific] 
commuting cars that connected with the bay ferry to San 
Francisco, and he lived in a hillside house above the cemetery 
just south of Mills College some several miles distant. In a 
brief time there somehow became eight of us, gathering for hikes 
or visiting around, although De's house was our regular meeting 
place. De was the brightest of us, reading Thus Spake 
Zarathustra [Fredrich Nietzsche] and Schopenhauer, but he was 
not a member of the graduating class but of the next semester, 
out of phase. We had philosophical conversations and called 
ourselves the Sophists. Several times we were all invited to 
dinner by Mrs. Briley, a lovely red-headed Irish woman, who 
obviously enjoyed all of us--De was her only child. 

De got a job after he graduated in December, and did not 
enter the university until the fall of 1930, so he was a member 
of UC '34. We had hardly realized that we were on the same 
campus again when he contracted appendicitis. They waited too 
long, and his appendix burst, his lungs became infected, and 
after a sad illness he died. He wanted my blood, because he 
knew I did not get easily infected, but it was the wrong type. 

I suppose it was Mrs. Briley who asked us to be 
pallbearers, and I remember looking up from the grave toward 
their house on the hillside. His mother took sick and died soon 
after, and his abandoned father, an operator of a locomotive in 
the railroad yards, mourned himself to death as well. A 
neighbor went to see him and found him lying on the floor, 

The Sophists went their way, and I never heard of most of 
them again, although I remained friends of one of them all his 
life. One of us, Reno Cole, majored in physics, and I did not 
hear about him again until I read his obituary in the University 
of California Chronicle and learned that he had become a popular 
and devoted professor of Engineering at UCLA. 


De had suggested that we adopt as our motto: "If you have 
but two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily." He was the 
brightest of all of us, and it saddens me even to think of his 
loss after sixty-three years. I still have his copy of Thus 
Spake Zarathustra. ] ["A Summer Idyll" was added by JWH in 
October, 1995.] 

San Mateo Junior College. 1929-1931 

Hedgpeth: This teacher I had in high school would never explain why I just 
got the wrong answers. So I went on to junior college (I was 
not recommended for college because I was making torpedoes to 
put on tracks that would blow up--my accident hadn't really 
cured me of fooling around, I guess). 

Lage: It didn't cure you? 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, I was making explosive objects. 

Lage: It was your behavior that got you not recommended? 

Hedgpeth: Well, they didn't recommend me for college, so I had to go to 
junior college [San Mateo Junior College, 1929-1931], and 

Lage: How difficult was it to get into the university from high 

Hedgpeth: Not very. All you had to have was a recommendation and your 

Lage: Your principal had to recommend you. 

Hedgpeth: He would recommend you, and all you had to do was take Subject 
A, which was simply an examination. Subject A, writing five 
hundred words of drivel. As long as it was grammatically 
correct, they passed you. I did take that exam. 

I was reading all kinds of stuff. My grandfather had given 
me books about bugs and things. At least, my aunts told me he 
had. I'm not sure he did because he was getting blind toward 
the time I knew him. He couldn't read very much any more. 

Lage: Where did you learn all your biology, when you said you knew 
more biology than the biology teacher? 


Hedgpeth: That was a way of saying she didn't know very much. 

Lage: She didn't know much. You're not saying how much you knew. 

Hedgpeth: No. I guess it was from the books and wandering alone in the 

mountains. So anyway, when I got down to junior college, when I 
was supposed to take trig, after the first problem paper... He 
came down the aisle and said to me in the presence of all, "What 
kind of math instruction have you had, anyhow?" "Why?" "You 
are a born transposer. Any competent math teacher could have 
told that in five minutes." 

Lage: What? You transpose figures? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I do. I never try to remember phone numbers. I didn't 

know that. But after he told me that, I spotted it and I did a 
little better. 

Lage: Did he help you overcome that or just pointed it out? 

Hedgpeth: He just pointed it out to me and let me sink or swim with that. 
I got along with him all right; he passed me but that was that. 
That didn't give me too much faith in counseling, to say the 
least. The person who I got up there--! had a major advisor at 
Berkeley. I had a run-in with him too. 

Lage: You spent two years at the junior college and then you went to 

Hedgpeth: Then I transferred to Berkeley [class of 1933] and I went there 
for three years really. I had a graduate year. 

Lage: When did you decide on your course of study? 

Hedgpeth: I had started with the idea of becoming a journalist, but the 
instructor was not very bright, so I changed. While I was at 
junior college, I was working for the biology department. It 
was very easy to get grades in that subject, for me anyway. 

Lage: Which subject is this? 

Hedgpeth: Zoology, biology, all that sort of stuff. So for the second 

year, the instructor, who had a Ph.D. --he was a very good guy-- 
had me hired as the flunky for the biology department. I would 
collect things for the class exercises and arrange stuff. 

There was this gal who had gotten her Ph.D. from C. A. 
Kofoid. I don't know what she ever did. I looked her thesis up 
years later and found out it was absolutely practically nothing; 


it was a little twenty-page, flimsy affair, "some stages in the 
life of a soil amoeba." But anyhow, she and I had run-ins. She 
had her niece in the class; that's bad business. Her niece 
wanted me to show her the gonads in the subject that they were 
dissecting, and I said, "You know where those are as well as 1 
do." So the class was guffawing. 

As I left there was Charlie Woodruff Wilson at the swinging 
doors of the lab, of all things, like a saloon, who said, 
"Creating a disturbance in my class!" She had glassy, watery 
eyes like something dead, and glared at me. I said, "No, just 
leaving in one." [laughter] 

So anyway, that didn't matter, except to show the way 
things went in that place. 

Lage: Was this at San Mateo Junior College? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, sure. I think they were quite a refuge in those days for 
frustrated Ph.D.s, and maybe still are, I don't know. 

Lage: Who didn't get positions that they might have preferred? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Of course, in the depression years, which were just 

starting then, it was pretty bad. If you got a good job in a 
junior college, you stayed with it, because you'd lost time 
anyway, and you'd have to--. 

Lage: You went to San Mateo Junior College in '29, so this was right 
at the onset of the Depression. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, there were pretty good people there. We had a very 
good history teacher. He was one of these amateur cartoonists, 
and he liked to illustrate things like the Diet of Worms with 
literal bits of worms and things. 

Lage: A history teacher, you say? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He was teaching European history. 

Lage: Well, what was he doing with the Diet of Worms? 

Hedgpeth: The Diet of Worms is one of the great conferences [laughter] -- 
Diet is a council, Worms is a town in Germany. I can't remember 
what it was all about. 

Lage: I can't jump between your biology and your history. 


Hedgpeth: Oh, I agree. You have to take all these things at once in 

school, so you get mixed up at times, you know. So I got to 
Berkeley where I ran into the counseling ritual again, which 
there, of course, had a pretty rigorous set of requirements of 
certain courses. And then, the worst thing is the number of 
units. I wish they'd abolish that. 

Lage: Did you get credit for all your San Mateo work? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. I took German from a nice old guy at San Mateo. He 
did pretty well. I think he was an old Swabian type. He 
certainly was Bavarian, at any rate. He told us a sad story 
about how he left Germany when he was a very small boy, his 
schoolmates serenaded him in the morning of his departure, 
singing, "Muss i denn." Strangely enough, one of the very first 
things I heard in Germany was that song. The train had stopped 
about 4 a.m. at a railroad station, and here was this guy 
getting on with two suitcases, and here were his friends and the 
school band serenading him with "Muss i denn, zum stadtele 
naus." That was 1953. ["Must I go, away from this little 
town..."] [laughs] So I sent Professor Koehler a postcard and 
said, "You were right; they're still doing it." [laughter] 

Lage: He was probably quite flattered that you remembered. 

Hedgpeth: I remember him pretty well. He and I got along in a friendly 
way. Except one time when I had a cold and was deaf and 
couldn't quite hear him, and I flubbed up, and he said, "I 
expected better things of you, Hedgpeth." I never did tell him 
that I had a bad cold and couldn't hear him that day. 

Lage: The memories of these things come back so vividly. 
Hedgpeth: Don't they? 

Studies at UC Berkeley. Class of 1933 

Hedgpeth: So when I got to the university, I had as advisor for a major in 
zoology a character lovingly known as J. Dogfish Daniel to the 
graduate students behind his back. He'd written a manual on the 
dissection of sharks, "The Elasmobranch Fishes," which was our 
dissection guide. We were given small sharks, about two feet 
long, but one day a basking shark about thirty feet long was 
brought into the LSB [Life Science Building] court and dumped 
onto a flower bed. Old Dogfish gave us an al fresco lecture on 


the fine points of this fellow, ignoring the botany professor, 
who was bemoaning the destruction of his flower bed. 

Professor Daniel's book was actually pretty good, but 
according to general rumors, if somebody brought in a shark and 
he couldn't identify it offhand, he had to go back to his own 
book and look it up and see which one it was. Those stories, 
you know, get around. 

But I got tired of his suggestions that I take anthropology 
for another three units, and I had to fill out you work out 
courses you absolutely had to have, were required and all this, 
and that you wanted. "Now, you have two more units this term. 
How about this course over in forestry? I understand it's not a 
very difficult course." So he put me down for fire control in 
the Department of Forestry, which was a crashing bore. We had 
to read government pamphlets on how to sight fire-finders and 
smell the air, and this kind of rubbish. 

Lage: Didn't seem to have much connection with what you were studying, 

Hedgpeth: No, it didn't. One fall I had to take another course in 

forestry which was useful, however; that was forest ecology. 
That was a very good course. 

Lage: Who taught that? 

Hedgpeth: Arthur W. Sampson. He was one of their great professors. We 

went out on excursions. I remember one we took on the slopes of 
Tamalpais in a freshly burned area. That guy used to be a two- 
miler when he was young, so he'd walk up the hill lecturing at 
us, and we were all winded by the time we got to the top, and 
then he'd start asking us questions about whether we'd noticed 
anything, and this or that 

Lage: [laughter] You were trying to get up the hill. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. So anyway, he was a very good guy and a good 

lecturer. But this other thing was terrible, it was an absolute 

Then anthro--some of them were pretty good. I took a 
course in American Indians because of my mother's missionary 
experience and all the Indian artifacts we had around the house. 
About all this guy did was itemize which tribe used which kind 
of arrowhead, and which kind of baskets. 


Do you remember who that was? 


Hedgpeth: Yes, E. W. [Edward] Gifford. In fact, I thought he was an 

Indian. He looked like an Indian; I was told he wasn't. He 
didn't have any Indian blood, but he was of stocky build. The 
other part about anthro, that was before they had the great 
museum, and it was in an old corrugated tin building up there 
just below the Faculty Club. And in spring afternoons, that was 
a deadly place to take anything, because 

Lage: That's where they gave the courses? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So I came along; I wanted to sign up for English 106E, and 
my advisor said, "What's that?" I said, "It's a course in 
advanced composition, admission by instructor's approval, which 
you gain by submitting something you've written." 

Lage: Dogfish didn't approve? 

Hedgpeth: He didn't. He said, "I don't know what you want that course 

for." I said, "Well, the instructor has admitted me. I want to 
learn more about writing English." "I don't think that's 
necessary. Well--" so he grabbed a big stub pen and he scrawled 
his name on the approval card, without which you couldn't live 
then. So I took the course. 

I didn't do too well; my best friend died that semester, 
and I was upset about that [see page 61]. I didn't produce 
quite enough I'm not a rapid writer. I can't just gush out 
bushels of prose for people anyway. 

English from George Stewart 

Lage: Who taught that course? 

Hedgpeth: George [R. ] Stewart. I saw him years later. I had gotten on a 
first-name basis by then, and he was in the Bancroft Library 
with a collection of maps, poring over them. We got to talking. 
I said, "What happened to the other people in that course 
anyway?" He said, "I don't know; you're the only one I ever 
hear anything about, and I gave you the lowest grade." 
[laughter] I said, "Well, English wasn't my major." He wrote a 
book on garbage. 

Lage: One of the others wrote a book on garbage? 
Hedgpeth: No, Stewart. 






I hadn't heard of that. Fire, and Storm, and 

Yes, he wrote one, called Not So Rich as You Think, and it was 
about the problems of garbage and disposal, and how it was 
really going to do us all in if we didn't do something about it. 
And of course, 1 had written about Bodega Head and other things 
by then, so I went and got a copy of this book on garbage, and I 
said, "I think you should sign this book." He had made a 
comment once that he could always count on me taking a dim view 
of things, when I'd written about the passing of the salmon or 
something like that 

He had said that? 

Yes, he wrote a note acknowledging it. It was very well 
written. "I could always count on you to take a dim view of 
things." So anyway, [laughs] so he wrote, "A long time ago 
student and good fighter," on this one, and signed it, and 
that's the last time I saw him. Except I went to his memorial 
service, and I always kick myself for not getting up and saying 
something. He had retired twenty years before, and there wasn't 
anybody there who remembered him as a teacher. They were 
talking about his amateur theatricals, some of his later books-- 

What do you remember about him as a teacher? 
impact on you? 

Did he make an 

Well, he was very good in his ways of correcting you or helping 
you out if you'd done something wrong. He wouldn't just say, 
"You stupid idiot," you know. But also, he taught us how to use 
sources and evaluate them. That was a very useful course for 
that purpose. 

Did it help you with your writing? 

Yes. And then he said my sentences already moved along in an 
easy fashion anyway. 

I didn't realize it at the time, not until I picked up my 
daughter's eighth grade reader and I went through the ceiling. 
It was called Adventures in Reading, and it excerpts it had all 
of "Hiawatha" and two sonnets from Shakespeare in it as poetry, 
and pieces from Mark Twain. I started reading, and it was "The 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow." I said, "There's something funny; 
this isn't right." So I grabbed--! have a set of Washington 
Irving pulled it down, looked at it; they had deleted all his 
longer words, and skipped sentences and so forth. 


Then I turned to Mark Twain, and they had spliced in parts 
of Life on the Mississippi, jumped about sixteen pages, spliced 
it in. It took me quite a while, of course, to find this out. 
And they'd even spliced one sentence from one page and the 
second part of it from another page. 

Lage: They thought they could improve on it? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And the other thing that got me is in Tom Sawyer. It 

started out by, "Tom, get outen that bed afore you're too late 
for breakfast," or something. My father's people came from 
Missouri, and I think my father spoke with quite an accent 
before my mother rubbed most of it out of him, but he still had 
some of it. I said, "Nobody from Missouri ever spoke like 
that," and I looked it up, and I found it was a transcription of 
a radio script written by some fellow with a Semitic name from 
the East Side, if you'll pardon my anti-Semitic comments. But 
anyway, it was obvious it was somebody who had never heard 
anybody from Missouri speak. 

So at that time, they had a Methodist bishop who was on the 
state board of education, and I was on the faculty of the 
University of the Pacific. So of course, they'd given him an 
honorary D.D., so I grabbed Pacific letterhead and wrote him a 
comment. I said, "You're on the state board of education; you 
should do something." I prepared parallel passages, and I think 
that book got retired for a while. That was terrible, to do 
things like that. 

Lage: It really is outlandish. 

Hedgpeth: That's when I realized that part of my writing style is 
inherited or acquired from Washington Irving. I've read 
practically all of his books. 

Lage: You read that as a young person? 

Hedgpeth: My mother had a set of him. It's one of the things she kept 
from Grandfather's library. He was always giving all his 
daughters books, most of them bought second-hand and so forth. 
They complained now and then that all he gave for Christmas was 
old books. It wasn't quite that bad. 

Lage: Well, they had their effect on you, it sounds like. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, a great effect, because I read all these other 
things, or looked at them. 


Zoology Studies 


Any other professors that you remember? 
many in biology or zoology. 

You haven't mentioned 




Well, of course, my major professor was [Sol Felty] Light. He 
was a pretty good teacher. And one of the most influential 
teachers we had there was a visitor for a while. He was put 
into biology because he was basically a biologist, and that was 
Charles Singer. He was on sabbatical from England for a year. 
He gave us a bit of the English flavor. Of course, the 
procedures are so very different in British universities, they 
don't fix you up with all these various units and so on. 

A little freer. Did he teach in the English style? 

Yes. All he asked of us was to write a short paper, graded us 
on that. He didn't give us exams every midterm and all that 

Did he bring a different approach to biology? 

I think so. Though I must say once I pulled one on Dr. Alden 
Miller, which is kind of amusing. I don't know why I had it in 
my pocket, but I had a mangrove oyster. The mangrove oyster is 
a very ordinary oyster. He's a tropical oyster that lives on 
mangroves; instead of settling flat on a rock and cementing 
itself, it develops little hook-like structures. 


--anyway, these little hooks attach to the plant. I had this 
thing in my pocket, and we were waiting for a seminar to begin, 
and so I pulled it out. Of course, Miller was a professor of 
comparative anatomy, and evolution, and that sort of stuff. I 
showed this to him, and I said, "Well, was Lamarck right after 
all?" He looked at this very carefully and he said, "Well, I 
sometimes wonder." [laughter] 

The other time, though, I really cut pretty close to the 
bone. This fellow worked on- -he actually was an anthropologist. 
He was working on what it took to come down out of the trees, 
the different kinds of musculature that the apes have to cling 
to branches and things. We get sore when we strap-hang from 
crowded streetcars. He made the point that he got most of his 
information on musculature of the human shoulder from military 
physicians who had to patch up damaged soldiers so much. 




After he got through with this, there was dear old 
Professor Miller who said, "Well, how did you like that 
lecture?" I said, "You know, I think that's the best lecture on 
comparative anatomy I've ever heard." He looked at me sort of 
funny, and then I realized, of course, I'd taken his course on 
comparative anatomy [laughs]. I said, "Oh, since your course." 

Who was that? 

That was Alden Miller. He was called Aldy Baldy by the 
students. I don't know whether you get this kind of stuff from 
these people, names for professors 

Not so much; every now and then, but not quite as fully--! like 
J. Dogfish Daniel. 

Choosing Marine Biology, and Sea Spiders 

Lage: Your memories of undergraduate and at least getting your 
master's degree must be kind of intertwined. 

Hedgpeth: Well, I just hung around for another year, and then I did get a 
degree, a master's degree, at that time. I went off --see, there 
were no jobs, you know. I got a job in Washington [D.C.] for a 
couple of years or a year. About '35 or so, I got on a civil 
service exam, and listed general clerical--! don't know why I 
was stupid enough to take that. So I was back in Washington for 
a little over a year. 

Lage: At the National Museum? 

Hedgpeth: I wasn't at the National Museum; I was working for the Treasury 
Department just counting bonds and stuff like that, but on swing 
shift. For some reason, they were working people on an around- 
the-clock basis there for a while. So in the late morning and 
afternoons, I would go down to the museum, and Waldo Schmitt put 
me to a few routine tasks they needed volunteer workers for, so 
that's where I got to know Waldo pretty well. 

Lage: I see. And were you already interested in marine biology? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: When did you decide on that as a specialty? 










Oh, I don't know; it was partly through S. F. Light, the 
teacher, primarily marine animals. 

Was he a dynamic teacher, a teacher that ? 

He was a very good teacher; I don't know especially dynamic. 
Then 1 did some WPA work for him at the time, drawing maps and 
pictures of termite heads and similar things. [laughs] 1 
gathered I drove the entomology T.A. [teaching assistant] up the 
wall, because-- 

This was at Berkeley? 

Berkeley, yes. See, I took entomology, I took a lot of 
entomology. Old Stanley Freeborn--he was one of the best 
teachers I think I've had, best lecturers anyway. 

Was he in entomology? 

Yes. That's him. But anyway, he insisted that we ink in our 
drawings, and he kept on jabbering German at us, an old German 
proverb, said, "If you haven't drawn it, you haven't seen it," 
something like that. But anyhow, we'd be handed these 
specimens, mostly common stuff that had been illustrated. I 
didn't bother, I just scratched them in rather loosely. Then 
every once in a while, he'd come up with some weird tropical 
outlandish bug you'd never seen before, so I'd draw a very 
finished picture of it, for my own amusement. 

Years later, I was talking to the T.A. and she said, "You 
know, you made me spend an awful lot of time. I kept looking 
through books to see where you'd copied those things before I 
realized what you were doing." [laughter] 

Can you remember or recall or guess why it was marine biology 
that you--? 

Well, there was the house next door 

The sea shells, you told me about the sea shells. 

Yes. They were all collected by Henry Hemphill, who was well 
known in his day, had a number of things, including one of our 
common hermit crabs, named after him. He went all over the 
world collecting shells for the market and the collectors ' 
cabinets, as well as--he was interested, more, though, in what 
he was doing, what the relationships of these things were, and 
he set up plaques of related species and how their differences 
stacked up in the diagrams. Actually, he had blue card placards 










which he glued these things on when they weren't too big. He 
didn't work with great big things doing this anyway, showing how 
the lines of relationship were and one thing or another. Some 
of them, I guess, weren't very good, because the real 
relationships are in the inner gizzards more than in the shells. 
But he had all kinds of other stuff, sea fans and palms or 
whatever kind of ocrocorals. 

So that sort of caught your imagination. 

Yes. Well, as I say, like looking into Captain Nemo's salon on 
the Nautilus. 

So by the time you went to Berkeley, did you know this was what 
you wanted to pursue? It wasn't something that happened that 
led you into marine biology. 

Yes. You see, of course, I went to Berkeley out of junior 
college, so I was already committed to the major there. 

I see, so you were already in marine biology by the time you got 
here. But there weren't jobs at that time? 

No. So then I got this job in the Treasury which I quit and 
came home after a year. I thought I had a bad case of 

bronchitis or whatever, and spent Christmas holidays alone in 

the boardinghouse room, didn't enjoy that at all. 

Back in Washington? 


How did getting to know Waldo Schmitt affect your future? 

He made available to me specimens for study. As I went on, he 
got interested in little sea spiders. 

Is that when you got interested in the sea spiders? 

I got interested in them in junior college, actually, 
one wandering around in the collecting pan. 

I found 

During the next break in jobs, when I got back, I got 
offered a job in "38 to study salmon in the streams in 
connection with the proposals to build dams. We worked on the 
American River, Yuba River, and Shasta Dam in the Sacramento 
River, as part of a team to figure out what we could do about 
the fact that Shasta Dam would cut off the river. Of course, we 
made recommendations which were never followed. The people are 


still complaining about it now, and one of them, of course, is 
the matter of getting cold water in the streams in the 
summertime. Of course, the agribusiness world doesn't want to 
put up with it at all. [See page 114a.] 

Lage: So is there nothing new under the sun? Were the concerns and 
the knowledge in 1938-39 similar to now, or how would you 
contrast it? 

Hedgpeth: I wrote up that stuff independently after we were disbanded; 
these were temporary Jobs, we knew that. In 1945 I wrote an 
article called "The Passing of the Salmon," pointing out that if 
things kept on going, we might not have any fish left in the 

Lage: Where did it get published? 

Hedgpeth: Scientific Monthly. 

Lage: Now, was that a maverick view at the time? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I started out with an epigraph of Livington Stone back in 
the 1870s, who was the first person to develop fish hatcheries 
on this coast. So it wasn't exactly new. He said there was no 
hope for the survival of salmon in the long run. 

Lage: But your report didn't get followed? 

Hedgpeth: Right. One of those jobs, however, was very influential in 

1938, because in the scratch team compiled from the exam list, 
they included a fellow from Louisiana and Texas, Gordon Gunter. 
He was with the field, with us for the summer, and then he went 
back, and then I went on to Shasta Dam. I spent a couple of 
years there, as a matter of fact. We were based at Stanford 
University, writing up the report at the end of the field 
studies, so we didn't get that done until 1941 or so. 

Lage: And that one was particularly influential, did you say? 

Hedgpeth: Well, meeting Gordon was. Later on, he invited me down to 

Texas. During the war, they had a shortage of people to work in 
the--do oysters and things, so I went down there to work with 

Lage: So that's how you got the Texas connection? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Were you all the time concentrating on your sea spider also? 


Hedgpeth: Some. I was writing papers. I had writtensomewhere in there, 
there's a break of a year or two--I wrote a big monograph on the 
Atlantic species, and then went on from there out. Of course, 
there's a lag in publication between completion of a paper and 
when they publish it. See this? 

Lage: Sea spiders. 

Hedgpeth: That's my bibliography of papers on these beasts. Fairly 
complete, because I haven't done very much since then. 

Lage: We'll include that in the appendix to this oral history. 

Hedgpeth: See, it's under my name here, in sequence. [looking through 

paper] You can get this in the library. An awful lot of people 
have written papers about these beasts. 

Lage: Oh my goodness, look at that. More than a page worth of 
citations. Oh, yes, two pages worth. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Bill Fry was a student of mine who died early, he died 
just a little while after that. 

Lage: So he put this together? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. This was a fest book affair. There's most of us. No 

Russians could come, unfortunately. He used the Oxford Book of 
Quotations, because both of these quotes are practically on the 
same page. I just Xeroxed this thing and pasted it there for 
those who don't know much Latin. 

Lage: Let me see the title page here. That's the meeting held in 
honor of Joel Hedgpeth, in London, 1976.' 

Hedgpeth: So he wrote a little introduction about me in there. Actually 
what this is, is a zoological journal of the Linnean Society of 

Lage: Okay, I'll get that, and we can Xerox those references. Then 

we'll have a good bibliography [see appendix]. Now, what was it 
about the sea spider that got you so interested? 

'"Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida) , Proceedings of a meeting held in honour 
of Joel W. Hedgpeth on 7 October 1976 in the Rooms of the Linnean Society 
of London," edited by W. G. Fry, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 
Vol. 63, Nos. 1 and 2 (1978), pp. 197-238. See Appendix B for introduction 
and bibliography. 










They're just strange little creatures. They interest everybody, 
really, who gets a good look at them: "What the heck are these 
things, and why are they?" We don't know why they are. 

Were there a lot of unknowns about them, more than ? 

Yes. For one genus--or familywe have no knowledge of how they 
reproduce, how they manage to keep going. I once claimed they 
haven't reproduced since the Pleistocene, but that hasn't been 
followed up by anybody. 

No one accepts that answer? 

Yes. So anyway, there's much more in here, 
friends. I wrote one of them, of course. 

Papers by various 

Why haven't they been able to figure out how they reproduce? 

They live in the deep sea, and they've never caught any of them 
in the act. Most of them we know anything about, when the eggs 
are produced, the male gathers them in clumps and carries them 
around until they hatch. But in this whole deep sea group, 

So it's kind 

we've never found any fertilized eggs or embryos, 
of a mystery to what the heck goes on there. 

And you have studied sea spiders in the Antarctic? 

Yes, I've been down to the Antarctic three times, twice on 
studying these beasts, third on drafting up an environmental 
impact study of the activities of science in the Antarctic. 

You mean, how the scientific activities have impacted on the 

Yes, only I never finished that, 
wanted somebody else to do it. 

They paid me off because they 

They didn't want to hear what you had to say, or ? 

Well, that was part of it. That's the funny part about it. 
They took my rough draft and turned it over to the next 
contractor, who was slightly embarrassed since he knew me 
anyway. So that was quite amusing. 

When did that happen? 

Oh, some years ago now. The Antarctic business especially had 
certain feature to it which had problems, namely, we were 
infested with double dippers. A lot of the administrators and 


people some of the navy flyboys had become administrators in 
the Antarctic research program by virtue of their flight 
experience in Antarctica, the so-called Devron 6 people, meaning 
developmental unit so forth and so on. So they'd throw their 
weight around as ex-officers. One of them got out there with a 
rank of commander. 

Lage: How was their scientific background? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, they didn't know anything about science. There's a famous 
story about how one of them was on a big research vessel in the 
middle of the sea, and he heard this talk around the mess table 
about the difficulty this fellow was having because some big 
piece of apparatus was in his way, wished somebody would move 
it. So this guy went out, picked it up off the bench, and 
carried it over to the rail and dropped it into the ocean. 
Clunk, there goes five thousand dollars. [laughter] [See 
chapters IV and V for more on pycnogonid research and 
Antarctica. ] 

Professors S. F. Light and Joseph Grinnell at Berkeley 

Lage: Any other thoughts about the university and your experiences 
there and professors? You really haven't told me much about 
Professor Light, or the kind of thinking, the biological 
thinking, that was dominant. 

Hedgpeth: Well, actually, Light was teaching two things. In fact, the 
course he gave has since been divided into three. He was 
interested in the ecology of animals- -field trips in the summer 
session courses always asking the kinds of questions, "What are 
these animals doing, or are any of them affecting the other?" 
and so forth, which are essentially ecological questions, which 
we were supposed to keep our eyes out for. He also wasn't 
particularly confined to saltwater; we went through freshwater 
ponds and streams too. 

Lage: In something I read that you wrote, you talked about how he was 
always dressed not necessarily to splash through the tidepools. 

Hedgpeth: Right. 

Lage: Was he a pretty formal individual? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was. We didn't have any nickname for him, but his given 
names were enough that he never liked them apparently. I for 


one never learned how his wife addressed him, what she called 

Lage: What were his given names? 

Hedgpeth: Sol Felty. 

Lage: So he just used S. F. most of the time? 

Hedgpeth: Always signed himself S. F. Light, or S. F. L. He obviously 
didn't care much for what his parents had done for him. 
[laughter] So sometimes, we use those terms, being overfamiliar 
in our behind-his-back sort of references. 

Lage: Was the ecological thinking a fairly common approach at that 

Hedgpeth: No, it wasn't, except of course we had [Joseph] Grinnell, and 
Grinnell was one of the great teachers they had there. 

Lage: Now, he wasn't in marine biology, he was a zoologist? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was in furs and feathers. In fact, I noticed this 

peculiar aversion he had to aquatic birds. The only aquatic 
bird he ever looked at was the water ouzel that lives along 
mountain streams . 

Lage: But he did have the ecological--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I think I even refer to him possibly having some 
hydrophobia, you know. 

Lage: [laughs] Did you really believe that, or--? 

Hedgpeth: No. 

Lage: Was he kind of a dynamic teacher? 



Well, he was. He had kind of prissy mannerisms, but then--, 
liked to come in to the labs and get you into discussion with 
him, and then he would start weaseling around and drag you off 
base, and then he'd turn right up sharp and say, "Now, I've 
gotten you to agree to the wrong thing." See what he was doing? 


So you had to keep your thought processes working. 












Yes. That was the whole purpose of that, of course. You got 
used to it, but he could be pretty persuasive at that approach 
to the unwary. 

Were there any fellow students that you had then that you've 
continued to work with? 

Some of them have gone now, of course, like Don Abbott, who was 
one of the best we produced there. The place was so large that 
you made friendships, of course, with people you spent a little 
time with immediately, but not necessarily ones that were right 
in your own bailiwick. 

Did you meet your wife at Berkeley as an undergraduate? 


Later, when you came back for the masters? 

Yes, back from Texas. 

Okay, I think this might be a good time to kind of wind up, 
unless there are other university comments. 

No, when I graduated, my degree experiences, 
degree from Light under--. 

Masters degree under Light in '40, 1940. ' 

I got a masters 

Yes, with freshwater copepods. The project, you see, that comes 
with a masters, they don't take that too seriously, so it was a 
little project he had in mind and that he wanted to see somebody 
do. I was trying to figure out the relationship of different 
common ions to the distribution of several species of these 
animals, which is an ecological question. I think the main 
result of the study was tracking out all the good permanent 
ponds in the area, most of which are now in the middle of 

What animal was it that you were working with? 

Copepods, the freshwater ones, of the genus Diaptomus . At any 
rate, I did that for about a year right after I got out of the 
Shasta Dam business. 

'Hedgpeth, "Factors Limiting the Distribution of Diaptomid Copepods" 
[Berkeley, 1939]. 


The Controversial Professor Lund at the University of Texas 








After that Gunter was responsible for getting me a job in Texas, 
or asking me to come and take it. He was fairly high up in the 
hierarchy down there, and the Texas coast was pretty far from 
everybody at that time. When he got down there, he didn't have 
very many people coming around to find out what you're doing or 
much caring what you did. 

Did that suit you fine? 

Oh, that's fine, yes. 
like that. 

We worked on planting oysters and things 

Who were you working for? 

Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission [now Game and Fish 
Commission] . This was considered a defense-related activity 
during the war, dealing with food, you know. 

So in the course of this, the University of Texas built a 
laboratory out on the outer shore, and offered me a job there to 
be their first resident staff member and satisfy the requirement 
for occupancy to validate the insurance for the laboratory that 
had just been completed. Gordon Gunter was supposed to be in 
charge, but he was visiting staff member at the University of 
Miami for a year. In addition to the watchdog duty, I also 
signed up under Dr. E. J. Lund, a biophysicist and the campus 
director of the lab, to work toward a Ph.D. which would be 
mainly on the work I was doing there, collecting and cataloguing 
the faunal beasties, which subsequently was my doctoral thesis. 
Anyway, I took it back to Berkeley with me. 


Now, what happened with the Texas experience? You didn't stay 
there too long. 

They got into a big fight with my major professor. 
Who did? 

The administration. There was something going on there for 
possibly thirty years. They came into hearings with three-by- 
five cards and would read off a date, "Back about November so- 
and-so, about twenty- five years ago, when I was away for a few 
days, an unscheduled meeting was held and I was denied two 
teaching assistants." 


Lage: Oh, my goodness. 

Hedgpeth: Well, this stuff. And they had big stacks of these grievance 
cards or something 

Lage: Was this all common knowledge? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know how common it was. A lot of it got into the papers 
after it blew up. 

Lage: Did it conflict with his work at the university? 

Hedgpeth: No. What happened was that he got annoyed, they got annoyed, 
and so one semester, he refused to teach his course in 
biophysics because the biologists didn't know enough physics and 
the physics people didn't know enough biology, and he couldn't 
find anybody really qualified to take the course, so he said. 
So they wanted to throw him out and deny his tenure and all this 
kind of stuff. He's an old-style Scandinavian, been to a pretty 
rigorous institution, he knew a lot more of zoology than most of 
those people, including the chairman, who was notorious for 
having counted the human chromosomes in man but making a mistake 
doing it. His name is Theophilus S. Painter. 

Lage: Well, he has a good name. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. In fact, Dr. Lund used to address him in memos as 

Theophilus Schikelgruber Painter. His secretary said, "Is that 
the way you want to do that?" And he said, "Yes." 

Lage: How old a man was Dr. Lund? 

Hedgpeth: He was in his sixties, heading toward his seventies, I think. 

Lage: So he'd been there quite a while- - 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes; as I say, this had been brewing for years. So they 
were having it out, and I asked the dean, "What's going to 
happen to us?" He said, "Well, we can't do anything with your 
problems until we decide what we're going to do with Dr. Lund." 
One of the things they were trying him for was abusing the 
university mailing privileges. He had sent a bill of 
particulars in his complaints about what was going on there to 
the entire membership list of the American Society of Zoologists 
on the university mailing privilege. These things were big 
bulky objects; I guess it ran into several bucks each. 


So that was one of their complaints about him? 


Hedgpeth: Fortunately, that's what saved me, because I wrote back to 
Berkeley and I said, "I've got to come back. Kind of late 
notice, but is there anything to be done?" Dr. Kirby, who was 
chairman at that time, wrote a little note and said, "We've Just 
received Dr. Lund's very interesting document. We are arranging 
for a teaching assistantship for you next term." [laughter] So 
I came back to Berkeley, finished off there. 

Lage: So that's where you got your Ph.D., and did you continue the 
same study? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. See, they don't like people to get all three degrees at 

the same place. That's why I was trying to finish off at Texas, 
but they sort of waived that in this connection. I possibly had 
gotten enough experience of how another institution was like 
anyway. [One unexpected dividend was my acquaintance with 
Professor Carl Sauer (Geography) . Starker Leopold suggested I 
audit his course 103; when I requested permission, Professor 
Sauer said fine, but he would like me to take over a couple of 
his lectures when he had to go East, so I talked to his class 
about the biology of the sea. Ever after when I visited 
Berkeley I would drop in and chat with him. A marvelously 
inspiring man. --JWH, October 1995] 

I don't think things have been quite that bad at Texas 
lately. First place, all those old war horses have gone on 
their way now. 

Lage: Well, I should hope so, by now. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. There were some strange ones there. William Morton 
Wheeler, who went to Harvard, started his career at Texas. 

Lage: Was it a good department overall, aside from--? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I gather it was pretty bad even back then. They didn't 
have anything much for him to do, so he took to studying ants. 
So that's that. 

Lage: Well, I think we've probably talked enough today, and we've come 
to a good stopping spot. [tape interruption] As we turned off 
the tape, I said, "Well, we got you educated." You had a snarly 
response to that. 

Hedgpeth: Sort of. Most of my education was outside the halls of academe. 
Lage: Now, that's what we want to cover next time. 
Hedgpeth: Oh, you do? 


Lage: Yes, the part that's not written down and doesn't have a 

A Boyhood Interest in Shells and Sea Creatures 
[Session 3: September 2, 1992] it 


This is our third session with Joel Hedgpeth. 
today is "the making of a marine biologist." 

Our topic for 



Well, this all begins with the big house, of course. My 
grandfather's library, stuff in the attic, plus the house next 
door, which was inhabited by the descendants of Henry Hemphill, 
who was a very eminent shell collector in his day. He traveled 
all over the world collecting shells for the market and for 
himself. He arranged some of them in nice patterns of 
variation, not very strongly Darwinian, of course, but very 

More for the looks than the scientific qualities? 

Yes. But he kept pretty good information, and he was very well 
known in his day. In those days, the zoologist at Mills College 
was a mollusk specialist, Josiah Keep. His daughter Rosalind 
became interested in fancy printing. She was on the Mills 
faculty afterwards. 

Where was he affiliated? 

Mills College. So the house next door was full of shells and 
everything else. It was sort of like wandering into Captain 
Nemo's salon in the Nautilus. Things were a bit crowded. Of 
course, he died before I was born, so I never saw him. But this 
was his granddaughter, or grand-niece, I don't know which 
relation she really was. She was fairly well-to-do. This 
family, the Hosmers, had made their fortune in granite quarrying 
over near Raymond, over east of Fresno or east of Merced, and 
she helped me through college. She gave me $100 every once in a 
while, and that was a great help in those days. So I always 
like to say that the Campanile sent me through college, since 
the family had the contract for supplying a lot of that granite 
you see around the campus. 


Oh, I see; that's a good connection! [laughter] 




Yes, it was a very definite connection, 

But anyhow, I was 






So that was really a direct connection, the shells inspired you, 
and she helped you go to school. 

Yes. I used to go over- -yes, well, that of course came later. 
But I often came around to look at the shells. They moved 
several places after they left west Oakland. One of them was up 
there right in the middle of where that main freeway from 
Lakeside goes up over the hill. There used to be a lot of 
streets in there that are gone now. One time, I met a young 
lady who was studying their shells. I reminded her of that; she 
had forgotten about it. It was Myra Keen, who was chief shell 
specialist, conchologist they call them, in this part of the 
world. She was at Stanford, and she wrote one of the definitive 
monographs on the mollusks, at least the shelled mollusks, of 
tropical America mostly, this side, of course, and down into the 
Gulf of California. 

And there was this book which I some of it I read, and 
some of it I never did read. [pulls out book] 

This was from your grandfather's library; I think you showed me 
this before. 

Well, yes, I showed it to you before, but this is not the 
identical copy from my grandfather's library. 

Sea and Land. 

Yes. It was one of those things they sold as subscriptions, 
full of all kinds of mistakes. 

Well, do you think at the timeyou didn't know these things 
weren't true at the time? 

No, I didn't know. 

But this must have appealed to the young boy. 

Oh, sure. 

I mean, just the titles here: "Horrible monsters of the deep," 
and "Mysteries of the deep sea." 

Oh, yes. And maybe the reason I didn't get too far on in the 
second half was, of course, it was all about things on land, 
mostly Africa. And you saw too many of these scenes, people get 











eaten up and so forth. There were parts of my grandfather's 
library I never even got to; they were in big locked cases. Not 
locked to keep people out, but to keep the doors closed. I've 
got to keep that bookcase locked. 

Just to keep the door closed? 

Yes, the weight of the books warped the bookcase so that the 
door doesn't quite match the frame. 

Well, lucky this book was in one that you could get to. 
Oh, yes. It was down in the lower shelf. 

But it is interesting to think that the land portion didn't 
interest you as much. 


And what would it have been, I wonder, that ? 

I don't know. I always liked to look at ants. 

What do we have here, A Naturalist at the Seashore? 
Crowder (1928: The Century Company)] 

[by William 

Well, this is a book I picked up in a drugstore, they had a 
little rack of books for a dollar apiece. This was back in 1930 
or so, or 1929. It is written in a rather charming style. The 
guy was a pretty good illustrator, but he described these 
animals, sea spiders, in great detail and came to a conclusion 
that's never yet been proven. In fact, ic's not possible 
because the young have no way of penetrating to the integument 
of the parent. So it's not possible for the young to be 
nurtured by being able to be fed somehow by the fathers, as 
Crowder suggested. Well, there's no way. These things don't 
have teats. 

[laughs] Treating them as mammals? 

Yes. Well, he suggested- -because they all died at once. Well, 
they probably all died at once because his aquarium probably 
went sour. 

Was this when you were already into your study of the sea 

No, I didn't see sea spiders until after I read this. The first 
one I saw was in 1930 there in the San Mateo beach actually 








near well, practically right at Pebble Beach, 
where that is, down south of Pescadero? 


Do you know 

My grandmother used to spend hours there. She stayed at a San 
Francisco neighbor's summer house up Pescadero Creek a ways, and 
would go down there in the morning. The old ladies who lived 
around there or lived in a hotel nearby would gather at Pebble 
Beach, each on their own blanket, and search for carnelians. 

Along the beach? 

There are not very many there even to this day. I was 
suspicious when Don Kelley wrote a nice book on the Pacific 
seacoast that he had a picture taken at Fort Cronkite showing 
about six glowing carnelians; I accused him of salting his 
picture. He didn't deny it. [laughter] But I wouldn't be 

Why were they searching for carnelians? 

Because they are clear. They are quartz, of course, mostly 
yellow. They are very similar to the cairngorm which is found 
in Scotland, where it is used as a semi-precious stone in 
brooches, you know those great big brooches that hold the kilt 
at the shoulder. 

Were they in fashion at that time? 

I don't know. It's kind of hard to find them, but they're just 
a variety of quartz. 

Did this book have something to do with your interest in sea 

Yes. I read it, and I remembered it, and then I first saw one 
in a collecting pan at Pescadero. I was taking biology in San 
Mateo Junior College at the time and a classmate and I drove 
there on a private field trip. So it reminded me of what 1 read 
about them, and I got interested in looking at them a little 
more closely. 

Well, it's interesting. Most people can't point to books or 
something specific that first caught their interest. 

Oh, I learned lots from books, papers, 
fairly early. 

I think I was reading 


More on College Studies in Zoology and Biology 

Lage: In 1930 is that the date you gave me when you first saw sea 

Hedgpeth: I think so. 

Lage: And where were you in school at that point? 

Hedgpeth: I was in junior college. I took biology there. I didn't take 
any high school biology for the simple reason that I couldn't 
schedule it, and the other reason was that I knew more than the 
teacher anyhow. Not that that was knowing too much, to say the 
least. But I went on a field trip with the class one day, and 
found out most of the kids had to prompt her on what she was 
looking at, poor thing. 

Lage: Was the instructor in junior college better? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was very good. He was a recent Ph.D. graduate in the 

Depression, and he had to take a junior college post. Now, that 
caught a lot of people, that period, coming out, like Fred Tarp, 
who now lives at Sea Ranch. He was very good at fishes, but 
when he got his degree, there wasn't any job for people like 
that, so he had to take one as an instructor in zoology. 

Lage: So the people going to community colleges benefitted. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, they paid better salaries at the lower level before 
--see, you get a salary after you've been there a couple of 
years better than a beginning assistant prof at the university. 
You can't pull out very easily. It caught a lot of them that 
way, I know. There were several good grads at Berkeley who got 
stuck that way. 

Lage: I remember interviewing Lincoln Constance, in botany, and Sandy 
Elberg, in bacteriology. 

Hedgpeth: Lincoln Constance, did you do him? 

Lage: Yes. After he got his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1934, he went up to 
Washington State College, and I think Sandy Elberg went to San 
Francisco Community College for a time, before he got hired by 

Hedgpeth: I remember old Lincoln for his trick of going around pulling the 
labels off the campus shrubbery. 


Lage: [laughs] Didn't believe in--? 

Hedgpeth: Well, usually it was just before he would stage his practical 
exam in botany and so forth, and then he would rail at people 
who couldn't identify some large tree on the campus. He'd say, 
"I think it's been labeled for years, why didn't you read the 

Lage: Do you remember him as a professor? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, I didn't have him. The only botany I took at Berkeley was 
[William A.] Setchell's course in the history of botany. I was 
a zoology major, but my friend Dan Axelrod suggested I take the 
course. Dan and I were high school classmates. He's up at 
Davis now. He got to specializing in fossil plants which 
carried him out into desert areas where there wasn't an 
available can of beer for 100 miles, you know, and that kind of 
stuff. Kind of hard on paleontologists. 

Lage: The hard life. So by the time you went to Berkeley, were you 
focusing on marine biology? 

Hedgpeth: Not strictly, just zoology. About the only thing I knew about 
it was trips to the seashore, conducted by Dr. Light. 

Lage: You mentioned somewhere that Dr. Light never quite approved of 
you. What did you mean by that? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I had that feeling. 1 guess I was a little too erratic in 
my behavior in those days, made too much noise perhaps. But I 
wrote a poem about pycnogonids, and he said, "You must be 
severely depressed." I hadn't thought of it that way at all. 

Lage: 1 wonder what he was reading into it. 

Hedgpeth: I don't know. If you read Bullock's account of Dr. Light I 
guess it's in the front of Light's manual- -you will get some 
idea of his personality. It has become a standard guide for the 
local marine invertebrate fauna. In fact, I suggested the 
running title that they're using now. They've got Ralph Smith 
editing the second edition, came up with this intertitle, 
Invertebrates, by S. F. Light, by R. I. Smith, and two or three 
others. There were too many authors involved. I said, "Well, 
just call it Light's Manual, that's what we always called it 
anyway . " 


So that's what it's come down as? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. I also drew a couple of the designs for it. That one 
showing a mussel eating a starfish, and so on. 



The Concept of Ecological Communities in Marine Biology 

Lage: As I've been reading various things you've written, and others, 
the topic comes up of ecological thinking in marine biology. Is 
that something that developed in your lifetime, or has there 
always been ecological thinking in marine biology? 

Hedgpeth: Actually, that point of view goes back to the 1870s, when Carl 
Moebius from Kiel wrote a little book on the oyster, oyster 
culture, Die Auster und Austernwrtschaft. That thing had never 
been really properly translated. It was translated by the 
Bureau of Fisheries by somebody who was reasonably facile at 
literary German, but I remember I tried to translate that 
section on the definition of the natural community which he 
called a biocoenosis at that time. 

Was that a new approach at that time? 

Oh, yes, that was the origination of the term, and the whole 
idea that groups of animals had some interrelationship of some 
sort. But he was a bit mystic on it, of course. I thought 
maybe I didn't know as much German as I thought I did when I got 
balled up in a sentence, so I sent it to Karl Banse in Seattle, 
an old friend of mine from here and there. He was born in 
Konigsberg. He came back with the comment, "That sentence is 
far from clear." [laughter] 

Lage: So it wasn't your German. 

Hedgpeth: No, it wasn't that. I haven't got around--! was going to write 
this whole business up, and I gave an introductory paper about 
three or four years ago at the congress on the history of 



Lage: When you say "this whole business," what do you mean? 

Hedgpeth: The origin and the concept of the community and how it drifted 
away from the original. I pointed out I was glad to see the 
Danes had taken on Carl Georg Johannes Peterson's theory that 
the eel grass was the foundation of the community in Danish 
seas. That is, it depended on the detritus of the eel grass. 
Well, they had die-off s or mortalities of the eel grass for 
several years in the twenties and thirties, and nothing happened 
to the rest of the animals, so eel grass obviously wasn't it. 
What they had left out was the plankton, and oddly enough, the 
geese, the black brant. They live on eel grass. When the eel 
grass disease killed off great beds of it in Europe and eastern 
Americanot from this side, thoughthe black brant decreased. 
Of course, since they are a game species in Europe, you had 
lousy records even among the conscientious Danes, who also would 
fib on their bag. 

So I got through with all this, and somebody in the 
audience said, "In that case, why did you let Thorson get by 
with that paper he wrote for the treatise?" I said, "Well, 
frankly, fellows, I didn't know enough then." 

Lage: You'll have to fill me in on the paper you're 

Hedgpeth: Well, that's the one I mentioned. Thorson wrote a whole idea 

about communities, carrying on from Peterson, who was his great 
master and gospel giver. He got off on the deep end making too 
many generalizations based on inadequate data and so forth. But 
he had a lot of us mesmerized, and he could rattle off so much 
in such a short time. In fact, some of the students down at 
Scripps when he was there as a visiting investigator, called him 
"machine-gunnar" Thorson. 

Lage: And he taught at Scripps? 

Hedgpeth: He was doing research at Scripps. He was there as a visiting 

investigator. I suppose he gave a lot of lectures, but anyhow, 
I don't think he was a visiting faculty member as such. 

Lage: What was the level of ecological thinking when you were a 

student of marine biology? Did Light take that approach, or any 
of the others? 

Hedgpeth: No, he wasn't interested in that sort of ecology. He was 

interested in observing what the individuals did, and observing 
how they were arranged on the seashore, tidal level or wave 
shock. That sort of thing. But he was primarily interested in 
morphology. He was always somewhat skeptical of some of these 


wild ideas about phylogenies. Somebody said, I don't know who 
it was, maybe it was Libbie Hyman, that phylogenies are best 
grown on an eclectic diet. 

Lage: [laughs] That's a great statement. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, isn't it. They're still at it. 

Lage: What kind of wild ideas are we talking about? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, which group of animals originated from the other, or 
something of that sort. 

Lage: A lot of effort goes into this kind of discussion. 
Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, still does. 

Lage: Is your approach an ecological one, would you say? Or has this 
been a trend in biology? 

Hedgpeth: Well, it's been more lately than- -because I've put quite a bit 
of it in Between Pacific Tides from time to time. It's 
interesting that Ed [Ricketts] spotted one of the fundamental 
things that almost everybody else overlooked. In fact, he saw 
this in the abstract of an obscure paleontological paper by a 
man named Cabrera in Argentina.' And that is, you can't have 
two closely related species similar in food habits or structures 
and needs within the same group or community of animals. That's 
called now the law of competitive exclusion, and great reams 
have been written about that, too. 

Lage: Now it's a law. Not an observation, but a law. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. The laws. Lately they've been called paradigms. 

Lage: I think that's a better word, perhaps. Somehow "law" has such 
finality about it. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

1932. "La incompatibilidad ecologica. Una ley 
An. Soc. Cient. Argentina 114(5/6): 2A3-260. 

Ricketts saw only the short summary statement in the 1935 volume of 
Biological Abstracts. --JWH. 

'Cabrera, Angel, 
biologica interesante " 


Ed Ricketts. a Marine Biologist and Steinbeck Character 

Lage: Is this a good time to talk about Ed Ricketts, and what his 

contribution was to marine biology, and then also how you knew 
him and how he might have affected you? That's a lot of 
questions together. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it is a lot of questions together. Of course, by the time 
I met Ed, I think I was senior or maybe graduate, I don't know, 
at this point. I'm trying to think, because it involves another 
aspect of family history, namely that one of my mother's dearest 
friends lived in Pacific Grove, and as soon as I learned to 
drive and had a car to run around, I'd take her down there every 
once in a while. These two old ladies would tell stories, 
unfortunately before the period of handy tape recorders, so we 
don't have much taken down what they said. She was Constance 
Bigelow Mainwaring. One of her granddaughters lives down in 
Petaluma right now. 

They had uncanny memories. They remembered everything. 
Never forgot anything. 

Lage: Did you enjoy listening to them at that point, or did you go off 
to the beach? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, I went out to the beach. Since we were using Ricketts' 

book, I went out there to see what he was like. We were about 
the same-- 

Lage: You were using his book in school? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, Between Pacific Tides. See, now that would have to be 
after the first edition, '38. 

Lage: My notes show that you met Ricketts when he was working on 
Between Pacific Tides. I have '38 or '39. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It was after I did this tour of duty, the salmon study in 
Shasta Dam. That was '38 or '39. In the forties, I was doing 
graduate work on a master's degree, working on some little 
project Dr. Light thought would be suitable, namely distribution 
of copepods in various ponds. Most of those ponds have now been 
built over, ain't there any more. 

Lage: So you went off to meet Ricketts because of your interest in his 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I was out there. My mother and Con would talk about things 
before my time. [laughs] They're all gone now, except the one 
who's named for my mother, and she doesn't remember anything any 
more at all, which is kind of sad. 

Lage: So you wish it would have been nice to have had a tape recorder 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Now, I'm going to move you back to marine biology. 

Hedgpeth: Right, and get back on the track. Well, that's why I often went 
down to Pacific Grove and got into the habit of going down 
there. One thing led to another. Ed had very little ability at 
drawing anything. 

Lage: Did he get others to draw for him? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So I offered to draw some maps for him, which I did. Then 
after the war began, I went down to Texas, and sometimes 
supplied him with animals he needed, had a market for. I was 
working for the Texas Game Fish and Oyster Commission, and we 
did a lot of collecting and trawling out in the Gulf of Mexico, 
so we gathered stuff like sea pansies that are not easy to find 
around here, since they are tropical animals. 


Lage: The picture we have of Ed Ricketts is based mostly on [John] 

Steinbeck's works. Is that an accurate picture from your point 
of view? 

Hedgpeth: In some ways, yes. 
Lage: Comment on that, now. 

Hedgpeth: Well, I think he's a little overimpressed by Ed's sexual 

activities. He'd prefer to talk more about them. That's what 
John used to talk about. I saw Carol some years later when I 
was putting the Outer Shores 1 things together. All she said 
about that matter was, "Well, Ed was goaty." 

Lage: Now Carol is--? 

The Outer Shores, edited by Joel Hedgpeth (Eureka: 

Mad River Press, 


Hedgpeth: Carol was Steinbeck's first wife. She was divorced by then. 
She was apt to tell you about anything straight between the 

Lage: Was Steinbeck's depiction of Ricketts as a marine biologist one 
that you would agree with? 

Hedgpeth: Well, he made it sound too easy. I gave a little lecture, 1 
don't know, did I give you a copy of it? First memorial 
Ricketts lecture, started that down at the Monterey Aquarium, 
and I was the-- 

Lage: No, I don't think you gave me that. 

Hedgpeth: It would be a lot better to dig out a copy. I try to set the 

balance right, because it got written up the way Steinbeck would 
have written it about how Ed used to collect at La Jolla, and 
get enough money for beer for his ricketty lab. Of course, I am 
annoyed by the pun to begin with. It wasn't quite that rickety. 
And this was published in the New Scientist magazine. So I 
protested to them. I said, "That's pretty exaggerated. 
Besides, you didn't explain that La Jolla and Pacific Grove are 
about 400 miles apart," or maybe 500, I guess, "by road, and the 
impression you give is that they're right next door. Besides, 
no biologist collects on other people's collecting or study 
grounds. You could lose your license for doing that." He had 
grounds to sue them for libel. I scared the wits out of the 
poor woman. 1 [She phoned Steve Webster, education director of 
the Monterey Aquarium, to ask if I had said anything actionable 
in my presentation. --JWH, October 1995] 

Lage: Were you saying that Ricketts didn't collect down in La Jolla, 
or that--? 

Hedgpeth: No, he bypassed La Jolla. He went right down to Ensenada, into 
Mexico. His favorite spot was the Bahia de Todos Santos, right 
south of Ensenada, for a lot of the material subtropical in 
nature. That was one of the southernmost locations that he 
included in Between Pacific Tides, mentioning things occurring 
that far south. So anyway, he read quite a lecture, I think, on 
that, and he went some distance from Monterey so as not to 
collect things too near . See, this place in Cannery Row was 
only a couple of blocks away from Hopkins Marine Station. 

'The original text was never distributed. A simplified version was 
published as, "Ed Ricketts (1897-1948) Marine Biologist." The Steinbeck 
Newsletter (San Jose State University), Fall 1995, Vol. 9, No. 1: 17-18. 
[See Appendix C.] --JWH, October 1995. 


Lage: Was that a problem of intruding on other ? 

Hedgpeth: Well, it would have been. They don't want collecting on their 
grounds. They're celebrating their hundredth anniversary, or 
did this past week. 

Lage: Why did it not become a problem? 

Hedgpeth: Because he didn't make it a problem. He collected elsewhere, 
down the great tidepools south of town, and so on. Further 
down, or all the way up to Sitka. He had a run, one of his 
regular trips was up here to somewhere along Point Reyes, 
Duxbury Reef and then further north. Duxbury is now a reserve 
status. The problem with Duxbury, it's soft rock, and you can 
knock it to pieces easily. 

An Ecologist and Systematist 

Hedgpeth: So I became a zoologist simply by majoring in zoology. 
Lage: Now, you're making it so simple here. 
Hedgpeth: Well, I guess not. 

Lage: How did you become a zoologist with your particular point of 
view, your way of approaching problems? Or, what is your 
particular way of approaching them? 

Hedgpeth: At the present time, just trying to understand the 

interrelationships of these groups, what eats what, and what is 
just around for the fun of it, so to speak. 

So you do have that ecological approach. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Is that a more accepted or more dominant approach now? 

I worked 

Oh, I don't know. Of course, I'm also a systematist. 
in two groups of animals, freshwater shrimp and these 
pycnogonids. I've worked in the Gulf of Mexico species of big 
freshwater shrimp. Some of those are used now in aquaculture, 
great big palaemonids about this bigsmall lobsters, so to 
speak. Anyway, I did a little monograph on them. I was down in 
Texas because they had about four of the five known species in 


North America in Texas waters. Some of them will live in 
brackish water, but they're primarily fresh. 

One of the amusing things is that the most common one is 
named kadiakensis or something like that, and it must have been 
a mix-up in labels, because it's never been found in Alaska or 
the Aleutians or anyplace like that. Those errors are caused by 
mixing up labels and bottles. 

Lage: I'm never going to get the spelling of that one. 

Hedgpeth: I forget now whether that's exact--! haven't done anything with 
that group for years, but it was a name more closely associated 
to Alaska. 

Lage: And the shrimp itself was--? 

Hedgpeth: It was easy to happen; some guy has whole lot of these little 
bottles of things and labels stuck in them, and dropped the 
wrong label in once in a while. Sometimes the bad locality is 
simply the address of where the fellow was working. 

Lage: At the time? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: [laughs] Well, that throws the future into a little detective 
game, doesn't it? 

Hedgpeth: Well, yes, we're always trying to straighten things like that 

out. Of course, we can't change the name, even if it was wrong. 

Revising Between Pacific Tides' 

Lage: Let's go back with a little bit more on Ricketts, since you seem 
to have spent a fair amount of time doing work about his work 
and his life, in your Outer Shores, for instance, and revising 
Between Pacific Tides. 

'Between Pacific Tides: An Account of the Habits and Habitats of Some 
Five Hundred of the Common, Conspicuous Seashore Invertebrates of the 
Pacific Coast between Sitka, Alaska, and Northern Mexico, by Edward F. 
Ricketts and Jack Calvin, revised by Joel Hedgpeth (Stanford University 
Press, latest edition 1968). (Revised 1985 by David Phillips, with Joel 
Hedgpeth as coauthor.) 















That was after he died. 

Right. Was there a reason you got involved with this? 

Yes. Well, the main thing is because I was down in Texas at the 
time that he had his accident, so I'd drawn these maps for him, 
was making suggestions about the pycnogonid fauna, and some 
things ought to be where he hadn't got them or something like 
that, and he had started a new edition. So when Stanford 
[University] Press was stuck with this, I was the first person 
they thought of looking up. 

So I agreed to do the job. It was rather painful, the 
first edition. They didn't want a single thing changed unless -- 

Hadn't Ricketts finished his second edition when he died, or do 
I have that wrong? 

I guess it was, yes. 

And it came out just shortly after he died. 

Right. So they wanted a new one, because they didn't want to 
risk too great a publication. At that time, they didn't know 
whether it was going to fly or not. So I took it on from there. 

You took on the new edition? 


And tell me about that, working on that, 
change anything, you said? 

They didn't want to 

Well, for the first time, they didn't want to change anything 
unless a new word would require the space of the old one. They 
were niggardly in their printing bills and hated to have to 
change anything, even a name. 

What's the point of doing a new edition then? 

That's it. So anyway, things got better through the years, and 
they allowed me to make more and more changes. 

What kind of changes did you need to make? 

Sometimes statements of fact or observation that we'd learned a 
little more about since. And lots of times names of these 
things are changing as people work on them and decide mistakes 
had been made in identification, if they showed they belonged to 


another species, or something like that. Then I added sections 
to it. But the main thing is keeping up that annotated 
bibliography. They wanted to throw that out in the first 
edition, and Light urged them not to. 

Lage: So that was something that Ricketts had started? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. That was kind of fun to keep it up. 

Lage: I did look at your annotated bibliography and found myself 
chuckling quite a bit at some of your annotations. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: I also was interested that you included children's books in the 
bibliography. Was that something Ricketts had started? 

Hedgpeth: No, not really, but people ask for references to children's 

books, and they seem a little less pretentious in this book for 
grade school use or children. So I wound up writing that little 
paperback job 1 which I am now going to try to bring up to date. 
In fact, I've got some of it started. 

Lage: Is that for young people? 

Hedgpeth: That's for everybody. It describes the localities between Point 
Arena and Ano Nuevo. 

Lage: And what's that called? 

Hedgpeth: Well, let's see. Seashore Life of the Central California Coast, 
and/or San Francisco Bay. I'm trying to get an easier title. 
I'm going to include more about the bay, especially this 
business of introduced species changing whole faunal patterns. 

Lage: And this is a book for the layman? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It's been very successful, sold 45,000 copies, though 

sometimes I wonder about that, because I was out in the seashore 
one winter afternoon on a Sunday, fairly nice; tides are low in 
the middle of the afternoon that time of year. I saw people 
with buckets of snails and things and one man with a copy of my 
book sticking out of his pocket. First thing I said in it is, 
"Don't take all this stuff home. It dies and starts to stink on 
you anyway." [laughs] 

'Joel Hedgpeth, Introduction to Seashore Life of the San Francisco Bay 
Region (University of California Press, 1962). 


Lage: They didn't read that part. 

Hedgpeth: Well, I didn't say anything about it, but obviously they hadn't 
read that part. Or if they had, they hadn't really taken it to 

Lage: That must be disconcerting to you. 

Hedgpeth: I think there's more consciousness now about that sort of thing, 
except in Mr. Dan Quayle's [then vice president] opinion. 

Lage: [laughs] I knew we could get Dan Quayle into this discussion 

Hedgpeth: Reminds me of the time that President Bush was being chided for 
his fondness for hunting quail out in the big ranch in Texas, 
you know. He said, "That's not unkindness to animals. After 
all, quail aren't animals, they're birds." [laughter] Well, 
you know, that's what you call a non sequitur, aside from a lack 
of knowledge of the English language. Appalling in anybody. 
Theodore Roosevelt would have blown a gasket at that. 

Then we have had only one president who was a competent 

Lage: We have had only one? 

Hedgpeth: That's right. 

Lage: And who was that? 

Hedgpeth: Theodore Roosevelt. 

Lage: That's a long way back. 

Hedgpeth: I remember his book used to be in the parlor on every library 
table, African Game Trails, mostly pictures of Teddy with his 
foot on the neck of some poor recently deceased wildebeest or 
lion or something, all the way through the book. "Great animals 
I have shot." 1 

'Later I looked this detail up. On pp. 532-533 of African Game 
Trails, there is a tabulation of "Game Shot with Rifle" that lists 296 
beasts and large birds, including nine lions, eight elephants, thirteen 
rhinoceros, fifteen zebra, six buffalo, and all sorts of other "game" shot 
by Theodore Roosevelt, and another bag of 216 by his son, Kermit. TR 
states on page 534 "we did not kill a tenth, nor a hundredth part of what 
we might have killed had we been willing." Most of the killed were 



[laughs] Well, that's a particular kind of naturalist. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. But he also took a part in this great nature-faking 

controversy at the turn of the century. They were after William 
J. Long for writing exaggerated things about what animals did or 
could do. Problem was that he had never- -the real critical 
observations of animal behavior are fairly recent, people like 
Tinbergen and Lorenz. Tinbergen was a genius at thinking the 
right questions to ask and how to ask them. 


Who was Tinbergen? 

Hedgpeth: Tinbergen, he was the Dutchman. He went to Oxford, had a whole 
group. He and Lorenz complemented each other. Lorenz didn't 
quite ask questions. Then there, of course, was von Frisch and 


his bees. 

This is taking us far afield. 

Ethology; A Recent Development in Ecology 

Hedgpeth: Yes. But that's one of the recent developments in ecology, as 
it's called, ethology. The actual study of why birds and 
mammals do the things they do. 

Lage: The study of animal behavior? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And that is tied into ecology, or a part of ecology, or another 

Hedgpeth: Well, it has something to do with it. Grinnell was a pretty 
good ecologist. He saw some of the problems right away. He 
considered the influence of vertebrates on dispersals of seeds 
and that sort of thing. 

Lage: He was at Cal, wasn't he? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was one of my professors. I took his course. 

Lage: Did he have an influence on your outlook? 

destined for an immortal life as stuffed museum exhibits: finis curonat 
opus indeed! JWH. 


Hedgpeth: In some ways. One of his assignments, he sent us out to study 
something or another (I studied a group of ground squirrels). 
That reminds me, of course, that when I took invertebrate 
zoology, we each had to do a project, so I did a project on the 
pycnogonid fauna of Moss Beach--the beginnings of my first paper 
on the beasties. That was where I noticed that from one year to 
the next, the gross abundance of two species more or less 

Lage: One would rise and the other fall? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, one would be more numerous one year than the other, yes. 
But it was very subjective at the time; I only realized it in 
observation. To do the job right, you've got to run counting in 
squares and so on, to see what the relative populations are. 

Lage: Have you followed up on that, then, or has somebody? 

Hedgpeth: Not really, no. 

Lage: It's still an observation. 

Hedgpeth: And Moss Beach has been so trampled-over now that it isn't what 
it used to be. It used to be a great collecting spot. Light 
held one of his intersession courses there. They don't do those 
any more, do they? 

Lage: I don't believe so. 

Hedgpeth: They used to have about a week called intersession, they'd cram 
up to get a couple of units. 

Lage: Would this be in the winter, January? 

Hedgpeth: Spring, I think. It had to be a time when these critters are 
easily available. But anyhow, something long gone and 

Lage: They have it at other schools, I've noticed, in college 

catalogues. They have a lot of intersession. But I don't think 
Berkeley does. 

Hedgpeth: Incidentally, the remainders of the Hemphill collection are now 
at Stanford, and Dennis Murphy is a member of that family, a 
descendent. In fact, his uncle, Al Murphy, runs the Hopland 
Reserve. You've been up there probably and seen it. 


I haven't been there, but I've heard of it. 


Hedgpeth: Yes. I happened up there to I had drawn a big picture for Bee 
once, of a carpenter bee, and she had promised to have it sent 
back to me when she died. So word came to me that Al had it up 
there, of course. I went up there, and Hopland is off the road 
a little, in the hills. Secretary says, "Shall I--who are you? 
Shall I explain to Dr. Murphy?" I said, "Just tell him I knew 
him when he wasn't as high as the top of this desk." [laughter] 
About ten minutes later he came trotting back with the picture. 
He said, "You're the only person that could have ever said 
that." [laughter] 

Lage: And Dennis Murphy is at Stanford? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he's Paul Ehrlich's lesser. He works on butterflies too. 

Lage: And he's descended from the Hemphill 

Hedgpeth: The Hosmer-Hemphill line. They had asked me if I could find a 
place for the shells in the Oakland Museum. They wouldn't even 
give me the time of day there. I was suggesting something 
rather different, because I know the museums now have little 
interest in just cabinets of seashells. 1 was suggesting a 
standing glass pillar display cabinet to the theme of education 
in Oakland back in the nineties with old-styles microscopes, 
Josiah Keep memorabilia, and some of those nice exhibits put in 
there, and they could move them around, and change them from 
time to time. I went around to find out what they thought of 
it, I was told that person wasn't in, go away. 

I have had two strange encounters with the Oakland Museum, 
never quite figured out. One of them was when they had an 
article about their interest in the existence of old quilts in 
the neighborhood, or in California, central California. They 
wanted a roster of all of them. So I wrote and I said I had my 
great-grandmother's engagement quilt made in the 1830s in which 
her maiden initials were sewed, and the initials of each 
person's different kind of stitch, and this obviously made it an 
unusual quilt I think it was a tulip quilt. I've still got it. 
But I never even got a reply. Funny, they requested it. I said 
I'd be glad to bring it down and have it photographed if they 
liked. It was in reasonably perfect condition- -except the usual 
thing that happens to these old quilts. The magenta goes bad 
and starts to rust out in some of them. The blues stay fast 
because they're indigo. But not even an answer. So I said, 
"Well, it's going to go to Oregon, then." My daughter will get 
it when I get through with it. 


Ricketts and the Influence of Between Pacific Tides 

Lage: I want to get more, if we have more to say, on Ricketts. You've 
done so much work on him, and I know you can't repeat what 
you've done there, but I'd like to get some observations. 

Hedgpeth: Well, we used to discuss where certain things were found when we 
knew about them, and that kind of thing. One time he told me he 
had never been to see a tropical coral reef. He had never 
gotten around to it. He wanted to, but it's funny. I think he 
never gave up hoping. 

Lage: Did you see him as a more serious worker in the field than maybe 
Steinbeck would portray, or--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He liked the literature pretty well. He knew good and bad 
literature when he saw it. As I say, I wrote this piece 
explaining some of that, what it took to do what he did. See, 
he was working before computers, and to do that tidal study that 
he'd done on the different levels and all of that, he had to go 
up to the San Francisco office of the Coast and Geodetic Survey 
and copy the raw data sheets. I had to do the same thing in 
Texas, actually, in the 1940s or so. What they had were the 
tabulations of the times and heights of tide. They didn't even 
have a graph. They just took them off on the hour, somebody had 
to do it diligently by longhand. Then you could work out the 
curves from that data and so forth. It was a tedious thing to 

Now, of course, a computer simply spits out a piece of 
paper at the end and the job's all done for you. Different 
world, you know. 

Lage: So the work he did in preparing Between Pacific Tides was not 
all romantic and-- 

Hedgpeth: No, he conducted a lot of correspondence between specialists, 

especially in Washington, D.C., and various groups. He had some 
knack or a way of getting them to do more or less what he 
needed well, of course, after Between Pacific Tides had been 
published, it was quick to see you were dealing with someone 
more serious than just somebody who wanted some of Grandma's 
pretty shells named for their convenience (the bane of the 
existence of the mollusk division of the National Museum) . 

Lage: Did that book, Between Pacific Tides, have a deciding influence 
on marine biology on the West Coast? 


Hedgpeth: It had a very strong influence, because most everybody used it. 
It influenced Gene Kozloff into writing his own books on Puget 
Sound area. He was a Berkeley student. He's an interesting 
character, too. He might be worth looking at, except he's way 
up there. He's now retired to Friday Harbor. 

Lage: So it influenced how other people approached marine biology? 

Hedgpeth: Well, and getting their own books out, too. See, Gene was born 
in Teheran after World War I. His father was an officer in the 
diplomatic service. I remember the last time I saw him, I guess 
I was at the University of Washington, and they have these great 
big sky-high footbridges over the highway that goes right 
through the middle of the campus. I asked where he was, and 
somebody said, "Well, he's about the third level down, 100 yards 
away," and I couldn't think of anything else to do. I yelled 
his name at him in Russian, "Yevgenny Nikolayevich." He spun 
right around, and came right up to me. [laughing] He knew 
nobody else would do that to him, I guess. 

Lage: Probably nobody else could do that. 
Hedgpeth: Well, I don't know. Some people. 

Lage: When others were inspired to do their own treatments, did they 
use the same organization as Ricketts? I noticed that he 
organized by areas. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, or by levels, tides. Yes, not quite. 

Lage: Were there troubles with that kind of organization? 

Hedgpeth: Not necessarily. Depends on where you are. See, in Puget 
Sound, the tides are at much greater levels, much greater 
zonation, so it's easier to use the whole bay. 

Lage: You didn't organize that way in your book on San Francisco Bay. 

Hedgpeth: No, not too much. There wasn't much about the bay. The book 
was supposed to be short, and that time they just wanted small 
books. Now, they say I can spin that up to 400 pages. The 
latest one I heard from Art Smith was that they were going to be 
about 700 pages. That's going to be about all the environments, 
Bay Area, or maybe northern California, I don't know. 

Lage: In your research on the Between Pacific Tides and Ricketts and 
all, what was Jack Calvin's role in the early edition? 


Hedgpeth: He did some of the illustration, he did some of the photography, 
and I think he rewrote quite a bit. He had written two or three 
children's books on seafaring, and he was a pretty good writer. 
Ricketts had a peculiar way of writing at times, used words in 
his own sense and that sort of thing. 

Lage: Was he aware of that? 

Hedgpeth: I don't think he really cared very much. He felt it was the way 
to express himself, using some words in a slightly different 
context. Steinbeck complained about that. What Steinbeck did 
was to change those things. Ed said, "Well, he wrote much 
better than I ever could." 

Lage: So Calvin did some rewriting? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: But Calvin wasn't a marine biologist himself, was he? 

Hedgpeth: No, he wasn't. Well, he knew a fair amount, and he picked up a 
bit of it from osmosis. He wound up with a charter service out 
of Sitka for people who wanted to see some of the rarer spots, 
Sierra Club types who had full purses and that sort of thing. 
He was an irascible sort of fellow, and "everything you might 
have referred to may be true, but you didn't have to say that" 
kind of attitude toward- - 


Lage: You say he was an irascible sort? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. The last I heard of him I think was when I met Xenia 
Kashevarov in New York City, and Joe Campbell had kept up with 
these people all this time, since the 1930s. Xen ran a--may 
still do; I hear she's still livingshe was curator of a 
textile museum in New York City. She's a small person, but she 
was one of the famous daughters of Father Rashevarov, the 
Russian Orthodox Priest in Sitka. Of course, I think he was a 
native Alaskan, too. But he was a great source of information 
on Russian history, and he had access to all of that. 

He had about six daughters, and one son who was killed in 
an accident. The daughters were- -one of them was Calvin's wife, 
Sasha. Tal was Ritchie Love joy's wife. 


Now, Ritchie Love joy: who was he? 


Hedgpeth: Well, he was part of the crowd. He did some of the drawings for 
Ed, he didn't do any of the writing. But he was an advertising 
writer, and things like that. 

Lage: And lived near Cannery Row, or on Cannery Row? 
Hedgpeth: Tes, he was part of the gang. 
Lage: Did you know him? 

Hedgpeth: I met him two or three times, yes. Didn't really know him. 
There were a couple more of these gals, and they all had the 
Russian proclivity for strong liquor. I don't know whether Xen 
seduced Ed- -of course, that wouldn't take much doing. She was a 
teenager sent down to go to high school, and she wanted to find 
out what this was all about. She did. 

And anyway, at this meeting in New York City, she was a 
little annoyed. She'd just got a Christmas card, it was toward 
the Christmas season, from Jack Calvin. The first thing he said 
is, "I have to tell you, your sister Sasha died a few months 
ago. I remarried and had a vasectomy." And she says, "This is 
a hell of a way to be told you're the last of your family, isn't 
it?" I have to agree to that. [laughter] She said, "The nerve 
of the guy at his age having a vasectomy!" [laughter] That's 
the way they always talked. But that's a very mild version of 
the way they talked. 

"Philosophy on Cannery Row" Ricketts. Steinbeck. Joseph 

Lage: I notice there's a great deal of literature about the influence 
of Ricketts on Steinbeck. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Were you in at the beginning of people starting to wonder about 

Hedgpeth: No. 1 don't know; I met Steinbeck at Ed's place. 1 don't know 
what he was doing at that time. But shortly after that, he had 
produced The Grapes of Wrath, and the next time I came down 
there, Ed had the galley proofs. Stuck them in front of me and 
I read peripherally through them a bit. He thought the ending 
was great, and . 


Lage: And what? 

Hedgpeth: I wasn't too sure about the ending. A lot of people haven't 
been since either. But he said right then when it was in 
galleys, he said, "It's going to win the Pulitzer Prize." 

Lage: Did Steinbeck leave a strong impression on you when you saw him? 

Hedgpeth: Well, by the time I had any really serious conversations with 
him it was after Ed's death. I was pretty well insulated from 
being impressed by people like that. 

Lage: I read that Steinbeck had destroyed a lot of the correspondence 
between Ed and himself. Why do you suppose he did that? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he did that with a lot of people, apparently. There was 

one friend that he called on, a man who he had written a lot of 
letters to, and Steinbeck asked to look at them and dropped them 
one by one in the fireplace and said, "I don't think this one 
should be left around." 

Lage: Do you have any theory about why? 

Hedgpeth: No, I don't know why, except that he--. Perhaps they were 
franker than he wanted them to see in print. 

Lage: What about Joseph Campbell? He was part of that circle for a 
while. Did you get to know him? 

Hedgpeth: Not then. I didn't meet Joe until I went up to Oregon State. 
It was about '83, I guess, no, '73. Richard Astro was a 
professor of English then, or assistant prof, had gotten his 
thesis on Steinbeck. He wanted to-- 

Lage: And he was at Oregon State? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He'd gotten funding for a meeting on Steinbeck. Of 

course, he found out about me sitting out there at the beach, so 
he got me in on it . 

Lage: How did he find out about you sitting out at the beach? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I don't know, probably Between Pacific Tides or something 
like that. Anyhow, I tried to get Dan Mainwaring in on it, 
because Mainwaring and Steinbeck had met in Los Angeles at a 
course given by my old friend near St. Helena, W. W. Lyman, who 
had been born at the house Just this side of the Bale Mill, and 
the creek there is known as Lyman Creek, and actually that 
should be Lyman Mill, as a matter of fact. But anyway, he was 


always called Jack. He used to teach Celtic languages at 
Berkeley, and then UCLA, but anyway, he was a professor down at 
one of the junior colleges or state ones there. He had a 
meeting staged between Steinbeck and Mainwaring. Dan had 
written this novel about a farm workers' strike, same thing. 
His book was titled One Against Che Earth. 

Lyman introduced them as the two promising young authors 
who would make their mark in the state. Dan later said, "Well, 
he was 50 percent correct." 

Lage: When was that meeting? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know exactly [1933]. ' Anyway, we finally had Dan 

agreeing to come up with him, but he backed out at the last 
minute. He just didn't feel up to it. He had been away from 
all of this stuff so long. See, he wound up writing movie 
scripts and detective stories. 

So anyway, we got a pretty good group together. A book on 
that conference is now out of print. 2 

Lage: Is that when you gave your talk on philosophy on Cannery Row? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. 

Lage: Was that before you had done Outer Shores? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And when you gave this talk, "Philosophy on Cannery Row," is 

that what interested Richard Astro in looking more carefully at 
Ed Ricketts and his influence on Steinbeck? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, he wanted to figure out what influence he had. 
Lage: Or had he already had an interest in that? 

Hedgpeth: I don't think he really knew much about it until I started 

giving him information on the stuff. See, what I did was get 
Ed's notebooks. They were down at Pacific Grove. So I had them 
there, about five of them, great big ledger-type books. They 

'See Richard Astro, "Steinbeck and Mainwaring," Steinbeck Quarterly, 
vol. Ill, number 1, Winter 1970. 

2 Steinbeck and the Sea, Richard Astro, editor (Newport, OR: Oregon 
State University Sea Grant Program, 1975). 


were in terrible scrawl, soft pencil, things he'd write in the 
middle of the night, you know. 

Lage: And where were they? 

Hedgpeth: They were in custody of Hopkins Marine Station. They have now 
been put in the Steinbeck Library at Stanford, which is kind of 
odd, because Stanford's faculty and the Stanford Press didn't 
think very much of Ricketts. They rejected Outer Shores because 
they said all those philosophical essays weren't good Ricketts. 
I tried to explain to them there ain't such thing as good 
Ricketts; there's just Ricketts, that's all. But they didn't 
like them because they were notdidn't show any real 
philosophic discipline behind them. That Stanford Press is--. 
Their only real good selling book was Between Pacific Tides 
through the years, so it's kind of funny that way, but anyhow. 

After leading me on to write the book, they finally just 
dumped me, so I put it up there with the Mad River Press. Now 
it's out of print, and I am holding the copyright and trying to 
solicit tender letters of endorsement so I can approachand 
just for the hell of it, I'll approach Stanford Press again, 
because now for a while they have had a managing editor, Grant 
Barnes, who was formerly the real book bringer from UC Press. 
He was senior editor for Stanford Press at that time. Things 
may have improved down on the farm. He seems to have brought 
them into the real world. 

Lage: So maybe the timing is better. 

Hedgpeth: Their inventory is definitely improving. Grant said, of course, 
that a lot of friends sent him titles for possible books to be 
published by Stanford Press, like Fiscal Problems in the Reign 
of Genghis Khan and such things, [laughter] the kind of stuff 
they were printing in those days. 

Lage: "Philosophy on Cannery Row" seems kind of a seminal thing, at 
least if you're interested in Steinbeck and Ricketts. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It was about all I knew about the subject. 

Lage: And what did you use as the basis of your research there? Did 
you get into his journals then? 

Hedgpeth: Not really the journals, because they were more or less personal 
comments or little notes about what they did when, and 
complaints about some other things. Things he wrote about in 
the middle of the night. I think he had more or less permanent 
insomnia or something. He worked until late. 


Lage: Was any of the Cannery Row philosophy influenced by Joseph 
Campbell, do you think? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know. Campbell has always been a great talker. Of 
course, that was all back in the thirties. Ed did write a 
letter about "The King and the Corpse," which Campbell had 
obviously improved from the German version. Strange, he wrote 
so much about the Celtic aspect in mythology in that book, which 
was essentially based on Zimmer's manuscript. The last thing he 
wrote, one of the most recent ones, was an introduction to a big 
meeting on the Celtic temperament held in Canada, and he spent 
most of his time talking about Indian philosophy and dragging 
the Celts into that by the scruff of the neck. He said of 
course he had very good claims for Celtic background, since I 
don't know whether his grandfather or his uncle quite often led 
the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York on horseback that sort 
of stuff. Of course, he was raised Roman Catholic, too. 

Lage: When you did meet him, did he throw any light on Ricketts as far 
as you were concerned? 

Hedgpeth: Not too much, no. I just met him several times in New York; 

after that meeting, I'd go by. He lived in Greenwich Village. 
Finally decided he was going to have to retire and move from 
there, asked about housing down near Esalen. "Well," I said, 
"for starters, you've got to have about $750K to get a decent 
place down there." He allowed as how he'd heard that, 

I had written a very vituperous letter to Stanford Press, 
after they wrote me a nice little note saying they'd decided, 
since I didn't have much more time to live, to count on for 
future editions, they were going to find a new editor, and so 
forth. I wrote a letter ending that I would hope to read the 
writer's tombstone by the light of Halley's comet. Well 
unfortunately, the comet wasn't brilliant enough to read a 
tombstone by anyway. He's still living. But that 
correspondence got posted between San Diego and Bamfield, which 
is way out in the wilds of Vancouver Island, by my various 
colleagues. [laughter] 

Lage: After that conference on Steinbeck, there have been a couple of 
other "Steinbeck and the Sea" conferences that you've taken part 







There was one in San Jose. I don't know whether I gave a paper 
at that one or not. There was one in May 1992 in Nantucket. 1 I 
was invited to be the keynote speaker and talk about Steinbeck 
as an environmentalist. 

What was your thesis there? 

My thesis was based on the last book he had published, which 
nobody has ever read. 

Which one was that? 

It was called America and Americans. 

It was sort of a picture, photo book? 

Yes. And had a series of short essays by Steinbeck scattered 
here and there through it. He had been asked to write an 
introduction. He thought it would take him two weeks; it took 
him several months. He wrote these little vignette chapters, 
and some of them are essentially an environmental statement on 
how we're going to the dogs, wrecking the environment, and all 
this kind of stuff, as well as some other things about morals. 

I don't know what he would say to what I read this morning 
in the paper that the California schools' record for censorship 
is getting pretty bad. I think it's Benicia that has forbidden 

any book by John Steinbeck to be in a school library, 

None of Steinbeck's books in the library? 

any one of 

Yes. All books by Steinbeck forbidden. I don't know what the 
heck to say about The Long Valley and Pastures of Heaven. I 
don't know what Wallace Stegner would say about that, too. 

I'm sure he'd have something to say. 
Yes, no doubt. 2 

"See supplementary papers to the oral history, The Bancroft Library. 
Proceedings in press with University of Alabama Press, to be published 

2 Alas, Wallace Stegner is no longer with us.--JWH, October 1995. 


The Society for the Prevention of Progress 






Lage : 




I don't know if this relates to Ricketts, although it seems to 
relate to some of his beliefs, but tell me about your Society 
for the Prevention of Progress. When did you found that 

About 1944. 

That seems ahead of its time, somehow. 

Well, I showed a friend of mine who was in divinity school a 
statement I had cooked up about how the increase of material 
progress violates the lease granted to mankind by nature, or 
something, and he said, "Well, that's a very orthodox 
statement." [laughter] 

How did it come about, and were there other people involved in 
the society? 

Oh, people have asked to be members from time to time. There 
was a strange meeting in 1953 in Copenhagen. I was seated next 
to Erwin Stresemann, who was considered one of the world's great 
ornithologists. He had the general bearing of a Prussian field 
mar shall, complete with monocle. We were discussing the 
business of nomenclature and how to control the names and 
prevent duplications and all that kind of stuff. It's really 
not the field of biology; it's a branch of Philadelphia lawyers 
or something. 

Anyway, toward the end of the meeting, he leaned over, his 
monocle slipped off as usual, and he had to go around groping 
for it on the floor. He said, (in English), "What must I do to 
join the Society for the Prevention of Progress?" I said, 
"Sitting through this meeting for a week qualifies you for 
membership . " [ laughter ] 

Well, tell me what you experienced or observed that led you at 
that tender young age to start the Society for the Prevention of 

Well, I wasn't so tender and young. 

After all, I was born in 

Well, you weren't an old man. 

I was born in 1911. 

That would make you, what, 


Lage: Didn't you say you started it in '44? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, thirty-three. I'm eleven years behind the century; 
easy way to figure that out. Well, partly out of my experience 
in Shasta Dam and the debris dams. 

Lage: What was that experience, with the debris dams? 

Hedgpeth: See, the first assignment we had began in '38 working with the 
Corps of Engineers. They wanted to build a debris dam on the 
American River so hydraulic mining could be reopened. They'd 
selected a site north of the main fork of the American River 
about two or three miles above where the site of the now-unbuilt 
Auburn Dam is. One fine winter night, the site of the keyway 
(the excavation in the sides of the canyon for the dam) 
collapsed. They hadn't even started digging. The whole thing 
was unstable ground, where the engineers figured that it was a 
good dam site. And of course, at Shasta Dam the next year, we 
realized that that would be the end of the salmon. 

Back then, 1939, we recommended that they increase the flow 
of cold water from Shasta to lower levels of the reservoir, 
which they have never done. And to add insult to injury, they 
built a dam on the Trinity and punched a hole through to the 
Sacramento drainage. That water comes into the Sacramento now. 
The Trinity is mostly dry. That's just a tributary to the 

[After the field work on Shasta Dam and the salmon runs, I 
worked at Stanford during the winter and spring working on the 
final report which became Special Scientific Report Number 10 of 
the Bureau of Fisheries [see following page). We recommended 
that cold water be drawn from lower depths of the reservoir to 
help the salmon that could not pass the dam, but that has never 
been done. After completion of the report in 1941, the 
remainder of the team disbanded and I was unemployed. I was in 
an interregnum. I worked for a while at a menial job in a state 
veterinary lab in Sacramento that serviced farmers with herds. 
One day a tame billy goat was brought in, and I was asked to 
hold it by the horns while the examiner smashed its head until 
it died. There was quite a flap about that because it was a 
family pet, and the people did not realize the lab took samples 
for herd animals. I dimly remember that someone was called on 
the carpet for that. 

I resigned from that place soon after Pearl Harbor and 
retreated home to Walnut Creek and became self-employed. I 
obtained several large collections of pycnogonids from the 
National Museum in Washington and other museums, and prepared 
two major monographs and several small reports on the material. 


1940 Shasta Dam Salmon Study 

Page 2 Bay on Trial 

The Bay Institute 

<>l : SAN I R A N T I SCO 


/ NUMBER 3 / FALL 1989 

report on 

saving salmon 

Even before the completion of Shasta Dam. 
a Department of Interior Scientific Report' included 
recommendations to save salmon from releases of the 
Dam's stored water of lethally high temperatures. 
Fifty years later Interior Department's Bureau of 
Reclamation, which operates Shasta, is still refusing 
to provide the salmon protection. The Bureau 
ignored the report, shelving the recommendations and 
limiting its circulation, according to a member of the 
scientific team that wrote it. The fiftieth anniversary 
of Sfifiiti/ii- Report \nmhrr 10. ironically coincides 
with the revoking of temperature protections from 
Shasta releases by the Regional Water Qu.ilii> 
Control Board after pressure from the Slate Water 
Resources Control Board and the Bureau 

Construction of Shasta Dam began in the 
Repression and was completed during WW II 
Saving salmon, the jobs that went with ilu-m or ilu- 
river was not a legislative priority. Due in large 
n> Tyce Club agitation, eight men from the Bureau nf 
Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (the predecessor >l the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) begun an cigl teen- 
month-long study to investigate the possihiln of 
saving salmon populations doomed by ilic (la i The 
construction of the 5l-looi-high kingpin lor he 
Central Vallev Project tCVPi would cvvniuallv Wink 
IN- fm-Kiious tjfint."' ii -. ol <!.< *-.< si't? * n 

f lnn\ltni; ,i .V/./i, 
i'lHHuniml ltl\tnn>n m 
CtMjrtcsy JAV HcJcpcih 

i,/ \nlmtm ill .\mli-i~ 
Ki-Miny in IV'V PhiH.i: 

Ironi the streams in which Ihcv spawned. The report 
gave options lor possibly saving ihc runs, and 
outlined ways to ma\iiin/e the "siimvjhihiv" ol the 

Dr Joel W Hedgpeth was then a junior 
aquatic biologist assisting Harry Hanson. Osgood 
Smith, and Paul Needham. the leaders of the study. 
Knowing the needs of salmon, the scientists had little 
hope that much natural spawning on the river would 
be preserved The group completed field studies 
detailing the upper reaches of the McCloud. Pit. and 
Little Sacramento Rivers that would be submerged. 
as well as the number of fish and their total spawning 
area. Hedgpeth recalls the cold and the beauty along 
the upper reaches of the rivers that merged to form 
the Sacramento. "We identified the spawning beds. 
looking for golf-ball-size gravel, and roughly 
measured areas. Where we could, we crossed the 
stream, pacing off its width. Most of (what we 
identified) was destroyed when the dam backed the 
water up. | We| saw the spawning for the last time. 
as river flow was soon diverted for construction." 

The second half of the report discussed 
options for saving the fish after the dam was 
completed. The options consisted of transplanting 
the fish to one of the creeks that feed into the river 
below Shasta Dam. building hatcheries, or improving 
conditions below the dam to allow for spawning 
between Keswick and the mouth of Battle Creek. In 
addition the report roughly estimated the value of the 
lish slocks In a sense. Hcdgpelh notes, it was one ol 
the hrsi em ironmcimil impact reports ever done. 

The report didn't anticipate Red Bluff 
Diversion Dam. which kills thousands of young 
salmon, or the failure of Colcman National Fish 
hatcherv on Battle Creek lo make up any of the losses 
from Shasta In ihc fitly years since the Dam blocked 

Cononwood Creek C*riy Jnel W Wr<//vv/i 

hundreds of thousands of fish, the runs in the uppe 
Sacramento River have dropped more than 75 r , 
whole river has changed "The Dam changed the 
natural cyck of the stream. It flattened out the 
natural variation of the stream." Hedgpeth sav s Ii 
the past, he says, the spring run made up most ol t! 
population, because of the abundant river (lo ji t 
time of year. Now ihe fall run makes up the large? 
share of ihe loul population. (The winter run 
classified endangered by the State Fish and Game 
Commission due to the precipitous drop in 
population, which went from a high in this century 
1 30.000 fish to just 550 in the spring of '89.) 

"We submitted the report and disbanded." 
Hedgoeth says. "We knew [the resource] would gc 
to hell " Few of the crew followed development c 
ihe river afterwards, although most had successtul 
careers as fishery biologists. The report did mil 
predict that the Bureau of Reclamation would ignoi 
science lor X) years. (Sec Shasta story on page I I 

' s.| M ii ;1 |\, irnlifu- Mrpiirl \o III. \n ln>rs|ie:iti"n ,* age Problems in Kelalion lu Shasta ICiin . Ii. 
Harrv A. Hanson. Osicoud H. Smith, and I'aul K 


I did some book reviewing for the San Francisco Chronicle and 
other papers on progress and the history of oceanography, and so 
on. I was, of course, unfit for military service (4-F) . In 
February of 19A5 I was called by Gordon Gunter to assume 
employment at Rockport, Texas, with the Texas Game Fish and 
Oyster Commission (as it was called then) and set back on the 
trail to becoming a marine biologist. We conducted studies of 
the fauna (Gordon was an ichthyologist at the time) of the near 
shore of the Gulf of Mexico. We also experimented with oyster 
planting in the coastal bay as far south as the southern Laguna 
Madre of Port Isabel. It was a completely new world to me. I 
left Texas in June 1949. ]' 

Lage: Did becoming a marine biologist have anything to do with the 
founding of the Society for the Prevention of Progress? I 
noticed that Ed Ricketts also seemed to have a sense that 
civilization was perhaps contrary to real progress. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, but I doubt that it is peculiar to marine biologists. 

After all, you've got a game biologist like Leopold who, while 
he didn't ask to be a member, simply encouraged me on to it. I 
don't know whether I showed you that letter from Aldo Leopold. 

Lage: No, you told me you've got a letter from him, but that wasn't 
recorded on the tape, if you-- 

Hedgpeth: It was virtually a letter of marque; I'll get you a copy. [See 
Appendix D. ] 

Lage: Now, this was 1947, a letter from Aldo Leopold, "Man Against the 
Land" was the article you wrote 

Hedgpeth: That was in the old magazine called The Land, which was run by 
Louis Bromfield and others who were gentleman back-to-the-land 
types. I contributed several articles to them. 2 

But anyhow, Luna [Leopold] looked at that, and he said he 
never knew his father had written a letter like that to anybody. 
[ laughs ] 

Lage: That's an interesting reaction to it. 

'Mr. Hedgpeth added the preceding bracketed material during his review 
of the draft transcript. 

2 Reprinted in Forever the Land; A Country Chronicle and Anthology, 
edited by Russell and Kate Lord (New York: Harper, 1950). 


Lage: What was the article in American Scientist? You came out 

against progress in the American Scientist (vol. 35 (3) 1947], 
he said. 

Hedgpeth: Called "ProgressThe Flower of the Poppy." [See Appendix E.] 
Lage: Did you get a lot of reaction on that? 

Hedgpeth: I got some reaction. I got some letter chiding me by one 

Florence Moog from Washington University, St. Louis. There was 
a big ad in the Sigma Xi magazine by the Moog Piston Company of 
St. Louis, so I asked her if she was related. She took off like 
a skyrocket and said, "How dare you insinuate 1 should be 
related to such people?" Well, good heavens, I just thought I 
had asked a routine question, natural. 1 was told later she was 
considered one of the queer ones on the faculty there, rather 

Lage: Did you see yourself in this attack on progress as being part of 
a movement or a group, or just this was an idiosyncratic you? 

Hedgpeth: No, just my own little idea. 

Lage: Because it does seem- -you have Aldo Leopold and others who are 
beginning to question progress around the same time. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He unfortunately died soon after that. 

Lage: I know. He said, "I am pleased this is the forerunner of a 

Hedgpeth: Well, I had a book started, but what happened was, 1 never got 
around to finishing it, and Ray Dasmann was writing The 
Destruction of California, and I sent him the rough draft, and 
he used some of the ideas. In fact, 1 think he says so in his 

Lage: Was that the thrust of the book you were going to do? 

Hedgpeth: Probably something like that. Of course, Ray was a bit more 

ambitious than 1 was to get something out. He did a pretty good 
Job. I'll have to go dig that other thing out for you. 

Lage: So your society was a society without members, without official 
membership . 

Hedgpeth: I wrote letters recommending people for membership. I had a 
lovely letter from C. S. Lewis. 


Lage: Did you recommend him for membership? 

Hedgpeth: I also got a note from his brother saying that thirty years' 

service in the British Army entitled him to membership. Where 
the devil is it here? I thought it was right in here. 

Lage: Do all these letters of yours exist in your files? 

Hedgpeth: I had those by Lewis in the back of a book about him, in a 

pocket I had built in it, and that book has disappeared. In 
fact, I had a letter from Richard Llewellyn in How Green Was My 
Valley and that's disappeared. I don't know why books with 
envelopes in them with letters--. I didn't think I had so many 
untrustworthy people coming in my doorway. Of course, it may be 
accidental. People have a way of borrowing books and never 
returning them. 

Various Articles and Papers Noted II 

[looking at bound reprints of Hedgpeth articles] 

Hedgpeth: Toward the end of my career at Corvallis John Byrne, now 

president of Oregon State (I think he was a dean at the time) 
said he thought it would be a good idea to publish a volume of 
my selected writings with the Oregon State Press, so I made a 
selection and turned it over to the person he considered a 
suitable editor. She was a faculty wife of Chinese origin, 
probably American born, but did not understand that some of the 
published selections should not be changed. She had several 
items retyped after substantial changes in style and substance. 
She also, with another person, wrote an introduction which was 
embarrassingly gushy (I had already asked Garret Hardin to write 
a brief preface). The Press did not have the funds for the job 
that year, and I took the project along with me when I left 
Oregon State. A while later I showed the project to Grant 
Barnes of the UC Press, and he wanted to accept it, but no funds 
there. He urged me to discard the girlish introduction as 
inappropriate, off key. Since then I have published several 
more suitable items, but have let the matter rest. 

But here is the third volume, volume three of five volumes 
of my articles. You were asking me about the one on "Taxonomy, 


man's oldest profession." 1 That was 1961. Of course, this book 
includes all the chapters from the treatise that I stuck in here 

Lage: From the big red book [A Treatise on Marine Ecology]? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And various other things. 

Lage: You have five volumes of these collected works? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Some are very scientifically oriented, and some are more 
philosophical, it seems. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And how does the philosophical view affect the scientific 
approach, or does it? 

Hedgpeth: It doesn't really. 

Lage: Does it affect the kind of problems you choose to look at? 

Hedgpeth: No, not when you try to read Wittgenstein's junk. You can't 
figure out what he's driving at. 

Lage: But your own outlook, I'm trying to get at how your own view of 
the world affected how you've gone about your scientific career. 

Hedgpeth: No, not really. 

This one was considered a very profound piece by one 
commentator who reviewed the whole book. 

Lage: What was that? 
Hedgpeth: Oh, this little thing. 

Lage: "The Evolution of Community Structure?" [as yet unpublished; 
reviewed in manuscript] 

Hedgpeth: Yes. That was a set topic, so I . 

'Eleventh Annual University of the Pacific Faculty Research Lecture, 
May 22, 1961. See papers supplementary to this oral history, The Bancroft 


Lage: On approaches to paleoecology? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. 

Lage: Paleoecology. Tell me what that is exactly? 

Hedgpeth: You work with fossils. 

Lage: So you're studying the ecology of past ? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, you're trying to guess things with about 90 percent of your 
information missing. 

Lage: Is that an approach that interests you, or--? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I was asked to contribute to this book by friends of mine. 
Here's a couple of pieces of congressional testimony, this is. 
Here's asomebody asked that this be included in the 
congressional record, lectures I made. 

Lage: "Man and the Sea." 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I recorded them mostly in Olema down from Dillon Beach. 

Lage: Delivered over KPFA in 1964. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, Steve Charter was a regular commentator for KPFA, and he 
asked me to work up a few lectures on the subject. 

Lage: What were the themes here? Was this an environmental theme? 

Hedgpeth: Well, no, it was mainly about the study of the sea, how it's 
done and who did it and that sort of thing. I also wrote 
articles for reference books. 

Lage: What was this in? The World Book Encyclopedia? 
Hedgpeth: Yes, they pester me every once in a while for updating. 
Lage: You've written on the ocean for them? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I was paid extravagant sums of money for doing these 
things . 

Lage: They do pay extravagant sums? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, a couple hundred bucks for something that's just boiler 
plate. I'm trying to think where--Scripps--I wrote this very 
sassy note on population structure. 

Lage: When you were at Scripps, did you say? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. I wrote this as a Christmas greeting. I guess this is in 
volume two. Yes, my Scripps years were 1951 to '57 that was 
54. I still get a request for a copy every once in a while. 
[See following page.] 


Lage: While we are talking about Ricketts and all that, who was 

Hedgpeth: [laughs] Well, I think he was a composite. The general 

demeanor is a description of Rolf Bolin, rotund, jolly face, and 
always smiling. Bolin was a professor of fisheries at Hopkins 
Marine Station for years. Ed Ricketts always called people he 
disliked or considered incompetent Jinglebollix. 

Lage: Sort of a generic term. 

Hedgpeth: His favorite victim of that term was William A. Hilton. 

Lage: Now, who was William A. Hilton? 

Hedgpeth: He was professor at Pomona for years. He was a horrible duffer. 
He printed papers which make no sense. He would describe an 
animal as, "The head is six centimeters and the body three 
millimeters long," stuff like that. He'd garble up complicated 
station numbers, latitude and longitude, so he got them in the 
wrong ocean, and that kind of thing. His specialty was writing 
about critters that live in damp logs , and his papers have 
driven entomologists to desperation and tears. We had to re- 
examine all his pycnogonids to be sure which they were. I 
corrected some of them, and Al Child at the National Museum 
finished the job. Because you had to do it. These were things 
that were in the literature with names, more or less with 
qualifications of legitimately described species. 

Lage: But Ed had run across them too? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, in the same kind of amateurish way. Hilton was a very 

enthusiastic teacher and his students loved him. He went out on 
field trips fully dressed with a necktie on, and he would lead 
off the collecting into the tide pool. The tide pool turned out 
to be deeper than he thought it was going to be. Presently all 
you could see was his head and his necktie floating above water. 
I owe that description to Ted Bullock, of whom you may have 


An Example of Hedgpethian Humor 
* published in Systematic Zoology, Vol. 8, No. 4, Deo.. 1064 

Reports on the Dredging Results of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography 
Trans-Pacific Expedition, July-December, 1953 

I. The Pycnogonida 

Joel W. Hedgpeth. 

Int roduct ion. On October 23, 1953, the MV S. F. Baird, engaged in marine-biolog 
ical and other scientific investigations in the waters of the North Pacific under the 
direction of Dr. Warren S. Wooster, executed a successful dredge haul in 710 fathoms. 
Among the material brought to the surface was one large pycnogonid. It is the pur 
pose of this report to discuss this interesting capture and its significance to science 
and the welfare of mankind. 

Systematic discussion: 

Family Ammotheidae Dohrn, 1881 

Genus Ascorhynchus Sars, 1877 

Ascorhynchus japonicus Ives 

Ascorhynchus japonicus Ives, 1892; Loman, 1911; Ohshima and Kishida, 1947; 
Hedgpeth, 1949. 

Material collected: TransPac Station 4, 33 degrees N, 134 degrees 55' E, 710 
fathoms, muddy bottom, 1 male; October 23, 1953. 

This fine specimen extends the range of this species some 40" south and 3 or 4 
degrees west of previous records, but well within the bathymetric range for this 
characteristic Japanese species. 

General remarks: It is of particular interest to compare this dredging result of 
the Trans-Pacific Expedition with that of another recent expedition, the Swedish 
Deep-Sea Expedition (Fage, 1951). Although not the same species, both expeditions 
agree in having caught the same number of specimens, to wit, one (1). It must be 
pointed out, however, that here the similarity ends, as indicated by the results of a 
detailed statistical analysis (Table I). 




No. successful dredge hauls 9 

Total no. of pycnogonids collected '. 1 1 

No. pycs. per haul 0.11 0.33 

Months at sea 14 5 

No. pycs. per month 0.07 0.20 

As can be seen from this table, our expedition was three times as successful as 
the Swedish Expedition, both in terms of catch per unit of effort (as time away from 
port) and catch per unit of gear. It must not be thought, however, that this means 
that our fishing methods are so vastly superior to those of the Swedes. The only justi 
fiable conclusion, and one that cannot offend any national sensibilities, is that the 
total pycnogonid population of the overall world ocean has increased threefold since 
1948. At this rate of increase (Le., about 60% per annum) it is estimated that the 
pycnogonids may support a major fishery sometime in the next millenium. 


FACE, Louis. 1951. Sur un pycnogonlde de HEDCPETH, JOEL W. 1949. Report on the Pyc- 

1'expMltion Suedoise des grands fonds, nogonlda collected by the Albatross in Japa- 

1947-48. Reportt Swedith Deep-Sea Exp.. nese waters In 1900 and 1906. Proc. U. S. 

2, Zoology no. 7. Nat. Mia., 98:233-321, figs. 18-51. 



Lage: And Bullock had the occasion to be on one of these field trips? 

Hedgpeth: He was a student at Pomona. Pomona, of course, is a pretty good 
private school, or it has been. 

Lage: So those two together you think were the Jinglebollix? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I think the name the first time he used it that I know of 
was in reference to Hilton, but he used it in reference to two 
or three other people. I think Steinbeck made a composite 
character out of several. So it was after Ed was gone that 
Jinglebollix really appeared in Sweet Thursday [John Steinbeck, 
1954], and not exactly in Ricketts 1 sense as an irritating 

Lage: Not too many scientific professions have had the sort of 

romantic popular account of themselves as marine biologists did 
in Cannery Row. Did this do anything for the field? 

Hedgpeth: No. 

Lage: Did it encourage young people to think this is a great field to 
get into? 

Hedgpeth: I had a weird letter from somebody saying he was writing a paper 
on water problems, seemed to be a mixture of Ed Ricketts, Luna 
Leopold, and this mad Swede who described properties of water 
that were more mystic than actual, but also some things which 
were very good. Unfortunately, his book was translated into 
German, or maybe it was into Swedish, and then into English, so 
two steps in translation, leaving you to wonder what he really 
tried to say, especially when he gets kind of squishy anyway. 

Lage: And he was going to write a book that was a mix of all these 

Hedgpeth: He was going to write an essay for an op-ed piece, so he wrote 
to me. I haven't heard from him since. 

Lage: Well, that didn't develop into anything. 

Hedgpeth: These are all characters around P.G. [Pacific Grove], always 

going to do great things and leave great new paths and all that 
stuff, and never materialized. So you get to where you don't 
trust them too much to deliver. 

I remember one fellow up in Oregon, somebody living out in 
the woods, sent me about forty pages of philosophy, wanted me to 
appraise it and thought it was ready for publishing. I looked 



at it, and I wrote a note saying, "It shows a lack of 
appreciation of what has been thought of in philosophy, 
especially pertaining to where you're trying to go. Enclosed, a 
spare copy of John Stuart Mills' collected essays which may help 
you." I got an indignant letter back saying, "How you insult 
me, asking me to read some old ancient book like that!" And 
what the belli It was not a very thick book. But a reaction 
like that indicated such a completely closed mind; it didn't 
seem worth carrying on any more. So I pocketed his return 
postage. [laughter] 

All right. I think we have run out of steam for today. 

Ed Ricketts* Innovative Work 
[Session 4: October 1, 1992] ft 

Lage: Last time we started this topic about your professional career, 
the making of a marine biologist. One of our topics was Ed 
Ricketts and Between Pacific Tides. I wonder if we got, or if 
we could get, a general statement of your assessment of the 
influence of Ricketts and this wonderful book on Pacific Coast 
marine biology. 

Hedgpeth: I think I gave you a copy of that lecture I gave about him, 
didn't I? First Ricketts Memorial Lecture [see Appendix C]. 

Lage: And you've made some remarks in your forewords to the revised 
editions of Between Pacific Tides? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and Phillips [the new editor] is doing some remarks in the 
last edition of Between Pacific Tides. He reviews the whole 
history of the book. You see, the interesting, curious thing 
about Ed is that he was always perusing the recent acquisition 
department of the library, looking at all the new journals and 
books. He did that quite regularly. He spotted this 
interesting discussion by a man named Cabrera, an Argentine 
paleontologist, who made the more or less flat outright remark 
that two species with a closely related ecology will not occupy 
the same place. They become competitors for their ecological 
niche. It is called competitive exclusion, or something like 
that, and that became what is often known as Cause's principle, 
and that's been one of the major doctrines, so to speak, of 
ecology, at least of community studies and things. 


Ricketts commented on that principle of competitive 
exclusion and other ecological matters in a preface to Between 
Pacific Tides, but it was deleted at the suggestion of Walter K. 
Fisher, who said it was a lot of junk. Old Fisher was an old- 
style systematic biologist. He described species very well. He 
worked on curious little worms. Toward the end of his career, 
he became quite a devoted amateur painter, and painted a lot of 

But the main thing about Between Pacific Tides was a 
discussion by more or less ecological occurrence in relation to 
the relative tide levels in which they were most abundant. 

Lage: So he organized it by ecological group, rather than by 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, primarily by environmental groups. 

Lage: Was that a departure from the usual way of organizing it? 

Hedgpeth: It was the first time that was done. It wasn't exactly a 

Lage: Well, it sounds like a departure, if it was the first time it 
was done. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, well, it was an innovation. Because most sea shell books 
would discuss things well, by rocky and sandy shores, and 
things, but he got more specific. What level of the shores that 
some things occurred and didn't occur in other places. So there 
was a lot of original observation in his collecting. He was 
always careful to note where he got things, and his field notes, 
by the way, are in Stanford library now, and you can get an idea 
from that if you want to pursue the Ricketts matter, how he 
conducted his business. Except most of his business records are 
in the University of Florida. 

Lage: Too bad these things are divided. 

Hedgpeth: Well, what happened was that I was in Texas when Ed had his 

accident, and I didn't come back until the following summer. In 
the meanwhile, Peter Lisca appeared at Hopkins Marine Station 
and looked through this stuff, and asked permission to borrow 
it. So they let him take a lot of stuff, and I feel he's gone 
nuts now. He's gone through three wives and 


He's still around? 






He's still around. He sort of sits around on the lawn waiting 
for the crocodiles to eat him. Or alligators. Anyhow- -they 're 
different animals, by the way. 

And Lisca took those papers to Florida? 

Yes, he took them to Florida. We tried to get hold of them. In 
fact, he offered to give them to me one time, and then changed 
his mind when the people started reviving or stirring up 
Steinbeck, which was partly the result of what had happened at 
Oregon State, that held the first Steinbeck conferences. So I 
was down at Tallahassee giving a series of lectures, and I went 
over to Gainesville. A colleague of mine drove me over there. 
I stayed overnight, spent all day Sunday in his office. I went 
through his files and I itemized them. I noted what was in them 
and what was not in them. Of course, you realize that Ricketts 1 
way of doing things was to run several carbons of letters and 
send them around to people, and anything he thought was worthy 
ideas, he would rattle off on his typewriter several copies. So 
there were a lot of files of Ricketts around. I don't know 
where some of them are now; probably gone. 

But anyway, I sent Lisca copies of two of the essays which 
were most interesting, and his dizzy graduate student, I don't 
know where she is now, probably working for some fast-food 
joint, McDonalds or something, but I don't think she really got 
a decent jobthere was correspondence, it was Ricketts' copies, 
indicating he had received some kind of an account from Joseph 
Campbell, and he'd known him in the old days. They found out 
when they looked in the recent biographies of Campbell. And I 
asked for a copy of Campbell's letter, with Ricketts 1 comments 
on it. She said, "You can't have those, because they're central 
to my thesis." 

My reaction to this was to send a copy of the letter to Joe 
[Campbell], and I said, "Did you give this gal permission?" He 
wrote an indignant letter to her pointing out it's a very 
serious matter to deal with a person's correspondence that way, 
and so forth. Sent me a copy of his letter. 

Did you ever get the letters, though, from the graduate student? 

Yes--no, not from her. Joe sent them to me. I knew Joe 
Campbell; she didn't know that, see. She found that out the 
hard way. 

You mentioned Cause's principle, and I remember you made the 
remark in one of your papers that the failure to include that 
section of Ed's work set back marine biology. 


Hedgpeth: It did, because once that came out in explanations and somebody 
had tried to demonstrate it by raising pairs of species in 
similar situations, so that there was experimental proof of 
this, everybody got excited and started looking at these things 
in a slightly different way. So if Ricketts had been able to do 
that in the book, it would have made the thing much more of a 
classic than it was. 

Lage: But it certainly has had a long life. How many times did you 
revise it? 

Hedgpeth: Four times. 

Lage: Was that a major enterprise? 

Hedgpeth: It wasn't much, too much. Just going through and fixing it up 
here and there, and adding new illustrations and a new section 
in the back- -two eventually. 

Lage: Many new animals that were discovered along the way? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Things change names all the time, too. So anyway, a few 
years ago, they wrote me a sweet little letter saying that they 
wanted to find a new editor who at least would show promise of 
surviving a few more years than I probably would. Anyway, it 
was not very tactfully put. 

Lage: [laughs] It implied your imminent demise? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So I wrote the guy back a letter and said I hope to read 
his epitaph by the light of Halley's comet. Unfortunately, the 
comet was a fizzle this year, this time, so he's still alive 

Lage: Well, maybe next time it comes back. 

Hedgpeth: I don't know if I'm going to make it next time. What is it, a 
hundred ninety years or something? 

Lage: You'd be pretty ancient. 

Hedgpeth: Well, the physician says I've gotthe cardiologist thinks I'll 
make ten. The surgeon is a little more careful. 

Lage: He doesn't like to make bets on people? 

Hedgpeth: Well, he told me that I had probably a 75 percent chance of 

surviving. I thought about that, but I didn't tell him that, I 


figured it out. The casualty rate of Picketts' Charge is 54 
percent, so that's a little better odds. [laughter] 

So anyway, the last time I saw him--I had given him a copy 
of Poems in Contempt of Progress before the operation. He told 
us that he told his wife, "By god, this guy is going to 
survive!" [laughter] I don't know really how to take that. 
Except I ought to drop by this afternoon and give him a copy of 
the latest edition of Between Pacific Tides. He's got his 
waiting room adorned with sharks and porpoises and 

Lage: Oh, you went to the right man! 



An Introduction to Pycnogonid Studies 






Let's go on, if you're ready for this, to your study of the sea 
spider. I read that you were an acknowledged expert in this 
animal by the 1930s. Is that true? That seems early in your 
career. When did you become an acknowledged expert? 

Yes, "Man's Oldest Profession." That includes at the end a 
bibliography of my writings on the subject. 

Well, the first one's 

'39. How did you get involved in studying 

It was kind of silly. I was a T.A. in junior college. The lady 
who was teaching zoology was a rather strange person. She'd 
gotten her degree from [Charles A.] Rofoid on a very slim 
thesis. I looked it up; it was about an eighth of an inch 
thick, Some Events in the Life of a Soil Amoeba, or some such 
funny title. Naturally, one suspects when a female gets a Ph.D. 
with such a flimsy thesis that something else might have been 
going on. But we won't go into that, because that would be 
scandalous and libelous anyway. 

But anyhow, I was the teaching assistant 
She was a professor at the junior college? 

Tes, San Mateo. A number of us in our neighborhood in San 
Leandro were attending there, so we went over together for a 
while during the first year. Then my mother moved over there 
and rented an apartment for us. 

Anyhow, she said she wanted twenty-five starfish by next 
Monday or Tuesday. Nominally, I was more or less under the 









other guy, Dr. Klyver. He said, "Did she say anything about 
paying you?" I said, "No." He said, "Well, we've got a budget, 
get transportation and cost of those things from her for her 
course." She was kind of annoyed when we figured out that 
seventy-five cents apiece was a good price for twenty-five 
starfish, to say nothing of traveling over the hills and far 

Actually, what we- -there was a great big rock that at high 
tide was completely separated from the shore about twenty yards 
from the bluff. One of my friends who wasn't taking the course 
and I went out there it was his car; I didn't have one then. 
At low tide we saw all these starfish plastered on the side of 
the rock, so we just leaped out with great joy and grabbed them, 
and then we started looking around a bit, seeing what else we 
could see in the seashore. Grabbed bunches of hydroids and 
things, put them out in a pan. A spider- like creature shambled 
off; it was a pycnogonid. 

I had already read something about them in a book by a man 
named Crowder, who was a New York advertising man. His book had 
been for sale for a dollar in the local drugstore, of all 
things . 

In this drugstore? 

Yes. I don't know why. So I got interested in them. 

What are they like, and what is it that interested you? 

They don't look like anything else on earth. They don't have 
any body; they're just legs, and walking around. I have 
pictures of them someplace, [looking through papers, notes] 

And how large? There's a great variety of them. 

Oh, yes. Some of them get this big 

Now, when you say that big, that's about nine inches across? 


Well, those are two pictures. Is there a particular fascination 
about them, aside from these leggy ? 

The young fed somehow through the tegument of the father, 
the male carries the eggs around until they hatch. That 
apparently is not so. 











What did Crowder say about them? 

He said that's what he thought happened, because they all died 
at once. I think they died once his aquarium went bad. 

Well, that was one thing. Of course, my professional 
career didn't begin until 1938. See, I was born during the 
Depression. In '33, you couldn't get a job. I spent a year in 
graduate school, more or less aimless. That's when I started to 
write the first paper about them, I guess. But anyhow, so then 
about '35 or '36, I was taking this federal civil service exam, 
had a job for a year in Washington as a clerk in the Treasury 
Department, which was about as boring as Walt Whitman found it, 
I think. Not that that was any great historical precedence. 

So after trying to winter in Washington alone with a bad 
case of bronchitis, I decided I wasn't interested in living in 
Washington, D.C. 

But you did some research while you were there, didn't you? 

Well, yes, I went down to the National Museum, since I was on 
the swing shift. 

What were you working on there? 

Waldo Schmitt had given me a bunch of crabs and things to sort 

Wasn't it Waldo Schmitt who suggested that you could help 
Ricketts with the pycnogonids? 

Yes, that's one thing. He introduced me to Ricketts by mail, 
because I was interested in looking at them, but they didn't 
have any around there to look at at that time. Subsequently, 
they found bushels of them, after I once published a couple of 

Did your papers have some influence in interesting others in the 
field in looking at these little animals? 

Well, according to Bill Fry, they did. 
Was he accurate? 

Yes, I guess so. Kept grinding them out. Of course, now this 
guy in Holland, I just senthe's published 400 papers. They're 
not all on pycs, though; I think about half of them are some 
other subject. But he just retired, and he's still grinding out 


papers. His name is Jan Stock. And then Al Child at the 
National Museum started out with some advice from me, and we got 
a joint paper out together, and he's gone on. He's been 
grinding them out too. 1 have to look at them all and see what 
1 can make of all this. There seems to be no end of new kinds 
you can find. 

Lage: So the papers are partly discovering new examples? 

Hedgpeth: Of all the literature of this group, about 90 percent is 
systematic, just description of species. 

Lage: And what has been your primary interest in them, or has there 
been a primary interest? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I didn't have any particular primary interest, except I 

was always interested in getting a little more information about 
geographical distribution, significance and so forth. So 
anyhow, we worked that out. 

Lage: I notice one of these articles that you wrote for this 1976 
meeting had to do with locomotion. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. You see, these animals are rather peculiar in that there 
are some which have an extra pair of legs, and even a few more 
kinds which have two extra pairs of legs in other words, they 
have twelve legs. They don't move like centipedes, and we were 
figuring out what kind of pattern of leg movement they might 
have. Of course, it's to be suspected they did have some kind 
of synchronous movement, so they wouldn't get tangled up with 
each other. So I had a couple of students down in the Antarctic 
taking movies for me, and we eventually got that written up. 
It's part of the paper in here by Schramm. 

Schramm, incidentally, is now working in Amsterdam. He was 
curator of paleontology at San Diego Museum and the trustees 
decided they had too many people doing things that didn't 
interest anybody, so they fired him. They fired about five 
people. Fred couldn't get a job anywhere in this country, so he 
accepted a job in Amsterdam. 

Lage: But he is American? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and he speaks English. I told him, "Well, I hope you'll 

learn a little Dutch in two years, but they don't worry too much 
about it." Enough, I suppose, to give a graceful introduction 
or suitable statement at a commencement. 







Which reminds me of T. A. Stephenson when he was professor 
at Aberystwyth. He came from South Africa and rather fancied 
that he really should be at Oxford or Cambridge, not in a 
tidewater, second-rate place like the University College of 
Wales. So anyway, came time, according to his secretary, for 
him to take part in some official ceremony and present an award 
or mention an honor, and to do that, it would have to be done in 
the Welsh language. So they handed him the text of his speech, 
four or five lines long or something. He practiced it, and then 
down amongst the lower life, taxi drivers and so forth, he got a 
bit of coaching. 

Finally got brave enough to try it out on his secretary. 
She said, "Well, you're doing pretty well, but I'm afraid 
they've given you the wrong speech." [laughter] He was so 
happy the day I called on him; the Yugoslavs had just won the 
international choral competition, so the way Welshmen think 
they're too good and don't practice enough, or something like 
that. He was quite happy. It made his day. 

Have you made a lot of collecting trips in connection with the 

Not too many. 

Have you gone to the Antarctic on it? 

Yes, I've been to the Antarctic three times. The rest of the 
places I've been to I haven't seen not much opportunity to 
collect. But there are people collecting all the time, and they 
send them in to the museum. 

And then you tend to look at what they've collected? 
Yes. Look at it, and see what we can make of it. 

Evolution of the Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology 

Hedgpeth: I really didn't start as a professional biologist until 1938. 
Lage: What marks the professional biologist? That was the first job? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I was on the civil service roster. They were getting 

together a field team. That was the salmon study's first year, 
1938, on the American and Yuba Rivers-- 


Lage : At the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Hedgpeth: And this is in connection with the idea to build some big dams 

for hydraulic mining to stop the debris. Turns out this doesn't 
work very well, so those dams were never built. The big one on 
the Yuba, that's for another purpose. Some of the sites we 
looked at, we have to have a dam on them, like the American 
River, of course. What's being talked about now is something 
for flooding and irrigation, not mining. So they have to be 
much bigger, and there's been yapping about Oregon- -Auburn Dam 
ever since. 

So anyway, we got together a field crew; it was got 
together by random. 

Lage: You're looking at a scrapbook now; is this relating to that 

Hedgpeth: Yes, this is the first gang. The reason for mentioning this at 
all was that here is where the Treatise on Marine Ecology, at 
least my part, had its beginning. This man, Gordon Gunter, who 
came here, is from Louisiana by birth, from Natchitoches . 

Anyway, Gordon was in Texas this time working with the Game 
Fish and Oyster Commission. This fellow George Giles [refers to 
scrapbook] was on the civil service rolls from way back. He 
didn't know any biology, but he was a veteran of World War I. 
And here we were all summer, working at going down rivers in 
rubber boats 

Lage: Which rivers did you go down? 

Hedgpeth: The American and Yuba, and various branches. He didn't know how 
to swim. Near drowned. 

Lage: Was he useful in your study? 

Hedgpeth: No, not very. He was just along. He helped out with keeping us 
from getting lost in the woods, at least for two of us. 
Actually, an interesting part about it, much of this thing took 
place in country where I'd lived as a kid on Clipper Gap in the 
American River. In fact, we passed the house we lived in there. 

Lage: That must have had some special meaning for you. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it did. I took a picture of it; I don't know where it is 
now . Funny . 


And Deer Creek; is that Ishi country, Deer Creek? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. I was stationed there for a summer. That's why I wrote an 
article about Ishi. It's back here, I guess. [flipping through 

Lage: What was Gordon Gunter's background? 

Hedgpeth: He was a fishery biologist and naturalist. He was a very good 
naturalist. Worked on Texas shrimp and fishes. What had 
happened was he was working at Rockport, which is near Corpus 
Christi. In that area, there's been interest of geologists or 
paleontologists for a long time, because they're right backed up 
on the Texas the edge of the plateau, you know, the Austin 
chalk and all that stuff. It's very highly fossiliferous and 
quite rich, and there's a lot of papers and discussions of it. 
So Harry Ladd from the U.S. Geological Survey came around, 
wanted to look at that environment and the fact that it was a 
hypersaline environment he wanted to look at, the Laguna Madre. 
So he came down there, and he got Gordon, who led him around, 
pointed out places. 


Hedgpeth: The standing committee on paleoecology, ecology of past times, 
was set up in 1935, I believe. 

Lage: Was paleoecology an old field, or was that something new? 

Hedgpeth: No, it's not very new. It's been popular in Germany for years. 
This was a committee on paleoecology for the National Academy 
Research Council. [flipping through pages] Then you got a bit 
more formal, some of the same dramatis personae. Somewhere, 
Harry Ladd got in on this. He was a paleontologist for the 
Geological Survey. 

Lage: Were you involved in any of this, or are you just showing me the 

Hedgpeth: No, I'm just showing you the history briefly. [See Appendix F 
for Treatise foreword and contents.] 

Lage: Here's Harry Ladd. 

Hedgpeth: And now, you see, he's gotten a little more pretentious. Ladd 
was the chairman of the committee or subcommittee. 

Lage: Now it's called the Subcommittee on Ecology of Marine Organisms. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, but now look at what was happening here. Here's Roger 

Revelle, and T. [Thomas] Wayland Vaughan. Vaughan was director 





of Scripps at that time, and he was primarily a specialist in 
coralline foraminifera and things like that, so these grand old 
see, they kept on going for years like this, getting together 
and having a buzzy time 

And are these good papers that are being published? 

Well, these are preliminaries. But here it's gotten a little 
more simple. Now suddenly Gordon appears on the scene. 

Okay, this is 1942. 

That's because Ladd put him on the committee. See, Ladd is 
chairman. He'd met him and thought maybe it would be a good 
idea to have somebody like him. So that was that. 

Then, along came- -well, let's see, "The Ecology of Marine 
Organisms," one, two. So they decided that they would have to 
publish a monograph on this subject. Now, this was the National 
Research Council, that's related to paleontology number five. 
Ladd is still chairman. I knew nothing of all this. 

So we ' re up to 

'45 and '46. These are the war years, they're 

Hedgpeth: That's right, and they were still rattling around. 

Lage: In '49, they're talking about a committee on a treatise on 

marine ecology and paleoecology, so it seems they've decided to 
publish a book. Were these monographs the beginnings of the 
work to be included in the Treatise? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and they started writing things before that. So they were 
fiddling around, and Gordon sent me a draft of what he was 
writing. At that time, I was rattling around as a doctoral 
candidate at Berkeley. 

I was sitting there in the Berkeley library, of course, and 
I said, "You missed a lot of things. I can find this by 
browsing on the shelves in no time. You really ought to have 
somebody full time to do the Job of editing this thing, and 
carry it on, for you'll never get it done this way." 

Lage: Were you thinking of yourself? 

Hedgpeth: No, I was not. Really. I hadn't quite thought of myself as a 
full-time editor; after all, I was trying to get a thesis done. 
So they appointed me to the committee. 


Research Biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and 
Editor of the Big Red Book 







Now all this time, until I think he became director of Scripps, 
anyway, I don't know whether Revelle was on the committee or 

He seemed to be on the committee. 

Well, he was the earlier one, so he knew all about it. He 
wasn't on this. We had a couple of out-and-out strange ones, 
like Earl Myers, who really didn't know much. Yes, Roger 
Revelle was vice chairman for oceanography, so he had 
sidestepped a little of the main problem. But he was 
responsible for getting me on the payroll. The Office of Naval 
Research is what they applied to for a grant. So I was kind of 
in a funny position: I was there on an outside-supported 
payroll, though I nominally held a rank as a research biologist 
at Scripps, but I was responsible directly to the director, not 
connected with any department. 

The director of Scripps? 

Yes. I didn't learn until years later that Martin Johnson, who 
was one of the authors of the big tome on oceanography, The 
Oceans, by Sverdrup, Johnson, and Fleming, expected that he was 
to be in charge. That never got to me until after I left. I 
don't know why, but anyhow. So it took me about five to six 

Did they anticipate that it was going to be a five- to six-year 
job, or did you anticipate? 

I didn't anticipate it was going to be that long, but I knew it 
was going to be several years. I said, "The first thing is that 
there are a lot of people working abroad who have more to say 
about this sort of thing," and they wanted to discuss some 
environments like the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea and so forth. 
So I knew the people who knew most about this sort of thing- - 

How did you know so much as such a relative neophyte? You had 
just recently gotten your Ph.D., and you seemed to have a great 
grasp of the whole. 

Well, I just started looking through the journals and seeing 
what was being done. All the journals everywhere in the world. 
Berkeley, you know, had big stacks of journals from everyplace 









that had an acceptable language. Some of them were 

How were your own language skills? 

Not that good. I could read German and French. 

Any Russian? 

Rather feebly- -enough to know what was in the Russian 
literature, but that was simply scanning it. I only took a 
semester of Russian from somebody who should never have been 
asked to teach it. He was a fine professor to talk dreamily 
about Pushkin and War and Peace and Anna Karenina and so forth, 
but not to try to teach a language. He would sit there and ask 
us to read a sentence or recite it or try to write it and say 
what something meant, and his poodle usually sat on a chair to 
his left. One day, Mrs. Kaun came there, and the poodle had to 
take the other chair. She sat there knitting. 

This was his wife? 


What was his name? 

Alexander Kaun. But the result was, we didn't learn much 

But you had some. 

It seems essential, as you describe what you were trying to do, 
that you had languages. 

Yes. Well, the language of paper titles is relatively small, so 
you can learn that in a few days. All you have to do is learn 
to read the Cyrillic alphabet, which was no problem to me, since 
I had worked as a printer during the Depression. For a while, I 
had a job in a print shop, and I would do some fooling around 
with a little printing press for years. 

Tell me more about the big red book, 
as the big red book. 

I've heard it referred to 

Yes. Well, I said, "You've got to get some other people 
interested in this, and since we don't know those environments, 
we ought to have the people." One of the things I did in 1953, 


I went to the Zoological Congress in Copenhagen. That was the 
first big international meeting in Europe after the war in which 
Russians appeared in any numbers, and they had quite a 
contingent there, including the guy who was to write the book 
which was to be put into English, and that was partly my doing, 
I think. He was always writing terrific big books; I don't know 
whether he wrote all of the words himself or not, but he got 
them out. His name was L. A. Zenkevich. 

So 1 tackled him right there at the meeting and said we 
wanted to have a chapter on the Caspian Sea, and he agreed to 

Cold War Concerns of Naval Intelligence at Scripps 

Lage: How did the working relationship with Dr. Zenkevich go? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, fine. It had certain little interesting by-effects. Of 

course, Scripps was still deeply in the Cold War, classified up 
to the hilt. 

Lage: You mean even the area of Scripps you were working in was 

Hedgpeth: Well, the whole darn institution. You could hear so much at 
seminar to put two and two together. 

Lage: How did that affect the climate of working? 

Hedgpeth: It didn't affect the climate of working with each other, of 
course, so much. Internationally, there were slight 
repercussions. I got a call from some young character from the 
Office of Naval Intelligence. I knew that they were carefully 
looking at stuff, because writing a chapter of a book entails 
sending things back and forth, haranguing over meanings and 
things, and someone forgot to mention this one or that, or 
something like that. 

So he said, "You're getting an awful lot of heavy mail from 
the Soviet Union." I said, "Oh, yes, we are preparing this 
international treatise. We're having this Russian write the 
chapter on the Caspian Sea, since nobody else has as much access 
to it as he has." To say nothing of all the very extensive 
literature that had been piled up on it. I said, "Actually, 
it's being funded by the Office of Naval Research." Nobody had 
apparently told him that; he was--"0h, well, well--." 


I pulled out this text, and the last thing I had gotten, 
which had probably prompted his visitation. I said, "You can 
take this along and read it if you want to." This was the 
English version, about eighty pages of stuff. "No, that's all 
right." [laughter] 

Lage: He didn't care to 

Hedgpeth: He said, "You're getting a lot of stamps on this mail, aren't 
you?" The Russians just loved to plaster their mail with all 
kinds of different fancy stamps. It had about twenty on it. I 
detected something from the tone of his voice. I said, "Our 
grandchildren may collect stamps someday; I'm saving these for 
them." He said, "Oh, that's all right," kind of sadly. 

Then he looked at this and he started to swear. I said, 
"What's the matter?" Well, they had a stamp of a domed tent 
with outside guy wires, and little flimsy metal poles around it, 
on an ice island in the Arctic Ocean. He said, "We're using the 
same tent, but ours is classified." 

Lage: And theirs was on the stamp! [laughter] 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I got another rise out of this guy when we had a big 

international meeting at La Jolla, and I was asked to be one of 
the commentators on a bus full of people touring San Diego. 
They expected the Russians to come along. What we got instead 
was the official interpreter from the State Department, who was 
a New Yorker who spoke more Yiddish than Russian, apparently, 
judged from comments that came back to me, and a covert guy from 
the CIA who was a longstanding personal friend of mine. He told 
me there that he worked for the CIA 


You hadn't known it? 

as a desk authority on Russianno, I hadn't known it. I knew 
he knew the Russian language very well. As this built up, I 
told the organizer, "These two people aren't marine biologists 
that we know about." I had a very good friend who was extremely 
competent in the Russian language; son of an old Czarist 
diplomat, in fact. He was a professor of zoology up the coast a 
ways. "We ought to invite him, so we can find out what's really 
going on." 

So we had these three characters, so all they could do was 
speak Russian to each other. There weren't any Russians. 

Lage: No Russians came? 


Hedgpeth: That's right. I was told later by one of them that trips abroad 
were predicated upon having published a stated number of pages 
in the preceding year. A stall-out in the state printing office 
could fix these guys, if that was the case, if nothing else. 

Well anyway, we got out to the head of Point Loma on this 
tour, and somebody said, "What's all that over there?" We could 
see across the channel to the navy airfield right behind the 
Hotel Del Coronado. I said, "Well, that's a military airfield, 
and those are ammunition bunkers you see around there. You can 
find a map of this in the latest issue of the Russian Fisheries 

Well, this brought my little pal in the Office of Naval 
Intelligence out. "What do you mean by making jokes like that? 
This is no joke." I said, "San Diego, of course, is a major 
tuna port. The Russian Fisheries Gazette has a big article 
about it, and they happen to have a map of the whole San Diego 
harbor with all the things that are blanked on our maps all 
carefully labeled." He said, "I don't believe you." I said, 
"Well, it's still on the rack upstairs; go ahead and look at 

So he tromped up there, and after about half an hour he 
came back and said, "Well, you're right." [laughter] I guess 
he could read a little Russian anyway. 

Lage: The irony of the Cold War psychology. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I got so I--I should be ashamed of myself. I got in the 

habit of baiting these characters. We had a big affair with the 
Russian exploring vessel Vitlaz, meaning a knight, or a 
conqueror, very similar to Challenger, as a matter of fact, at 
least in the context of the name. That of course was the first 
big world-round research vessel in the history of oceanography. 
But the Russian ship was a reconditioned old fruit-boat, or 
something. Big ship, though. 

Anyhow, they wanted to stop at San Francisco at Fisherman's 
Wharf. Since the request had come deviously from Canada via the 
Soviet Embassy in Canada to the U.S. Department of State in 
Washington, it became a high matter of protocol and all that. 
Since they had asked to come up by Dillon Beach where I had this 
lab then, I was a member of this discussion committee. 

Things went like this: the navy wanted to pull them off to 
Treasure Island or down by the dock at Hunters Point where they 
could keep an eye on them. I said, "Well, they want to come to 
Fisherman's Wharf, and I thought we ought to be able to show 






them this is a free country." They looked at me rather 
frostily. Some idiot said, "Well, they were talking about 
plannings all for the scientific staff, not for the crew. All 
these people play soccer, don't they?" And they said, "Yes, 

"Well, there must be a ship's crew for soccer. Why not 
have a game with them with the Olympic Club soccer team?" I 
said, "Well, it happens that this year's Olympic Club soccer 
team is a gang of Hungarian refugees who skipped the Australian 
Olympics. You'll have blood and brains scattered all over Kezar 
[Stadium] if you put that batch together." 

They were Hungarian refugees? 

I think they were Hungarian refugees. But anyway, the Olympics 
had been held in Australia. Somehow they wound up in San 
Francisco. So the committee agreed that might not be a very 
good idea. 

When the dust was all settled, they all went up to Fort 
Ross and put their name in the book there- - 

They took the crew up there? 

No, the party was supposed to be for the scientific staff. One 
of my friends who worked for the Office of Naval Research was 
along incognito; of course, it was difficult for him to manage 
that with me around. Some guy asked me if he could borrow the 
guest book from our station. I said, "What for?" He said, "We 
think some of these people were not supposed to have been on 
this trip." I said, "You think those guys would sign a guest 
book?" He said, "Well, you have a thought there." [laughter] 

So after that, a few days later, the ship had gone, I got a 
call from ONI, the Office of Naval Intelligence, again, saying, 
"There's been a cylindrical package left for you here." I said, 
"It gurgles?" They said, "Yes. Can't send it through the mail, 
you know. When are you coming down to San Francisco?" I said, 
"I don't plan to come down for a couple of weeks or so." 

About two days later, he shows up, 
to be going by " 

By Dillon Beach? [laughs] 

said, "I just happened 

Well, yes, from Highway 101 out to Dillon Beach. Hardly what 
you'd call just dropping by. So he handed me this bottle all 
wrapped up, and I put it on the desk and said, "Thank you." He 


said, "Will you open it, please?" I said, "Oh, all right." So 
I unwrapped it, and it had two brochures wrapped around it. He 
said, "What are those?" I flipped them open and said, "Well, 
this one's a guide to the great monastery over to the west of 
Moscow, sort of like one of our national park guides; here's the 
architecture and history of it, and not exactly what you'd call 
a military document." "No." 

Lage: He couldn't read Russian? 

Hedgpeth: I guess not. At least, he behaved as if he couldn't. And a 

reprint about a fish population, and the bottle was revealed at 
last. I said, "Would you like to photograph the label?" He 
said, "No, we--" and stopped in mid-sentence and realized he'd 
given it away. They'd been all the way through the thing, of 
course. He said, "Tell me, why did you stop there at the 
highway below Fort Ross? Everybody got out and broke off a 
piece of the redwood tree. Why do you suppose they did that?" 
I said, "Well, I suppose the commissars advised them to bring 
back specimens to test for radioactive fallout." I should have 
been ashamed of myself, because he got real interested and 
started scribbling in his notebook. I don't know what the devil 
they made of that. 

Lage: What was in the package, aside from these things that wrapped it 
up? Was it a bottle? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, a bottle of second-rate champagne. Can't say that some of 
the Russian vintages are very good, but anyhow, just the 
thoughts behind them. [laughs] 

Lage: Those are very telling experiences with the Office of Naval 

Did the work on the treatise do a lot. in terms of your 
recognition as a--? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. I was sent off to the Zoological Congress in '53 as an 
official delegate of the Geological Survey, and that sort of 
thing . 

Lage: And you certainly got to know a lot of people that you-- 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and I got the nice invitations to the better cocktail 
parties and that kind of stuff. 

Lage: Did you enjoy that? 
Hedgpeth: Oh, sure. 


Lage: At one point you make the remark that, "Not much was going on at 
Scripps in those years." Elaborate on that. 

Hedgpeth: You see, they were just getting started. In the first place, 
what had been going on was highly classified, and this was the 
business of underwater sound and tidal heights and offshore . 
They were working all this out, and they were strictly military 

There's a story about that, too; two of my friends in 
Washington were asked to do the same thing. They were under 
strict rules or regulations not to tell anybody what they were 
doing. It turned out they were trying to work out the wave 
action and tidal action on the atolls and so forth of the 
Pacific theater of war, and finally, inevitably, these two 
people wound up in front of some higher-up at the same time. 
One of them had been assigned to do this on the basis of 
Japanese maps, and the other on the basis of British Admiralty 
maps. "Why didn't you two guys get together? You've duplicated 
this work," and so on. "We weren't allowed to speak to each 
other, sir." [laughter] 

So anyway, it was just beginning to open up, and it got 
much livelier as we went on. 

Responsibilities of Editing the Treatise on Marine Ecology 

Lage: Who was the director at Scripps at that time? 

Hedgpeth: Roger Revelle. 

Lage: How was it working with Roger Revelle? What kind of person--? 

Hedgpeth: He never asked you to do anything. The only time he asked me to 
do anything is when he wanted to get in on the treatise; he 
thought maybe with this all going on, and seeing all these-- 

Lage: He'd been on the committee, after all. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. I don't know how often he'd been to committee 

meetings. He was notorious for forgetting things. So he wanted 
to write the chapter along with the Australian fellow, named 
Rhodes Fairbridge. I don't think either of them understood what 
the other was trying to say. He was the last one to get his 
paper in, Revelle this is to be expectedhe often diddled so 
long with the budget, or ignored it, he had to carry the entire 


staff out of his own pocket for a month or so. At least one 
time, I worked on a monthly check from Roger Revelle. It was a 
no-interest loan, of course; we always paid him back, but it 
didn't endear him, I guess, to the pencil-pushers in the 
university system. 

Lage: Was this just a habit of procrastinating? 
Bedgpeth: Yes, I think so. 

Lage: Now, you were mentioning Roger Revelle writing an article with 
somebody else, and they didn't understand each other. What did 
that involve for you as editor? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I just had to ignore it, or correct their grammar when it 
got a little too fuzzy, which--. 

Lage: Did you have to make major changes in people's articles? 

Hedgpeth: Not then. I had to remove a lot from Hubert Gaspers' draft; he 
wanted a whole subchapter on the commercial fisheries of the 
Black Sea, about another 100 pages. At that time, he didn't 
know English well enough to write it, so it was in German. 

Lage: Did you have to translate it? 

Hedgpeth: No, I prevailed upon Karl Patterson Schmitt at the Field Museum, 
who had a hobby of sitting around at lunchtime translating 
German for anybody who needed it. He would read and translate 
it off, and they would have to write it down as he proceeded. 
He learned his German from his German- speaking family in 
Wisconsin, I guess. German, of course, was a regular language 
in many of the high schools in the Midwest up to 1917. So 
anyway, old Karl would rattle these off. I think it was sent in 
bits and pieces anyway. He translated, and we assembled it for 
him. Finally, I realized we couldn't have that much on 
commercial fisheries. I heard a scream of anguish from poor old 
Hubert Gaspers "Aber, Gerade keine Kiirzung, bitte!" 

Lage: You'll have to translate that one 

Hedgpeth: "But certainly no cutting, please!" [laughter] 

Lage: It's a delicate position to be in, I would think. 







Yes, yes; you had to make some decisions now and then. Well, he 
took it in good grace. When he finally saw what we had done, he 
realized it was a bit out of place. 

Now, I notice that you wrote a lot of the chapters. Had you 
intended to at the beginning? 

No, I didn't know I was going to have to do that much. I knew 
I'd have to rewrite Gordon's, because his style was a bit more 
anecdotal than we needed. Also limited; he was restricted in 
some of the things we required, partly because of limited access 
to libraries. Of course, we supplemented it also with annotated 
bibliographies, and some of these are by different people. 

How many volumes do we have here? 

Two, the living and the dead. 

So you have ecology and paleoecology. 

Yes. I've got paleoecology, but I don't have much to say in 
that one . 

Now, you say Gordon Gunter's style was anecdotal, 
usual for a scientific presentation? 

Was that 

Not all of it, a trace of it. [in drawl] We are still friends, 
though I must say, his politics is something. For a while, he 
did time as a chaplain at a Jefferson Davis post of the Sons of 
Confederate Veterans. I asked "What do you do at those 
meetings?" "Well, talk about history and the past. I did 
accomplish something at the last meeting, there was some 
complaint about having the U.S. flag in the room alongside the 
Stars and Bars. I settled the argument by saying we could leave 
the U.S. flag out in the hall during our meetings." 

We were driving along the waterfront past Jefferson Davis ' s 
mansion, Beauvoir, in Biloxi. He said, "We put one over on them 
Yankees. They don't know it, but the Confederate flagpole is 
six inches higher than the Yankee flagpole." I said, [in drawl] 
"You reckon I should take off my hat?" He said, "You're makin' 
fun of me." I said, "Well--." It cost me two bottles of 
bourbon to calm him. [laughter] 

I hope he has a good sense of humor, 
that to have the friendship. 

Yes, yes. 

It seems to me you'd need 


Lage: This must have been quite an accomplishment, when the treatise 
finally came out. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: How did the fact that you were so involved in this publication 
influence your later direction? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I learned a lot about all the worldwide situations and 

Lage: It sounds like a great way to start out a career. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Gave me a lot of lecture material. [laughter] 

Lage: And a lot of people got to know you. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

[I owe a great deal to Gordon because of our summer in the 
Sierra in 1938. He encouraged me to return to college, and 
eventually to work for the Ph.D. My thesis, in fact, is based 
on the work I did in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the job he 
got for me during the World War II years. Last December, when I 
had a speaking engagement in Tallahassee, I made a side trip to 
Ocean Springs to thank him for what he did for me. I don't know 
where I would have wound up if it hadn't been for him. It was 
probably our last meeting. --JWH, 3/2/1995] 

Lage: Do you have anything to add about Roger Revelle, or what you saw 
at Scripps while you were there? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. There were a lot of young people who were really coming 
up. Most of them have now finished their careers. For 
instance, [Henry W. ] Menard, he died of cancer a few years ago. 
Several others have fallen by the wayside. But some of these 
people are the senior ones now, and, "Who are these new 
whippersnappers taking the place over, don't even know what 
oceanography is all about?" Well, they've had several directors 
who weren't oceanographers . Nierenberg was some kind of an 
atmospheric physicist or something, and he had an ego somewhat 
larger than necessary. 

Roger was always pretty easy to get along with. They had a 
graduate student group that had no official name, really, that 
met around in people's homes, and after some experience with one 
professor who was a notorious windbag and would horn in on 
everything, the students decided that faculty members would be 


allowed only by invitation. Since I was not on the faculty, I 
was more a member than visitor. 

Well, Roger always tended to be overimpressed by slick- 
trick-talking fellows, so there was this guy, Buzzati-Traverso, 
an Italian geneticist who appeared on the scene, I believe, as a 
visiting professor at Berkeley for Curt Stern when he was on 
sabbatical. He came down to Scripps, and he gave us this song 
and dance that genetics is the only real biology because it was 
predictable. Some of the old guard around the place, like 
Martin Johnson, I don't know who else--oh yes, Denis Fox, who 
was the cause of the anti- faculty policy of the student groups 
and probably Carl Hubbs--resented Buzzati and did their best to 
"get rid of that damned Italian." 

So anyway, one night, we were going to hear Buzzati defend 
his case. Roger asked to come along, so naturally they didn't 
tell him to stay away. You may have known, Roger Revelle was 
about six-feet-six or something. (One story about him is that 
the only shoe store that could outfit him was a store in 
Washington, D.C., that specializes in supplying shoes for 
outsized blacks. He said he and some other important 
personality were the only white customers of these people.) 
Anyhow, the conversation went on this evening in the usual 
agitated way, especially with John McGowan, who is now a senior 
biologist there I guess, simply by enduring it all. He's a 
little banty Irish type, expresses himself loudly and with 
somewhat picturesque profanity at times. 

Anyway, after the evening, I was getting into my car, and 
Roger's car was parked right in front of mine. He turned back 
and looked and saw me, and he came over and said, "I'm worried 
about John McGowan. He doesn't believe in population dynamics." 
Well, in the context of that meeting, I didn't either. I said, 
"I don't either." Roger got up straight, shook his head, went 
on and got in his car and drove away. [laughs] 

In his chapter he wrote for the treatise, he was the last 
person to submit his copy. And then about two weeks after, he 
writes me a little note on that inevitable blue memo paper that 
he would like to have his manuscript back so he could rewrite 
it, and he would of course pay for all printing costs and 
everything. Of course, I was only the--I was not the head 
editor of this series. That was Agnes Creagh, who was a very 
nice gal, but she was a pretty strong-minded Irish type herself. 
See, now her name doesn't even appear in it. 

Lage: Doesn't appear. But she was editing the whole series? 


Hedgpeth: Yes, she was editor for the Geological Society of America, and 

she had the last word over style and other such things. She did 
very well. But anyway, 1 forwarded this on, in fear and 
trembling. I got this letter which in effect said, "Roger can 
go to hell. The problem is not that somebody will pay for the 
cost, but all the time that's necessary to do this all over 
again!" So I went up and laid this in front of Revelle, and he 
looked at it. He said, "Well, she's right." [laughter] 

Lage: A reasonable man. 

Hedgpeth: He may have had some run-in with her previously, I wouldn't 

Lage: He sounds like he knew it was hopeless. Was there any talk in 
those early years about expanding the campus to become a--? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. One of Roger's favorite ideas for a while was to call 
it a Technische Hochschule. 

Lage: What does that translate to? 

Hedgpeth: That would be the kind of thing like MIT or something, an 

institute. Of course, some of us wags, I don't know who did it, 
worked out an acronym for what we should consider the proper 
name for it: the Scripps Higher Institute of Technology, 

I guessed that before you even said it! 

Yes, that didn't go so well. [laughter] So anyway, it became 
university. He irritated the board of regents no end, I gather, 
by preparing stationery on his own volition and labeling it as 
University of California at La Jolla, instead of at San Diego. 
Of course, the city fathers of San Diego rose off like 
skyrockets when they saw that one. [laughter] I guess he was 
reprimanded before the board for doing that, I don't know. It 
was sort of uncalled-for, like fiddling around in the budgets. 

Lage: La Jolla is part of the city of San Diego, just for the record. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. Scripps Institution of Oceanography is still at La 

Lage: La Jolla maintains its own identity. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, it's managed to hold out for its own post office and all of 
that. Well Roger was prone to that, but he was loyal to most of 



his people. He and Carl Hubbs were on the same list for the 
National Academy--. 

Lage: To be fellows? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I don't know which one was first, but I think Roger was. 
We were walking across the lawn that day, and I said, "I'm glad 
to see you've made the academy." He said, "Well, thank you, but 
I don't know what Hubbs did to deserve this." Of course, tried 
the same line on Carl Hubbs and got about the same kind of 
retort on Roger Revelle. 

Lage: There wasn't too much love lost between them? 
Hedgpeth: No love between those two. 
Lage: I guess I don't know Carl Hubbs. 

Hedgpeth: Well, Carl Hubbs was the big I am of ichthyology, had written 
hundreds if not thousands of papers. He couldn't say anything 
without having to put an "ah" between each word, almost. Took 
him a long time. The story goes he learned a bit of what we 
call Chicano Spanish by making trips up and down from San Diego 
to Ensenada, and probably further south of that, as a matter of 
fact. Anyway, he attempted to give a lecture in Mexico City at 
the big international geological convention, in Spanish. The 
audience awarded him both ears. [laughter] I don't think Hubbs 
ever knew what that really meant. 

Lage: Well, what did it mean? 

Hedgpeth: That's when you really bungle things in the bullfight, or 
anything like that. 

Lage: What was the influence of this big red book itself on the field 
of marine biology? Did it take the field in a different 
direction or have an effect? 

Hedgpeth: Not a particularly different direction, because we already knew 
those basic directions, which are in there. The only thing is, 
I pointed out it didn't have a chapter on statistical 
procedures. I couldn't get anybody who wanted to do it at that 
time. We had a person here who was doing a lot of nonparametric 
statistics. He didn't want to be involved. But for some years, 
the treatise was one of the essential books that had to be seen 
in every library. 

The last few days of it I had to assemble the chapters and 
all that kind of routine stuff, so I had to spend about two 


weeks at Columbia University in New York, in some little 
subsidized hotel they had for visiting faculty. What we had was 
a little attic suite somewhere in one of the buildings. 1 had 
to work right under the head of Nathanial Southgate Shaler 
[founder of the Geological Society], which was bronze and looked 
pretty heavy, but it was fairly solid on its pedestal. They 
don't have very many earthquakes there, anyway. 

Association with College of the Pacific 

Hedgpeth: Our topic next time is going to be the Pacific Marine Station. 
How did you happen to move to Dillon Beach? 

Hedgpeth: Well, Hubbs made me feel he wasn't too much interested in seeing 
me stay around La Jolla. I gather Martin Johnson felt somewhat 
the same way. 

Lage: Did you get a sense of what their thinking was? 

Hedgpeth: No, not really. Rather odd, as a matter of fact. I had been 
summer teaching at Dillon Beach for several years, since 1947, 
as a matter of fact, before I got associated with Scripps, as a 
summer instructor. So they [College of Pacific] made me an 
offer. They wanted me to come up there in the laboratory full- 
time. I had some certain sentimental attraction, I guess, to 
the place, since my father's people were all Methodists. 

Lage: Was this the College of Pacific that was the overriding 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And was that a Methodist 

Hedgpeth: Yes. You had to be a Methodist to be an executive officer in 
the place. 

Lage: Did you have to be a Methodist to be a head of the laboratory? 

Hedgpeth: No, they were a bit concerned about that aspect in me when they 
saw me smoking cigars, and they didn't approve of that. But 
anyhow, we got along all right in that context. They offered me 
the job, so I went up to see Roger and told him about it. He 
said, "Well, we've arranged a budget for you." See, I wasn't on 
the main line for anything in particular; I wasn't connected 
with any department or anything. 



You weren't being paid by the departments, 
by the Office of Naval Research. 

You were being paid 




Of course, two-thirds of the staff was on outside money. That 
didn't make much difference to me. But it didn't go through a 
regular department decision or anything. So I said I hadn't 
heard anything about that. He seemed a little surprised at 
that. I don't know who was supposed to have told me, but 1 
expect it must have been Hubbs. 

Anyhow, he summoned it up and showed it to me. 1 looked at 
it, andsee, they wanted me to run an invertebrate museum and 
work on the collections. They had a guy running the fish 
collections, which was Hubbs' influence, of course. The budget 
had already been debited before I even knew about it for about 
$5,000 for office furniture and stuff. 

You mean this was all set up, but no one had told you? 

Yes, particularly Carl Hubbs. I took a look at that and I said, 
"Well, I think I'd prefer to go on and be cock of my own dung 
hill," or something like that I don't know whether I said 
exactly that. 

But you foresaw that this would be a difficult working 

Yes, it was obvious it would not be a very useful way to start 
out. 1 

So the idea of being in charge of the lab at Dillon Beach was 
something that appealed to you? 

Oh, yes. That, of course, was a little better country, too. 
San Diego is an awful, dry, desert place, and not much to do 
after you once go over the hill except look at an old ghost town 
or go out to the desert and wander around among the cactus. 

Was La Jolla a lively place intellectually at the time, or was 
it kind of a backwater? 

Oh, it was very lively intellectually, yes. 
people there coming through, going on. 

We had all kinds of 

'It is not without significance, and considerable speculation, that 
Hubbs left his files to the Scripps archives with the stipulation that they 
were to be closed for thirty years. JWH. 




We haven't talked about when you were married, 
that date on the record at this point. 

We ought to get 

Florence and I were married December 29, 1946, in Texas. [We 
have two children: Sarah Ellen (Mrs. Paul Boly), vice-principal 
of Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon, and Warren Joel, a 
practicing architect in Santa Rosa. Both are graduates of the 
University of Oregon. Sarah has two children and Warren, four. 
Since Sarah's husband is a grade school principal, both the 
children get all A's; they have no choice--JWH. ] 

Did you meet your wife in Texas? 

No, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, after some 
correspondence. Later she came down to Texas. We're both 
graduates of the same class, but you know how Berkeley is. It's 
even bigger now. 

More on Graduate Studies in Texas 

Hedgpeth: Anyhow, in Texas I was registered as a graduate student. I had 
to get out of the Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission, because 
there was a very peculiar boss who was somewhat difficult to get 
along with. Turned out later he had done time for petty 
thievery or something, but I never detected any of that aspect 
in his conduct. He was an essentially untrained person who had 
a heck of a lot of energy, really could work hard. He loved to 
drive around in the fast Texas patrol boat. It's rather 
dangerous in those shallow bays, because there was apt to be a 
log or something floating around to run into. I gave him the 
name Admiral Bilgewater behind his back, and finally it may 
have got to him, I don't know. 

So the University of Texas was building this lab at Port 
Aransas, out on the outer shore of Mustang Island, and Dr. E. J. 
Lund came around to Rockport and he said, "We have to have 
somebody there before we can open the place for any regular work 
to meet the fire insurance requirements." He was talking to me 
about Thursday or Friday, and "Would you move over there on 
Monday?" [laughter] I did. I went to Port Aransas and 
registered with the University of Texas as a full candidate for 
the doctorate. 

Lage: And you were heading up this lab at the same time? Overlooking 


Hedgpeth: Yes. I was sort of the chief biologist at that time. Gordon 

Gunter was director for a while, except he was over in Miami as 
visiting professor for a year, teaching at the time. Anyhow, 
Dr. Lund was a person who had a high capacity, being a stubborn 
Swede, for irritating people. I don't know what brought it all 
on, but he was tried before the faculty senate for refusing to 
teach a course. The course was biophysics. He was a great one 
on studying electric patterns in fir tree tips and this kind of 
stuff. He wrote a whole book about it, as a matter of fact. 

Anyhow, I was up there in Austin one day when this fight 
was in full tilt. He wasn't around. I was in his office, it 
was a warm day, a long drive from the coast up to Austin, 200 
miles. So I was reclining on the couch in his office and the 
people came in and didn't see me. They were from the botany 
department. Lund had a greenhouse there, raising a lot of 
plants. They had charts, and they said, "Now, we will turn this 
into such-and-such a room, and we will put in a partition here," 
and this kind of conversation. Of course, I knew that Lund had 
never heard about these characters, guys from the botany 
department anyway. 

As the fight went on he would come down from Austin and 
would sit there and read the testimony of his trial and complain 
flat-out, "Can't you see how wrong this is?" Well, I understood 
enough English to know he was misinterpreting some of the stuff. 

Lage: So he was at some-- 

Hedgpeth: Well, they said what he had done was --he said he couldn't find 
any physicists who wanted to take his course who knew enough 
biology, and he couldn't find enough biologists who knew enough 
physics or mathematics to take his course, so he canceled it. 
Nobody met the prerequisites. Well, this was considered a 
disingenuous way to look at it. 

Lage: Terrible lot of back-biting going on. 
Hedgpeth: Yes. It went on for years. 

Lage: Well, it brought you back to California at least. We might have 
lost you. 

Hedgpeth: Dr. Lund was a member of the American Society of Zoologists, and 
one of the things he was charged with was abusing his mailing 
privilege by sending out an eighty-page statement of his cause 
on the university mailing privilege to the entire membership of 
the American Society of Zoologists. [laughter] So I wrote back 
to the chairman of zoology at Berkeley at the time, who was 







Harold Kirby, and I said, "I have encountered some difficulties 
here, perhaps best explained if you've seen Dr. Lund's statement 
he sent to the ASZ membership." The reply from Kirby was very 
brief and to the point: "We certainly have read that statement. 
We are arranging for a fellow teaching assistantship for you for 
next term." That was that. 

So you got some sympathy there. 

Well, it was obvious there was going to be a fight. One of the 
things Lund did was go out and make a lot of money in real 
estate. His wife said, "You're supposed to be bright; you ought 
to be able to make more money than all those fool professors 
over there." 


So he invested in real estate and subdivided one of the choicest 
parts in Austin. 

Did that annoy people, or did it--? 

It annoyed his faculty colleagues. He obviously was becoming a 
millionaire. That just didn't ride well with some of these 
guys. But anyhow, the controversy was all through no fault of 
my own. I did go as far as two foreign language examinations. 
Of course, they were not allowed at Berkeley, but it didn't 

What do you mean, they weren't allowed at Berkeley? Oh, they 
didn't accept them? 

Yes, they don't accept a foreign language exam because they want 
it given by faculty members who canmost institutions are this 
way- -see whether you know enough science as well as the language 
to manage with it. 

They want their own professors to give the exam. 

Yes. I remember the one in French I took at Austin was kind of 
funny. You were allowed to bring along your own book, so I 
grabbed the first thing off the shelf, a little book on oysters, 
and oyster culture. The gal who was assigned to this language 
exam was from the French department at Austin. She asked me to 
translate this paragraph as I read it, and so I did that, and 
that was all right. Then some chum of hers came in, just from 
Paris, and these two ladies got to jabbering away in machine-gun 
French. Finally she turns around to me and says, "Can you 
explain why we don't have any good oysters in Texas?" in 


English. So I got to talking about the Texas oyster problems, 
and "Eh bien, that's beautiful." 

Lage: You explained it in French? 

Hedgpeth: No, I did not. You don't have to speak the language to pass a 
reading exam, you know. She was too interested in the latest 
notes from Paris from her friend. So finally she more or less 
pushed me out of the room, signed my card. 

The other guy in German collected dictionaries, and I said, 
"The problem I have here, sir, is that you have so darn many 
dictionaries, I got too interested in looking at the different 
definitions of some of these long words." "Mmm, yes, I suppose 
that's right," and then he signed me off. 

When I got to Berkeley I got through the exams very easily. 
The first part of the German exam was very easy; there happened 
to be a lot of pictures in the paper the professor had assigned 
me to read, and you can translate the pictures and come out 
pretty well. The second was a couple of long passages from 
Richard Goldschmidt's Physiological Genetics or something. He 
said, "The first part of your exam is pretty good, but this 
second part, I don't know." 

I said, "Dr. Stern, I have enough trouble trying to 
understand Professor Goldschmidt in English." He said, 
"Jawohl!" and signed the chit. [laughing] 

Lage: It helps to have the quick comeback, I would think. 
Hedgpeth: Yes, I guess so. So that was that. 

Then the other one was funny, that was French from 
Goldschmidt himself. I knew French a little better than German, 
but anyhow, got a long chapter on stridulating organs in 
orthoptera, which means grasshoppers and crickets. At the end 
of it, I wrote a list of names. I said, "These apparently are 
local names for various kinds of crickets." He said, "Yes, they 
are. Nobody knows things like that in another's language, you 
know." So that was that. 

Lage: That was okay? 

Hedgpeth: That was all the comment I got from him. 

Lage: At least you knew what they were. 


Hedgpeth: Yes, that's the main thing. Yes, they won't fight too much when 
you indicate that. 

Lage: Okay, well I think we should stop for today and take up next 
time with Dillon Beach, and I'd like to talk about the Bodega 
Head controversy- - 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, thatl 

Lage: --and the way you brought that to light, and some of your 
observations on the PG&E and on the fight against PG&E. 

Hedgpeth: Aha, dear me, yes. 

Lage: That should be lively, shouldn't it? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Yes, that was kind of entertaining in some ways. Did keep 
me occupied. 


[Session 5: October 15, 1992] ft 

Director of the Pacific Marine Station at Dillon Beach 
Alden Noble 

Lage: We ended last time with your story of how you happened to leave 
Scripps and come to the Pacific Marine Station. So I wanted you 
to give me an idea of what the Marine Station was like, and 
something about its background, and then we'll go from there. 

Hedgpeth: It goes back, in part, to the influence of Drs. Light, Kofoid, 
and those people in the grand old days. Alden Noble was a 
student there in the 1920s. 

Lage: What was that name? 

Hedgpeth: Alden, direct descendant of John Alden. At any rate, he got a 
degree in working in parasitology primarily. Both he and his 
two twin brothers did. As far as I know, the twins are still 
living. One is Glenn, who was the professorGlenn was at Cal 
Poly, and Elmer was at UC Santa Barbara. Elmer rose to the 
position of assistant or maybe chancellor for a few years. He 
was a fairly well known administrator. But they were born in 
Korea, and all of them spoke Korean, I think. Their parents 
were Methodist missionaries. 

When they came over here, the Korean accent sounds very 
much like a British accent. Alden was, I think, the oldest 
member of the family, in his generation, anyway. He started 
leading field trips in zoology out to the nearest beach. He was 
at the College of the Pacific then. 





He was a marine biologist? 

Yes. Well, he was by more or less general background. So he 
liked to run summer sessions, and for a while, they used to rent 
the old dance hall at Dillon Beach. The University of 
California was interested in getting a marine lab somewhere near 
Berkeley. For years, they went down to Moss Beach. 

But anyhow, both universities were trying to get out to the 
seashore, and at Berkeley, they used to give Easter courses, a 
week course, and that was held at Moss Beach. The only building 
big enough was the local beer hall, and Dr. Light used to have 
to lecture at the bar, standing over the bar. 

[laughs] From his pictures, it would seem that would be very 
incongruous . 

Well, he managed to get along with these minor indignities, you 
know. Took that in his stride, though I'm not sure he hasn't 
made jokes about it. 

So both Berkeley and Pacific were interested, and there was 
some talk for a while that they might join forces and have a 
cooperative lab at Dillon Beach. I first saw the beach in 1941, 
and that was in the spring or early summer, when the tides are 
very low. Light was running that course at the time, and I 
think Ed Ricketts stopped by to give a lecture also. 

You were a student? 

I wasn't a student there 
Light's, and had been on 
two or three times. One 
people to see as much of 
picked this seashore for 
along pretty well, but I 

at all; I had been a student of 
the regular field trips to Moss Beach 
of his characteristics was to get 
animals in nature as possible, and he 
that purpose. So Light and Noble got 
think there was always the basic worry 

that big brother would be a bit overwhelming. 

So then the war intervened see, the summer of "41 was the 
last session of anything for several years around that part of 
the coast. Soon after December 7, the army moved in and 
fortified Tomales Point. I don't know if they had there more 
than 50-caliber machine guns or something. I just learned the 
other day a funny thing I didn't know about, that a Japanese 
submarine stopped two or three times at Port Orford, Oregon, and 
they submerged and rested on the bottom near Battle Rock. My 
great-grandfather founded that town. 


And they knew they tracked them at the time? 


Hedgpeth: They didn't know about that. They didn't know it until after 

the commander of the submarine let it all out years later. See, 
they had dropped some of thesethrown a few shells over, and 
set loose some balloons, fire balloons. Fortunately, they 
didn't start anything. You have to have the right climate and 
wind conditions to really do damage with those things. 

Anyhow, Dillon Beach was closed, pretty much off limits 
except for people who owned cottages there and came out for a 
couple of weeks or two. But they couldn't have classes there or 
any of that kind of activity. 

Charles Berolzheimer ' s Contribution 

Hedgpeth: So as soon as the war ended, about '45, '46, the interest 

renewed. Noble had given a course of field trips at one time or 
another which Charles Berolzheimer attended. He was a member of 
a very wealthy family, the owners of Little Saint Simon Island 
in Georgia, and the Great Simon Island used to be owned by the 
Baruchs, I think. As far as I know, Charles and the family 
still own Little Saint Simon's, and they welcome people to come 
there and look at the birds, Audubon types and so on, so forth. 
He said any time I get anywhere near reasonable distance of the 
islands, say like Atlanta, I was to phone the number and they'd 
send a plane to take me out there. Well, I have never been near 
there since. I'd like to see their island, but I don't know 
whether I ever will. 

He was very curious and a person interested in all sorts of 
things. So the family gave him one of their businesses, one of 
these kind of things they didn't realize they had or anything, 
namely a mill or a plant in Stockton for sawing up pencil slats. 
It also included a lot of forest land. Now, the best tree for 
this is the incense cedar. The place is called California Cedar 
Products. You have to understand the significance of this in 
another way, namely that most of the lead pencils we have, the 
leads are made in Europe, Czechoslovakia in particular. 

Lage: This was even back in the forties? 

Hedgpeth: Well, of course, now, lead pencils are an endangered species, 
but Berolzheimer hopes not, obviously . So to make the wood 
casings--a lot of those pencils are cased in this country they 
have to cut them in blocks about six by three inches, and I 
don't know how long- -and then they have a gang saw which saws it 
up and it splits up into slats. Then they work them in other 


processes into those little halves that they encase the pencil 
in. So who controls the cedar controls a lot of the wood pencil 
market in the country. I called him the pencil baron now and 
then, [laughs] 

Lage: And he controlled the cedar, is that what we're--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He donated the cedar for the buildings, they were made of 
incense cedar. 

Lage: The buildings at Dillon Beach? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. The framework of the buildings, two big buildings, were 

government warehouse steel framework, and these planks are three 
inches thick, because they had the dry rot in them. Most of the 
cedar when it gets older, apparently, very commonly, has dry 
rot, and when you get a three-inch plank, there's seldom a place 
where the thickness is less than an inch. So these are heavy, 
stout things, and they simply bolted those things to the steel 


Now, a story about that, of course, goes all the way down 
to the end of time. County regulations say that studding must 
be used so many inches apart, fourteen inches, and all of this 
kind of stuff. They came out and looked and saw this was 
impossible. Of course, they demanded all electrical connections 
be in conduits. It cost much more to do that than string them 
up if anything. We had our problems with the Marin County 
Building Department, or whatever it was. 

I remember once when we were changing some wiring, I phoned 
down and said, "I think the electric wiring is now ready for 
inspection." The little girl said, "Well, Mr. Faraday will be 
right out." I said, "Mr. who?" She didn't think that was odd 
at all. [laughter] 

So when the Marine Station was abandoned, Pacific found 
itself in a real hole. You've got a building that's not to 
standard specifications, which was more or less conceded to the 
university for this particular function. When one guy on the 
county board expressed fear that that dry rot would infect the 
buildings nearby, Berolzheimer hired several wood specialists to 
point out this stuff is not transferrable from one piece of 
lumber to another. He hired a whole committee, I guess. 

Was this when the station was closed in the seventies? 

No, it was when it was being built. And he was donating all 
that lumber for it; it came from him. For years, he subvented 


the lab by about $5,000 a year. I never knew about it, I was 
never told. 

Lage: Did he come around? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he often came around. He was a great one for picking up 
interesting characters. I think they picked him up, to some 
extent, minor French nobility and heavens knows what. Of 
course, he paid all their expenses, so he'd always be bringing 
in these interesting and sometimes strange people. 

Lage: But you didn't know that he was donating on an ongoing basis? 

Hedgpeth: I was not told by the business office. 

Lage: Isn't that interesting? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And I've never told Charles that either. 

Lage: What made him become interested in the lab? 

Hedgpeth: He was interested in Alden Noble, because he had taken the 

course in marine life. He had a very lively interest in that 
kind of thing. So this was primarily based on the fact that 
Alden Noble was being helped out. 

Lage: Now, Alden Noble was still around when you went--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Actually, I started going to Dillon Beach about 1946 or 

'47. I was down in Texas at the time, and wrote a letter saying 
I was interested- 
Mrs. H.: It was the summer of '48, Joel. 

Hedgpeth: Well, you think that was it? Seems to me I was there one time 

before. But anyhow, yes, they dedicated it in '48. I know they 
had a session in '47. So I became a member of the summer 
faculty, came there for several years. 

Classes and Oceanographic Studies at the Station 

Lage: Would you be teaching to the college students, or the broader 

Hedgpeth: No, what we did for the community is hold these public lectures. 
That was my idea. I was surprised at the number of people who 


showed up. Of course, Dillon Beach is not exactly on the main 
line, you know. A lot of these people came from San Francisco 
or Oakland. Of course, what they did was --we'd usually give it 
on Fridays or sometimes Saturdaysthey'd go and load up in the 
Italian restaurants in Occidental and then come back in a mildly 
torpid state to listen to lectures. That was all right by us, 
but anyhow, that was the routine, you see, coming up that way. 
I don't know whether the restaurants are as good as they used to 
be or not. Some of them used to be very fine. 

So we arranged series on every conceivable subject related 
to the ocean or the locality. Most of the lecturers were my 
friends from UC Berkeley. 

Lage: Was this during those summers, or was this after you became 

Hedgpeth: It was after I became director. Put in a little budget for 

that, not very much. [We paid the speakers fifty dollars, and 
some of them spent overnight in the dorms. Some who brought 
their wives spent the night at our homes. Our most popular 
event was the seaweed excursion, led by Professor [George] 
Papenfuss. He arrived early in the morning for the low tide and 
stayed with people well into the afternon, helping out with 
identification of the specimens. He loved it. --JWH] 

Lage: Was it a project that broke even, or did it have to be 

Hedgpeth: Well, they were free. 

Lage: Oh, all the better. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, we didn't expect to make any money out of that. 

Lage: Times have changed. 

Hedgpeth: I know. Yes, things ain't what they used to be. 

Especially toward the end, we were operating primarily as a 
graduate department of Pacific. We granted the master's degree, 
and Pacific really didn't have the faculty for a good doctoral 
program, though they changed their name to University of the 
Pacific, gave honorary degrees, doctor of this or that. I 
remember them giving my distant cousin Herschel H. an honorary 
D.D., and as I passed by the academic line-up in the hallway, 
waiting for the procession, I heard Herschel say, "Where's my 
renegade cousin?" They looked over at me, "Oh, there you are." 
I said, "Well, I congratulate you, sir." Well, the president 






and the vice president were standing around beaming. Herschel 
said, "Well, you know, D.D. either stands for deserved dignity 
or donated dignity." [laughter] 

Sounds like something of a renegade himself. 

They were usually given to help the person, or he'd just been 
named district superintendent and it was always felt the 
district superintendent, you know, sort of like a monsignor in 
the Catholic hierarchy, ought to have some title that might 
enable him to get a little more money out of the congregation. 
Methodists work that way. But I must say, it was highly 
amusing. Made up for the fact that we all had been ordered to 
buy academic regalia, and we were always seated in the rooting 
section of the stadium without any protection from the 
splinters. It was where the students sat, they'd had heavy 
paper put on the seats so they wouldn't harm the robes, because 
they all had rented robes. I always thought that was not very 

And you sat in your own robes--? 

Yes, in the splintered seats. Discrimination in sort of 

So your program was an academic program as well as a public 

Primarily academic. The public thing was only in the summer 

Was that part of your responsibility too, the teaching of these 
students, or were you more running the lab? 

We were funded enough to bring in visiting instructors, too, so 
they could offer courses like oceanography and ichthyology. 
That was one of the years of white shark occurrences, and 
everybody was chasing white sharks around. Our ichthyology prof 
was the only one who didn't catch a white shark, poor fellow. 
He's retired out inthat horribly expensive region over there, 
what the heck is that thing called, right below the Gualala 
River in northern Sonoma County? 

Sea Ranch? 

Yes, he lives in Sea Ranch. His father-in-law was a very 
successful engineer. He helped design our seawater system, 
had a seawater system, couldn't figure out why we weren't 
pulling much water in. See, we had to get out to the sandy 



beach and use a filter out there. One of the disadvantages of 
Dillon Beach is that the exact locality is inside a sandy beach, 
so we had to filter water through the sand and pump it up about 
a quarter-mile. That was the difference between about a half- 
inch pipe and three-quarter-inch pipe. Mr. Mercer, or whatever 
his name, sat down there with his pencil and said, "Well, to 
begin with, you need a slightly larger pipe," in working on the 
five-fourths or something like that ratio, circumference and 
volume and so on. Well, it was an arcane world to me. 

But what he did for us, I suppose it would cost us several 

thousand bucks with anybody else, he did it all just for fun. 

He was designing pumping systems for Arabia and that kind of 
stuff, so I 

Lage: So he was a good resource. 

Hedgpeth: I think he was a good resource for Fred Tarp to settle down in 
Sea Ranch. We bump into him once in a while in the store in 
town, and that's about it. 

Lage: Why were you pumping the seawater in? Did you have tanks? 

Hedgpeth: We had aquariums. We wanted to work with living materials. So 
we had water tables, and an aquarium. Th& idea is, you bring 
your animals in as alive as possible and watch them for a day or 
two. A lot of students got interested in things that way, and 
kept up with it. One of our prizes was--of course, she didn't 
seem like that at the time. She was pretty much a kid then, I 
think barely out of high school. Something seems to infest 
young ladies with the idea that nudibranch are such beautiful 
animals, we ought to be able to preserve them in full color. 
Well, this is biochemically impossible. There's no known way to 
do this. Try to tell them that, and they still want to fiddle 
around with that. 

Anyway, this gal was pretty bright, but the course she was 
taking was a bit over her head. Lo and behold, about three 
years ago, she gets a $25,000 prize for junior high school 
teaching. I had lost track of her. 

Lage: Do you remember her name? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, Joan Steinberg. And so I phoned her up to congratulate 
her, and she said the best course she ever had was the one we 
had out at Dillon Beach. That was a wild one, because that was 
the year of '51 when we had a lot of very advanced doctoral 
candidates from Berkeley. They didn't want to take the course 
from Ralph Smith and Cadet Hand. 


Lage: Why is that? 

Hedgpeth: I think it in part was the ancient dichotomy that existed 

between paleontology and the vertebrate museum. The museum was 
Dr. [Joseph] Grinnell's bailiwick. 

Lage: The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And these people thought and lived rather differently than 
the people up on the fourth floor. Field work was emphasized 
under Grinnell. Bird watching was his forte. 

Lage: What were the differences? 

Hedgpeth: First place, their leading professors loathed each other. 

Lage: Personally? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and they wrote rather stiff little memos on 

interdepartmental or intradepartmental blue stationery. They 
refused to speak at times, apparently. 

Lage: This was paleontology and the museum? 

Hedgpeth: Paleontology and the museum, they got along all right. But the 
invertebrate or general zoology folk up on the fourth floor were 
the hitch, and they were the ones that ran the course. 1 

Lage: And that was Cadet Hand and--? 

Hedgpeth: Ralph Smith. Well, Ralph was an interesting character. Sir 

Maurice Yonge, a visiting professor from England, said once he 
was spending all his time trying to live up to the expectations 
of that austere New England intelligence, referring to Ralph 
Smith. I think I used that when I was asked to roast him at his 
retirement party. I did tell some of the stories about him. 
There was one about the hotshot solid A student who, when he got 
a B in the course that Smith gave he gave a course that started 
on Friday afternoon and lasted until Monday morning, because it 
was a course in physiology and he asked you to do experiments, 
some of them requiring twenty-four hours or that kind of stuff-- 
this guy got a B in the course so he went around to see Ralph. 
He said, "What's the matter? What did I do to deserve a B?" 

'Since that time old L.S.B. [Life Sciences Building] has been 
completely rebuilt inside, with entrances placed in the middlea whole new 
world, and everybody reorganized and most of them in "Integrated Biology." 








Ralph said, "Well, you know, I didn't see you around on 
Sundays. I didn't think you were interested in the course." 

There was another one played on him at a Christmas party 
skit by a fellow who's now up in Oregon, Frank Gwilliam. Ralph 
had this habit of tucking his necktie in his shirt all the time, 
so at his roast we all arrived with our neckties tucked in the 

So anyway, the story is that Professor Bligh was out on a 
field trip with his class. The teaching assistant runs up and 
says, "Professor Bligh, the waves have just carried away two of 
our students. What are we going to do?" He said, "Send out the 
reinforcements." [laughter] These were the kind of stories 
that generated about him. 

The Paleo Department asked me if I would serve for the 
living invertebrates on their prelims, and I said, "Well, I know 
what's going on, and I'm not out to drum up trade, but I would 
prefer to examine students who had taken a summer course so I'd 
know something about them." So that year the course was packed 
with invertebrate characters and paleontologists, and poor 
little Miss Steinberg was sort of lost in it all, but she did 
pretty well. I gave her a B. 

So they were there because you were going to appear on their 
doctoral panels? 

Yes. Oh, I had great fun with that. 

How did the conflict between these two departments come into 
play here? 

I don't know if it was so much of a conflict . 
Did you get in the middle of it? 

No, I took a seminar in paleo from Wyatt Durham; I don't know 
how I got mixed up in it. But of course, paleo was clear up in 
the Hearst Mining Building with geology, and geographically it 
was far away from LSB and even from the library. 

That ' s an odd placement for it . 

Yes. Well, they had their own library up there. But they sort 
of lived in their own world. That's one of the reasons the 
Treatise on Marine Ecology was made at all, was to try to bring 


a living life to the people who were interested in animals that 
were very dead. Things have changed in that a bit, I think. 

Lage: In what respect? 

Hedgpeth: Well, they're more enlightened. Actually, you see, Dillon Beach 
plugged along as a sort of an insular little place, not too well 
known, until Ralph Gordon Johnson appeared on the scene. 

Lage: When was that, and who was that? 

Hedgpeth: Actually, I have an obit here on him that I keep [by Thomas J. 
Schopf , from Paleobiology, Vol. 2, No. A, Fall 1976, pp. 399- 
391]. Ralph died in 1976 at forty-nine. 

National Science Foundation Program for Teachers 

Lage: When did Ralph Johnson come to Dillon Beach? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, around 1957, just when I got up there as full-time director. 
Pacific wanted me to come up there; at least Noble did. So I 
remember there was this summer group, a field trip group, coming 
out there, and the high school instructor got to talking to me 
and he said-- 


Hedgpeth: --"You know, we've been asked to bring these field trips out to 
the coast. But we have no background for this. We don't know 
anything about all of this." 

Lage: And this was an instructor from College of Pacific? 

Hedgpeth: No, this was a high school teacher of biology. So that gave me 
an idea, and at that time the National Science Foundation was 
sending out a circular about its research participation program 
for high school- junior college teachers. So I sent in a 
proposal, got accepted, and it must have been right after Ralph 
had arrived. He came out from the University of Chicago, 
according to a letter he wrote here. He was trying to study the 
recent environment to get clues for the past. One of the 
reasons for doing this at Tomales Bay is that at Millerton 
Point--! don't know how well you know the geography around 
there, right opposite Inverness 

Lage: Millerton Point, it's called? 






Yes. There's a fossil deposit of Pleistocene age or late late 
Pleistocene, early Recent, or whatever, some of the same 
species, but there are others in there that indicated that the 
water was warmer then. He was comparing that to the present 
living associations. Then for years, he worked in a critical 
study of the reality of communities and this sort of thing. 
It's not very well quoted in most of the literature at the 
present date. I think it was published mostly in 
paleontological journals, but it's actually for present times as 
well. So he worked on that for several years. 

Was he centered at the Dillon Beach Station? 

Well, he came to Dillon Beach, and then I said I would recruit a 
team for him. He said, "Really?" Very skeptical about it at 
first, it turned out to work well, and they really enjoyed the 

One of them became the 

This was the high school teachers? 

Yes. And junior college teachers, 
president of Skyline College. 

That must have been exciting for them, to be a part of a 
research program. 

Yes. Another was David Mertes, who's now chancellor of the 
entire junior college system in the state. He was responsible 
for my getting a secondary teacher's credential, though I have 
never had a course in education. But just after I retired, I 
came down here looking for something to do, to get back in line. 
I talked to Mertes; he was at that time president of San Mateo 
College. So we cooked up an evening lecture series about San 
Francisco Bay that included a field trip that started with buses 
from Coyote Point at San Mateo and went over to the Coyote Hills 
on the other side of the bay where they have that big Indian 
midden and museum. 

Then we went on up to Stockton and took a boat down through 
the delta, with Karl Rortum telling us whatever old hulk in the 
mud along the way was once some great ship- -he knew the names of 
all of them, and that sort of stuff and down the bay to Coyote 
Point. We had a lot of fun with that. But anyhow, in order to 
give credit, I had to have a credential. I didn't have a 
credential. Dave said, "Well, you can apply for a temporary 
credential," so I did that. Cost fifteen bucks. I got a snippy 
letter saying, "We note you have had no courses in education, 
and you have no courses in the subjects you are teaching. 
Therefore, we don't think you're entitled to a credential." 


So I said, "Dave, you know, I'm thinking of writing a 
letter to these characters pointing out if they're going to talk 
like that, they ought to revoke the credentials for any student 
who's claimed credit for taking my courses." He said, "Oh, 
don't do that, I'll do something." The next thing I get is 
they hadn't returned my fifteen bucks, either- -a full-time, 
lifetime credential. I've never invoked it; I ought to frame 

Lage: I think you should! [laughter] 

Hedgpeth: Harder to get than some of the other things I've gotten. 

[However, I was elected a foreign member of the Linnean 
Society of London a couple of years later, framed their handsome 
certificate of membership and hung it on the wall. I get 
announcements of all sorts of meetings I cannot attend. --JWH] 

Anyway, Ralph Johnson came in the program, and he really 
took over. This was carried on in addition to the regular 

This was a separate program of teaching how research is done. 

Yes. We got funded for that pretty well. We got enough for 
Ralph to come out in the simmers and all that sort of thing. 

Was he still based in Chicago? 

Yes. So this was a University of Chicago connection, and some 
of our students went back there. I think that the most 
interesting one that appeared was somehow, Ralph had been asked 
by this boy's parents whether he would help them out. Well, 
they were Polish anthropologists andmost Poles seem to be 
anthropologists- - 

Lage: [laughs] I hadn't heard that before. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And Steve had been in one of these high-pressure special 

science high schools in New York City. When he came out, he was 
a pretty good boy. He eventually got his Ph.D. at Chicago. 
He's now living in Petaluma, doing part-time teaching for San 
Francisco State. They have for some reason, been required by 
politics or something, to have a course in oceanography. He'd 
been giving it at Tiburon for some time, and now it's also 
taught on the main campus. Some students can't afford to drive 
out to Tiburon and back. Ghastly place to get in and out of, 
you know, way out the end of the peninsula, at that old navy net 
depot. It had a terrific dock, and great, big wartime storage- 




building-type structures where the staff rattled around like a 
few dried peas. 

But anyhow, so he was one of Chicago's prizes. But there 
were several people working through Ralph in pretty high places 
now. Ralph had quite a collection of students at one time or 
another, and then he got liver cancer and that took him down in 
about two months. He was succeeded by Tom Schopf. 

Lage: Now Schopf is ? 

Hedgpeth: Dead, too. I think the stress of trying to keep up with his 
brothers did him in. 

Lage: He's the one who wrote this obituary and-- 

Hedgpeth: He died. Yes, he died on a field trip in Port Aransas, Texas. 

Lage: Did he have any connection with Dillon Beach? 

Hedgpeth: Not really, but he was chairman succeeding Ralph. 

Lage: Chairman of the department in Chicago? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, the Department of Geophysical Sciences, an unlikely 

sounding category that included people actively involved in 
"neo-ecology," and included paleontologists, geophysicists, and 
other such people. 

Other Studies and Researchers in Tomales Bay 

Lage: What else was there about the physical setting at Dillon Beach 
that pertained to the Marine Station? You mentioned the fossil 
bed and 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, there was Tomales Bay, and we had a small boat and 
we could go out- -kind of small, about a thirty- seven- foot boat, 
surplus in fact, they even wanted to give us a submarine over 
at Mare Island when we went over there to see if they had a 
better boat. Of course, we were an educational institution, and 
right after the war, they were going to give you everything. 
But the controlling depth in and out of Tomales Bay is nine 
feet. Just what we could do with a submarine in there; if we 
ever got it in, we'd never get it out again. [laughter] 


That might have been fun, though, for some other exploration. 









Yes. But even floating above water, a submarine takes more than 
nine feet. 

Was a lot of your work done in Tomales Bay? 

Tes. Done over on the other side of Tomales Bay, in the sea 
side, still inland. White Gulch is a little cove which is a 
very fine place for field studies. Of course, the process of 
field studies has changed through time. These communities are 
mostly scattered around mud flats and sand flats. 

Any other visiting professors we should talk about? 
cossack Victor Loosanoff a visiting professor? 

Was this 

Cossack and adjunct professorwell, a research worker who came 
toward the end of the life of the station. 

Did he come after your time there? 

I knew him personally; toward the end of his career he worked at 
the Tiburon laboratory. But, he was at Dillon Beach most of the 
time when I was in Oregon. He was working on oysters, and he 
needed the seawater. The water in northern San Francisco Bay 
gets too fresh at times for oysters, or did then, I don't know 
what it is now. But in winter, of course, there's sometimes a 
pretty good run near the surface. Anyway, he was conducting 
experiments in oyster culture. He worked out a system of 
culturing the organisms that oysters eat. For a long time, this 
was not known, just what how to feed them. So what you did was 
mostly put them around in bays where you thought they'd do well 
after you hatched them out. The system now used in most 
shellfish laboratories was worked out by Loosanoff. 

What did your own research focus on during this time? 

I was working on my own little animals, the pycnogonids, writing 
papers every once in a while. And some of the community work 
rubbed off on me; I did some of that. That was great fun; it 
was a nice little place to work with. 

Where did you live during that period? 

First fraction of the year, we lived on the beach itself. Then 
we moved in to Sebastopol, lived there about seven years, I 

How did the relationship with the College of Pacific work out? 
Did they hang over your shoulder a lot, or were you pretty much 
left on your own? 


Hedgpeth: I worked directly through the vice president or whatever he's 
called now. 

Lage: What was his name? 

Hedgpeth: His name is Samuel Meyers, Sam Meyers. He was a marine 

biologist, but he always wanted to be president of a college and 
finally he was offered the presidency at Alma College somewhere 
in Michigan. And whether he's still there or still living, I 
haven't heard from him for years. But he was all right, he was 
pretty good to get along with. I worked directly through him on 
course requirements or anything else. 

Lage: Did the courses you offered have to go through approval 
processes and all of that? 

Hedgpeth: Not really. Come to think of it, we just set them up in the 
summer catalogue and sent it over to be printed. I think we 
were more or less trusted to offer pretty standard stuff. 

Lage: What about Alden Noble? Did he continue to be involved? 

Hedgpeth: Not much. He was pulling out after a couple of years. I think 
he was getting pretty tired, and all of a sudden he just had a 
bad heart attack and died. 

Lage: Anything else that we should get a handle on about Dillon Beach 
before we go on to talk about the proposed nuclear power plant 
at Bodega Bay? 

Hedgpeth: They're kind of mixed up. 
Lage: Did they get mixed up? 

Hedgpeth: Well, no. You see, part of the reason for opposing the power 

plant was that we were conducting long-term studies on the tide 
flats for many years, and their possible changes in the 
environment, and if you produce perturbation like that in the 
system, well, it's apt to produce results that you can't 
evaluate properly. 

Lage: Were you researching up in the Bodega Bay area, or did--? 

Hedgpeth: No, but we were 

Lage: You just knew it would affect it. 

Hedgpeth: We were right downstream, we knew it would affect us. One of 
our people, as a matter of fact, when the quarrel really got 


going, got his masters working up drift-bottle results and 
things . 

Lage: To see how the tides and whatnot would--? 

Hedgpeth: Actually, he released batches of bottles right at the proposed 
power plant site, and threw them out in the ocean. Of course, 
some of them came right back and smashed against the rocks. But 
others went on their way. Some of them went all the way down to 
Inverness and all, right past the middle of Tomales Bay. Once 
they got caught in an incoming tide, they got pushed right down. 
Then there were some that disappeared. See, we had these orange 
tags you put in a small half -bottle size, and ballasted them 
with sand, so that just the top came above the water. The idea 
was that you couldn't put them down too far, because then you 
would have something you don't know about, but enough so that 
the main surface currents were catching them, and there isn't 
enough up above water to take the wind. All this has been gone 
through for years with drift bottles. 

There is a positive means to figure out from A to B, but 
not where they went in between. They might have wandered 

Lage: You know where they ended, but not the course. 

Hedgpeth: That's right. And not the exact speed it took them. Of course, 
sometimes people pick them up a year or two later on the beach. 
A lot of them get out a little too far, and they just go west. 
The bottles were given to us by a winery, a whole carload of 
them. Cute little bottles. We thought of putting a note in 
them in Russian to the commander of Soviet submarines, "Please 
return this card via diplomatic mail, we'd like to know your 
position." [laughter] 

Lage: Did you ever get any from distant lands? 

Hedgpeth: No, we never did that, we just thought it would be a nice idea, 
[laughs] Start a little fuss and feathers. 

Well, Scripps had been through the silly business of 
classifying the ocean, and Revelle considered this nonsense. Of 
course, the cream of the jest was when the Nautilus made its 
first voyage into the North Pole. They had a lot of sounding 
gear on that thing. They detected something nobody had known 
about before, namely that in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, 
starting from Greenland over to Siberia, I think, on a somewhat 
westerly route, there was a ridge, a rise in the bottom of the 
sea. This effectively divides the Arctic Ocean into two basins. 


There were rumors that this had been discovered and it was going 
to be named the Peary Ridge, but they didn't think they ought to 
tell anybody, so it was classified. Of course, at Scripps, 
hardly anything stays classified; you know what's going on 
pretty well. 

So lo and behold, the Russians start poking around in their 
subs, and they named it the Lomonosov Ridge, which I think is 
perhaps more suitable, because Lomonosov more or less organized 
and sponsored the Bering expeditions in the 1740s. So anyway, 
they published a paper with the name in the Canadian Arctic 
Journal with a map and everything, calling it the Lomonosov 
Ridge, so we were scooped. 

Lage: [laughs] We considered it classified, and they published it? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. When I was working at Scripps, we had to pass some kind of 
routine classification just for being there, and if we were 
doing really critical work, we had to really--of course, I 
wasn't considered a critical worker. But anyhow, part of my CV 
is based on the stuff I was required to state, like every place 
I'd lived in for a period of more than six months all my life. 
I said, "Well, one time I lived in the old fish hatchery on the 
McCloud River, now under 300 feet of water." They went around 
and interviewed neighbors about things they'd picked up on these 
things . 

Lage: So the atmosphere at Scripps was heavily in that direction, 
classified work? 

Hedgpeth: Well, there were things we were not supposed to talk about, like 
atomic tests and that kind of stuff, but other than that, and 
the tedium of having to fill out all this paperwork- -that's 
about all it affected me. 

Proposed Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) Nuclear Power 
Plant at Bodega Bay. 1957-1964 

Lage: Let's get into the controversy over the proposed nuclear power 
plant at Bodega Bay. When did you first hear of it? The story 
I get is that you had your ear to the ground and heard of it 
before others? 


Hedgpeth: In a way, yes. My secretary at the time, Josephine Alexander, 
was a stringer for the Santa Rosa papers. 1 She had picked up 
some of the rumbles around the waterfront that something was 
going on. She got some kind of a note or remark stuck in the 
paper with advice from Don 

Lage: The editor there? 

Hedgpeth: No, he was a staff writer, I think, at the time. Engdahl. He's 
somewhat of an engineer himself. So he suggested how she might 
publish a note that would really stir them out. Well, it did. 
They said they were interested in securing Bodega Head for-- 

Lage: You mean you got PG&E to declare themselves? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Of course, they said they hadn't made up their mind 
whether it was going to be nuclear or conventional. 

Lage: Did that concern you early on? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. About that time, 1957, there appeared this little article 
in Science about Windscale. Now, one of the things I'm sure is 
in the Bodega file [in the Bancroft Library] is my amicus curiae 
statement. I submitted a statement pointing out that recent 
episode in England as recounted in Science magazine had spread 
radioactive iodine to the extent that milk had to be condemned 
over a fairly large territory, and in Science there had been a 
little map of this. Well, I took this little map and placed it 
on Sonoma County and Bodega Head, and it went clear over into 

Lage: The great milk all the dairy ranches throughout there. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, of course. So I said, "This is the sort of thing we ought 
to think about." 

Lage: So a lot of people initially weren't worried about the nuclear 

Hedgpeth: I wasn't really worried about it; I said, "I just like to think 
of roadblocks." Sometimes, I think it all began when my mother 

'In 1992 Jo developed macular degeneration, and in her increasing 
blindness set fire to her robe while heating coffee over an open gas burner 
and suffered third-degree burns over her entire body. She survived about a 
week and gave up when she learned she would require intensive care for a 
year at a cost beyond her means. She asked that her friends gather for a 
picnic in Golden Gate Park in her remembrance. We did and it went very 
well. --JWH. 


discovered that PG&E had sent out a dummy buyer to buy the plot 
next door to her and put in a substation, meaning a whole 
battery of transformers and wires and a link fence around it, 
destroyed her view of Mount Diablo from her window. She 
complained bitterly about that. 

Lage: So you weren't happy about PG&E. 
Hedgpeth: No, I didn't like their tactics. 
Lage: What did you observe with their tactics there in the Bodega? 

Hedgpeth: Well, the first thing they did was ask me to come down and talk 
to them, so I did. 

Lage: Was this after you had published some 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I had published this amicus curiae, I think it cost me 
three dollars to file it. Only I didn't call it that. It's 
interesting to note that I was never asked to mention that 
afterwards, though I was a witness for Rose Gaffney on the 
condemnation suit. 

Lage: Did you file this with the PUC, the amicus curiae, or was-- 

Hedgpeth: With the superior court, whatever had charge of this in Sonoma 
County. Not the PUC. 


Hedgpeth: They must have sent a memo out to their entire staff, "Do you 
know this person or anything about him?" 

Lage: About you? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Because the next thing that happened to me was, they sent 
Donald Cone to talk to me. Mr. Cone is an engineer who designed 
high-tension towers and things like that. His wife was an old 
missionary friend of my mother's. 

Lage: Oh, my goodness. So they found someone with a connection? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So they sent him out to cope with me. I just said that I 
just didn't like the idea of putting that thing in there where 
it would be nearest our research field, six miles away, upwind 
at that. He went away shaking his head. But then they 
approached Robert Burns, who was president of Pacific at the 
time. They said that I was quite possibly a rather ignorant 




fellow who didn't know what he was talking about, which was 
quite true. [laughter] But I'll tell you why in a minute. 

And so it might embarrass the college if President Burns 
didn't reprimand me and encourage me not to say the things I was 
saying. Burns told me this. 

Burns told you what they had said to him? 

Yes. He was a little annoyed by it himself. Which was very 
surprising, because we always figured Burns was not much but a 
Rotary type. Of course, later we really had McCaffrey who was a 
real Rotarian. 

Lage: Stan McCaffrey? 
Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. 

Potential Hazards of a Nuclear Plant 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, Burns was a very enlightened character, and he said, "I 
told them, "I can't do anything to change his mind.'" But you 
see, what we did not know in 1957 was that that affair at 
Windscale had been very bad, and had almost taken off like 
Chernobyl did, and they caught it just at the last minute. The 
engineers involved, the scientists, wrote a white paper. They 
asked to have it distributed in the United States. The prime 
minister of England said no, that would make them worry too 
much. That just came out in the last few months, you know. 

Lage: No, I didn't know that. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: So it was much worse than you had suspected at the time. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, than we ever knew about. See, the thirty years are up, 
so the Freedom of Information Act of Britain took effect. It 
all came out. There were several long articles in the New 
Scientist, and there was an article in Science. It has been 
replaced by Sellafield. 

[tape interruption] 

Lage: We were talking about how the truth came out about Windscale 
just recently. 


Hedgpeth: Yes. For some reason, I can't find those articles. I don't 
know where I put them. But you can certainly look up in the 
index within the last year, I think, for Science. Though for a 
while Science did not index its news items. Strangely stupid. 

Lage: And this was a news item? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And New Scientist, I don't know, I think they do, I'm not 
sure. But they had much more detail than Science had. 

Lage: So when you say you were ignorant about it, this is what you 
were referring to. 

Hedgpeth: That's what I meant, I didn't know how bad it really was. Well, 
I didn't have any idea. Neither did the PG&E. See, what I'd 
also brought up was the San Andreas Fault, and they made 
comments saying, "Well, we are looking into this matter." When 
they got me down to San Francisco to talk to me, they said, 
"We've just hired a geologist to look into the fault situation." 
Meaning they hadn't done anything about it before then. 

Lage: Was this still as early as '57? 

Hedgpeth: It ran on into '58. 

Lage: So they had you come down to headquarters and--? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. See, they had read that amicus curiae brief; it's an 
open document, especially to attorneys. 

Lage: Was it hard to stand up to that kind of pressure? 

Hedgpeth: It didn't seem to bother me. Kept me alive, I guess. Of 
course, I took to my mother's habit of writing verse about 
things. I inherited my talent for writing satirical verse. 

Lage: You have a couple of good poems on Bodega. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, actually, they're songs; some of them are, anyway. 
[See following page, "Ballad of Bodega Head."] 


The Ballad of Bodega Head 

(An authentic song of social protest) 

Music: From a random number table Words: Anonymous 

Allegro Vivace 

The Indians lived on Bodega 

Their middens are there by the sea 

The Indians are gone, remembered by song, 

Will this happen to you and me? 


Out on * rock called Bodega 
There's nothing but granite and sand; 
But do not make the mistake of 
Thinking this country ain't grand! 

The Russians they lived on Bodega 
The Eskimo and Aleut, too; 
They built a fort up to the north, 
The seal and the otter they slew. 

Now Gaffney owns part of Bodega, 
The Smiths owned part of it too 
All of the rest, the very best, 
[s lost forever to me and you. 

Oh, this old lady named Gaffney, 
Who owns a great desolate strand; 
She fought U of C, and the PG&E, 
For trying to pre-empt her land. 

The courthouse gang is counting 
Up taxes beyond all their dreams; 
But every delay is a cause for dismay, 
As it puts new crimps in their schemes. 

Oh, democracy indeed is upsetting 
To those whose schemes are delayed; 
They find it a bore to listen to folks, 
Who ought to be tied and belayed. 

So Guidotti and Prather are planning 
To skid us all into the sea, 
On a road they will build 
With the help of the PG&E! 

The company's man, old Stan Barton, 
Thought up a scheme in the dark: 
So he said, when the atoms are tamed, 
We'll open the gates for a park! 

On to the scene came old Salo, 

With drift poles and Rhodamine-B 

He said some went West, to hell with the rest, 

1 work for the PG&E! 

When the hot water leaves old Bodega, 

Flows north to Horseshoe Cove 

What will they think when the water turns pink; 

That's when the coral reefs grow? 

Drift bottles were thrown from Bodega, 
Ten each hour for nearly a day. 
To Dillon Beach they came, the very same, 
Where people study and play. 

When hot isotopes leave old Bodega, 
There'll be terrible hell to pay- 
When the clams in the bay down Tomales way, 
Glow bright with the light of the day! 

What will become of Bodega, 
Dillon Beach and Tomales Bay, 
When PG&E puts their stuff out to sa 
What will happen to you and me? 

(Repeat chorus) 


Public Involvement in the Controversy 

Lage: What happened in those early years? I know after the Northern 
California Association to Protect Bodega Bay and Harbor was 
formed, things got much more public. But what was going on in 
those early years? 

Hedgpeth: What happened, you see, was that this thing became a matter for 
local discussion. And of course, the county said, "Look, this 
will pay half the taxes we need." I pointed out, "Yes, and we 
will just become vassals to the power company. You won't have a 
word of your own to say about this matter once they really get 
going." As a matter of fact, the first thing they did was order 
the airport out of the way. They had a little airport down on 
the south end of Bodega Harbor, because their power lines would 
have to go right through there, and they didn't want that sort 
of thing around there, thank you. 

Lage: Were you testifying at council meetings and that sort of venue? 

Hedgpeth: Not then. I wrote letters to the editor of the Santa Rosa 
paper. In fact, I don't think I ever testified at the town 
planning meetings about this guy, these people, directly. I've 
been doing that lately on the gravel business, but that's 
another matter. No, they held public hearings to explain 
themselves, since things were getting a little tight for them. 
I think it was at the Quaker meeting house down here in south 
Santa Rosa out amongst the orchards. The governor's man- -I 
don't know where they found him- -Alexander Grendon [governor's 
coordinator of atomic energy development and radiation 
protection] --wanted to talk to us. 

He was a gentleman of limited imagination for the impact of 
the kinds of things he was about to say. He said, "Of course, 
only the experts will be heard at the Atomic Energy Commission 
hearings, because you people aren't qualified, are you, to say 
anything about atomic energy?" A bunch of union guys were 
there, and they didn't like that kind of talk. They got up and 
said, "You're insulting our intelligence." The radio station 
from Berkeley was there at that time. 

Lage: KPFA were there? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They had a big Ampex recorder, and they were rolling away. 
This whole dialogue came down bright and clear. This was about 


the time that [David] Pesonen 1 had organized the committee and 
all of that, Save Bodega Head. So that got rolling, and it was 
a very popular item down at KPFA. 

Lage: This Grendon's remarks, you mean? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He had such a limited mind. Just told us we're all out of 
order, so to speak, and go home, and let the experts decide what 
to do about it. That won't go over so good. I don't know where 
I put the chronology. See, I've written three articles on this 
thing . 

Lage: We can supplement this with some of that, but I kind of want 
your own personal 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, this is my personal-- 
Lage: Experiences? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, as much as this. The exact chronology of some of it is a 
little fuzzy now. 

Lage: Now, that is--? 

Hedgpeth: This is the chapter in a book edited by Charles Goldman, James 

McEvoy, and Peter J. Richardson, Environmental Quality and Water 
Development [W. H. Freeman, S.F., 1973). I was asked 
specifically to do this. I was asked to do two chapters. 

Lage: This was solely on Bodega--! mean your article? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, I have two articles in the book, the other's on 

estuaries and other things. But I think this is the best one I 
wrote about Bodega, at least explains what I-- 

Lage: How you viewed it and 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and I pretty much used my own files. We were all in 

Goldman's book; Tommy Edmonson of University of Washington is in 
here, too. 

Lage: There we go, "Bodega: A Case History of Intense Controversy." 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

'Oral history with David Pesonen, who led opposition to nuclear power 
plant at Bodega Bay, in process. 


Lage: Okay. And W. H. Freeman, yes. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I put that marker in there. Of course, that was just for a 
copy for my own purposes, to copy a title page, in other words. 
This chapter is twenty- five. 

Lage: Okay, so this is a good supplement here. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. See, I wrote three articles all told. One of them, is in 
the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, "Bodega Head a partisan 

Lage: I think I've seen that one. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, that was kind of funny, because Steve Obrebski was working 
on his doctorate at Chicago at the time. I think it was he who 
suggested selection of certain verses; I didn't. It was from 
the Ballad of Bodega Head, especially the one about out on the 
rock of Bodega and a professor named Hand. 

Lage: Now, tell me more about this-- 

Hedgpeth: Tearing his hair, and the fauna ain't there, and the isotopes 
splatter the land, or something like that. 

Lage: Do I have a copy of that? You gave me some verses here. 

Hedgpeth: I think it's in Poems in Contempt of Progress, I gave you that. 
That was one of the better verses, though I think the best verse 
was written by one of the grad students there at the time, 
namely Bob Hamby: 

"The mutants converge on Bodega, 

And lumber right out of the water; 

Both saprophytic and hermaphroditic 

Would you want one to marry your daughter?" 

Lage: [laughter] That's wonderful! 

Hedgpeth: PG&E didn't know how to deal with this kind of stuff. 

Lage: How did this get spread around? Were these poems published in 
the local papers? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know what happened. Malvina Reynolds got hold of them, 
and she was- -actually, when the fight was all over, she wanted 
to hold a program, and she offered the PG&E equal time for their 

''See also "The Battle of Bodega Head," Per/Se, fall 1966. 


Reddy Kilowatt commercial. They threatened to sue the station 
and her and everybody else-- 

Lage: Oh, this was KPFA still? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Did it ever come off? 

Hedgpeth: Well, after the PG&E caved in, a lot of us wound up down at the 
KPFA studio rather late in the evening, I think, slightly 
perhaps influenced by a certain carbohydrate. A lot of those 
things got sung, including possibly some slightly off -color 
things as well. I just wonder--of course, those were the days 
when they recorded on great big platterswhether that's kicking 
around anywhere or lost long since. 

Lage: Was Malvina Reynolds for that-- 

Hedgpeth: No, she wasn't there, I don't think. But she was at our victory 
banquet. I think I've got a picture, I don't know. I think I 
have a picture of her standing up there with her guitar at the 

University of California's Involvement 

Lage: Tell me more about the connection with UC and what you observed 
about the university's response. 

Hedgpeth: Very early in the game, at a time when Cadet Hand was on a 

sabbatical in New Zealand, I was approached by George Papenfuss 
and Ralph W. Emerson, UC professors of botany. They said they'd 
planned to build a laboratory out there, and PG&E wanted the 
property; they were trying to stop that. Ralph Emerson told me 
--see, he was assistant to the chancellor at the timethis was 
a rotating post to give professors experience in administration. 
They hadn't really any authority. He had written a protest and 
said it ought to be appealed to the governor, and this was an 
obvious collision course between the PG&E and the university. 
The university had announced for some time they had planned to 
build a laboratory out there. 

So they said they wanted me to be the director of it, and I 
said, "Well, I don't know about that." 


When they came to visit you they ? 






No, I was out in Berkeley, we were all walking down the hall in 
LSB [Berkeley's Life Sciences Building] in that one. Then 
Emerson's tour of duty ended, and Starker Leopold got put up 
[assistant to the chancellor]. Starker was sort of ambiguous 
about this. He was a bit more concerned with political aspects 
and pleasing the guys upstairs. 

Did you observe that in other cases, or just in this one? 

Well, mostly in this one. Because usually you get a bit 
stronger. 1 heard some rumbles; I never asked Luna about it. 
These rumors came to me that the family wasn't speaking to each 
other on this thing. 

On this Bodega thing? 

Yes, they strongly disapproved of Starker 's position, that he 
was playing the game of the administration. But I never had any 
particular dealings with Starker one way or the other on that 
point. I was his T.A. when I came back to Berkeley to finish up 
the Ph.D. I had started at Texas. 

I T.A.'d a course I knew the most about, was more or less 
given my choice of two or three. They were trying a joint 
course with Paul R. Needham [professor of zoology] and Starker 
Leopold; he would talk about upland game and stuff, and Needham 
would talk about trout and salmon and so on. I knew Needham 
from the field, even though I didn't work under him at Shasta 
Dam. He came bouncing in and out. He was pretty much the club 
booze boy type. He was surprisingly ignorant of zoology. He 
asked me to write his syllabus. All I did was hoke it up out of 
the Encyclopedia Britannica and a couple of textbooks. 

1 took it down to Stanford one day and showed it to George 
Myers, who was one of our best ichthyologists. He looked at it 
and he said, "Paulie couldn't have written this." He looked at 
me and he said, "Oh." [laughter] So I said, "Well, it's 
nothing you couldn't find in the encyclopedia." 

Well, anyway, he would get up and talk about the 
"lacriminal" (Needhamese for lachrymal) bones and the "gill 
rakers" of whales and stuff like that, and didn't know any . 
Of course, Starker was much more competent than that. 

Starker had his troubles with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 
I thought. 

Yes. They were relieved when he shifted over to forestry, 
went over to the Multiple Use Department, they called it. 





Well anyway, he became the vice chancellor in place of Ralph 

Well, it's not vice chancellor, it's assistant to the 
chancellor. It's a very different thing. These people are not 
permanent. They only do it for two years at a time or 
something, I think. It might have been some guy out of the 
English faculty would succeed him. 

His scientific qualifications had no bearing? 

No. It's just kind of a post for administrative experience. So 
he was the person delegated to try to calm Pesonen down. 
Pesonen refused to meet him in his office, so they had 
discussions out on the lawn. [laughs] He called him Professor 
Loophole. [laughs] I don't know whether he printed that name 
or not. 



I contributed to this merriment myself; after it was all 
over, about 1960, I was asked to talk to the joint American 
Fisheries Society and Wildlife Society meeting in Fresno. These 
guys always met--see, these were mostly the outdoor types, fish 
and game and so forth, fly fishermen and all these sorts of 
characters. At that time, they had this guy named Ray Arnett in 
charge, who was a big bulking hulk of a man about six feet 
eight. He was in charge of the fish and game. He was telling 
them they shouldn't discuss any of these matters in public, 
because they were state business. 

I said in my talk, "Well, if you don't like your job, you 
can always quit." Of course, those were the days it was 
possible. About that time, Arnett got up and stalked out of the 
room. But at the beginning, Starker gave a very good talk. 

At this same meeting? 

Yes, and he said the state water plan made no ecological sense 
whatever, which was quite true. So at the bar afterwards, a 
couple of the young fellows came up to me and said, "What made 
Dr. Leopold say that? That's the first time we ever heard him 
talk like that." I said, "Well, I think Starker has finally 
realized he's not going to be appointed secretary of the 
Interior, so he might as well say something sensible." Which 
was dirty pool of me, I must admit. [laughs] 

But that was the impression you had, that he had ambitions-- 

Oh, he was veryhe was a friend of Udall's and all this, and he 
was very definitely engineering for the post. Then since he 


didn't get that, he wanted to be on the Fish and Game 
Commission, and they appointed Ray Dasmann instead. I think 
that hurt him, too. Ray and he had been graduate students 
together. Of course, I knew him way back then. 

Lage: Give a little overview, now, what the I don't think people who 
aren't so familiar with it are going to get the story, that the 
university switched its position, or what kinds of statements 
did the-- 

Hedgpeth: Well, they decided- -well, they could live with this power plant. 
Lage: It could coexist with their proposed marine station? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, well then they put in a bid for $2 million or something to 
the National Science Foundation to build it. 

Lage: The university did? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And I was asked to be on the committee. 

Lage: With the National Science Foundation? 

Hedgpeth: Yes; I was a member of the facilities panel at the time. I 

said, "No, thank you." I didn't want to get mixed up in this 
any more. So I stepped out. But the grounds on which they gave 
it, they said to me, "Well, if anything happens, at least they 
can study the effects of the power plant." (laughter] 

Lage: So it would become a marine station to study the effects of the 
power plant. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. By that time, Cadet had been named the director apparent 
or whatever you call it 

Lage: Now, what was his role, Cadet Hand's role? You said he was 

Hedgpeth: Well, he was off on his sabbatical, but when he got back-- 
Lage: What position did he take? 

Hedgpeth: I think it was primarily to obviously on the suggestion of the 
higher administration, that if he didn't do everything he 
possibly knew to keep me out of this brawl, he wouldn't get the 


So he wanted to be director of the station? 







Did he put pressure on you, then? 

Oh, yes, sure. 

What were his arguments? 
would he say to you? 

In a face-to-face discussion, what 

One of the things that happened was kind of funny. I didn't 
intend that at all. But an idiot from the Dally Californian 
called me up, and this was when there were rumbles that the 
administration of the university was in bed with the PG&E, 
except I think they were, but anyhow. He said, "What do you 
suppose happened?" I said, "You know, well, these guys are all 
strong on being old lodge brothers, and I'm sure that Norm," 
meaning Norman [R.] Sutherland [PG&E president], "called up 
Clark Kerr and said, 'Clark, this is Norm.' So on and so forth. 
"You got some faculty over there who wants the same thing we 
want, namely to build something on Bodega Head. Why don't you 
encourage them to shut up or something?'" So he published this 
damn hypothetical conversation in the Daily Cal . 

Did he publish it-- 

Just about the way I put it. Norm calls Clark and says, "Move 
over, we want the headlands," and Clark says, "Yes, sir." Words 
to that effect. Some idiot from the chancellor's office says, 
"Fortunately, it can't be proved." Putting the word 
"fortunately" in changed the tone of the whole thing, you know, 
suggested we hope there's nothing in the files. [laughter] So 
Cadet says--came around to talk to me, "Well, you really balled 
it, we're not going to be able to do anything with you now." 
Words to that effect. Of course, I've insinuated in this thing, 
because I refer to the Faustian bargain in here. 

Well, all the things that you insinuated but didn't say, this is 
your chance to say them, rather than just insinuate. 

There's a lot of people who think Cadet kind of sold his soul on 
this business. What he wound up doing afterwards is very 
significant. He spent about three-fourths of his time working 
for the Atomic Energy Commission. He was on their committees to 
appraise things and I think they even made him an administrative 
judge for a while. Seems to me I saw that. He was never around 
Bodega; he just sort of withered on the vine until they 


Did he not become director of the station? 


Hedgpeth: Oh, he was director, but he didn't direct. He didn't fight for 
a budget or anything. He just wasn't around. At one point, 
Charlie Goldman asked me if I wanted to be acting director for a 
year during Cadet's next sabbatical. I said, "An acting 
director can't do anything. Probably even has to have somebody 
else sign his budget. Not what I consider a very interesting 
thing to be doing," especially since I didn't seem to have much 
budget anyhow. So the people at Davis got very upset about the 
whole thing. They wanted to get rid of him outright. They 
finally did, and with Sea Grant funding moved in. They ousted 
him, essentially, and put in [James] Jim Clegg, who seems to be 
a good man for the job at this point. So then Cadet was asked 
to come back to Berkeley to teach zoology. He took early 
retirement instead. 

Lage: You don't think he realized the position he was being put in? 

Hedgpeth: No. Well, I try to be reasonable about this, but it's pretty 

Lage: Do you have anything to say aboutyou testified at the PUC 
hearings, didn't you, in '62? 


Did you answer some of the university's statements at that 

No, I never asked for them or anything. I just testified about 
oceanographic aspects. Part of the evidence was that the water 
would go away to the sea. 

Wouldn't just drift on out? 

Drift on out, yes, away. And I said, "Well, at Bodega Head it 
would drift in toward the shore." An old attorney with lavender 
glasses, Morrissey, said, "Are you trying to contradict Dr. 
Sale's testimony?" I said, "No. What Dr. Salo was using was a 
pole eight feet long with a weight on it--" 


the head, the water at the surface could move in the opposite 
direction from the water eight feet below, because it was that 
water which was being moved by those poles. He didn't expect 
that, so he sat down. And they asked me, "In view of all that 
you've said, do you think the university would be wise to have 
this power plant?" I said, "Not unless they had absolutely 
complete control of it." No, that wasn't a very good answer. I 






should have said, "Hell, yes," but I didn't want to say that 
right out loud at that point. 

Anyhow, got to the end of it, old Morrissey said, "Well, 
that was good testimony." Which is lawyerese for saying, "I 
wish you weren't here," I guess. [laughter] 

Opponents to the Power Plant 

Hedgpeth: Another time at the end of this whole brawl, the state had a 

hearing, the legislature, a joint committee. What were we going 
to do? Part of this whole thing was the unplanned way in which 
the PG&E could move in and do this thing, they ought to have a 
siting policy and all that sort of thing. And Mrs. [Jean] 
Kortum was there. She was trying to testify to the pressures 
put on Karl [Kortum] , who was director of the Maritime Museum. 
The chairman said, "We can't take that as evidence. You refuse 
to say who these people are," that had made life miserable for 

So I got up. I said, "Well, there have been times when 
President Burns of the University of the Pacific has been 
pressured, I believe, by fellow lodge members who have 
approached him on the matter, but of course, this is all bound 
with the vows of lodge secrecy, you know," and they all sat 
there and they knew damn well that the vice president of PG&E 
was a grand master one year, and Burns was chaplain for the 
Masonic Lodge. That kind of crap. They knew exactly what I was 
saying; they didn't say, "Well, go on out of here." They all 
snickered and turned to the next speaker. 

And then some woman got up and started a harangue about a 
big power line going over her house, or too near it, and so we 
all had to walk out between those narrow doors of this building, 
and I found myself walking beside Morrissey, the chief attorney 
for PG&E. I said, "You know, I see you've got another fight on 
your hands." He looked weary and said, "Oh, yes." I said, "You 
must think of us folks like a lot of crabgrass, sprouting up 
everywhere . " 

He looked at me and said, "I've never thought of you as 
crabgrass." I didn't ask him what he really thought. [laughs] 

Lage: You should have gotten him to elaborate. 


Hedgpeth: Yes. Of course, going around with tape recorders running in 
your vest pocket or something like that. You never can tell 
when these moments are going to come up. 

Lage: Well, it did capture people's imagination. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And opposition really seemed to just sprout up everywhere. 

Hedgpeth: Right. Well, the townspeople didn't like some of the ways they 
were being pushed around. 

Lage: Do you remember some of the local people who took a leading role 
in it? 

Hedgpeth: Well, Bill Kortum was not one of them. I think he was still 
practicing veterinary medicine at the time. 

Lage: He didn't speak out as much as Karl? 

Hedgpeth: No. Bill has a problem, he has a very soft voice, and his 
effect at public meetings is very poor as a result of that. 
It's sad, but true. Karl has been a deep water sailor, and he 
has a very loud voice. He can be heard. Of course, I have a 
trained voice, and I can be heard, too. 

Lage: [laughs] That's always an advantage. What about the gee, 

that's a long name Northern California Association to Protect 
Bodega Head and Harbor? You were in on the founding of that, it 
seems. Was that founded before David Pesonen came on board? 

Hedgpeth: Well, he founded it. He came aboard see, when he was writing 
for the Sierra Club Bulletin, they sent him in to make a 
statement on behalf of the Sierra Club. I've never asked him 
directly about this, but I think that's one of the things that 
set him off to study law. The next thing that happened was some 
guy from the floor was starting to attack him because his father 
was known as a dangerous radical. 

Lage: During the testimony at the PUC? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Dave looked at the chairman and said, "What is all this?" 
There's an obscure book called the Transactions, or whatever, of 
the governor's water conference in 1945, and Dave's father has a 
statement in there about nature and fish and so forth. Right 
now, it would be very fashionable. He was representing at that 
time the Unitarian church, I think. That must be the kind of 
thing they didn't like. One of the few dissenting voices in 











that '45 meeting. That's where Earl Warren said, "We must put 
every drop of water in California to use," or to work. I gave 
you that squib, 1 think. 

I think you did. 

Pointed out it sounded an awful lot like Joe Stalin. 

But there were people in opposition, even then. 

Oh, yes. Well, of course, the Tyee club and those people, but 
they weren't given very much space. 

Okay. How did you observe Pesonen's role, and the work he did? 

Oh, he worked full-time for several years, writing thesealways 
writing these position papers or statements, a whole blizzard of 
this kind of stuff. I even joined in and wrote a couple that 
annoyed him now and then. They all have to be formally answered 
in the Public Utilities Commission ritual, and so forth. 

Anyone else who had a leading role that you'd want to talk 
about? The names I noted here were [Joe] Neilands, the UC 
Yes. He was a real wild one, of course. Don't know whether 
he's communist or not. Of course, he's a full-ranked professor 
on tenure. I don't know whether he's a member of the National 
Academy or not; he may be. He's a biochemist. He's kind of a 
funny guy. [laughs] I was invited to his house for dinner, and 
I was standing there on the stone doorstep. It had a fish 
worked in pebbles on it. Old Neilands opened the door, and the 
light went on, and I said, "I didn't know you were a Christian." 
He said, "What the hell are you talking about?" I said, "You've 
got one of the first symbols of the Christian church on your 
doormat here." [laughing] He didn't even know it! 

[looking through papers] 

This is the way Herb Caen treats 

This is an '82 Herb Caen column. [October 1, 1982] Here, you 
read it. Oh, you don't have your glasses, I'll read it. 
[reads] "Joel Hedgpeth recalls a Tosca in 1913," and you say 
here 1928. You would have been two years old in 1913. 

I know. Well, that Frank Pitelka saw me a day or two after 
that, and said, "I didn't know you were going to the opera so 
early." [laughs] I don't know if Herb has just got his date 
mixed up. Because that was a very well-known performance; 


that's where she had not done any dress rehearsals, and she's a 
tall woman, statuesque, blonde, and Scarpia was a little Italian 
fellow about five-two. When she agrees to be his lover, if he 
will just load blanks in the firing squad so her boyfriend 
wouldn't have to die and all that stuff, well, at the end of 
this confab, she heaves herself into his arms. She does this 
physically, and he wasn't ready for it, so he's tottering on his 
heels in a backward direction. There was this old sofa in the 
middle of the stage, and steered for that. So the two of them 
hit it simultaneously, and all four legs broke off of this 
thing. A cloud of dust, and somebody behind the scene freed the 
lines on the fire curtain; it came down with a great crash, and 
it obviously hadn't been unrolled for a decade or two. 

Lage: And all the dust-- 

Hedgpeth: Oh, and the dust, a great cloud of dust! Then somebody got the 
fire curtain back up, and by that time, they turned on the stage 
lights or no, they hadn't turned them on yet. They were dark, 
they were behind a curtain. Jeritza was reaching around for her 
wig of course, she had on a black wig so she would look 
properly Eye-talian--she found it, got up, and made a Mae West 
exit offstage waving her fanny at the same time she was waving 
the wig, and we all yelled for an encore. Scarpia was still 
groping with the furniture; he'd really got tangled up with it. 

So finally, after about five minutes or so, they got 
unscrambled and resumed the opera. [laughs] I've never been 
able to take Tosca seriously since. 

Lage: No, I wouldn't think so. Okay, anyway, back to Bodega. Are 

there any other incidents that you think you should mention that 
maybe you haven't written up, or do you think you have said your 
piece on Bodega? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I don't know if everything ever will be said. 

Lage: It seemed to fit very well with your views that you'd already 
stated about progress, and technology. Is that one of the 
things, aside from the hot water coming into Tomales Bay, is 
that one of the things that affected you? 

Hedgpeth: I guess. Oh, here we are. This is only one page, it looks like 
a three-page letter, from Neilands to I don't know who. It 
wasn't to me. 


This is '64. This is after you've won the battle. 


Hedgpeth: Yes. This is Neilands trying to explain some of the things, and 
I don't know whether that's of any use 

Lage: Yes, that would be good. 

Hedgpeth: I don't know what ever happened to the rest of it. I may find 
it, and I may not. 

More Citizen Activists 



Too bad it- -yes, it seems to stop in the middle. 
Harold Gilliam? Was he very active in all this? 

What about 




He wrote a couple of pieces about it, and he attended the 
hearings when he learned that any citizen can get up and 
interrogate these characters, he-- 

That's the interesting thing at those hearings. 

Yes. He asked a few pertinent questions. [laughs] A very 
silly matter, some sharp kid got up and pointed out that the 
chief engineer had made a statement that the base of the tower 
platforms where there would be overhead wires were going to be 
twenty- five square feet. He meant twenty- five feet on the 
square, which is a difference of several hundred square feet of 
space involved. He got the guy, the poor old engineer, 
absolutely flustered, and he pawed through his briefcase, and he 
said, "Well, I'm afraid you're better at arithmetic than I am." 
[laughs] Rosie, she just took them apart. One time- 
Rose Gaffney? 

Yes, well, she gave testimony about the lovely place of Bodega, 
and how the Indians used to live there, and all this stuff. 
Then she got up again and the PG&E attorney, who was a 
character, for stupid remarks, asked, "What's this, more 
history?" She said, "No, this is combat." 

She said this! [laughter] This was the woman, just for the 
tape here, who owned the land, I guess her land was condemned 
for the-- 

That's right. 

And she was quite a figure, I guess, from what I've heard. Did 
you know her very well, or you got to know her through this? 



No, I knew her. 

I had met her, good lord, going back to the 








I had a tablemate [not Rose] taking a zoology course, or a 
deskmate or whatever you call it there, and she was a Big-C 
type, physical ed major. 

She went to the university? 

Yes. Well, she shouldn't have been in that course at all, she 
realized. She barely got a D out of it. But she selected as 
her term project to write up Horseshoe Cove, and she wanted me 
to go along with her in the morning. She lives over in Napa, 
she's a very robust, Germanic type. She's getting troubles now 
and has to drive around in a golfing cart. But anyhow, she went 
out there, and there was Rose with her baseball bat- 
Did you go out with her? 

Yes. Well, she knew Rose, apparently, so there was no problem. 
They had a conversation. Yes, well, Bodega Head is no place to 
go out alone; you've seen what happened this last week. 

No, I didn't. 

Well, a very sad thing. This woman, thirty-three years old with 
two small kids, dropped her binoculars over the edge and reached 
down to get them, a sheer cliff about 150 feet, killed her. 

Oh, my goodness. Did the cliff collapse? 

No, she just got out of balance, moved a little too fast, 
probably. That sort of thing shouldn't happen. Now there's a 
big sign saying- 
There are lots of signs. 

--"Stay back from the edge." People don't believe those signs. 
So anyway, life out in Bodega Head can get rough, so you're well 
not to be going it alone unless you really know what you're 
doing . 

Several things came up about the road that was built along the 


Did that change the ecology significantly from your point of 
view? Was that a travesty in itself? 


Hedgpeth: I don't think it did really, because the route is right at the 
edge. It might have changed something for some critters, but 
you see if you've been there, it's pretty well far back from the 
water. But what it did, apparently, was it added weight from 
the traffic, and it slumped... [tape interruption] 

Lage: So, the road. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Oh, there was a meeting with the Corps of Engineers that 

went on and on until one a.m. in the Grange Hall at Bodega. Now 
these hardy old fishermen got up and said the road will force 
the mud to sink in and fill up the ship channel. 

Well the chicken-colonel type from the Corps of Engineers -- 
see, these fellows serve for three years at a post, and they 
always hope to be able to go to Washington and get a star, in 
other words, become a general. So they have to be very careful 
how they conduct things. Well, the thing is, it takes them two 
years and eleven months to learn enough about San Francisco Bay 
and the area to be intelligent. 

So anyway, he said, "We can only listen to testimony of 
qualified experts, and what you are saying cannot be 

Lage: What the fishermen had to say? 

Hedgpeth: That building a road along the shore would push mud into the 
channel. These were guys that lived around there all their 
lives. So two years later, why, they built the road, and the 
mud moved out and shallowed the bay and filled up the channel, 
and so they wanted to bill the County of Sonoma for having to 
redredge the ship channel. 

Lage: Did it get brought up at the time? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, naturally. Well, brought up that they--. 

Lage: That they'd been warned. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: So you didn't have any problems from the College of Pacific, 
then, from your role on Bodega? 

Hedgpeth: No. Well, one of the things I think I told Dr. Burns was see, 
PG&E handed out money in fairly good little lumps to various 
independent institutions. I think Pacific's take was possibly 
$5,000 or something like that. I said, "Of course, they don't 


dare cut back on that. They'll be placed in the position of 
having discriminated against the college on account of me, and 
that's the last thing they want in their publicity." 

Lage: So he didn't-- 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He agreed to that. I don't think anybody over at Pacific 
was very much worried about what I was up to. In fact, it was 
difficult to get some of them interested in coming out to the 
beach at all. 

Lage: So you were kind of left on your own? 
Hedgpeth: Yes, I was on my own, pretty much. 

Lage: But they did fund you? You didn't have to raise funds to keep 
your work going? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Of course, I got 
Lage: You got grants. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. This NSF thing had a fair amount of money for maintenance 
and running expenses, especially the boat expenses and so forth. 

Leaving Pacific Marine Station 

Lage: How did you happen to leave Dillon Beach? 

Hedgpeth: Two things. One of them is the vice president said that the 

salaries were never going to rise above $12,000 at Pacific, and 
it was already obvious that that wasn't very much money any 
more. They offered me a post at Oregon for considerably more 
than that. What they didn't tell me there was that they 
expected me to raise $650,000 a year-- 

Lage: They didn't tell you that when they hired you? 

Hedgpeth: They did not. 

Lage: Oh, my goodness. That made a change in-- 

Hedgpeth: Of course, the other thing was an extraordinarily crazy 

administrative arrangement of the laboratory on the coast there. 


Lage: Maybe we'll save that for next time, and start with Oregon, 

instead of getting into it now, because I'd like to talk about 
it, and I think we've covered things well today. 

[After nine years on the Oregon coast my fingers became 
arthritic and I had to give up harping. And it would seem, a 
bit arthritic in my memory. Belatedly, after all the sessions 
that resulted in this memoir, I realized at the last minute that 
I had completely forgotten the festive event of my seventy- fifth 
anniversary banquet held November 14, 1986 (perhaps because it 
was not held on September 29th) at the aquarium in Monterey, 
arranged by Bill Davoren and his Bay Institute and Bill Kier. 
Among those who were present was Karl Kortum, who considered 
"impossible" an unnecessary word. Certainly he salvaged more 
wrecks for museums than anyone else, and changed maritime 
museums from collectors of ship models to the real thing. In 
his life, he made many more friends than enemies. He was indeed 
a person about whom nil nisi bonum could be said with a will, 
and was so characterized at his memorial service on the 
Balclutha October 27, 1996. 

--JWH, added during the editing process.] 

Joel W. Hedgpeth, ca. 1960. 

Photograph by Otto Hagel 

Joel W. Hedgpeth 
at Dillon Beach, 
ca. 1960. 

Joel W. Hedgpeth 
in his study, 
Santa Rosa, 1992. 



[Session 6: October 29, 1992] ti 

Program. People, and Problems at the Yaquina Biological 

Lage: We're going to start today talking about your experience as 
director of the Yaquina Biological Laboratory at the Marine 
Science Center at Oregon State. Last time, you told how you 
happened to head up that way, and I'd like you to give some idea 
of the program and the setting. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, this is going to lead to some rather- -fortunately, 
the principal character is now deceased. 

Lage: So you're going to be candid. 

Hedgpeth: His name is Wayne Burt. Well, I didn't know untilsee, I was 

directing Dillon Beach, the marine lab, up through the summer of 
'64 at least. Dr. Burt passed by on a visit and looked at the 
setup. Of course, I had been on a number of National Science 
Foundation panels, systematics and facilities mainly, but also 
on one for the Office of Naval Research, which was a fairly 
interesting one, since it was the navy's idea of trying to avoid 
the taint of being military. Actually, the original Office of 
Naval Research was something of a model which the National 
Science Foundation followed later. 

Dr. Burt wrote me a very fancy letter offering me a job. 
At about that time, the vice president of [College of] Pacific 
said he was going to try to keep faculty salaries under $12,000, 
and didn't think they'd ever have much more. I was making about 
$10,000 or $11,000 at the time. I think they've had to change 
that rule or they wouldn't have anybody at all. 


Lage: I would hope so, by now. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, they almost went on the rocks there for a while, but 
somehow they've gotten some help. So that wasn't very 
encouraging. So Dr. Hurt offered me a good salary. They were 
building this lab at Newport, Oregon, which he wanted me to 
direct. It was a field station. 

Lage: So it was a new lab, a new 

Hedgpeth: Oh, brand-new, yes, and Burt said a whole lot of things about 
the local school, which later turned out to be not very 
accurate, about how it had a class-one high school. Well, it 
was a class-one athletic school. They didn't mention that, and 
I didn't know that's the way they graded them up there. I 
didn't know, and he never told me, that he expected me to bring 
in something like $650,000 a year in grants, though he may have 
told others. 

Lage: That seems like a crucial bit of information to impart before 
you take the job. 

Hedgpeth: It was indeed. So I arrived up there, and it was a rather 

interesting setup. I think I have a program of the dedication 
ceremonies. There's a rather big sprawly building designed 
jointly with the fisheries and wildlife department on the Oregon 
State campus. They had charge of one wing, and I was supposed 
to have charge of the other. But everything you did, including 
buying a box of paper clips, had to be cleared at Corvallis 
fifty-five miles inland, and that was some fifty-five miles. I 
think there was estimated to be at least three hundred sixty- 
five curves in the road. The highway department proudly 
announced once that they were cleaning it out at the rate of one 
curve a year, which didn't promise well for the long run. In 
winter, it's a bad road, it's very dangerous and snowy and all 
that stuff. 

Lage: So you were very isolated. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And nobody on the campus wanted to come out there. They 

used it for a boat dock. They would come out, they'd get on the 
ship, stop for supplies or something. I was never invited on a 
cruise. It was assumed that all I was supposed to do was--and 
as I say, I didn't know this get money. I was considered by 
some of the people as competition for funding, which of course 
it would be, since it was a soft-money institution. I was never 
asked to serve on a campus Ph.D. committee; I had no students 
unless they were supported by my own grants. 


Lage: Who were you in competition with? 

Hedgpeth: My colleagues in the Department of Oceanography, to begin with. 
And any other department that might be doing something at sea or 
in the bay. In fact, once I noticed that the engineering 
department was conducting studies of tidal action in the local 
bay there, Yaquina Bay. Since I was interested in promoting 
some studies in estuaries, I asked Dr. Burt, "Can't we join 
forces?" He said, "We're an open game here; it's every man for 

Lage: That's not too encouraging. 

Hedgpeth: No, and the other thing was that they had found a fellow named 

Tom Scott to be the director of the fisheries wing. He may be 
I don't know whether he's still alive or not. 1 He's a great one 
in the Rachel Carson Foundation, a fisheries biologist from 
inland somewhere. But the fellow who was asked to be M.C. for 
the thing was John Byrne, who is now president of Oregon State 

Lage: Is this the M.C. for the dedication? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And he completely forgot to mention Dr. Scott in 

introducing all these innumerable characters and subcharacters 
that turned up at the dedication. Incidentally, the governor of 
the state at that time, Mr. [Mark] Hatfield, had not come to the 
dedication. The place is now named for him. The reason for 
that is, while he was on the [congressional] appropriations 
committee, he developed this delightful habit of bypassing the 
National Science Foundation and giving direct gifts to the 
universities. So he kept giving us buildings but not any 
support for staff. 

Lage: Buildings for the whole university or for your lab? 

Hedgpeth: No, he specifically gave funding for the laboratory, to build it 
up. Actually, what had happened when the oceanography 
department was set up, Dr. Burt hired anybody he could find, and 
he had a couple of people he never could get rid of. They were 
pretty dull and so forth. So when I looked over the plans of 
the layout, I noticed there was no still. I said, "What gives 
here? Every laboratory I've ever heard of has to have a still. 
If you're going to work any kind of chemistry, you've got to 
have your own supply of distilled water." It's a very simple 
matter, actually. You could buy an adequate still for three or 

'I saw his obituary not long ago. --JWH, October 1995. 





four hundred bucks. So it was very strange in light of it, 
there wasn't even a place for plumbing for it. So they had to 
rearrange for that. There were other funny things about it. 

Then they had a man in charge of the physical plant, and he 
was palsy-walsy with one of the resident fishery characters 
there, and so anything he didn't like, he would call up Tom 
Scott or the dean of fisheries and agriculture and complain 
about it. Then the complaints went back to Burt, who was 
supposed to be in charge of the whole thing. Burt finally had 
to fire this guy, he was such a pest. I remember once asking 
him for a pencil sharpener. It took me about four weeks for him 
to get it and stick it on the wall. Just plain ornery that way. 

All that kind of stuff went on. I was told later by some 
fellow who had signed a couple of Dr. Hurt's letters for me in 
his absence that he wanted to tell me what, was going to happen 
when I got up there. The place was remarkable for the number of 
people who didn't stay around, who were first-raters gone off to 
Princeton and Stonybrook and similar such places. 

It was not a very good situation, because even the people 
in the biology department felt that you were their enemy, that I 
was brought in to build the place up at their expense. 

So there wasn't a cooperation even with biology? 

No. Oregon State at that time was rather uniquely arranged. 
The only common stock room was chemistry. Biology didn't have 
its own stock room, nor govern its own allocations of 
microscopes and things. These were all built up by each 
professor separately under his own grant applications. 

You can see that leading to a lot of competition and empire- 

Well, it did. So what I tried to do was get these people 
together and agree to come out and help me, the kind of thing 
I'd built up at Dillon Beach, namely a summer training course 
for teachers. Not so much training as participation in 
projects. Well, I got two or three bids from these people. 
Turned out what they were doing was simply stocking up their own 
personal stock rooms. 

How was that? 

Well, if they wanted a new microscope, something like that, or 
supplies and laboratory apparatus and things. In other words, 


you have an allotment on the grant for the projects, so that's 
what they were doing with it. 

Lage: Instead of thinking about teaching at--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So the height of it was this guy who had gotten his degree 
from his father at Harvard, and he needed a mass 
spectrophotometer. It's about a five or six thousand dollar 
item, and it looks more or less like a refrigerator. It doesn't 
look very much like anything, as a matter of fact. All the 
gizzards are inside. But it's essential if you're doing some 
various biochemical work. 

He never came out there, I never saw him. The thing was 
delivered to Newport, Oregon, and installed in the room he was 
supposed to use. One dark night when nobody was around, he came 
over with an assistant, disconnected it, and trundled it off. 
We didn't even know it was gone for about a week or so, because 
we didn't go into that room very often. That's the way he 
treated the deal. 

Lage: And never came out to have students or do research? 

Hedgpeth: No. Well, you see, nobody applied for it that year; well, 

that's luck or something, you know. And maybe he just didn't 
advertise. Well, actually, we had two or three good fellows 
there. One of them now is the top man in the Oregon State 
system for biology instruction. In fact, my daughter worked 
with him for a while. She's been asked to deal with the K-12 
biology, physiology curriculum. 

Lage: In Oregon? 

Hedgpeth: Well, not in Oregon, in the Beaverton [school] system, which is 
one of the largest in the state and one of the best financed. 
Oregon has a very undesirable situation. I think it's even 
worse now. The budget has to be voted on by the public every 

Lage: By the public? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And so the continuity of many of the smaller school 

systems is very perilous and doesn't work very well. That's one 
of the undesirable aspects of things. They had a-- 

Lage: So this is the local school budget which is voted on by the 
local communities? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. So we had these hearings and so forth. I was there one 
evening-- [laughs] the biologist, I think in the school in our 
town, had asked for three aquarium tanks. One of these people 
from the taxpayers' league, I think they lovingly called 
themselves, said, "What do you want to do with all those fish 
tanks? Two would be enough." So I didn't even get up to speak; 
I just sat there and said, "Yeah, if you try to put all those 
fish in those tanks, they'll eat each other up, you know. 
You've got to separate them." The chairman said, "Well, you've 
heard from the expert." [laughter] 

Lage: Did he get his three tanks? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he got his three tanks. What the heck, they were about 
twenty bucks or something. 

Lage: Gee, that would be red tape to the nth degree. 
Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, a fight down to the last thumbtack, you know. 

Lage: Did people look over your budget process at the marine lab to 
that degree, or were you pretty free up there? 

Hedgpeth: Well, no, actually. We ran into some weird stuff in the 

building. One of them is that see, you were handling sea 
water, so you can't use any copper. In a sea water system, if 
you're going to keep live marine critters, very little copper 
will kill them off. So we had these plastic valves. We 
discovered that they were all one piece molded, so if you got 
sand in them, you couldn't take them apart and clean them out. 

So I looked them up in the catalogue, and discovered they 
were saving two cents per valve buying this model, in contrast 
to the ones we specified that you could take apart and 
reassemble. So I had a fight with the guys, I said, "We've got 
to replace all these things. You're going to have to buy these 
new items that cost two cents more a valve." Oh, that was quite 
a fight. 

One of the things that was wanted around there I didn't 
want one personallybut we had ordered two stopwatches. You 
use those in all kinds of applications, timing experiments and 
things. My god, 1 got a call, "What do you want stopwatches for 
out there?" I thought about it for a minute, and said, "Well, 
we're setting up a staff track team here, and we need 
stopwatches to time the races." He said, "Oh, that's all 
right." [laughter] That's the way those things went. 




Who oversaw the budget like that? 
Was it Burt? 

Somebody back at Corvallis. 



That was the 

No, he didn't have much to do with the budget, 
budget office. 

Of the university? 

Yes. My crowning touch with them was when a whole bunch of us 
went up to visit a Russian research vessel that was docked in 
Vancouver, British Columbia. We were granted authority to use a 
state car. And of course, an Oregon State credit card doesn't 
work in British Columbia, so I had to buy a tank of gasoline. 
Someone from the business office called me up and said, "You've 
paid more than the permissible on this gasoline. We're going to 
have to dock you about ninety-eight cents." I said, "Hey, don't 
you realize in Canada they have imperial gallons? That's about 
a half -pint more. 1 got a bargain for you, and you owe some 
more money." Well, he said, "Oh, the hell with it, then." That 
was too much, even for him. [laughs] Those miserable sorts of 
things went on. 

The real bad stuff was this business of having everybody 
act as if you were out to do them in or competing with them. I 
was never asked to attend a Ph.D. exam or to be a member of a 
thesis committee. That simply isn't the way a university is 
supposed to operate. So I never could get enough cooperation on 
the National Science Foundation grant; I think it was more than 
two years, and I gave it up. 

With this teacher training? 


You couldn't make that go. 

Yes. We'd had quite a record in California, you know. One of 
our veterans is David Mertes, who is running the whole junior 
college system now. So anyway, the only people I really got 
along with there were in entomology. 

In the Department of Entomology? 

Yes. Of course, you realize that Oregon State originally was an 
agricultural school, so they're pretty strong in entomology. 
Several of the people had gone to school at Berkeley, and either 
knew me or we knew the same people. A fellow named Lattin was 
one of Professor Robert Usinger's students at Berkeley. He was 
on my Ph.D. qualifying exam committee. 


Lage: How did you cooperate with them? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, I didn't have to. We cooperated. I think Ray Thiess was 
one of the guys, he said he wanted to work on the study of 
intertidal insects. So the prof on the campus agreed to help 
him out. Of course, he didn't see any reason to go to the 
marine station; that's all right, too. 

Lage: Were there places for them to live if they came out, or to stay? 
They didn't have to make that commute daily, hopefully? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, no, we supplied their living, too, you see. We had a 
dormitory of sorts, and then some of them came with their 
families. It was up to them. But we supported them to some 
extent on that thing. Anyway, obviously, they couldn't get very 
far with the money involved. Also there were an awful lot of 
bad projects nationally. We were one of the few good ones in 
the country that really produced any results. It produced 
several Ph.D.s, and one of them went on to medicine. A couple 
of them went on up in the U.S. National Museum; they did 
anything they could to get out of high school teaching, 
[laughs] Which I'm not sure I blame, especially the junior 
college. It's a little demeaning to have to fill out your 
curriculum down to the dot, practically have your lectures 
approved by somebody. 

In fact, later when I was teaching at San Mateo junior 
college, because we had an all-day field trip, I canceled one of 
the evening lectures, and everybody agreed to that, except the 
pencil-pusher in the department said, "We'll have to dock you 
sixty dollars because you didn't hold an evening course as 
specified." I said, "What we did was " because this was about 
the natural history of San Francisco Bay and we were in San 
Mateo, we went down to Coyote Point, looked it over, and talked 
about things. That was before the big museum was built there. 
Then we went over across the bay and looked at the Coyote Hills, 
which is a different matter, you know. Indian mounds and 
diggings and all that stuff. Then we went to Stockton, and came 
down by chartered boat all the way from Stockton to Coyote 
Point, so they could get back in their cars. With Karl Kortum 
narrating about every big old hull stuck in the mud and its 
history that he knew about. He knew them all. 

Lage: That must have been a fascinating trip. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, it was very nice, everybody enjoyed it, and I think they got 
a lot out of it. 


And it was a long day. 


Hedgpeth: Yes, it was a long day. It was about eight o'clock in the 

evening before we got back down there. Even in a reasonably 
fast boat. But that's the way the junior college operates by 
the bookstrictly by hours in the classroom. 

Working with Bill Fry at Dillon Beach on Pycnoeonid Research 

Hedgpeth: When I was still at Dillon Beach, along came this student from 
England who wanted to study my favorite animals with me. He 
came with very high recommendations from one of the best biology 
profs in the United Kingdom at that time, and that was Carl 
Pant in, who was at Cambridge. So that's when Bill Fry appeared. 

Lage: Bill Fry from England? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: And he studied sea spiders. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. 

Lage: Did he come on a grant from England, or just arrive? 

Hedgpeth: Well, the college [of the Pacific] had given me a little money 

on the side for this kind of thing, for summer staff orbecause 
they wanted to operate the station year- round- -they gave me an 
assistantship for a year, which was more than Oregon State did. 
We had an assistant prof, but he was on their faculty list, 
primarily expected to teach over at the campus too. So anyway, 
Bill was hired simply as a research assistant. He only planned 
to spend a year, and he wound up spending two years. 

One of his kids was born in Sebastopol. I'm his godfather; 
I haven't seen him now for several years. Since he had dual 
citizenship, he thought he'd come over here and get in the 
restaurant business. Found before he could get anywhere he'd 
have to take a course in a subject matter he already knew 
something about, and then get a union ticket. So he went back, 
and he owns his own pub now over near Cambridge somewhere. So I 
haven't heard much from him anymore. 

Lage: That's your godson? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: What did you and Bill Fry do together on sea spiders? 


Hedgpeth: Just went right to work with him. I had this tremendous 
collection, the Antarctic, they kept sending me 

Lage: Oh, I see. It wasn't necessarily things that you explored and 
discovered right there? 

Hedgpeth: No, no. This is a major job. It went on and on and on, and 

finally wound up his share of the monograph. He and I did that 
one jointly. 

Lage: What's it like to work jointly with somebody on preparing a 

Hedgpeth: Oh, well, you just help out with the descriptions, and maybe you 
work one group or phase of the study. It was collaborate, 
criss-cross back and forth. 

Lage: Is it easier to do with some people than with others? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, naturally. A lot of things are easier to do with some 

people than others, depending on what they are. Everything from 
marriage to working in the shop, you know. 

Lage: Well, was Bill Fry an easy man to work with? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was. [In fact, Bill began to show skill in organizing 
people and getting things done. After stints at the British 
Museum (Natural History) and the marine laboratory at Menai 
Bridge, he took a teaching post at Luton College of Technology, 
and started the college on its way to its present status as 
Luton University. He managed to have me serve as an external 
examiner for Luton 's first doctor's oral (viva) as part of my 
1967 trip abroad. The candidate did well. Bill was also an 
efficient organizer of meetings and saw that the proceedings 
were published. First this resulted in a book about sponges 
(which he had begun to study during his time at the British 
Museum) the copy he sent to me was inscribed "With clear memory 
of the fact that many good things began at Dillon Beach." 

He arranged, as a tribute to me, a symposium in 1976 at the 
Linnean Society of London on Pycnogonids that was published in 
1978. In that year Bill and his wife were awarded a research 
grant of 21,000 pounds to study sea spiders. Bill was obviously 
headed for greater things and would probably have become a 
Fellow of the Royal Society in due course. But he did not have 
that time. He suffered a massive heart attack while driving his 
car from a meeting at Brighton in October 1980 when he was 
barely forty-four years old. It has not been easy to accept his 


loss; I often wish that he was still going on to the good things 
that "began at Dillon Beach." 

Dillon Beach is also gone; nothing remains of Pacific 
Marine Station but the two large concrete slabs on which the 
buildings rested, now unoccupied and blank beneath the sky.) 1 

Lage: So you were working on Antarctica materials? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And I sent him down to the Antarctic. That was kind of 

amusing. He got down to Christchurch, New Zealand. Well, first 
place, before that, you have to go through a navy physical 
examination down there in east Oakland at the navy hospital. 
It's a pretty rigorous exam. They arrange it so everything gets 
later and later. About three o'clock, they say, "You've got to 
get an ERG up at the top of that hill, you've got about ten 
minutes to make it." It was called Cardiac Hill. So you get up 
there in time to get your EKG through, and if you do not drop 
dead, they pass you, I guess. So I had to do that, too, one 
time or another. 

Anyway, they found Bill had a British army disability 
pension. He had been tromped on in a soccer game and had a 
pinched nerve in his shoulder. I was ordered to get him 
examined by a neurologist to see if it was safe for him to go in 
the Antarctic with that disability. I think the pension was 
something like a shilling a week or something, more paperwork 
than it was worth. 

I called a friend of mine, an old junior college classmate, 
I knew his specialty was neurology. 


Hedgpeth: I said, "I've never pulled the old high school tie on you, have 
I?" He said, "No, but you're about to." I said, "Yes, well, 
this is ordered by the National Science Foundation, and you just 
bill them for this. It's their request; they want this fellow 
to be examined within twenty-four hours so it won't interfere 
with the Antarctic schedule." He said, "Well, I guess I could 
get him in tomorrow." So he looked Bill over and said, "Well, 
you're all right. About forty years from now, that neck will 
start to bother you." 

'Mr. Hedgpeth added the preceding bracketed material during his review 
of the draft transcript. 


Unfortunately, Bill died at forty-four. He said his father 
died young, too, so he had chosen the wrong genotype. But we 
got along very well. 

The British system in their museums is to just put you in a 
vacancy and then expect you to become competent in it. I think 
this is how they got by with the Piltdown fake. The person who 
was most influential in being taken in hook, line, and sinker 
had no basic training in that kind of thing, in looking at 
fossils and sizing up stuff. Somebody 

Lage: So they just put you in an area that may or may not be your 

Hedgpeth: Yes. If they had a round hole and you were a square peg, why, 
that's too bad, you've got to fit in, old chappie. Another 
friend of mine who's a specialist in polychaete worms was asked 
to work on mollusks. First thing he did was throw out all the 
surplus mollusks that he didn't like, including some types. 
People were madly retrieving them out of his wastebasket. 
Finally, he had to leave. He wound up as director in charge of 
the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh, and surprising to 
everybody, he worked very well at it. This was of course a 
general cultural museum. I visited him there when I was in 
Edinburgh, but that's another story. 

A Research Program in Antarctica 

Hedgpeth: So we built up this Antarctic program, and then I went down to 

McMurdo myself a couple of years later, which turned out to be a 
lovely way to absent myself for some time from the trials of 
Oregon State. At least they got the overhead on the things, you 

Lage: How many trips did you make there all together? It looks like 
you went also before you went to Oregon, a couple of times. 

Hedgpeth: No, Bill went before. I think there were two trips that I took 
to McMurdo, and then to Palmer Station--! guess I have to get 
the dates of those things out, I don't remember them exactly 
[1957, 1959-60, 1974]. 

Nymphopsis spinosissima (Hall) 

A spiny Pacific Coast pycnogonid 
Drawing (from Oregon) by Lynn Rudy 

Syncaris pacifica (Holmes) 

California freshwater shrimp 

(Nominated for endangered species status 
by J. W. Hedgpeth) 

20 7b 

Some Interesting Characteristics of Sea Spiders 

Hedgpeth: What we wanted to do, because these animals are very abundant in 
the Antarctic and some of the stranger phenomena about them 
occur in the Antarctic, and we can't decide yet whether this is 
some abnormal growth phenomenon or whether it's related to 
reduplicated chromosomes. So we 

Lage: If it's reduplicated chromosomes, what would that imply? 

Hedgpeth: It would be very interesting, what it would imply, other than it 
wasn't any immediate environmental effect. But we found that 
there are too many chromosomes, like the famous whitefish, which 
used to appear on slides for everybody to look at, the set of 
twenty-five slides you've got for some zoology courses. They 
always gave you chromosomes of the whitefish, which had never 
been counted because they were so small and numerous , nobody 
could figure out how many. They may by now, of course, got it 
all. Not that that's an essential thing to know, but it's a 
nice thing to know. 

So we also did observations on the biology of the animals. 
You see, the phenomenon that's so interesting is that most of 
these animals have only eight legs, four pairs. Some of them 
have five pair, and that makes ten legs. And several of them 
have six pairs. They look like a big circular centipede. 

Lage: Are these ones found in the Antarctic? 

Hedgpeth: They are there, yes. That twelve-legged guy is about eighteen 
inches across when fully developed; he's a monstrous thing, 
considering a lot of intertidal things we've got are about a 
quarter-inch long or less. These animals have absolutely no 
significance in the scheme of things that we can possibly think 
of. Lately, a charming gentleman I've known for many years 
named Henner (a familiar name for Heinrich) Fahrenbach who's an 
ultramicroscope operator for the Oregon Primate Center... I 
don't know just what exactly they do there with him, except they 
now retired him and told him he can use the equipment. Instead 
of a salary he does clinical work for the medical profession. 
He seems to be about the only one around who knows how to 
operate the apparatus. 

He's taken up the pycnogonids to find out what their 
structure is like, and right bang off the bat he's found out 
some of their fine structure is like no other arthropods on 


Lage: So they become an even more interesting animal. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. They're more closely related to a horseshoe crab than they 
are anything else, which is a surprise, but they don't have all 
the fancy appendages that those animals have. 

Lage: Did you say that you found that it was a genetic difference, not 
an environmental difference? 

Hedgpeth: We haven't found out. We still don't know. 

The other strange thing about one of the main groups of 
these animals, including Dodecolopoda, that's one of the great 
twelve-legged monsters, is that we have no indication of how 
they grow, how they reproduce. In most of these animals, the 
male gathers the eggs as the female extrudes them, with a 
cement-like secretion from special glands and works them into a 
ball and carries them around until they hatch. 

Lage: Even these little tiny ones that you're describing? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, the shore ones. But these extra- legged giants, which are 
mostly deeper-water things well, deeper water from 100 fathoms 
on, some of them are found in shallower water than that we've 
never caught them with an egg mass, and we've never caught a 
larval stage. They have a very characteristic larval stage. So 
we don't know what's going on. The eggs must be very small, 
because the sexual apertures are not very large. So possibly, 
they are parasites of some other animal, we don't know what. 

Lage: That the egg would become a parasite on another animal? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. It wouldn't be on the parent, of course. 
Lage: How do you go about exploring a question like that? 

Hedgpeth: Well, that's it. We have specimens, hundreds of thousands of 
them now, I guess, all over the world, about which we have 
almost no information. They're just there, and we just give 
them a name. 

Lage: But you don't know how they live, and reproduce. 

Hedgpeth: Well, we know something about how quite a few of them live. We 
know that one of them does get around probably on jellyfish, as 
a larval stage. It's found in Japan and on this side of the 
water, too. But the others are deep-sea fellows. 


So anyway, I went down to McMurdo the first time and then 
Palmer Station, where I had a charming voyage on the Hero. 

Lage: What's the Hero? 

Hedgpeth: The Hero was a research vessel built by the National Science 
Foundation, according to the whims of one of the big shots in 
NSF. What it is, is a downeast side trawler, and it works the 
nets off the side of the ship instead of over the stern. The 
most famous comment on it was by Athelstan Spilhaus who was 
credited with starting Sea Grant, who said to the officials of 
NSF, "You've gone and built an antique." 

Well, it wasn't exactly suitable for research very well. 
In the first place, the model of the pattern of the ship was a 
coastal vessel, not for going out very far. So you had a big 
heavy winch somewhere about where the wheel house was, and 
running a live cable up forward and then going overboard there 
on pulleys and so forth. She had quite a sloping deck. So from 
the wheel house as originally designed, you couldn't see ahead 
where you were going. So if you're going to go sailing with a 
vessel like this in the Antarctic, where it's full of brash ice, 
broken hunks of ice the size of pianos, you know, sometime or 
another if you hit one of these, it's enough to bash you in. 

Lage: It's nice to know where you're going. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, they had to build the wheel house up a notch so they 
could see over it. So they had a laboratory, one of them was up 
in the fo'c'sle area, and the slope was such that if you put 
water in the sink, why, the water would be sloshing off the 
back, and the fore edge would be down at the bottom of the sink. 
You could only use half the sink. So the only thing that it was 
good for was for skinning and stuffing birds, which you don't 
need the water for. So the ornithologist was happy with that 
place, but-- 

Lage: But not the marine biologist? 

Hedgpeth: Well, you know, the darn thing was designed so that every bunk 
was slightly different in shape and location, so all the 
sheeting and so forth had to be specially tailored. If things 
didn't fit right, you were out of luck. They weren't 
comfortable for Antarctic duty. You couldn't open the hatches 
and let things air out or anything. 

Finally, they took it out of service. She's now on the 
Oregon coast, actually, Florence, Oregon, I think. One of those 
coastal towns, where they want to use her for an offshore 


excursion boat. Well, Oregon is a rough water part of the 
world, too, and you've got to get in and out of those little 
ports usually between two big breakwaters. You're lucky when 
the storm is coming in to get in and out of those places. You 
usually stay ashore. 

And so she rolls and pitches, and I don't think it's any 
good for anybody who has any slight tendency towards 

Lage: May not work in Oregon; is this what we're ? 

Hedgpeth: No, last I heard, she was up on blocks somewhere to be admired. 
Of course, that is not quite as ignominious as Errol Flynn's 
Zaca. He bought the Zaca from I don't know who owned it, and 
was taking his dad, who was actually a pycnogonid authority, of 
all crazy things, to sea. I never met Father Flynn. 

Lage: Errol Flynn's father was a pycnogonid authority? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he was a zoologist. He was at Queens University. So Errol 
was going to take dear old Dad on an exploring trip to the Gulf 
of California, and it was quite a fiasco, I gather. It got 
written up several times. Several people jumped ship. One of 
the biologists had to extract a--I don't know whether it was a 
hook or the spine of some kind of shark, some of them have 
vicious big dorsal spines that are barbed. Stingrays do, too. 
Sort of had to operate on him, pitching deck and all, to save 
him. Apparently did. 

Lage: When did that happen? 
Hedgpeth: That was about 1941, was it? 

Lage: So was that something you've heard about from people who were 
there, or you read about it? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, it was written up all the time as a matter of fact. 
Lage: Because of Errol Flynn, I'm sure. Not because of his father. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He had his girlfriend along, which- -he was quite a 

character. His language was something that can't be repeated in 
the presence of a lady. At any rate, old Hubbs liked to tell 
the story about how he went along on the thing, cleaning fish to 
preserve them, gutting them and that sort of stuff. And a whole 
lot of slop on the deck, and he brought up a bucket of water 
from overboard, and swished it. About that time, the ship 
rolled a bit, and all this stuff went sloshing down the side and 


into the port hole of the cabin occupied by Errol Flynn's light 
of love. 

Errol Flynn came hopping up the ladder, stark naked, 
dripping, and said something like, "Who the goddamn hell," et 
cetera, "swabbing the deck in the bloody evening like this," and 
all that. And then he said, "Oh, it's you, Professor," turned 
around and went back. [laughter] Anyhow, it was all pretty 
wild, and half the crew quit. So the Zaca wound up tied to a 
pier in southern France, in the Riviera somewhere. It just sank 
last year, finally rotted the hull out and sank. Nobody would 
work on it, because they felt it was haunted by all the evil 
people that had been with Errol doing god knows what any 
Republican can think of. [laughs] 

Lage: And would probably enjoy thinking of it. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: Now, let's see. I want to get you back to Antarctica. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. Well, these were strictly study cruises, which were 
pretty nice. 

Lage: Did you spend your time on ship? 

Hedgpeth: Well, no. 

Lage: Were you collecting? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, we were collecting. No, I didn't go on any cruises; they 

don't run ships in the summer out of McMurdo very much, and none 
at all in the winter. There a lot of the collecting is done by 
diving. They bring things up all the time. They've been 
actively diving the Antarctic now for heaven knows, twenty-five, 
thirty years. We flew to McMurdo from Christchurch, New 
Zealand, and by ship to Palmer Station from Punta Arenas, Chile. 

Lage: Did you do any diving? 

Hedgpeth: No, I can't dive. Lose what's left of my hearing. Only got 
good hearing in one ear anyhow. I just wasn't meant for a 
diver ' s life . Paul Dayton who was down at Scripps is one of the 
experts on that. At Palmer, it wasn't so deep, and not much 
diving was carried on there. We went around by ship collecting 
and dragging a bit, so forth. We got enough there to raise in 
tanks, and we watched them and photographed their motion. Here 
you've got an animal with about twelve legs, circular, you want 


to figure out how whether it's developed a rhythm or not, to 
keep from tangling itself up. 

Lage: So how it locomotes? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So we did a paper on that, that's in that fest book thing, 
the Festbuch that was arranged by Bill Fry. 

Lage: What did you discover about how they move? 

Hedgpeth: Well, we discovered they did have an advantage to get what was 
known as a metachronal rhythm, that is, working in sort of a 
sequence. Famous jingle which I can't remember about the 
centipede, when asked how it managed to walk, as soon as it 
started to try to think about that, he got hopelessly tangled 
up. [laughter] 

Tourists at Palmer Station 

Hedgpeth: We had an amusing scene down there at Palmer Station, which is 
on the Antarctic Peninsula, when we were visited by the first 
Lindblad tour. This was before they had a fancy ship, and they 
had chartered some old bucket of bolts from Chile or Argentina, 
looked like it belonged up on a ship dock somewhere. It had a 
very high freeboard, and so they had these--! think the median 
age of the people there was seventy or so. 

Lage: These were just tourists? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I think one of them was about fifteen, I think had been 
sent down for his bar mitzvah or something as a present. 
Anyway, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Roger Tory Peterson was 
the naturalist telling them one penguin from another. They got 
caught on a rocky island in the harbor. In the Antarctic, every 
once in a while a storm suddenly comes up, whooosh, like that, 
and then goes. You've got less than twenty-four hours notice. 

They had all the people out on these little low, rocky 
islands in the harbor, not very far away. They knew they 
couldn't get them back with that Jacob's ladder, after the storm 
began to hit, they would have to climb about thirty feet up the 
sheer side of the ship. Fortunately, we had a big icebreaker in 
the bay that had a couple of LCIs aboard, landing craft infantry 
types that go plop down on front so you can walk ashore. They 
got the passengers all off, and they had to put them up in our 



dining hall overnight because they couldn't get back to the 

So to entertain them, the purser dug up I think they 
issuethis is run by the navy--about 400 films to last a year. 
They're all in the charge of the quartermaster, sort of naval 
equivalent of a top sergeant, in some ways more officious and 
overbearing. So he was showing this film, it was supposed to be 
a humorous film set in the Colonies during the Revolution. Only 
it was filmed in England. 

I sat there sort of bored. Roger Peterson was there beside 
me scraping his feet and saying, "Oh, dear, tut, tut, tut," and 
so forth. Finally, I said, "What's the matter?" He said, 
"Well, this is supposed to be in Massachusetts, but they haven't 
screened out the English bird calls." [laughter] I said, "I 
hadn't even noticed." So I went clear down to the bottom of 
Roger's opinion as an ornithologist, not that I had one anyway. 

So that was what he noticed about the film? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, that's what he noticed about it. [laughs] The rest of us 
just thought it was a bit dull. 

I think one night the quartermaster had a real time for us. 
They gave us "Bonnie and Clyde," and what was the other one? Oh 
yes, the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" as a double bill. And 
it wasn't Halloween. 

Lage: How long was this ship stranded there with you, these tourists? 

Hedgpeth: Well, just for twenty- four hours. The next day they could get 
back aboard. These storms just last that long, sometimes less. 
But they all thought it was very jolly. But anyway, in the 
morning see, we got these requests, and the stamp collectors 
journals get this information from the National Science 
Foundation of all the personnel going to the Antarctic. So we 
would get letters from people we never knew about or anything, 
because they stamped a letter, they got the right stamp, of 
course, had to be U.S., asking us if we'd please send it back 
with the station cachet on it. 

Well, the quartermaster, CPO, whatever he is, chief petty 
officer, he wouldn't let us use this station cachet. So while 
the purser from the ship... 

Lage: This is like a postmark? 







Yes. While the purser was stamping a great heap of envelopes, 
or covers, you know, with the little thing he had that said, 
"Commemorating the first Lindblad expedition to Antarctica," or 
something like that, I had collected a whole- -we had bought some 
beer in Punta Arenas, and they had rather nice labels, a penguin 
dancing on the South Pole and the message, "La ceverceria mas 
austral del mundo." So we soaked the labels off the bottles--! 
don't know why, just to be doing something- -and I was pasting 
these labels on some of the envelopes. The purser said, "What 
are you doing?" He had been allowed to use the station cachet, 
so I had borrowed it from him. I said, "Well, I think these are 
going to be a lot rarer than yours, because I have a rather 
limited number of these beer labels." He grabbed back the 
cachet stamp and folded up his wares and went off somewhere, 
[laughs] So I wouldn't be encroaching on his domain, I guess. 

Funny deal about that was, I got a letter from a kid in 
Germany. At that time, I hadn't access to the cachets, so I 
wrote a little note to him and I said, "I'm sending you a very 
special one; due to the limited number of labels, it's going to 
be a lot rarer than a cachet which our CPO wouldn't let us use." 
It's the only time I ever got a response on these things. He 
wrote a nice thank-you letter. Usually you don't get anything. 
In fact, when some Australian stamp club sent us a box of 250 of 
these things to be returned, by command of Washington, the guy 
in charge just threw them all away. Didn't want to get mixed up 
in that much of the business. In fact, I think they try to keep 
the stamp clubs from learning about who's there- 

Yes, this sounds like a big enterprise, 
your time returning mail. 

Oh, sure, could if you would. 

You could spend all 

So the Germany boy appreciated the beer labels? 

Yes, he wrote a nice letter to me. [laughs] Another time I was 
traveling in Germany. I went to Frankfurt and to Nuremberg. 
First place, I wanted to see Albert Diirer's house. Second, I 
wanted to see the German railroad museum, which is a very fine 
one. Trains began in Germany at Nuremberg. So they have this 
lovely big model set up, and a whole locomotive cut in half, and 
all this kind of stuff. I had gone there, about an hour's run 
from Frankfurt to Nuremberg on a Eurail pass. Wasn't very many 
people in the train, so I settled down in the second-class 
compartment, and got a lecture from the conductor. The Eurail 
ticket was a first-class ticket, and I should be seated in the 
first-class compartment. 



I told him I didn't know what real reason for that was, 
since I was quite happy here, nobody else was here in the 
compartment. He gave up on me after a while, first place I 
guess because my German wasn't fluent enough to keep up with 
him. But he kepteven when we got to the station, he looked at 
me and shook his head as I got off the train. 

So on the way back, I got in, I didn't even notice what 
compartment it was. A boy there about seventeen or eighteen- -he 
was a real addict. He had the complete timetables of the entire 
German system, and he was ticking off the times as they went to 
the stations, checking up to see whether this train was running 
properly or not. Then apparently, he'd also been to the museum, 
though I hadn't seen him there. He had bought a very nice model 
locomotive, and I asked to look at it. Well, we both looked at 

So along comes another conductor and starts to work me over 
about sitting in the wrong compartment. This kid chimes up that 
I was a very dear friend of his, and also a well-known 
railroader type, and all this kind of rubbish, and talked the 
guy right out into the passageway and slammed the door on him. 
[laughter] I never even learned the kid's name. 

That shows a little lack of respect for authority. 

Yes, well, I guess conductors are fair game. We got off the 

Studying the Impact of Scientific Activity on the Antarctic 

Lage: More on Antarctica. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, the last time I was in Antarctica was--. Well, George 

Llano cooked this up, I think for a certain deliberate purpose. 
He knew what kind of-- 

Lage: Now, George Llano, who was he? 

Hedgpeth: He was in charge of Antarctic biology, and that is a division of 
the National Science Foundation under Polar Programs. Anyway, 
he suggested I be sent down there to prepare a report on the 
influence of scientific activity in Antarctica. 


Lage: Was it something you had commented on to him, or how did he 
happen to pick you? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I know he just knew my temperament and about this kind of 
thing, I guess. So they gave me a contract to go down there-- 

Lage: And that was November '74. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. At that time, they had just decommissioned thethey had a 
little atomic power plant there, old kind of little one- lung 

Lage: To develop power for the station? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And it was halfway up Observatory Hill. Observatory Hill 
is a little cinder cone right-- 

Lage: Is that at McMurdo? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, McMurdo. It had started to leak or something, so they 
decided they couldn't be running it any more. 


Hedgpeth: So they were starting to take it apart. But among other things, 
you don't have as much heat as you have in an atomic power 
plant, so they were distilling water. The distilled water was 
to service the base, which in summer had a population of about 
2,500 people, a lot of navy personnel and all kinds of hangers- 
on. I noticed that it had a chlorination unit on it. I said, 
"What do you need that for?" "Well, we don't need it, but it's 
requirements that all water served to personnel in the navy must 
be chlorinated." "Even when it's distilled?" "Oh, yes, of 
course." [laughter] So that was that part of it. 

Lage: What was McMurdo like? 

Hedgpeth: Well, you see, it's very dangerous to have a big fire to burn 

trash there, because the wind would come up and take it out, and 
it's very dry, everything will burn. If you've got anything 
that could burn the whole base down, be careful. It was a mess, 
they had all kinds of wires, of course, and like these old 
pictures of New York in 1910 or so, there were solid masses of 
wires on posts and all of this, between here and there. 

The ships landed main supplies right down near Scott's hut. 
This was his hut he used the trip before his last. It's not the 
one from which he started to the pole; that's a few miles away. 
But it's also one that he had over-wintered in. And of course, 






Lage : 

it's an international monument, and to be treated most sacredly 
and all of that. But it was built there because it was right 
near the edge where you can bring a ship up in the summertime 
and unload and load and so forth. 

So when the touring began, you can see real plainly what 

was going to happen, 
be asked to walk up 
past the main trash 
they're very neat, 
all their junk over 
called in my report 
taken very kindly. 

All these people get off there, and they'd 
to the base, it's about a half a mile, right 
dump. New Zealanders complained of course, 
Everything is scrubbed up; well, they'd take 
and dump it into our trash heap, which I'd 
the McMurdo Municipal Dump. That wasn't 
There's a lot of old stuffed shirts in the 

Antarctic program anyway. 
More so than in other programs? 
Oh, yes. 
Why is that? 

[in British accent] Oh, you should read what the British think, 
about the story that Scott's crew were all a bunch of homos and 
all of this stuff. One of the more pompous Britishers says, 
"Polar men wouldn't do this sort of thing." [laughter] 

Now, how did they react? 
with stuffed shirts. 

I would think you wouldn't do too well 

No, just somehow the temptation of puncturing them is almost too 

How did they react to you? 

Well, they cashed me out. They decided that what I had done so 
far was about all they needed. 

In terms of investigating the environmental damage? 

Yes. They also sent me to the South Pole just to say I'd been 

So you did go to the South Pole? 

Well, I went down there by a C131 with about 8,000 gallons of 
fuel in a big tank. It was sort of the milk run; just turned 
around and came back about two hours later. So I walked around 
there. Of course, it was pretty hard to see anything there. 
You go under, the original base is sort of now under ice can't 


be underground, because it was about 5,000 feet of ice there 
down to bedrock. You can see where the pressure was beginning 
to squash things in, but they had just built this great palace 
of sort of a big dome, geodesic dome, lot of what do you call 
those darn barrel-like buildings? They have a name for them, 

Then as I say, they decided they didn't need what I had 
written, and to pay me off, which they did. That's all right. 

Lage: But you didn't really complete your study? 

Hedgpeth: No, I hadn't. But then comes the cream of the jest. They 

proceed to hire some environmental impact outfit, which included 
one of the fellows I'd seen down in the Antarctic several times, 
and still see him around, Gordon Robilliard. He works for one 
of these consulting outfits now. He was Paul Dayton's diving 
mate in the early years. 

So what do they do? They give him my rough draft to work 
with. [laughs] Got to where my friend Jerry Bertrand of the 
Massachusetts Audubon Society, a former student, was a little 
piqued by the whole thing, and just for the hell of it, he got 
it out of the files by the Freedom of Information Act-- [laughs] 

Lage: Got your report? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, substantial a lot of what I had said--I just 

pointed out that one of the things that was not helping anything 
at all was this regular run that was from McMurdo to the South 
Pole, because the exhaust from the aircraft is creating a great 
swath of carbon pollution on the surface of the ice. One of the 
problems with that is it interfered with the projects that some 
people had to take the firn, which is just that very crisp ice 
at the top, and go straight down, so they could see that the 
onset of the Industrial Revolution was recorded, because of the 
increase in carbon. And this interfered with that kind of 
information. You have to count that whole swath between McMurdo 
and the South Pole as being useless for that purpose. Of 
course, they finally agreed with me, but--. 

Lage: So even for their scientific purposes, they were-- 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, this was supposed to be, as I had said, one of the 
things we find out in the dry valleythe dry valley is a very 
interesting place there 


The what, dry valley? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. They are a strange sort of oasis in the middle of nothing. 
There's no plant life there, except there's a puddle there 
called a lake in one of them. These are not far from McMurdo, 
they're only about forty minutes away by chopper. Walking 
around there, and all the rocks had been smoothed over and 
carved into strange shapes. They're called ventifacts, which 
most of the unlettered keep calling ventrifacts. Makes them 
more intestinal than windblown, but anyhow. [laughs] So they 
called it Ashtray Valley on that account, because of nice-shaped 
stones, and took them home, and there's hardly any of them left 
anymore. I pointed out there was indeed a surplus of plastic 
pen barrels being left all over the place, and you could walk 
around and see those. Although the aesthetic impact may be of 
no great value, they did indicate we'd been there somehow. 
Things like that. 

The other thing was that other delightful way of getting 
rid of some of their undesirable material, like honey buckets, 
was just to put them on the edge of the ice, and when the ice 
broke up in the summer and headed north, they didn't know where 
or when these things would sink or what would happen to them 
afterwards. The crowning touch of that was when some 
ichthyologist somewhere in Nebraska or South Dakota had been 
studying fish, and he had pickled all his fish for further study 
and put them in a barrel. They got the wrong label on the wrong 
barrel, and so he was told that his fish were waiting for him 
down on the station platform, about 90 to 100 degrees in the 
sun. He opened up the barrel and found he'd been sent the honey 
bucket. He never knew what happened to his fish. 

Lage: It sounds very sloppy, very poor care of the area. 

Hedgpeth: Well, it was. These little details, I don't think they cared 
too much for. 


Do you think it's improved at all since they 

I haven't been back there to check up on it. I don't think I 
will ever go back. I'm now overage for anything like that, 
especially with my record of operations. But when they 
dedicated the statue to Byrd at the McMurdo base, they invited 
at that time the only surviving member of Scott's team, Sir 
Charles Wright, who was a specialist on ice and polar physics 
and so forth. He was the man who spotted the tent in which 
Scott and Wilson had died. 

So they took him down there to lend tone to the occasion, 
waived all age and physical requirements. This was a VIP to 
come down and go back on the next plane, that sort of stuff. 


But anyway, the story is that one morning, some of the young 
fellows who happened to be seated at breakfast with him asked 
him what he was going to do today, and he said he was going to 
walk to the top of Observatory Hill. Well, this volcanic cone 
is about 300 feet high. It's not exactly an easy climb for any 

One of the navy brass overheard him, and so he said, "Well, 
I think we'll have to send some fellows up along with you to be 
sure things go well." He grabbed two of the stoutest looking 
characters around, navy ratings, you know, didn't have anything 
to say about their future. So off they went. 

They got halfway up the hill, and the young fellows started 
to pant and said, "We've got to take a breather." Sir Charles 
looked at them, and he had this most angelic expression on his 
face. He was at Scripps for a year or so, and we got to know 
him pretty well. He said, "What's the matter, didn't you 
fellows eat your Wheaties this morning?" [laughter] He wanted 
to go up to the top and seethey'd put a cross up in honor of 
Scott on the top of the hill, and he wanted to see what shape it 
was in. [laughs] 

Lage: So did he go on ahead? 
Hedgpeth: Yes, he went on ahead. 

There's another thing there, I had visited the chaplain to 
find out what the thought was about these things, and he didn't 
think much about them. But anyway, he said he had his own 
disposal problem right now. Some professor for whom a hill had 
been named wanted his ashes scattered there, and the chaplain 
said, "Of course, it's rather ticklish, because we're not 
allowed to do that in this part of the world. Strictly 
forbidden, and all of that." So they had handed the whole 
matter over to the chaplain, and he had a stack of paper about 
this high he had to fill out for all this business. 

What they finally did, he wouldn't want to commit. I 
suppose they did scatter them for him. The Russians actually 
buried several of their people who were killed in an accident. 
They had asked us to- -there is a very nice, pink granite down 
there, I think it's near Cape Halle t, but anyway, somebody 
spotted it and carved a lot of it off for samples. The Russians 
had seen this stuff, and they asked for a slab of it for a 
tombstone for this guy. We obliged them. 

Lage: And they buried him down there? 


Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, things happen in winter, you can't do anything about 
things until the next ship comes in maybe six months later. 

Lage: That's true, I guess you have to do something. Now, when did 
you get the Antarctic Medal for contributions to Antarctic 

Hedgpeth: I don't know, it just came along in the mail written by somebody 
saying I was entitled to receive the Antarctic Medal. [1971] 

Lage: Was that for your sea spider studies? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I told some people I thought it was for putting up with 
George Llano for three trips down there. [laughs] 

Hedgpeth Heights 

Lage: Now, how about the Hedgpeth Heights? Was that for the same 
reason? Why Hedgpeth Heights was named after you. [See 
Appendix G for Hedgpeth placenames . ] 

Hedgpeth: Since the other adjacent one was Quam Heights and he was an 
official at NSF, I don't know just why they did that, but I 
think they have a lot of space in Antarctica, it's 5 million 
square miles. 

Lage: They don't have to name everything, though. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, the Board of Geographic Names thinks that way. An 
extraordinary stuffy lot. 

Lage: Was the particular spot they named have anything to do with you? 

Hedgpeth: No, it's just near Cape Adare. It's right on the main line, so 
I could fly right over it and see it. In fact, I was flying 
back in a New Zealand planethey're much easier to get along 
with than our people, who had all kinds of regulations so I 
pointed it out on the map, and the pilot said, "Oh, that's just 
over there, it's only about five minutes out of the way. We'll 
fly right over there for you." 

Lage: So that was named fairly early, then, if you have flown over it. 
Hedgpeth: No, that was the last time I was down there, in 1974. 


Lage: Now, in the Sierra, I know they're always reluctant to name 

anything after somebody who's living, like a Sierra peak. But I 
guess they don't feel that way about Antarctica. 

Hedgpeth: No. I had a tiff with the Board of Geographic Names. First 
place, they said they wouldn't use possessives any more. So 
they had written my grandmother's name as Nelly Cove; it's 
Nellie's Cove up there at Port Orford. It's where she used to 
collect agates. So I said that- -wrote them a note saying, "At 
least I wish you'd spell her name right." She always spelled it 

Lage: And how did they spell it, with a Y? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And without the possessive. But they said they wouldn't 
put that back on it, because they don't believe in possessives. 
And along came this new map of the California coast in which 
they had taken the tilde off of Ano Nuevo. 

Lage: They don't believe in that either? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. So I pointed out to them, I said, "Hey, that word is one 
of the few in which the failure to use a tilde really makes a 
difference. " 

Lage: What kind of a difference does it make? 

Hedgpeth: I said, "What it means is that I would be unable to display the 
latest edition of your map in the hallway where it might be seen 
by the fine ladies of Spanish extraction." 

Lage: You're going to have to explain that one for me. 

Hedgpeth: All right. The tilde means year, afio. That's the tilde, the 

curve. It's New Year's Point. It tells you almost exactly when 
Point Reyes was named, since Point Reyes stands for the epiphany 
in Spanish, Punta de los tres Reyes, which is the sixth of 
January. They were at New Year's Day at Ano Nuevo. Now, 
without the tilde, it means ass, it's anus. 

Lage: It makes a difference. 

Hedgpeth: It does. 

Lage: Did they change it? 

Hedgpeth: They did. They wrote a letter and said, "Few people have made 

such a strong point as you, we're going to put the tilde back on 
in this case." 


Lage: So you finally got a response to one of your letters. 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

More on Oregon State University 

Lage: Okay, now let's see if there's more to say about Oregon, and 
then we can move on to San Francisco Bay. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. About Oregon is--a very funny episode did happen, not 
funny, but rather mean in some ways. There was a meeting in 
Portland on various subjects, and Oregon State had been asked to 
participate. Nobody wanted to go. So they asked me if I would 
be interested in doing that, and I said, "Well." 

Lage: What was the meeting? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I don't know what it was all about, mostly biological 

matters of estuaries and pollution and this kind of stuff. You 
see, it wasn't a really fancy trip. If it was, let's say to 
Melbourne or Sydney, Australia, why, you'd have been trampled to 
death trying to get on that one. 

So anyway, I went up to Portland and gave kind of a little 
preliminary speech, and I was asked to write it up. So 1 wrote 
this paper up, and then it was passed around in the oceanography 
department, and everybody looked at it. I forgot all about that 
aspect of it. Suddenly, parts of it appeared in the proposal 
written by two of my colleagues. So I complained to the 
chairman, I said, "Look at this, some of this is almost the same 
phraseology as was used in my grant proposal to the Office of 
Naval Research." 

Lage: So you'd already used some of it for 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and I said, "I have already used some of that in the grant 
proposal," which they had seen, the top brass had seen, I guess. 
The chairman had been assured that I had been told about it, and 
I said, "No, that's not the case. It might cause some 
embarrassment if these two proposals should wind up on the same 
desk, as is quite possible in this sort of thing." So we never 
resolved that matter. That was on Earth Day, so I had pretty 
much lost interest in getting along with these people. 


So this is sort of another example of the competitive style. 


Hedgpeth: Yes, right. Of course, they didn't get any grant. 
Lage: Did you? 

Hedgpeth: Well, yes, but the rest of their proposal was so silly that it 
wouldn't work. 

Lage: Were you able to get enough grants to keep the station going? 

Hedgpeth: Not as much as they were supposed to get. That would be 
impossible, really, without any cooperation from the-- 

Lage: Did you have much of a staff out there that you supervised? 
Hedgpeth: No, I just had one usually. 
Lage: And the maintenance- - 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, he disappeared. They had to send him home. He was 
directly under building and grounds from Corvallis . 

Lage: So you were sort of left on your own to take the research where 
you wanted it to go, it sounds like? 

Hedgpeth: Sure. So I took it to the Antarctic. 

Lage: And that was the focus of what you did up there? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. In the last several years. 

Lage: So actually, the bay itself that you were situated on didn't 
define the program at all. It wasn't local research. 

Hedgpeth: No. And I was never asked by anybody to participate in any of 
the programs they had. 

Lage: What kind of program would that have been, on the campus? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Lage: How did the fisheries side of the program go? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know. 

Lage: Wasn't too much communication there? 

Hedgpeth: The guy in charge of it quit after a while, he had such problems 
with the committee on curriculum. I didn't have any problems; 
they had some problems with me. But [William J.] McNeil, the 


fisheries guy, had recommended a textbook, because he had great 
trouble with those chaps over there in fisheries, because none 
of them knew any math and they didn't understand the mathematics 
of population changes and all this kind of stuff. He named his 
course after the very fine tome entitled The Exploitation of 
Fishery Stocks. I knew about the book myself, too. The 
curriculum committee objected to the term "exploitation" in the 
title for a course. 

Lage: Sounds like a very stuffy bunch. 

Hedgpeth: Then they built up something about problems with an ecology 

course because it impinged on the interests of entomologists and 
the physiologists, and there was some objection in this part or 
another, and they said, "The matter is adjourned, it will be 
taken up at the next meeting." The next meeting went on the 
same as the first, so I just patched up a memo with various 
assorted quotations from the works of C. L. Dodgson, which I 
submitted as being by C. L. Dodgson. [See following page.] 

Next I heard of it was from a dean. He said, "Somebody 
came around and said they couldn't find that name [C. L. 
Dodgson] on the faculty list, and they wondered who he was. I 
told him to try the mathematics department." [laughs] Anyway, 
it was considered one of the best memoranda 1 ever wrote, and I 
didn't write a word of it, I just rearranged the two quotations 
from the successive meetings and this thing wound up finally 
where the Mad Hatter says, "Oh, look what time it is, gentlemen! 
It's time to adjourn, please go home." [laughter] 

Lage: Did people appreciate that, or were they really kind of thrown 
by it? 

Hedgpeth: Well, a couple of those people didn't even know what it was all 
about. They couldn't figure out what the memo was or why. 

Lage: It sounds like it was a frustrating experience for you. 

Hedgpeth: Considering I was raised with the story that my grandfather 
always read Alice in Wonderland before sticky days in court. 

Lage: Do you think you take after your grandfather? 

Hedgpeth: I suppose I do, I don't know. I had so many of these rather 

domineering aunts. One of them wrote to me in high school and 
said, "I understand you are writing for the school paper. 
Whatever you do, don't become another Ambrose Bierce." So I 
immediately dashed to the library and found out who Ambrose 
Bierce was. [laughs] 


> H 

TO: Council on Curriculum and Academic Policy 
FROM: C. L. Dodgson 

Minutes, Meeting 7, October 10, 1968: 

Use of the word "animal M 1n the proposed titles for Ent 475, 
Comparative Animal Behavior, and Mb 434, Animal Virology, were 
discussed briefly. It was decided that action should be deferred 
on these courses pending further discussions with the departments 
raising questions about the proposed changes. 

Minutes, Meeting 9, October 17, 1968: 

Proposed title of Ent 475, Comparative Animal Behavior, was 
further discussed, and response and communications were reviewed. . . 
concerning definitions, limits, overlaps, duplications, and further 
lines of developments, and procedures for Interdisciplinary dis 
cussion and review In the areas of animal behavior. By a majority 
of one, it was voted that the title might be changed to "Animal 
Behavior" for the time being with the word "Comparative" deleted. . . 
persons Interested in developments 1n this area should meet to 
discuss this matter and to reach agreement if possible. 


"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said In a rather scornful 
tone, "it means just what I choose It to mean - neither more nor 

"What 1s the use of repeating all that stuff?" the Mock Turtle 
Interrupted, "if you don't explain 1t as you go? It's by far the 
most confusing thing that I have ever heard!" 

"Shall we try another figure of the Lobster Quadrille?" the 
Gryphon went on, "or would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you 
another song?" 


"Is there a motion before the house?" 


"No, no - sentence first, verdict afterwards! Off with his head!" 


"Gentlemen, consider what a long way you've come today. Consider 
what o'clock it 1s. Consider anything, only don't cry. Just adjourn!" 


Lage: She led you in the right direction. 
Hedgpeth: I suppose. 

Lage: I wonder if she thought you had the capability for becoming 
another Ambrose Bierce? She may have seen something in your 

Hedgpeth: I don't know. 

"Steinbeck and the Sea" Conference 

Lage: Was it at Oregon that you met up with Richard Astro and got 
involved in the Steinbeck and the 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. Well, he had done a thesis on Steinbeck. 

Lage: Was it on Steinbeck and Ricketts, or just Steinbeck? 

Hedgpeth: Just Steinbeck. But-- 

Lage: Was he in the English department there? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He's now a provost or something at the new Florida State, 
central Florida, something in Orlando. 

Lage: So he'd done a thesis on Steinbeck, and then how did you happen 
to meet him? 

Hedgpeth: He looked me up. 

Lage: Because he knew you'd known Ricketts? 

Hedgpeth: Somebody had told him. 1 don't know how he got hold of . 

Lage: How did this idea of the "Steinbeck and the Sea" conference come 

Hedgpeth: Well, he decided, since I could provide a lot of information and 
so forth, that we'd get together a conference. One thing led to 
another. Of course, there's money in the humanities for these 
kinds of things, so he got some funding for it. 

Lage: And you held it out at the station? 


Hedgpeth: Well, I held one session there at the station, but the main one 
was held in Corvallis. That's the one we got Joseph Campbell to 
attend, and a few other people. I don't know whether he knew at 
the time that Campbell had known Steinbeck and Ricketts or not. 
Certainly didn't know about the stuff this guy Larson, who wrote 
a biography of Joseph Campbell, dug up in the . 

Lage: What is that stuff? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, the romance that Joe Campbell had with Mrs. Steinbeck, et 

cetera. Well, they decided they wouldn't carry it any further, 
and that was when Steinbeck said, "That's the worst thing you 
could do." [laughter] They understood what they were 
disagreeing, we'd not carry it on any further, before they 
realized they were, according to Larson, potential soul mates or 
something of the sort. Anyway. 

Lage: Astro seemed to later develop quite a concentration on the 
influence of Ricketts on Steinbeck. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He wrote that other book on that. 

Lage: Did that thinking come about through that conference? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. It sort of revived this business, thanks to me. Well, I 

went down and talked to various people including Carol Steinbeck 

Lage: You did that after the conference, or to prepare for it? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I had to write up this stuff, because Astro's thesis 
depended on access to some of the stuff that Ricketts had 
written, and I had published that. 

Lage: Had you already published Outer Shores? 
Hedgpeth: No. 
Lage: You put a lot of time in on studying Ricketts. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. I dug up all his papers. One time I was in Tallahassee 
lecturing; I had a friend there who was on the faculty, Albert 
Collier. He drove me over to Gainesville, where I went through 
Lisca's stuff, which he's still got, and won't give to anybody. 

Lage: Who is he? I know you've mentioned him, but I've forgotten. 


Hedgpeth: Lisca is a professor of English at--I gather he's gone 

practically bonkers or something, had about five wives I hope 
the crocodiles eat him up or something, alligators. 

Lage: But not his papers. Does he have Ricketts 1 papers or 

Hedgpeth: He has Ricketts' papers, a lot of them. He had a lot of 

correspondence, he had a lot of personal papers. See, Ricketts 
kept carbons of everything he wrote. There's a set there to his 
children they'd like to get. 

Lage: How did Lisca get them? 

Hedgpeth: He came down to Pacific Marine Station before this kind of thing 
really got going, borrowed them or something, was told he could 
have them I guess, I don't know what. I was not there, so I 
don't know. 1 

I don't know what more you want to hear about goings-on in 

Lage: Is there any more you think that we should hear, or do you think 
we've gotten the idea? 

Hedgpeth: I was the opening speaker on the first Earth Day there at 

Corvallis. Then I went over to Eugene and gave the afternoon 

Lage: Was that a big event in Oregon, Earth Day? This is 1970. 

Hedgpeth: Well attended. Of course, I naturally wound up by quoting 

Thoreau, last line in Walden, "The earth is but a morning star," 

so forth. I think there's quite a few people at Oregon State 

who figure this is rather dangerous stuff. 

Lage: Was it a pretty conservative community there? 

Hedgpeth: [English accent] Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Especially at Corvallis. 

Look at what's happening up in Oregon now, they've got a 
proposition on their ballot that will ban homosexuals. 

'Just lately (summer of 1994) all the Ricketts papers arrived at the 
Stanford University Library without advance notice or any explanation. We 
haven't learned what happened to Lisca; maybe the alligators did eat him. 


Lage: Yes, I've read about that. 

Hedgpeth: Consider it all part of original sin. That might be as genetic 
as anything else, if they thought about it seriously. 

Lage: It looks like they're going to decide that before too long. 
Hedgpeth: Well, it will be chaos if they do vote on that thing favorably. 


Lage: When you left Oregon, did you retire or did you what happened? 

Hedgpeth: Well, the president of the university announced that the budget 
was getting tight, and a compulsory retirement would be 
enforced--! don't know whether it was [age] sixty-seven or 
whatever funny year it was now, I forgetand that those who 
could possibly retire earlier than that could make the salaries 
available for the younger people who needed them, et cetera, et 
cetera, you know. 

So I went around to the business office and I said, "Well, 
I've got three years to go, according to the president's 
memorandum. How much more pension will I have if I stick it out 
three years?" After a few minutes of fiddling with the buttons, 
the guy came back and said, "Oh, it would be about eight dollars 
a month." I said, "Oh, that ain't worth it, bye." [laughs] 

Lage: Not much incentive to stick it out. 

Hedgpeth: No. 

Lage: So then you went into independent consulting? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I guess so. Yes, I would be consulting and . 

Lage: How did you happen to move back here to Santa Rosa? 

Hedgpeth: We'd lived at Sebastopol when I was working at Dillon Beach. 

Florence wanted to live in a town that was a little larger, and 
so on and so forth. Of course, even here in Santa Rosa is a 
little far from the center of population. But things are a bit 
more expensive down there around the bay. 


The author struggling with the bureaucracy (illustration on 
the program cover of the 64th meeting of the Western 
Society of Naturalists at Simon Fraser University, Dec. 
1987), inspired by a vignette from the late Edward Forbes 
(British Starfish, 1841 -p. 197) drawn by W. Schuss without 



Estuarine Studies 

Lage: Now we need to turn our thoughts here to the San Francisco Bay, 
and I thought we'd start with I know you've written about the 
history of scientific investigations, and I read your 1977 
paper, which was very interesting. 1 I just wanted to pursue a 
few of the points that you made there. One, that all these 
engineering decisions on the bay were made without much 
knowledge of the biological needs of the system. 

Hedgpeth: Of course. 

Lage: And you particularly sort of indicted Stanford and UC Berkeley 
for not pursuing their own back yard. 

Hedgpeth: They're still getting that kind of static. 

Lage: Why do you think they didn't pursue this area of study? 

Hedgpeth: I don't honestly know. Of course, it never occurred to most of 
them. Kofoid, though, tried to get it started, and he even got 
this guy Allen to work on the plankton of the river around 
Stockton. Then he went down to Scripps. That's the other 
thing, it started at Scripps, the marine biology thing, and that 
pulled a lot of people down south that might have gotten 
interested in the bay. 

Actually, one of the best theses on estuarine processes 
ever done was Don Prichard's work on the Chesapeake Bay, it was 

'Joel Hedgpeth, "San Francisco Bay: The Unsuspected Estuary: A 
History of Researches," in San Francisco Bay the Urbanized Estuary 58th 
Annual Meeting, Pacific Division, American Association for the Advancement 
of Science, June 12-16, 1977, T. John Conomes, editor, San Francisco, 1979. 


a thesis at Scripps on salinity exchange and how- -see, when you 
have a layering of the ocean water underneath- -it usually comes 
in underneath, and fresh water is on top. There is a zone 
between them there where things are mixing back and forth, and 
it's called a zone of no net motion. It means nothing is going 
strongly in either direction, they're just 

Lage: And it's a zone where the salt and fresh water are meeting? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And what is happening there, according to Prichard, is 

that oyster larvae, among other things, would rise to that level 
and move upstream against what appeared to be the main gradient, 
the fresh water coming down. 

Lage: They're moving against that? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Anyway, he worked it out very well, and he had pretty good 
numbers for it. Very impressive job. 

Lage: Numbers to demonstrate that it did happen, or to demonstrate why 
it happened? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. He's been out here a number of times trying to tell people 
out here what to do. Of course, they invited this whole group a 
few years ago. 

Lage: Who invited them? 

Hedgpeth: Well, actually, the state agencies, Division of Water Resources, 
Water Board, Fish and Game, people like that, because they 
realized that they didn't havesee, this hearing lasted for 
nearly three years, and the board couldn't make a decision. 
Unfortunately, Fish and Game was under terrific pressure not to 
say anything. In fact, they were even suppressed or modified-- 

Lage: Not to say anything that wasn't in keeping with--? 

Hedgpeth: The fact that it would interfere with the idea that we shouldn't 
be sending all this water south. Most of them knew that, but 
they just weren't allowed to say it. 

I was born on the shore of San Francisco Bay, to begin 
with. But other than seeing starfish on the piling at the Key 
System pier and that kind of stuff, I never got much of anything 
in school. But of course, knowledge of life in the bay even 
around a city like Oakland wasn't very good. You get down along 
the waterfront, and it was just wharf and not much access to 
water. Where you could it was pretty yucky and tacky and all of 


Lage: So it wasn't a place conducive to exploring? 

Hedgpeth: We all used to go swimming in north Alameda, good old Neptune 

Baths. There's this picture of me when I was about four or five 
seated by the fountain at Neptune Baths; it's now Crown Beach, 
now a regional park. In fact, I gave them a copy of the picture 
of me. I don't know if they've ever done anything with it or 
not. Shows things about Neptune Beach they didn't have in the 
pictures they had there, obviously not the great grand staircase 
going down to the big fountain. 

[An Encounter with the Archdruid 

Hedgpeth: Some years ago, at a forgettable conference on Saving the Earth 
on the Berkeley campus I was asked, just before sitting down 
with the rest of the speakers in a final panel in Wheeler Aud, 
to summarize what was to be heard from the speakers. Discussion 
ended much too soon, and I found myself alone at the lextern. 
While trying to gather my wits I mumbled that although I was 
born in a large house a few miles from the campus where we could 
see the shore of San Francisco Bay from the roof, I had never 
expected to be at the lectern in a hall where I had attended 
many evening lectures and courses as a student. Then I remarked 
that one of my vivid memories was the spectacle of Charles 
Erskine Scott Wood, who often sat in the third row near the 
aisle, looking like Jehovah himself, who should be remembered 
for his opinion that the greatest offense of mankind was the 
fee-simple ownership of property (that produced a chilly 
emanation from the audience). One of the first comments from 
the floor came from David Brower: 

"I don't believe you," he said. 

"What don't you believe?" I asked. 

"My mother wouldn't let me climb the roof," said he. 

Suspecting an ego trip, I retorted: "Our house had a 
stairway to the roof and a widow's walk." 

End of conversation. 

'David Brower is incorrectly alluded to as an archdruid in this (or 
any other) context. The archdruid is the presiding officer of the 
eisteddfod, elected by the gorsedd or council of bards. His function is to 
bring the occasion to order and ask for peace: "Oes heddwcb?" 


Later, I found myself in the chow line just in front of 
Brower and wife. 

"By the way," I said, "your mother-in-law was probably 
often in that house since she was a dear friend of my mother." 
Anne Brower nodded in agreement, and I sensed that further 
conversation was not welcome. 

A few weeks later there appeared a newspaper account of 
Dave Brewer's autobiography, illustrated in part by a photograph 
of the future archdruid at eight or nine years in a rig 
consisting of a wicker cart pulled by an elegant black goat. I 
could not resist sending the archdruid a copy of the photograph 
of myself at the same age in the same cart and black goat. I 
remember that I had been summoned from whatever I was doing to 
sit in the cart while the picture was taken, and then 
immediately ushered out of the cart (I thought that the outfit 
was to have been mine). For all I know we may have been 
photographed on the same day; we lived only about four miles or 
so apart. 

I have never heard from the archdruid since.] 1 

Lage: You and Dave Brower are pretty much contemporaries, aren't you, 
in age? 

Hedgpeth: I guess so. 

Lage: Fairly close, I would say. 

Hedgpeth: I get a little fed up with his ego-trip business. He gave a 
great harangue before one of the bay meetings a while back. 

Lage: He comes at it from a very different way- -not from the science- - 

Hedgpeth: Yes, well, he's not particularly interested in the bay as such 
anyway. Liked to go climbing rocks when he was able. 

Lage: But has he supported efforts to preserve the bay? 
Hedgpeth: I think so, I don't know. 

'Mr. Hedgpeth added the preceding bracketed material, including the 
footnote, during his review of the draft transcript. 


Estuaries in Texas 

Hedgpeth: I really didn't get any understanding of what estuaries were all 
about until I went to Texas. Then you live in the middle of the 
whole system. 

Lage: Is that where you started your roots as an expert on estuaries 
goes back to that? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, see, before me there was this fellow Albert Collier 
who had been working for the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster 
Commission, as they called it then. He had run a whole bunch of 
samples with data, he had a great pile of data running for 
several years. They had a hurricane down there, and Dr. Gunter 
said, "We've got to save that data," so he piled it all in a big 
box and took it up to his house, which was on reasonably high 
ground. Just got a slight green tinge from having the 
chlorophyll knocked out of the leaves along the front of the 
house. The house walls just sort of went in and out like a 
bellows a bit. It's reasonably sound. They were about sixteen 
feet above mean sea level, I think, which for that part of the 
world is high ground. [laughs] Well, the tidal range in the 
Gulf of Mexico is much narrower. 

Lage: Where did this all take you in your study of estuaries? 

Hedgpeth: Well, it took me to analyzing this data and trying to make 

something out of it, which I did. I published a paper under 
Collier's and my name, a joint paper, though I wrote most of it. 
He vetted a bit of it, but not much. Made it possible for him 
to get a job in the university. 

Lage: It sounds like the estuary would really be a very intriguing 
thing to study. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, it's a very interesting process, especially in the part 
of the world where we had the gamut from fresh water clear to 
sea water three times as strong as the ocean, about 200 parts 
per 1,000 in some places. That's quite a lot. 

Lage: So the salt water was saltier than the ocean, and then you also 
had the fresh water? Is that--? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, you see, we had no fresh water input down on the 
King Ranch. It was in, of all places, an area called Baffin 
Bay. Why, we never knew. No relation in any way, shape, or 
form to the Baffin Bay of Canada. [laughs] 


The Sea of Azov 



When did you go into studying the Russian estuaries? 
studied the Sea of Azov, is it, and the Volga. 


This happened when I came back to Berkeley to go on and get a 
Ph.D. I hadn't been around a major library for four years, so I 
did a lot of prowling about in the Biology Library, down the 
shelves, and 1 ran into this whole stack of stuff in Russian. 1 
could tell from the diagrams and my limited knowledge of Russian 
that this was a significant body of work. 

So finally, I think I helped to get a translation of some 
summarization volume of the [Biology of the] Seas of the USSR 
[by Professor L. Zenkevich, 1963]. I used that book in evidence 
at the first water hearings. 

[tape interruption] 

Hedgpeth: I wrote my thesis on the Gulf of Mexico and Texas bays, which 
had nothing to do with San Francisco Bay. 



Did you work on this? [Zenkevich book] 
"To my dear friend, Dr. Joel Hedgpeth." 

The author here has, 



Yes. Well, remember, I was working through the National 
Research Council and part on the treatise, and I recommended 
that this be made available. I think that had something to do 
with it. Not specifically stated there. I met Zenkevich in 
1953 at the Zoological Congress. At that point, I recruited him 
to write the chapter on the Caspian Sea for the treatise. The 
chapter on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov was done by Hubert 
Caspers, who had apparently spent a lot of time in Bulgaria 
during the war. According to Rozengurt, he was a member of the 
Gestapo. I don't know about that, but he certainly had quite a 
collection of icons, which considering the looks of them, 
probably were liberated from churches while he was in the German 
army . [ laughs ] 

Anyhow, he was a collector. Poor guy, he's now lost his 
mind. I don't know whether he's still alive or not. 

Did this book document the environmental destruction more or 
less of the-- 

Well, he very plainly states that in the Sea of Azov, the 
fishery stocks are dropping. That was why in "57, they knew 
something was going wrong. It was river diversion, apparently. 










Do they point to the river diversion as the reason for it? 

Yes. And I mentionedsee, I got involved in the hearings in 
1969 in Sacramento, and there was very little material on the 
bay that you could use. Of course, the study of the marine 
borers brought a lot of this up, never carried it on very far, 
namely the 

What was that study? Marine borers? 

Well, you see, in a drought period, which they had in the early 
twenties, late teens and early twenties, the salinity moved all 
the way up past Chipps Island to I think it was about eleven 
parts per 1,000. That is enough for borers and shipworms to 
come in and start chewingthe piling began to fail. Since 
then, they've turned to cement piling or steel-jacket piling. 

Those animals don't thrive except where they have a certain 
level of salinity? 

Right, yes. They are marine organisms, and they will survive 
some dilution. They are sub-estuarine sorts, but they have to 
have a certain amount of salt in the water, more than you should 
have for young salmon and the like. 

So that was something that prompted a certain amount of study 
when the marine borers appeared? 

Well, that was a bit of the evidence they had. The borers 
chewed up the piling, which failed, and that was a serious 
matter in harbors. Of course, they had the salinity curve as an 
indicator, which they hadn't sense enough to know what they were 
looking at; it was generally disregarded. So this was a 
renewal, and this is what I redid. I published parts of the 
original testimony, and a memorandum to thesee, under the Bay 
Institute, I worked for the Bay Institute 

Even back there in '69? Or are we up in more recent times now? 
No, this was when we really got going with the bay. 

When you first testified, it was '69 at the State Water 
Resources Control Board hearings. 

Right . 

Whose auspices was that under? 
environmental group? 

Were you working for an 


Hedgpeth: That was the City and County of Contra Costa, they were suing 
for fresh water. 

Lage: Yes, they have had a real interest. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, they have hadwell, a good lot of that changedthat old 

hack of a water lawyer [Walter Gleason] . He made millions. He 
never married. Some energetic mother superior discovered he was 
a Catholic, and went around and shook him down to endow the 
restoration of her convent and of Santa Clara University, as 
well as a few other little goodies. He was alleged to have been 
on all sides of every water controversy in the state since year 
one. As I say, he left an estate of several million dollars and 
no heirs, and it mostly went to the Catholic church. 

Lage: But he'd take whatever side, he didn't just-- 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes, sure. Whatever side wanted to pay him the most. He 
billed Contra Costa County something like $650,000 for about 
eighteen months' work. 

Research on San Francisco Bay Geological Survey, UC, and 
Stanford ti 

Lage: You told me that you yourself haven't done that much research on 
the bay. 

Hedgpeth: I first became aware- -the first real job on the bay was that 

written by [Grove Karl] Gilbert in 1918, and it all started with 
studying what was happening with the mining debris. 

Lage: So that was the initial interest, the mining debris and how that 
had filled the bay? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I had picked up that report [U.S. Geological Survey 

Professional Paper 170] in Sacramento in 1938, in this funny 
little junk store opposite the main post office for fifty cents. 
The corps of engineers office was in the post office building. 
That was when we were working on the mountain streams. I picked 
it up and started to read it, and decided it was worth the fifty 
cents. I have had it bound in bright gold colors. 

Lage: Was it a good piece of work? 
Hedgpeth: Oh, it's a masterpiece. 


Lage: Where was Gilbert from? 

Hedgpeth: Upstate New York, graduate of University of Rochester. He 

became the chief geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. He 
was the fellow who had contributed most of the solid ideas in 
Major Wesley Powell's work. He was a field man, one of the 
great students of the arid West. He was getting along in years 
toward the end of his career when this came along, and he didn't 
have to take it on, but volunteered. I don't know if that was 
before or after he got so interested in Alice Eastwood. 

Lage: Oh, yes, that's the fellow. 

Hedgpeth: I was surprised at the tizzy the gals over in the [California] 
Academy [of Sciences] went into when that all came out. It 
didn't occur to me it was generally unknown. 

Lage: Were you the one who brought it out? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I just casually mentioned that he had planned to come back 
and marry her. Stephen J. Pyne, who wrote the biography of 
Gilbert, found an actual letter of his to some friend saying, 
"We've been lovers for years." [laughs] 

Lage: And the ladies at the academy didn't quite believe that, or--? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, I think they were kind of pleased to know that dear Alice 
had known something about other things than herbarium sheets, 
[laughter] Anyway-- [laughing] That famous picture of the woman 
standing right by the crack on the fault at Olema in 1906 is 
probably her. 

Lage: We're not sure, though? 

Hedgpeth: Well, what other lady would he be taking those days on a field 
trip to Olema? Of course, it was easier to get to than it is 
now. The train ran right up to Point Reyes Station and there 
was a hotel at Olema a few miles down the road. 

Lage: You made the remark--! 'm just now picking up a couple of things 
from that 1977 paper you said that the biology department at 
Stanford has never been very environmentally oriented, or 
something to that effect. What do you mean by that? It's non- 
environmental in approach, you said. What does that mean? 

Hedgpeth: They were of course, at one time they were pretty strong on 
systematic biology. They had pretty good entomologists, and 
they had one of the major ichthyologists of the time as 
president, David Starr Jordan. George Myers was the last great 


ichthyologist who built up the collection and trained many 
ichthyologists. It's all gone to the academy [California 
Academy of Sciences] now; Stanford junked all the collections. 
They cut off that part of their endeavors entirely. Of course, 
[Paul] Ehrlich is just a kind of a paper mill, really, for 
turning out tracts now. 

Lage: When you say that, what's your implication, that his work is not 
based on careful research? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, no, I think he's based on pretty good research. It's pretty 
good stuff. But he's emphasized that at the expense of some of 
the other things. Nevertheless, he is a specialist on 
butterflies, probably not quite as good as Vladimir Nabokov. 

Lage: Has Ehrlich 1 s direction influenced the department as a whole? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. There's hardly anything now as far as systematic 

zoology is concerned; the academy has to carry the whole load 
now. I don't know how long Berkeley will have a vertebrate 
museum; I suppose they're planning to redesign it, if they ever 
get through with LSB. It's taken how long now, four years at 

Lage: Oh, I know it, and they're still not anywhere near done. But I 
thought that LSB is going to become the whole animal center, 
systematics and-- 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, I keep--I got a query from [William] Lidicker 

[professor of integrative biology, UC Berkeley] about a proposal 
to get interested in the bay. Didn't say it was about time they 
did, but he wrote a kind of a querulous note about hoping for my 
comments favorable, unfavorable, or whatever. I didn't know 
what to do with an invitation like that. 

Lage: He was proposing that the university-- 

Hedgpeth: Well, the development people had sent down a request to all 

departments to come up with a memo or something. I said, "Well, 
you've got to study your quarry first," that San Francisco has 
never been very strongly noted as an oceanographic town or for 
funding oceanography. Go down to Monterey, there seems to be 
more interest there. 

But anyhow, he said a couple of things that indicated he 
didn't quite understand what they required for having a study 
program on this, because the university already owned a piece of 
property there at the Richmond Station. This had come up 
before. I pointed out that at least they'd have to arrange for 


a dock if they want people interested in studying the bay to 
come in as tenants for building, so they could make some 
overhead money and all that kind of stuff. The EPA had 
expressed some interest, but the EPA has not done much original 
work. They've regurgitated other people's stuff, become kind of 
a paper mill, at least around here. 

Lage: So is there really a dearth of basic information to base a lot 
of judgments on? 

Hedgpeth: Well, not exactly a dearth. Now we have pretty good- -except 
some of the things are rather tricky, especially in the delta 
situation where you have water now going backwards and 
everything else. 

Lage: As a result of the engineering decisions? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And the other thing that complicates matters is all these 
new or introduced species from the other side of the world that 
come in and have gummed up or changed the patterns of some of 
the populations. That remains to be really critically studied. 
Fish and Game didn't want to work too hard to get the kind of 
people they need to do some of this work, so there's a lot of 
things they didn't bother with, identifying a lot of the 
organisms they were working with. 

Lage: Do you think this kind of work is better done by contract to a 
university, or better done in a government agency? 

Hedgpeth: Well, we have the Geological Survey here, which is an exemplary 
outfit for this sort of work. But they've sort of-- 

Lage: They're not biological. 

Hedgpeth: --somehow bootlegged this work into the system, and they're 

having trouble keeping it going. Of course, one thing they did 
was to kick Fred Nichols upstairs. He was doing a lot of the 
critical work. He's field director now for the whole region 
nine, and that's an awful lot of territory, including 
Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, maybe Arizona, 
something like that, which is a terrific lot of space to go over 
with everything that's going on. 

Lage: Then you have the environmental impact reports, and you've 

commented that they haven't really had a very useful role in 
research results. 

Hedgpeth: Well, the problem is environmental impact reports are contracted 
by the people who are trying to impact the environment. 


Therefore, it follows that the firm that does the contracts 
figures out what side its bread is buttered upon, and acts 
accordingly. We've got several environmental impact outfits or 
consulting firms that have not done very well. And of course, 
locally it's been practically farcical. No state qualification 
or license is required for them to set up shop. 

Lage: So they'll just turn out whatever results they're hired to do? 
Hedgpeth: Yes, regurgitate each other's information. 
Lage: Do they do good studies, or design good studies? 

Hedgpeth: The last one we had for around here (it was based in San 

Francisco) was thrown out by the court as being hopelessly 
inadequate and they'd have to start all over again. That was 
the city [Santa Rosa] wastewater disposal thing. They wanted to 
build a dam on University of California property up here, and 
the university is objecting. 

Lage: Up here, in this direction? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, on Button Ranch over here across the hills. 

Lage: Did you testify on that? 

Hedgpeth: No, I didn't testify. 

Lage: You didn't need to. 

Hedgpeth: I didn't state anything about it. Well, I analyzed some of the 
reports. A lot of the things that I brought up were simply 
ignored and not addressed, as they say. 

Lage: So environmental impact statements, from your point of view, 
haven't saved the world. 

Hedgpeth: No. 

Lage: They slow things down, though, and give time for 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I suppose they serve a useful function that way. 

Lage: I think we've gone on long enough today, and we ought to take a 
break and come back to this another visit. How does that sound 
to you? 

Hedgpeth: That's fine. 


Testimony Regarding Water Rights 
[Session 7: November 19, 1992] ft 

Lage: Today we're going to continue with talk about the bay and your 
environmental testimony about the bay. Last time, we mentioned 
the 1969 testimony to the Water Resources Control Board. I 
wanted to start this time with the later testimony, which was 
'87 to '90. Just to give a general setting, what were the basic 
issues? It was again a hearing before the State Water Resources 
Control Board. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. The later hearing, yes. It was by order of Judge John A. 
Racanelli. I think the conditions under which the State Water 
Quality Control Board was supposed to operate, they had 
responsibility for ecological characteristics or ecological 
matters as well as simply allocating water. 

Lage: Was he the one that determined that, or that was agreed upon 
that they had ecological ? 

Hedgpeth: No, he handed that down as a judicial decision. What happened 
was --see, these are linked to the previous thing of '69, which 
resulted in 1485. 

Lage: Now, 1485 was a legislative bill? 

Hedgpeth: No, that was the docket number for the decision of the original 
hearing concerning the rights of Contra Costa County to water 
from the Delta. That was the time I got up and pointed out that 
draw down of water for agriculture and industry was endangering 
the fish population, according to Russian information. At that 
time, I was living in Oregon, so I didn't follow the details 
down here very much. 

But this got transmogrified into 1375, which was a later 
decision on a different year series, since the number is lower 
than the first one. And that one sort of eviscerated the first 
decision. But what Judge Racanelli has said later is that if he 
knew that the board was not going to come to a decision within 
three years, he would have set a time schedule to get it done 
before such and such a date, which is in his power in this 
matter, as the presiding judge. 

But they didn't. They still have yet to act. 
Lage: When did he set forth the requirement? 


Hedgpeth: I was trying to remember. It was about 1980. It kept on going, 
and it's been going ever since. While we had these intense 
hearings lasting for at least three yearsthese are evidentiary 
hearings where everybody takes an oath, and where you have a 
rather formal procedure to go through. And if you don't get 
your thing right back in time, you never can get it back on the 
record. That's very annoying, too. 

Lage: What is that? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I mean, if you're not in precise order arranged for a 

rebuttal period or something, it will get out of your hand and 
you can't do much about it legally. 

Conflict between Agribusiness and Environmentalists over Water 

Hedgpeth: However, I'll point out that this all began, with me at least, 

in about 1939 or '40, when I had finished my first experience in 
field work with salmon in the Shasta Dam and all that sort of 
thing. We finished up the report in 1940, but it was buried by 
the bureaucracy and I went back to Berkeley and for a couple of 
years worked on a master's degree. 

While I was there, I went over to the ag department, and 
somebody told me who to see, some professor whose name I forget 
now, who was supposed to be a specialist in irrigation and water 
use. At that time, they were talking about the proposed Friant 
Dam. It hadn't been built yet, of course. I said to this 
fellow, "Well, I think the fish and wildlife people are going to 
ask for some release of water for the salmon run in the San 
Joaquin River." 

This fellow said, "What are they going to do with that 
water? Waste it?" I went away shaking my head. Never 
forgotten that since. But that is still essentially the 
attitude of agribusiness in the valley. They say that people 
must survive first, and fish be damned. There is now Jason 
Peltier, 1 who's a great one for putting things in over- 
simplistic terms 

'Jason Peltier, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act, 1991-1992: Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association, 
Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley, 1994. 


Lage: Is he an agribusiness representative? 

Hedgpeth: He is. He's one of their spokesmen now. He started out as an 

employee of the Department of the Interior in the Central Valley 
Project, something like that. He wasn't very good at that 
either. But he has a way of talking that in this multiple 
purpose world, we don't have any time for single causes. 

Lage: And he doesn't see his own as a single cause? 

Hedgpeth: Well, I don't know whether you saw the Sunday program of Sixty 
Minutes, this gal talking about Forest Service being multi 

Lage: I didn't see it. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, she was a terrible dragoness type, one of these overprecise 
females with a bitingly positive voice. "Of course, we have to 
let the cattle come in there; we've got to cut the trees also. 
This is a multiple purpose thing." 

Mrs. H.: That was McNeil-Lehrer, three days ago. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, was that Lou Lehrer? I thought it was Sixty Minutes. 

Anyway, it's been on both programs in one way or another. But 
I've said a number of times, and I've written letters to the 
editor saying that, the multiple purpose idea, which is a Forest 
Service favorite doctrine, simply invokes Gresham's law of 
ecology, that is, the worst ecological situation possible will 
be the end result of multiple purpose application. Well, that's 
the way it's happened. 

Lage: And you see the same thing in the water situation? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, you see it everywhere. See, the water is only one part of 
it. The other is clear-cutting, especially on steep hillsides 
where they drag all the trees and everything, increase the 
sedimentation and ruin the stream, and so forth. We said in 
1940 that there must be some fresh water, cold water, for the 
salmon runs. Instead, they have built a couple of things they 
shouldn't have built. One of them was to knock a hole through 
the mountains and run most of the Trinity River into the 
northern Sacramento. Doing that, the river warms up through the 
pipe and power plant system and everything, so it comes out too 
warm for salmon anyhow. And of course, lower below the Trinity 
is practically a dead river now. [In a crowning example of 
malicious ignorance the Bureau of Reclamation sent bulldozers 
into the Trinity River last year to grub out all the streamside 
vegetation so the water would run faster and therefore cooler. 








Of course it just got warmer and destroyed the refuges for the 
young fish under the banks. It was sheer insanity. --JWH) 

Its major tributary, the Trinity, had so little water a 
couple of years ago when they held the White Deer Dance in the 
Hoopa Valley, which is at the mouth of the Trinity River just 
before it enters the Rlamath, that they had to get a special 
arrangement with the Bureau of Reclamation to release enough 
water to float their boats. Part of the ritual is that they 
have these dugout canoes, made from a log of cedar or redwood or 
something, and there are three or four of the boats involved. 
They float downstream, come ashore at a certain designated 
place, and these all have some ceremonial significance. 

I suggested to Hap Dunning [Harrison Dunning, UC Davis 
public trust lawyer] that the approval of this by the Bureau of 
Reclamation is a de facto participation in the religious 
ceremony, and perhaps was subject to a test about separation of 
church and state. He wrote down a note about it. There had 
been a case to this effect somewhere else, and he mentioned it 
at the meeting in 1992 in Sacramento, which I haven't dug up 
yet. I usually write things in bound notebooks, which is fine, 
but the thing is, I have a habit of picking up one which has 
some usable pages in the back and use those, so they're all 
mixed up. 

So you don't know which is which. 

Well, I have some vague idea. One of them I have indexed, so 
that helps a bit, but that's only one of them. 

Well, that will give you something to do in your spare time, 

Oh, yes, oh, yes. [laughter] And I really have to write this 
down because I'm going to have to write something about it. 

When you made that first study in 1939, was that a revolutionary 
suggestion? Had it been suggested before that water be released 
for fish? 

No. What was done was, because you could read between the lines 
of the project description, that the prior right on scheduling 
was going to be for irrigation, and second would be for power. 

So your report wasn't heeded, I am assuming. 

Hell no. I was trying to find out whether anybody in Washington 
has a copy of that original document, or where to find it. I 


have a suspicion it just disappeared. It was about an inch 
thick. It's Special Report Number 10. Bill Kier made a copy of 
it, and my original has been deposited in the California Academy 

Testifying for the Bay Institute. 1987-1990 



In the hearings in '87 to 

'90, you were testifying for the Bay 




Correct. They were one of the major plaintiffs, between that 
and the Environmental Defense Fund, EOF, and other action 
groups . 

Did they call together a whole group of consultants to testify, 
or how did it get organized? 

They have their own people, the EOF has. Tom Graff was the 
chief counsel there for that. So they rely on their own people. 
Of course, the Bay Institute had just been started a year or so 
before that, and this was its first major appearance. So they 
asked me to help them out. 

Had you known them before? 

I knew [William T.] Davoren; he'd been rattling around for some 

Is he a scientist, or lawyer, or--? 

He's trained, I think, as a journalist, but he also had been a 
federal employee, too, and he'd picked up an awful lot of this 
material. Of course, I don't know whether Felix Smith is a 
lawyer or not, but he certainly writes like one. 

Felix Smith? He's another Bay Institute--? 

No, actually, he was officially an employee of the federal 
government [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service], and he could not 
participate in this thing unless by order. They had pretty hard 
control over these people, and the state did also. Fish and 
Wildlife was more or less hamstrung for really coming out and 
saying what they really thought about this matter. 


So people who may have known the most about it didn't testify? 


Hedgpeth: That's right. Their testimony was more or less compromised. If 
they got out of hand, they would be reprimanded and /or 
transferred to some remote province or whatever they could do 
with them. 

They tried sending Felix up to Portland; they didn't have 
anything for him to do up there. So they finally kicked him 
back to Sacramento, and he was given a little room by himself. 
He had tenure, and he had taken great care to have some very 
influential friends, people like [Congressman] George Miller and 
so on. So they didn't dare trample him too much. 

But I've seen a lot of his memorandahe wrote a great deal 
on the public trust. Some of the correspondence about this by 
attorneys within the federal government said, "This is not the 
federal position. We don't want to hear any more about it. It 
must not be released," and that kind of stuff. Of course, Felix 
went on and released it anyway, usually in forty-page memos. So 
he's quit now, and he's working for a private outfit, and he's a 
member of the Bay Institute's advisory board. I don't think 
he's quite as effective that way, but--. 

Lage: You mean he was more effective from the inside? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, because he could use all his energy on the one thing they 
didn't want him to do, because they kicked him off in a room by 
himself. Didn't want him infecting other people, and so forth. 

So anyway, we went on with this, and various points. 

The Sea of Azov Comparison 

Lage: What was your testimony directed towards? 

Hedgpeth: It was directed toward stating plain facts. The first thing I 
tumbled into, of course, was public statements by the deputy 
director of Water Resources and by some employees of the Bureau 
of Reclamation, I think, and also the Division of Water 
Resources, that because the Sea of Azov was completely land 
locked which is contrary to geographical fact there could be 
no parallel or example in the Soviet Union for what is happening 
in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. They even decided the 
facts of geography. This was, of course, pure poppycock. 

Lage: They didn't look at their maps too carefully. 


Hedgpeth: The Straits of Kerch, which connects the Sea of Azov and the 
Black Sea, are roughly two and a half mil*s wide. The Golden 
Gate is one mile. Gibraltar is about six miles, I think. Of 
course, the Dardanelles are practically down in the meter 
category, very narrow there, even for ships, and barely adequate 
for large subs to sneak in and out of the Black Sea. 

But anyhow, I simply wrote this down with the dates of the 
statements I had heard about the Sea of Azov being closed off, 
and I noted them in my little notebooks. The first time, it 
happened at a hearing before [State Senator] Barry Reene in San 

Lage: That was a legislative hearing, then? 

Hedgpeth: It was a legislative hearing. This woman got up, who was 

identified as a Stanford grad and a deputy director of Water 
Resources for the state of California. She laid that out 
absolutely flat. 

Lage: That the Sea of Azov was landlocked? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Unfortunately, she finished just before noon, and after 
the noon break, she did not come back. So I contradicted her. 

Lage: Without the pleasure of being able to encounter her directly. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And then they had one of these interminable "state of the 
bay" affairs in San Francisco some months later. She got up and 
said the same thing again. So it was obviously official policy 
to do this. So I wrote this deposition, which is primarily 
showing maps, and also the size of the systems is so different. 
Any ordinary Russian river is about five times as big as the 
whole Sacramento-San Joaquin system. Russia is a very large 
country. [I have since learned that the young lady has died. I 
don't know the details. --JWH] 


Problems with Water Diversion in Russia 

Hedgpeth: But what really caused the fur to begin to fly was in 1980, a 

session at Davis, the summer meeting of the American Association 
for the Advancement of Science, which was to concern San 
Francisco Bay problems. I went around, and lo and behold, there 
was this gentleman from Russia with a thick accent and a 
somewhat different approach to handling of statistical material 
than we were used to. He pointed out that the danger line for a 
river withdrawal was about 30 percent. Take more than 30 
percent, you're going to be noticing decline in the environment. 

Lage: He was a Russian who had studied the Russian situation? 

Hedgpeth: He had been employed in the Russian hydrographic network. He 
was an employee of the Russian federal government. He and a 
group of others, including another man who's now in Connecticut 
named David Tolmazin, were a group of young Turks who were 
insisting this sort of thing was not good for the future of the 
country. They were asked to leave. They had the option of 
having life made very unpleasant for them. There's an awful lot 
of room out in Siberia for folks like that, and so forth. 

Lage: Did they leave the country, then? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Tolmazin left, and Rozengurt left very soon after. 
Tolmazin apparently had studied English a lot more than 
Rozengurt had in Russia, and he's handling English better than 
Rozengurt, but he's in Connecticut and so he wasn't mixed up 
directly into this thing, though they were all communicating, 
including the people that remained in Russia, who were trying to 
do something about these things. 

See, in addition to the diversion of water for irrigation 
and industrial purposespower, and all thatwater diverted for 
irrigation did come back later into the system. So you had 
fertilizers and herbicides and all that sort of thing, then the 
factories are using water in their processing or for power and 
are running through very poor refining systems or cleanups, so 
they're very dirty coming back, and a lot of the water going 
through domestic systems was not cleaned up. 

Lage: So some of the problem could have been pollution, 1 would 

Hedgpeth: It was. In addition to that, it decreased the water, and then 
you see, when you decrease the water, then you increase the 






pesticides, the concentration gets higher all out of proportion 
to what the original was like. 

So you don't get the flushing action 

And you're dealing with a steadily decreasing volume of water 
that's going back to the fish, but it's getting a steadily 
increasing higher load of pollutants, in addition to being warm. 
So it all gets into a kind of an exponential bind. And one of 
the things involved here is obviously a lot of these people in 
this state, especially out in the Fresno area, don't understand 
what an exponential increase means. Have no concept of that. 
In fact, they have no concept of tides, either. We've had a 
couple of people in the Department of Engineering at Berkeley 
who had even less concept. 1 

Do they really not have a concept, or they just choose to ignore 

Well, this guy Denton [Dr. Richard Denton]--I'll have to use his 
namehe was a professor of engineering at Berkeley. Did I give 
you a bit about the state of engineering at Berkeley? 

You referred to it. 
shall we say. 

I don't think you gave a full diatribe, 

What happened was that the gal who wrote the tule hypothesis 
wrote a special op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee saying that, 
according to Dr. Denton, an instructor in the Department of 
Sanitary Engineering, the major factor in an estuary was the 
gravitational tides. [Sacramento Bee, March 27, 1989. "San 
Francisco Bay and its Pollution: Flushing the freshwater myth," 
by J. Phyllis Fox. This article so outraged Ray Krone, retired 
dean of engineering at Davis, that he wrote a rejoinder: 
Sacramento Bee, April 19, 1989. "Fresh water's vital role in 
Bay-Delta ecology," stating among other things that "Phyllis Fox 
presented broad-bushed superficial arguments to support the old 
saw that fresh water that flows to the sea is wasted." JWH] 
She didn't use that word, but that the tide had a much greater 
swing and force than any amount of fresh water could possibly 
have. Therefore, it didn't matter whether there was any fresh 
water at all or not, because the tide would exchange everything. 
That fellow did not get tenure. 

'There are now several books in English about the impact of the 
Stalinist contempt for nature in the Russian environment, e.g., Weiner, 
Douglas S., Models of Nature, 1988, and Fishback, Murray, and Friendly, 
Alfred, Ecocide in the USSR, 1992. --JWH. 




Well, that's not the way an estuary works. It may not be 
very much, but when you're adding the river water to a tidal 
system, and the tide is pushed up, and then the river water 
comes in as the tide goes out, it increases the speed of flow. 
As everybody who's navigated into tidal waters knows, the tide 
on the outgoing phase is much stronger and rapider than on the 
incoming tide. And this doesn't happen where there's no fresh 

The simplest way to look at this is to go down to Baja 
California or the northern state of Sonora--that god- forsaken 
piece of landscape called the Jornado de Muerte--Journey of 
Deathnorth of Puerto Penasco. 

Is this all down in Baja? 

No, it's on the mainland side. They have a number of lagoons 
that are quite saline. They just have salt water, they don't 
have any fresh water inflow, and they tend to stagnate up on the 
upper end. Evaporation becomes a main factor, then. 

Using Some Texas Estuarial Data 

Hedgpeth: Of course, I learned a lot of that stuff in Texas, as I told you 
last time. I didn't really start to understand tidal dynamics 
until I had been around a relatively simple system like Texas. 
In fact, I learned a great deal simply by writing up about five 
years' data accumulated by a previous employee of the Texas 
Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission. 

Lage: Were the Texas estuaries comparable to the bay here, or were 
they without fresh water? 

Hedgpeth: They're rather different. The tidal range is much less, but 
they have an extensive system of tidal gradients. Because of 
the history of the offshore bars and rising and falling sea 
level, you had a back (nearly fresh) bay and a front 
(intermediate) bay, and then you had the oceanic Gulf shore. 
One of the back bays is named Baffin Bay, why I don't know. 

Lage: Baffin Bay? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, like Labrador. Most unlikely comparison you could think 
of. It's quite often hypersaline, because for months, maybe 
sometimes years, there would be hardly any rain down below 
Corpus Christi, and then suddenly you'd get six inches of rain 








in a day, something like that, and everything would be 
straightened out again. 

Did that upset the organisms that lived there, that wide 

Not too much. They would kill off a few, but the main thing 
that affected the organisms was (a), getting too much salt in 
the summer, and (b), the quick freezes. It's very shallow 
water; a lot of them died, because there were bars that 
prevented them from getting back into the Gulf in the better 
water. So we had freeze kills quite often there in Texas. 
Anyway, it's an interesting different system. 

But I worked all this data up, since I was employed without 
any thought of just what I was going to be doing besides 
validating the insurance. The professor who was in charge said, 
"Well, do anything you want to do." So I had decamped with all 
this Fish and Game data that nobody wanted. 

What was the nature of the data? 

He took temperatures and salinities, and depth measurements and 
that sort of thing, very standard type of thing, but he took an 
awful lot of it. So 1 wrote it all up, and I put his name as 
first author, and made it possible for him to get a university 
position also. 


We were good friends. 
What was his name again? 

His name was Albert Collier. On doctor's orders he got out of 
the Gulf Coast climate, and being a gentleman with a stomach for 
this sort of thing, he wound up making a fair amount of money 
filming operations for the medical profession. 

It's interesting how your previous work kind of fit so well with 
the bay issues. From Texas and then the Shasta 

There was no way to learn about San Francisco Bay at the time. 
I had really been exposed to it first off. 


Measuring Water Conditions in the Bay 

Lage: Do they have the kind of records that you wrote up in the Gulf 
for San Francisco Bay, the salinity and the tides and all? 

Hedgpeth: Not for the whole bay, no. Because the main disadvantage is the 
bay is so large, and the other thing is that by that size alone, 
you have larger boats. The original studies were made by the 
research vessel Albatross, which had a draft of--I don't know 
what it was exactly, nineteen or twenty feet. The average depth 
of the bay is two or three feet. There are great, vast expanses 
of shallow water. 

Lage: And it just couldn't-- 

Hedgpeth: No, you couldn't get--. All this boat could do was to sample up 
and down in the channels, which of course are more disturbed. 
They did get a pretty good line on the tidal system. That was 
fairly simple; you install gauges in the ends of docks every 
place you can think of, and read them, and balance them off, and 
you can get a pretty good idea of the tidal cycle or the tidal 

Actually, that was worked up by 1918 by a geologist by the 
name of Grove Karl Gilbert, who worked on that big job in the 
hydraulic mining debris study. He had been asked to do this, 
all this silt and gravel up in the Sierra--the Yuba and American 
Rivers especially. As you may know, they've piled up enough 
rocks lower down to build the Oroville Dam. That primary basis 
for the Oroville Dam is the mine tailings, especially from 
dredges in the lower river beds. 

Lage: Rocks that washed down the main rivers? 

Hedgpeth: Or that the dredges dug up. They also dug up the river bed and 
made great crescent-shaped piles and so forth. 

Some of the more tricky hydrodynamic details were not 
worked out until Hugo Fischer came along. 

Lage: When was that? 

Hedgpeth: I first heard him in Pensacola darn it, when was it? I'm 

trying to remember the date. He gave a paper on San Francisco 
Bay, and he was working at the UC Engineering Department. That 
was about five years ago. Now, in the middle of all the 
hearings, he died. Most of us didn't know that his hobby was 
gliding. He'd gone up to Reno for some kind of a tournament or 


race, and nobody knows what happened because you don't see these 

things going on, but it looks like either he or somebody got too 

close to another glider, and they tangled a little, and he lost 

control and went down, and that was the end of him. 

Lage: Was he a good guy? 

Hedgpeth: He was very good. 

Lage: And he came out of the Engineering Department at UC. 

Hedgpeth: He actually came from Cal Tech to the Engineering Department, 
and he was bringing them around to a solid basis. Well, the 
sudden loss of him left them with people who didn't know how to 
carry on that work. 

Lage: Who in particular? Are there people at UC who have testified 
improperly, or is it just that they don't take an interest and 
follow through with Fischer's work? 

Hedgpeth: They don't understand Fischer's work, so they can't follow it 
through. Some of it is highly mathematical, of course. That 
was another problem. But oddly enough, the University of 
California has been responsible for one of the very best 
mathematical modelers related to salinity exchange in the 
business, namely Donald Prichard, who is a native of Maryland. 
He did his thesis at Scripps on the salinity exchange in the 
Chesapeake Bay and how, during the slack water periods, the 
larval oysters would rise up, be swept upstream, and then have 
sense enough to drop down as the water began to recede so they 
didn't lose the distance. And crab larva, the same sort of 
thing . 

They were working in this whole system, and the whole thing 
came out as kind of a bookkeeper's balance. I attended his 
doctoral presentation. Of course, he had just finished reading 
the paper I had written for Albert Collier, too, and he was glad 
to see that I was in the audience. [laughter] 

But Don has been out here a number of times. See, we had 
these people who were not related to Berkeley at any time who 
were capable of doing this kind of work, but not at Berkeley; it 
didn't produce them. Fischer wasn't there quite long enough to 
really get the thing going. So his sudden departure left a kind 
of a void there, which hasn't been filled yet, as far as I know. 


And he was working on salinity? 


Hedgpeth: He was working on what's generally called tidal hydrography. In 
other words, the exchange of tidal action, tides and currents, 
related to water masses and all that sort of thing. This is a 
very tricky subject in estuaries. 

Lage: Is the bay model that the Corps of Engineers built of use in 
these matters? 

Hedgpeth: Not entirely. It is of some use in the laminar flow aspect. 

You see, one of the problems with that model is that to get any 
depth proportional to the rest of the size, it would have to be 
several acres larger, because if you want to model, say, what is 
it, a couple hundred feet or more at the gate, you'd have to 
have a great big model so that the surface and the bottom area 
were proportional to the depth of the whole system, and it can't 
be done . 

Lage: So they can't show the deep-- 

Hedgpeth: No. But they can show the kind of tidal currents and exchange 
of surface, and that sort of thing. But they admit- -they know 
their limits. What they had built it for originally was to test 
the Reber plan. This guy Reber used to run around--! 've written 
about him, you've seen that [see Appendix H, "Summary of 
Statement to the Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Committee 
on Government Operations"] --preaching this gospel of the thing 
to do with the bay was to dam it up so both north and south 
parts would become fresh, and then we could have all our fresh 
water, and then we could build ports in what is left of the bay. 

Lage: And that was in the fifties, wasn't it, that they were talking 
about the Reber plan? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, they still are. In fact, there was some guy who said what 
we need is a twenty-foot high dam at Carquinez Straits, and the 
editor of the Contra Costa paper wrote an editorial saying that 
we ought to examine this, how to do this. 

Lage: Was this supposed to help Contra Costa 's water problem? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, the only thing he didn't realize was that if you 

raise the level twenty feet at Benicia, Stockton's got wet feet. 
Stockton's about four feet above sea level, and [laughs] 

Lage: It's amazing, the ideas people come up with. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, they do. They don't seem to know what the consequences are 
more than fifty yards from where they're working. 


The Tule Hypothesis and the Oyster Shell Challenge 

Lage: What was your testimony about bay oysters? 

Hedgpeth: You see, what happened was that the tule hypothesis reared its 
slimy head. 

Lage: Tell me what that is. Are we talking about the tule grass? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, it's not a grass, it's a very large sedge, I guess, 
or something like that. And of course, there were cat tails and 
everything else in the marshlands. The theory was proposed that 
at times past before all the subdivisions and pavements, there 
were great areas of the whole Sacramento-San Joaquin system 
which were vast tule marshes. And their rate of evaporation, 
transpiration and evaporation--evapotranspiration, they call it 
--was such that actually more water was pulled out of the system 
by these plants, and never got to the sea. Therefore, there 
being no more tules of any consequence, we were getting more 
water now than we ever had before. 

Now, what was done, the first thing we really gotalthough 
I understand somebody had been fiddling around before with this 
notion, too, so it may not have been original with herwas the 
planimeter measurements. Do you know what a planimeter is? 

Lage: No. 

Hedgpeth: Well, I've got one, I can demonstrate if you'd like. It's a 
device, an analog device, for measuring areas on maps. It 
consists of a pair of arms and a little roller wheel that gives 
and takes as this thing moves around. So it comes out with a 
reading for the area, no matter how irregular the perimeter is. 
The scale of the map used is significant. If the scale is too 
small, like thirty to forty miles per inch, it's not detailed 
enough for the results derived, and a larger scale like two 
miles per inch is too much for the instrument to enclose. With 
the old-fashioned planimeter (which photos indicate was being 
used in this case) larger scales would be outside the reaches of 
the instrument. At best, with ordinary maps, these instruments 
are approximate. Now, the Japanese now have beautiful things 
that work on laser, and a lot of this whole analog stuff which 
was invented way back about the time of the French Revolution 
may be obsolete. The basic patents I know about are about 1850. 

It's a tricky thing to do, because if you have a small- 
scale map, a lot of the little bends and indentations and so 
forth are masked out by reducing the scale and the needed detail 


is not there. The other thing is following this, because what 
you're doing is you're moving this point vertically right around 
the bend of an irregular shape. If you check this out, say, and 
you've got squared paper of an inch square, reading your map as 
a mile to the inch or something like that, you can pretty easily 
check your accuracy on doing this just on the square of the 
coordinate paper, and reading it off. Even then, you will find 
that you should be doing it I think the usual practice is to 
run the planimeter at least three times around whatever and 
average the readings. 

So the first thing is the accuracy of the map you're 
working with. Now, the lady didn't say when she got up and 
first gave this testimony, and she sprung it about quarter to 
five in the afternoon when things are looking very bad for the 
water contractors. Some evidence was coming up that they didn't 
like, and so they threw her in ahead of things. 

Lage: Do you remember her name? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, her name is J. Phyllis Fox. She wore a pair of gaudy, 
dangly earrings, and square glasses at the time. 

Lage: Is she a biologist or an engineer or ? 

Hedgpeth: No. She got her degree in engineering on the fractionation of 
oil shales, a 444-page job, I believe. At least, the reference 
says that. Even double-spaced thesis-style, it's still a pretty 
long-winded thing. But it has nothing to do with this problem. 

Lage: So I interrupted you, but she got up at quarter to five in the 

Hedgpeth: Yes, and presented this case, and said that the area was such 
that there might have been like twelve million acre- feet of 
water transpired out of this system [by the tule marshes] that 
now we have there. 

There's one thing, the map she didn't mention until the 
seminar, an open seminar was held, and then she mentioned the 
map she used. But at that time, I didn't have I didn't know 
she was going to do this, or I could have come prepared, but I 
wasn't prepared for that. The map is on the millionth scale, 
and that's sixteen and a half miles to the inch. 

Lage: Did you have to ask her about this, or did she bring it up? 

Hedgpeth: She mentioned the map by its name, and the question occurred to 
me immediately, which I didn't bother to ask her in public, was 



whether she had used a large unfolded wall display map, or used 
the map that came with the book. She hadn't mentioned where she 
got the map, by the way. It might make a difference, because 
the folds on that map are equivalent to two or three miles at 
that scale of height, and bumps and dips could have pulled a map 
like that, and it's a map of California comes out about half the 
size of this tabletop, at sixteen and a half miles a millionth, 
incidentally, is considered one of the standard scales. This is 
one of the scales of the first major map of South America, was 
made in the millionth. It's a fairly easy scale to work on. 
However, it is not very accurate, to say the least. 

There is a little chapter in this book by A. Will Kuchler, 
the man who designed the map, stating he designed it only for 
general display purposes, hypothetical areas, especially for 
tules and other areas of that nature where they had no good 
data, past or present. They didn't know really how much land 
was involved. But she goes merrily on as if she knows all this. 

Now, did you know this from reading the book before? 

Hedgpeth: No. I came home and looked at her source of data. 
Lage: Did you have the book here? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, I have the book here. This is standard reference. 

Actually, I don't know how I came by it. I think I got it from 
Science. I used to go to Washington every so often, I'd go up 
to the book review department of Science. They only review two 
or three books a week, and they get hundreds of them. They give 
most of them to some local needy college. Most of them are up 
for grabs. So I grabbed some of the books they didn't review 
are marvelous things, on fauna and flora of the Adriatic, cost 
eighty bucks. I missed that. 

But anyhow, so I got this book. I had never really used it 
much. It's Terrestrial Vegetation of California by Major and 
Barbour from the university at Davis, a standard work. They've 
got a new edition out now. They call it their door stopper. 

So at the end of the seminar, she was asked from the floor 
by somebody what her margin of error was. "Oh," she said, 
"about 50 percent. That's only a factor of two," says she. I 
think that finished her with most of the people who really knew 
what this was about. Knew she was not doing very much, because 
a factor of two when you're talking about a difference between 
six and twelve million acre-feet, that's one hell of a lot of 


Lage: It sure is. [laughter] Well, she must have been aware of that. 

Hedgpeth: She probably was, but engineers get carried away with these 

numbers. They forget the implication of how far off you can get 
by using a bad number to begin with. 

Lage: Now, did you have a chance to rebut her testimony then? 

Hedgpeth: I wrote a rebuttal, and it was kind of funny. It was a rebuttal 
on oysters. Because what I said was that the major deposits of 
oyster shells around San Francisco Bay are all in the south bay. 
There are none in the north; there's hardly any oysters there. 
Most of these are gone now. The Anthro Department for years was 
studying these shell mounds in the 1900s, 1920s, and one of the 
biggest ones is right in San Mateo in 1930 when I was there. 
It's now completely obliterated by the Bayshore Freeway. 
Freeways run through practically all the middens all the way 
around the bay except the north bay, where there aren't very 
many. They are set way back, like the little one north of China 
Cove, just something up the hillside, and they really didn't 
make big middens, and they don't have oysters there except one 
or two. 

Anyway, this rebuttal was prepared with a copy of the table 
of percentages of types of shell found in the bay, pointing out 
that because most of the fresh water that comes out of the upper 
system flows down and goes out the Golden Gate near the surface, 
only in very heavy rains does much of it get south. Therefore, 
the southern part of the bay has already been more salty than 
the northern part. It's probably been like that for 5,000 years 
because oyster shell is a major source of limes for industrial 
purposes in the south bay; there has been a regular dredging for 
that. I cited all these references. 

Well, something happened and we didn't get in on the 
scheduled date. We had it already typed up. I guess a couple 
of the copies got loose, because she got hold of the advance 
copy. So she comes sashaying up and says that my testimony had 
no value at all because, in spite of what I had said, my own 
graphic material indicated that oysters occurred everywhere in 
the bay. Well, the only record in Carquinez is about one-half 
of one shell. The graph table very plainly states and indicates 
that's the lowest value, too small to estimate. 

Lage: I'm not getting the connection, somehow, between her testimony 
about the amount of water that came out, and your testimony 
about the oysters. 


Hedgpeth: My testimony is the fact that the amount of water coming out of 
the bay was as much as it is now or probably more, because it 
kept the oysters in the south part of the bay. They didn't get 
up in the north part of the bay. 

Lage: I see, it kept them pushed down in the south. 
Hedgpeth: Yes, and they couldn't raise oysters in the north bay. 
Lage: Because there wasn't enough salinity? 

Hedgpeth: There was too much fresh water. And at Tiburon, for example, 
Victor Loosanoff came over there from the East to do some work 
with oysters, and he had to move out to the ocean shore at 
Dillon Beach, because the water was too fresh at Tiburon in the 
winter and interfered with the experiments. 

Lage: I see. So by tracing where the oysters were over time 

Hedgpeth: Yes. That's what I did, and it's straightforward. Well, 

anyway, Jim Sutton, the biologist for the state water board and 
his staff man said they knew it was all a bunch of malarkey in 
the beginning. They thought it was sheer- - 

Lage: That she was-- 

Hedgpeth: Yes, he said it had no meaning for them. But of course, these 
people at the hearing board are lay people, not always quite as 
up with things as the rest of them. But anyhow, that was that. 
Later I dubbed her Nuestra Senorita La Reina de los Tulares. 

Lage: Tell me about the hearing board. What kind of people are they? 

Hedgpeth: They were all appointed; they were mostly agribusiness types. 
They're private citizens appointed to the WRCB by the governor 
and by Willie Brown, and two or three other people have choices 
in this matter. 

Lage: And they're not necessarily biologists or hydrologists or-- 

Hedgpeth: No, they're just people who are interested inturns out most of 
them are agribusiness types. 

Lage: How well do they receive the testimony? 
Hedgpeth: I don't know. They never say much of any-- 
Lage: Do they ask questions? 


Hedgpeth: No, they don't ask many questions on these things. Of course, a 
lot of it is a little too much for them, they don't understand 
fish populations and that kind of thing. Fish and Game had a 
lot of that sort of stuff. 

Lage: Do you try to key your testimonydo you testify verbally as 
well as in writing? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Usually when you get up to present a case, you give a 
spoken summary. 

Lage: And then you give them a paper. 
Hedgpeth: Yes. The paper has more details. 

Lage: When you were giving your spoken summary, do you try to think 
about their level of competence? 

Hedgpeth: I do, of course. You try to make it plain to who you're 

speaking to, because this is the only time they'll ever get it. 
They probably won't read this stuff that they're getting. Well, 
actually, the thing amounted to about two stacks of this high 
[gestures] by the time they get through with it. Some of it's 
frightfully long-winded. [The total stack of paper generated by 
this hearing reached a height of twenty feet! --JWH] 

Striped Bass Population and the Flood of 1863 

Hedgpeth: Then I wrote a little skit about the striped bass, pointing out 
that we should havewe don't know the conditions under which 
they managed to become established in the period of about one 
and a half years. They exploded almost instantly; it was quite 
a phenomenon. [laughs] For example, one of the silly things, 
they were transported out here in porcelain-lined tanks 

Lage: What time period are we talking about? 

Hedgpeth: 1879. 

Lage: Oh, way back. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And so they kept the tank temperature very carefully, and 
its salinity. These fish were esturine water types anyway. And 
they brought them all the way out from New Jersey, and they went 
out on the pier in Martinez and dumped them in the bay, and they 


didn't take the temperature or salinity of the bay. [laughter] 
It was funny. 

Lage: After all their careful concern. 

Hedgpeth: Right, yes. 

Lage: So what happened to them? 

Hedgpeth: They just exploded. They took off. 

Lage: Did they destroy a native? 

Hedgpeth: We don't know. One of the things we don't know my reason for 
saying this is that in 1862- '63, we had the greatest flood of 
record. It flooded the entire northern part of the Central 
Valley up to about thirty feet. The legislature had to adjourn 
to San Francisco. Sacramento was flooded out. If that ever 
happens again, think what all those big places like Marysville 
and Oroville would be under water, and highways, they'd all be-- 
that would really be something if that ever happened again. 

What they think happened was two big storms, one from the 
south and one from the north, collided probably right around 
Sacramento, and San Francisco Bay was fresh for about six days 
or more. Of course, the academy was flourishing then, so they 
kept some records on this. 

That flood aspect is discussed in that Conomos book on San 
Francisco Bay. They try to estimate the total flows from what 
little they know of the thing. But they've never had anything 
like that since. And of course, we may never have had a drought 
like this before, so we don't know what's going to happen. 
Sometime we may get something like that. Boy, run for cover. 
If you think an earthquake can fix you up, a flood like that 
won't help either. 

Lage: And that wouldn't be controlled by all the dams that they've 

Hedgpeth: No. Dams only have a certain capacity. If they can't hold it 
all, it would be going over the spillways before you know it. 
See, the situation we have now is that the lovely Division of 
Water Resources decided to take a risk on the possibility that 
we might have some rain again, so they ran the water too far 
down. The total amount of water now in the reservoir is not 
enough to carry next year. 


Lage: The minute we get that spring rain, they seem to think the 
drought is over. 

Hedgpeth: That's right. And they're silly. They should look at the tree 
ring records. It shows this kind of fluctuation. Texas quite 
often has had seven-year droughts. Of course, that's a 
different system down there. 

Lage: Let's see, let's finish the striped bass. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, well, I just wrote this little skit about that, apropos of 
nothing except somebody made some comment about it, and they 
said the problem is in reference to what they have to decide 
about striped bass. We don't really understand just what went 
on to make it possible for them to take like that. We just 
don't have the data. We don't know where they go. You see, it 
may have been related to the flood of 1862. It wiped out a lot 
of things, so there was a lot of probably unoccupied space 
around for other things to flourish in. 

Outcome of the Bay-Delta Hearings 

Lage: What was the outcome of the hearings, those three-year hearings? 
Hedgpeth: Zilch. 
Lage: In what way? 

Hedgpeth: Their decision was simply to allocate water, a little less 
maybe, but that was all. 

Lage: To allocate some water to the Fish and Wildlife? 

Hedgpeth: No, irrigation only. 

Lage: They are still focused on irrigation? 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. The chief attorney for the water contractors was a 

character named Arthur Littleworth. I think he's still around; 
I haven't heard that he died. Fellow I started under in this 
business was Walter Gleason, that was in the '68- '69 affair, and 
he was alleged to have been on all sides of all water fights in 
the state sooner or later. Gleason, it turned out, didn't have 
a family, he was a bachelor. His fee for the Contra Costa thing 
was something like $675,000. There was a lot of squabble about 
that, but he convinced everybody he really earned it. 


Lage: He was really worth it. 

Hedgpeth: Oh, yes. But he was kind of fun to work with, at least as long 
as you're on his side. He coached us before we went on the 

Hedgpeth: Anyway, old Littleworth got to me; I forget what I was saying at 
the time about water. He said, "Are you discussing impaired or 
unimpaired flows?" Well, unimpaired flow is a hypothetical type 
of flow, as if things had never been changed. So I said, "Well, 
sir, I was aware that water contractors have special meanings 
for this term 'unimpaired,' so I really can't answer, except 
that I would say it was before the stream was impaired by the 
construction of a dam." He didn't like that answer at all, and 
kicked me off the stand. [laughter] Anyway. So that's the way 
it went. 

Well, in some ways it was fun, and in other ways it wasn't. 
Lage: But there was really no beneficial outcome? 

Hedgpeth: But you see, you were asking about the other--! didn't hear much 
of the other testimony, except the day I was there. Most of the 
time it would be Fish and Game and stuff like that. But some of 
the other things I didn't know anything about. Because we'd 
have to drive up to Sacramento, stayed overnight one night I 
think it was --some thing came up, we had to be there the next 
morning . 

Testimony by Scientists on Public Policy Issues 

Lage: You made remarks about scientists that sort of sell themselves? 

Hedgpeth: I didn't make that in public. That would be actionable. Then 
the gentleman who had in mind to do most of this showed up, of 
all places, here in Santa Rosa at a hearing on sewage water. 
That was 1985, in the famous year of the turds. You see, the 
city got overloaded and dumped everything straight into the 
Russian River, and those people still remember it, and they're 
fighting to the death any scheme. Now that their treatment is 
so changed that the state Water Quality Board has said, "Well, 
you can release it in the river now, it's fit to drink." Blech! 
Well, anyway, nobody quite believes him, even though the chief 


water engineer gets himself photographed on every occasion 
drinking a cup of it . 

Well, anyway, this guy got up, and he's a member of the 
faculty of engineering at Berkeley, and says, "Hi, I'm a 
professor of aquatic ecology" from the university. Well, that 
title is not, as far as I know, at least the exact way he worded 
it, is not on the roster at Berkeley. 

Lage: Aquatic ecologist, especially in the Department of Engineering. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, he didn't say he was in the Department of 

Engineering, but I knew that. But he said, "You can stand there 
at the end of that big sewer pipe in the East Bay and you look 
down, and all you see is nice, clear water. There's no baddies 
in it." These people seem to have a knack for coming off with 
these cracks just before lunch, because he disappeared. 
Afterwards, I got up and I said, "I have to disagree with that 
statement because there are many things in the water you can't 
see. Those are the real baddies." Sat down, and Tom Lynch got 
up and referred to him as "Your Judas goat consultant." 
[laughter] I don't know whether he'd been back to town or not, 
but at any rate, he has appeared at several places where he's 
been roundly denounced for inaccuracies in testimony. 

Lage: So do you have the sense that he's not necessarily testifying to 
what he believes but what he gets paid to testify for? 

Hedgpeth: Well, that's a rather awkward thing to say. He may actually 
believe these things. He obviously doesn't understand the 
scientific method. He doesn't know how to set an experiment up 
so it really proves anything, in other words. What he wanted to 
do, for example, to test the effect of pollution on mussels was 
to- -you have a 5,000-gallon tank of water pumped from the bay, 
into which he got mussels from the end of a pier and put them in 
there, and said, "Lookit, they live here, so the bay's water is 
all right." 

Well, he pulled that in San Francisco at the American 
Geophysical Union, or rather, one of his students did, and the 
audience really gave him hell. There was no experiment, he had 
no controls. Well, the fellow said, "Oh, we can control the 
quantity of water, we know how much we're using." 

Lage: It sounds like he's a little bit outside of his field. 
Hedgpeth: Definitely. I don't know what he did to get his degree. 
Lage: Is it somebody whose name you'd want to mention? 







It's Alec Home. He was going to work up the Aquatic Habitat 
Institute as a way to support his schemes, the Corps of 
Engineering Department, and nobody wanted him to do this. 
Somebody- -not me, I don't know enough about the university-- 
found out there were rules against funding a university 
department directly by the state Division of Water Resources, 
from one state purse to another. It was one thing to support 
students as such, and research, but another thing to support a 
whole department directly. So they kicked it about and now it's 
quasi- independent, one of these several outfits around the bay 
that more or less reinterpret other people's paperwork. 

What's it called? 

The Aquatic Habitat Institute, one of them. And then the EPA 
has fundedthey funded ABAC [Association of Bay Area 
Governments], of all places, and they don't have anybody who 
knows anything, I guess. They tentatively remarked that, "Well, 
the tule hypothesis has been protested by some people, but there 
still remains the fact there is less water now than there used 
to be." So I accused them of trying to go to bed with Nuestra 
Senorita la Reina de los Tulares [Our Lady the Queen of the 
Tules--a take-off on the full name of Los Angeles], and I wrote 
this letter to them about two months ago, and I haven't had a 

I wonder why? 

I wonder why too. 

Did you expect one? 

I sent copies to the EPA directly, as well as to them, and quite 
a few other people. But anyhow. 

Now, you have not had any reluctance to get involved in 
controversial public policy kinds of issues, as a scientist, 
that standard in your field? 


I don't know. I got asked to by Aquatic Habitat Institute. Of 
course, that thing up here about sewage water, that was just 
sitting there, and I decided I ought to say something, somebody 
ought to say something about that kind of testimony, as soon as 
you can--. 

But do you find that scientists get engaged and use their 
scientific knowledge to affect public policy? In the scientific 
community, is there any hesitancy to do that? 







I think there's some peopleif you've got a reputation to 
defend, you can't just go around taking up too many causes. 
What they're doing, of course, and more significant, is they're 
working for consulting agencies, so they present the line which 
the consultants want, and the consultants are presenting the 
line which the employers want, which is usually some branch of 
the local government. 

So from your observations, a lot of scientists sort of bend 
their science to whoever they're hired by? 

I think it's worse than that. I don't think they just have 
enough knowledge to back up what they're saying half the time. 
They haven't been to the right places to really get hold of the 
subject, so they-- 

It's not good science. 

Yes. Well, another young character, he was a student of Dr. 
Home's, wrote a deposition which seems to have been drafted by 
the city attorney there's a lot more legal stuff in it than 
there should bepointing out that he defined a project area as 
--for instance, a reservoir would be the upper shore of the 
reservoir. So anything above that limit wouldn't be affected by 
what you were doing. Well, he was commenting on a statement 
made which he didn't read, saying that obstructions or barriers 
would have to be installed to keep fish from swimming upstream 
to get into other places where he didn't want them. So I 
pointed out that the project area is the whole region, above the 
reservoir and below it, all the way to the sea. Of course, the 
stream's only twelve miles long, and you can't define a project 
area that way. I think he's just naive and uninformed. 

And being considered an expert. 

Yes. I was asked to say something in a rather funny way: one 
of the chief planners, the owner of the adjacent property, sent 
me his legal brief and said that their attorney wanted to hear 
what I had to say about it. So I wrote two pages, and I told 
somebody else it was so much fun doing this, 1 wouldn't charge 
anybody for that. [laughter] 

Does the Bay Institute pay for testimony? Or do you think it 

I don't know. They paid me for a couple of these things. I was 
taking off a lot of time, I charged $100 a day. But that's 


Lage: Have you done other consulting since you retired? 

Hedgpeth: Of course, you see, that other thing, I hadn't retired. I was 
at Oregon State as a faculty member and they brought me down 
here. That was very funny in some ways, because I was 
testifying about salmon migration this was the water board 
people. They'd brought in a fellow from the faculty at Oregon 
State to advise them on how to handle people like me, and 1 was 
talking about the latest paper I'd read on salmon migration. I 
said, "Of course, this is preliminary data, but it's rather 
suggestive. And by the way, it is written by Dr. Donaldson's 
father." Dr. Donaldson was the guy who was brought down to 
counter me. 

And one of the attorneys started to fidget, I saw Jack go, 
"Shh, shh--lay off of this." [laughter] It was funny. We had 
a good laugh over it afterwards. I didn't even know he was on 
it, and I don't think he knew I was on it, either, at that 

I know that several times he waved off the attorneys who 
were about ready to jump off the deep edge. It's awful easy for 
attorneys to do in these technical things. 

Lage: You kind of have to train the attorneys? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Questions for Future Bay and Delta Research 

Lage: You mentioned in, I guess it was the article in the Conomos 
book, is it, on the bay as urbanized estuary, that the 
significant questions weren't being asked in the bay/delta 
research. Is that still the case? 

Hedgpeth: Well, they're getting there now, I think. Of course, it's very 
expensive to ask some of the significant questions. 

Lage: What are the significant questions? 

Hedgpeth: See, they come up and they say they don't have any real clear 
relation between salinity and so forth. I just turned up 
something yesterday; I was a little shocked I had never read it, 
It was written in 1970 by a colleague down in Texas, Curly 
Wohlschlag, who I knew pretty well, on the incremental effects 


in estuarian systems of how just a very little can build up to 
critical effects on population changes. 

Lage: Very little changes in the system? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. And they build up on top of that, and before you know it, 
you're sitting around looking and you've got no fish. Of 
course, we knew we were going to have no fish if this kept up. 
But agribusiness doesn't believe that. 

Lage: What kind of research should they be doing, or are they doing 
that you are encouraged by? 

Hedgpeth: I think they are now, because they've set up this system of 

funding, partly because of the Shubel report. These people from 
the East including Shubel and Don Prichard and other folk, were 
retained by the Fish and Game and the DWR and the federal 
bureaus to come out here and study the matter, what was needed 
to get the San Francisco Bay off its dead center. 

They came out with it pretty clear. The first thing was to 
get the universities involved. Of course, now they're going to 
cut off the only courses they have on San Francisco Bay, because 
they can't afford all that. 

Lage: At UC? 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Doris Sloan [UC Berkeley lecturer in environmental 

science] has run off, taking early retirement, so I don't know 
what's going to happen withsee, she had been handling 275 
students or something, but they weren't going to give her any 
T.A.s or any assistantship. Besides, she's a grandmother. She 
had several strikes against her, being--! guess she's over sixty 
now, and coming in very late in the system, would count against 
her. So when they offered her a golden parachute deal, she 
grabbed it, I gather. She says she'll hang around and 
participate in things, but I guess she won't have that teaching 
load, and I doubt whether anybody who's around is going to take 
it over. 

Lage: And she was teaching the course on the bay? 
Hedgpeth: Yes. Among other things, I gather. 
Lage: Well, that's not encouraging. 

Hedgpeth: No, it isn't. But I don't know what happened here. A funny 
letter from the Integrated Science folk, Integrated Biology 
folk, about some schemes they had for the Richmond Field Station 


property, which has got a considerable bit of real estate around 
there. So I started my response with a quote from guess who. I 
said, "Call me Ishmael; I'm the only one left to tell the tale." 
[laughter] I don't know whether Bill Lidicker knows what that 
means; I suspect he does. 

Lage: Hopefully. 
Hedgpeth: Hopefully, yes. 

Lage: Is this ending on a more encouraging note, or a discouraging 
note? You said you do think some of the proper research is 
going to-- 

Hedgpeth: Well, I hope, but I don't know. The Integrated Biology people 
seem to be a bit innocent in the way they started at it. But 
then Lidicker is an upland rodent man. 

Lage: Do they have good people in marine biology? 

Hedgpeth: Should have a couple. They have Jere Lipps there as chairman. 
He ought to know something. 

Lage: Any former students of yours? 

Hedgpeth: Not that I know of, unless you count Doris. I coached her on 
her prelims, that's all. [laughs] That was kind of funny. 

Lage: She went back to school as a mature woman, didn't she? 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. She'd been a sociology major at Bryn Mawr. And of 
course, her father is a zoologist. She didn't make much of 
that. I don't think she cares whether you know it or not, but 
anyway, he's Viktor Hamburger at the Washington University at 
St. Louis, Missouri. He came over to escape Hitler in those 
days. She was about four, I think, when she was brought over. 
I met her when she was our neighbor in Sebastapol. 

But anyhow, she came around to me and said she didn't know 
just what they would be asking for invertebrate zoology. I 
think she knew I had been a guest of the Paleo Department for a 
couple of years in a rather peculiar arrangement. They had 
asked me to participate in their prelims so they wouldn't have 
to have those characters from down in the swamps of LSB 
mistreating their star students. Of course, students, all they 
knew was about what they found in rocks, you know, in paleo. I 
said, well, I would do that if they happened to attend my summer 
course at Dillon Beach, not that I needed the trade, but at 






least I would know something about them, 
was set up. 

So you sat on their prelims? 

So that's the way it 


Yes. I remember one time I had a little box of gravel, very 
small pieces of gravel; with paleontologists and geologists, the 
size sorting and character of things like this is rather 
important. So I asked the candidate to suggest the sorting 
influence or sorting agent. Because they were all the same 
size, and they were all irregular, rough shapes. 

He looked at them and said, "Well, they're not water, and 
not air. Seeing as you're asking the question, I guess they're 
biogenic." I said, "Well, all right. What next?" He gave up. 
I said, "They're sorted by ants." These are the pebbles on top 
of the harvester ant hills up in Modoc County. I had gathered 
them up for possible railroad ballast in a model railroad 

So after we threw him out in the hall to stew for five or 
ten minutes, the first thing out of the hat was a mineralogist, 
old Garniss Curtis himself. He said, "Well, I'm glad nobody 
ever asked me that question." [laughter] 

It does look like kind of a hard one to deal with. 

Well, I think it was tricky, unfair. [laughter] But the main 
thing is, you want to get the candidate in a position where he 
can't fake anything, he has to give up. Then you're all right. 
These characters who blithely make up something out of whole 
cloth; you worry about them. 

And they're fast talkers, and-- 

Yes. [We lost Doris. I told her to study her committee, and 
not to try to bluff when she didn't know the answer to a 
question, but to say she did not know and maneuver to change the 
subject, and if she could get the committee to argue with each 
other, she was in. She didn't have to do that, but she passed 
easily. A couple of weeks later I was seated beside a member of 
her committee at an evening dinner, and he said that they had a 
very fine examination with Mrs. Sloan, and then he said, "I 
wonder who coached her." As if he didn't know, because I was 
sure he'd seen me around the department, so I answered, "I have 
no idea." --JWH, October 1995] 

In general, do you think the young people coming along in marine 
biology are of good quality? 


Hedgpeth: I don't know many of them right now. We turned out a few pretty 
good ones at Dillon Beach, mostly from the high school and 
junior college teachers. One of them went on to become a 
specialist at the U.S. National Museum for a while, and then he 
had to go into consulting because that wasn't paying enough to 
support a family, which is true. One of them became the 
chancellor of the entire junior college system, which wasn't 
what we were intending to do for him, but-- 

Lage: But anyway. [laughs] 
Hedgpeth: Yes. That was Dave Mertes. 

The Roman versus Celtic View of Life 

Lage: Let me ask you, I was looking at the list of your lecture 

topics, and the one on the environmental movement as the latest 
phase of the battle between Roman practicality and the Celtic 
view of life was very intriguing. Tell me about it. 

Hedgpeth: Yes. Well, just having a little fun. You see, you'd have to 

look at my library to see that bunch of Celtic books there, some 
of which I've read and some of which I haven't read, in most of 
the Celtic languages. But anyhow, this lovely passage in a book 
by a man who wrote under the name of Fiona McLeod, whose name 
was James Sharp, I think, about the mothering, how a mother 
takes her baby out as soon as she can after it's born and 
touches its head to the earth. Called "the mothering." He said 
that was carried out at least when he was writing, which I guess 
was in the 1890s or somewhere along in then. But that's very 
late for that sort of thing. That must have been in the 
Highlands, where the custom would endure. 

But there is that feeling, because very few of the Celts 
wherever you go are big city dwellers, except maybe the Irish at 
Dublin. Most of them do live fairly close to nature. And then, 
of course, I point out that this poem about the squirrel going 
to London to fight the cutting down of the trees is the first 
environmental protest of record [ca. 1570J. I opened my talk 
with the Eisteddfod invocation, just for the fun of it. Got an 
old sword which was secularized by St. Vincent de Paul, 
secondhand Joint, you know. [laughter] It was an old Knights 
of Columbus sword. The chief bard starts the Welsh cultural 
festival by asking, "Is there peace in the land?" "Oes 
heddwch?" [Is there peace?] And asks this three times, and 
finally the audience cries back, "Heddwch!" 


Lage: And what does that mean? 

Hedgpeth: Peace, yes. That's the opening part of the ceremony. They 
dress up in fancy bathrobes and indulge in all kinds of 
folderol, most of which was made up by a rather cynical Welshman 
in about 1850 or so, as a bardic revival. But anyhow, that's 
neither here nor there. 

Lage: And then what's-- 

Hedgpeth: Well, you just get this feeling for nature from the Celts. 

They're always fighting about it, protesting what is going on. 
Part of it is also protesting the English. 

Lage: Now, what's the Roman practicality? 

Hedgpeth: The Roman law and all of that, yes. Building bridges, and all 
those roads. 

Lage: The engineering mentality. 

Hedgpeth: Yes, right. 

Lage: Do you think your Celtic roots have influenced your outlook? 

Hedgpeth: I don't know. I think I had some fun with people; I don't know. 
May have influenced me a little, but anyhow. 

Lage: It's hard to sort those things out. 
Hedgpeth: Yes. 

Recognition for Work to Save the Environment 

Lage: In 1976, you got the Browning Award for achievement in 
preserving the environment. Who was that given by? 

Hedgpeth: Mr. Browning, who left a sum of money to the Smithsonian 

Institution to be administered for people who he had a series 
of categories, I forget what they all are now. I don't know 
whether the brochure is near there or not; I used to have a 
brochure about it up here. 


Was that sort of a lifetime achievement award? 

Hedgpeth: No, it was just done once every year. 


Lage: But I mean, for your recognition, was it for a particular thing, 
or for 

Hedgpeth: That's right; no, it was just for general activity. I think in 
all of them. It wasn't because I'd written for a special paper 
or book or anything like that. Well, at that time, it paid 
$5,000, and later on they were beginning to run low on money and 
they dropped it a bit. 

So you got it at the right time. 

Yes, I got it at the right time. By the time they got to 
Starker, it was only a couple of K or something. 

Does it often go to scientists? 

No, there's one category for "Conserving the Environment." 1 

Let's just mention also that you were awarded the Fellows Medal 
of the California Academy of Science just recently. 

Yes. Oh, they put on the back what they think it's for. 

[laughs] Well, I have down here, "In recognition of outstanding 
contributions to invertebrate zoology, marine ecology, and 
responsible use of the environment." 

Is there anything else you want to add? 

Hedgpeth: [Since this interview began I have been elected a foreign member 
of the Linnean Society of London, in recognition of my work as a 
systematic zoologist. --JWH) 






Transcribers: Chris DeRosa, Shannon Page 
Final Typist: Shannon Page 
Editor: Anne Apfelbaum 

'"For the person who has made an outstanding contribution in enhancing 
the quality of our physical environment. Nominees are proposed by the 
Smithsonian Institution." --Browning Award announcement. [See Appendix 


TAPE GUIDE--Joel Hedgpeth 

Interview 1: June 25, 1992 

Tape 1, Side A 

Tape 1, Side B 

Tape 2, Side A 

Tape 2, Side B 

Interview 2: July 2, 1992 

Tape 3, Side A 

Tape 3, Side B 

Tape 4, Side A 

Tape 4, Side B 

Tape 5, Side A 

Tape 5, Side B 

Interview 3: 


2, 1992 

Tape 6, 

Side A 

Tape 6, 

Side B 

Tape 7, 

Side A 

Tape 7, 

Side B 

Interview 4: 

October 1, 


Tape 8, 

Side A 

Tape 8, 

Side B 

Tape 9, 

Side A 

Tape 9, 

Side B 

Interview 5: October 15, 1992 
Tape 10, Side A 
Tape 10, Side B 
Tape 11, Side A 
Tape 11, Side B 

Interview 6: October 29, 1992 

Tape 12, Side A 

Tape 12, Side B 

Tape 13, Side A 

Tape 13, Side B 

Tape 14, Side A 

Tape 14, Side B not recorded 

Interview 7: November 19, 1992 
Tape 15, Side A 
Tape 15, Side B 
Tape 16, Side A 
Tape 16, Side B not recorded 















APPENDICES- -Joel W. Hedgpeth 

A. "A Boy's Life at Mather, 1921-1922" by Ted Wurm. 278 

B. "Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida)", introduction to the 
proceedings of a meeting held in 1976 at the Linnean 
Society in honor of Joel Hedgpeth, and a listing of 

Hedgpeth entries in "A pycnogonid bibliography." 282 

C. "Ed Ricketts, Marine Biologist" by Joel Hedgpeth, from 

the Steinbeck Newsletter. Fall 1995. 293 

D. Letter from Aldo Leopold, 19 47. 295 

E. "ProgressThe Flower of the Poppy," by Joel Hedgpeth, in 

American Scientist, vol. 35 (3) 1947. 296 

F. Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology. 1957, Foreward 

and Contents. 300 

G. Family placenames: Tichenor Rock, Nellie's Cove, Nellie 

Lake, Hedgpeth Heights. 302 

H. Statement on San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary An Ecological 

System, 1969. 303 

I. The Edward W. Browning Achievement Awards, 1976. 305 

J. Curriculum Vitae of Joel W. Hedgpeth. 308 

K. Commencement Speech to Class of 1970, Fresno State College. 316 




Vol. 29, No. 1 


JUL.-SEPT., 1989 

A Boy 's Life at Mather - 1921-22 

Joel W. Hedgpeth's 

(Hetch Hetchy Camps Part V) 
By Ted Wurm 

[KE DYE'S "Hog Ranch," as we have seen, 
gave its name to a tiny settlement which for 
a time served as the entrance gate to Hetch 
Hetchy Valley. The valley itself, a smaller 
version of Yosemite, was about ten rough miles by 
horseback farther into the Sierra Nevada Range - a 
bone-wearying four-hour ride. Hog Ranch had at 
one time served as the outpost of a contingent of 
U.S. Army soldiers guarding Yosemite. 

In the second decade of this century the Hog 
Ranch became an important locale in the dramatic 
Hetch Hetchy story, with City and County of San 
Francisco playing the lead role. Their first decision 
here was to drop the old name. "Hog Ranch" was 
inelegant, and they bestowed the name Mather in 
honor of the first head of the National Park Service. 
This would be an important stop on the City's new 
Hetch Hetchy Railroad as the last space before the 
damsite with room for sidings and for their major 
sawmill. By 1918 the one-time pork center had 
become a busy settlement, with railroad, post office, 
strings of cabins for the sawmill workers, the 
all-important cookhouse, a commissary, and the big 
sawmill with its ponds. 

Hetch Hetchy Railroad trains hauling cement 
for construction at damsite seldom had business at 
Mather, but all seemed to stop here for a "break" 
because it was always chow time when the tired 
trainmen arrived ana the cook was famous all up 
and down the line. There was also a daily local 
freight train picking up and delivering supplies and 
construction materials at all stations. And there 
were two passenger trains daily each way, but to 
reach the Bay Area the same day, a traveler had to 
catch the westward train at 4:10 a.m. The numbered 
"passenger" trains usually had a few freight cars 
coupled ahead of the coach, or they could be 
"MOTOR" trains, gasoline railcars that trainmen 
referred to as "track buses." 

A small post office was maintained within the 
station building, undoubtedly manned by the 
station agent, whose "duties also consisted of 
tending a large garden of petunias at the western 
end of the building, a much-appreciated spot of color 
in the evergreen forest. This was a cheery sight to 
ten-year-old Joel Hedgpeth and his mother, arriving 
by train in 1921 from Oakland, to join the head of 
the family, who was employed as the blacksmith at 
Mather sawmill. 

Counrty Ted Wurm 

Ten-year-old Joel W. Hedgpeth smoking coffee in a 
pipe of his own design. 

Caurtety Ttd Wurm 

Hog Ranch as it appeared in August 1916. So named 
because pioneer Ike Dye raised porkers earlier, it 
afterwards became a guard station for soldiers 
protecting the Yosemite National Park. The name 
of the area was changed to "Mather" when it 
became a vital link in the Hetch Hetchy Project. 

Page 974 



Published Four Time* Each Year 

Founding Editor: Donald I Segeretrom 

CHISPA." the title of the quarterly publication of the Tuolumne County 
rhetorical Society, n word of Spanish origin which enjoys a special 
association with the hiatory of the area. Although it haaa variety of meanings, 
ranging from "parka" or "embers" to "clevsrneaa" or "wit," locally it acquired 
an additional colloquial meaning aa it waa alao used to describe any nugget or 
epecimen of gold, and particularly one of great beauty or high radiance. 
Tht term waa introduced to the diggings of Tuolumne County by pioneer 
miner* from the State of Sonora. Mexico, and waa quickly adopted into the 
vocabulary of the many nationalities who mined her*. 



EDITORIAL BOARD: Richard L. Dyer, Joan Gorsuch, 

Sharon Marovich, Jean McChsh, Lyle Scott, 

Dolores Yescas Nicolini, Mary Etta Segerstrom, 

Mary Grace Paquette 

The Quarterly of the Tuolumne 
County Historical Society, Inc. 

P. O. Box 575 - Sonora, CA 95370 

All rights to republication are reserved. Permiaaion to quota or uae malarial 
herein should be obtained in writing. 

Wall researched articles concerning local history are welcomed. However, 
editors reserve the right to edit, accept or reject any articles or photographs 
submitted for publication. The editors are not responsible for the loss of, or 
failure to return any unsolicited article, articles or photographic materials. 

Joel recalled in his "Tuolumne Memories" notes 
that they had waited a long time at Oakdale for the 
Sierra Railway connection, then camped a few days 
at Groveland and other places along the way. The 
family finally moved into a long, one-door cabin 
near the sawmill at Mather. "It was not long after 
that/' he writes, "when I encountered an old 
gentleman with his burros, unpacking hymn books 
in the grove in preparation for services . . . When he 
found out who I was, he immediately looked up my 
mother, for they had been fellow missionaries. 
This was the Reverend Hugh Furneaux, in those 
days known as "The Shepherd of the Hills." He was 
a Presbyterian missionary working out of Columbia 
or Sonora during the summer months. "He traveled 
up and down the mountains on his mission, with his 
donkeys 'Pipe Organ' and 'Bagpipes.' She invited 
him to dinner, after which he baptised me as Joel 
Walker Hedgpeth. I am reminded that I may be the 
only person to have been baptised at Mather. [The 
date is not recorded unless] Mr. Furneaux registered 
the event somewhere in his records ... in Columbia 
or Sonora. 

"We returned the next summer (1922) and stayed 

for some weeks in a tent near the road not far from 
the Oakland Recreation Camp on Middle Fork. Mr 
Furneaux had gone down to 'The City" and left hie 
burros with us ... I rode one of them all over thai 
country. That summer was when I found mj 
father's I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World 
card, a thick elegant affair with a screaming eagl< 
clutching a red, white, and blue flag. There wai 
quite a family scene about that and I never saw thi 
card again. But I did learn a great deal about thosi 
independent donkeys. 

"Mather was a lively place for me although I wai 
the only small boy in residence then. There wen 
always trains going back and forth (betweer 
Groveland and Damsite) and others from the shor 
line which came across the hill from Peach Groweri 
Mill. [Their locomotive] was the first Shay I hac 
seen and it sounded like an enormously outsizec 
coffee grinder, frightening me at first, but I became 
fascinated by all the gears and pistons. 

"Almost daily during the summer there were thi 
excursion buses from Camp Curry, big, touring-ca: 
style, dusty green Pierce Arrows, conveying groupi 
of people from Yosemite to Hetch Hetchy to observe 
the construction. They arrived at the lodge acrpsi 
the tracks for lunch. I soon learned that mingling 
with these people produced various tidbits frorr 
their box lunches, and they persuaded me to stanc 
on a stump and sing songs for them. I wonder how 
many family albums have photos of me standing or 
a tree stump. I also discovered that if I learned some 
new bad words, the camp cook would give me a bi{ 
piece of pie. 

"It was a lovely summer. The meadow wai 
growing high and I would walk across it smellinj 
the Calochortus among the grass and going up thi 
rocky side past the old [Hog Ranch] corral ... 1 wai 
in and out of every abandoned or unoccupied cabii 
in the vicinity, including some I should not havi 
[investigated]. . . I found some dynamite caps in on< 
shed and had a bad accident. I was lucky not t< 
blow my head off [though the left hand was badl; 
damaged J." The ride to Groveland from Mather in i 
box car "was one I never wanted to repeat The trail 
took many hours, with long stops at several placet 
It was evening before we got to the hospital a 
which I was to spend three weeks. 

^ -_ Courttiy Ttd Wurm 

Mather's famous petunia patch located west of the 
Mather railroad station and post office. 

Courttty Ted Wur 

Arrival of a typical track tour bus at Mather in 1922 
The lady standing on the rear step is Mrs. Williai 
Long with young William Pearson, Jr. Others ar 


Page 975 

"The late Doctor John B. Degnan patched me up 
so that I had a functioning left hand. As I was 
ecuperating and my wounds toughening up, we 
stayed around Groveland for several weeks. I often 
wandered into the saloon with its festoons of 
-attlesnake skins from the center light to the 
.vails ... at that time the bar was on the other side of 
the room and there was large fly trap in the 
middle . . . Except for the activity of the railroad, 
Groveland did not seem to be much of a place then. 
Abandoned mine shafts and empty places and other 
signs of past activity. . . The expression 'all mined 
out' was something I learned the meaning of then." 

[When they were living at Mather] "I did not like 
the trip to the dam construction at Hetch Hetchy. 
Maybe it was all the noise of engines and cables and 
the raw, freshly-blasted rock and sawed-off trees . . . 
A lovely large pine tree, biggest within the camp, 
was cut down near our cabin [for no apparent 
reason] and as it fell on the slope it cracked, so a big 
piece was left behind. But bigger trees were being 
sawed up in the mill every day and my father 
worked in the mill ... I am confused about the 
timing, but we did stay into the winter, and I 
remember the orders for winter supplies coming 
in... boxes of all sorts, soap to big bars of 
Ghirardelli chocolate, that were unpacked and 
stored awav. And the snow! 

"I was sent off to Palo Alto Military Academy in 
February 1922, since I had already missed a half 
year of school. [The family returned to Oakland in 
1922, but] "I was back in 1925 as a Boy Scout, 
staving at Dimond O Camp, the former Peach 
Growers area. We often used the old mill pond at 
Mather as a swimming pool. The mill was still there 
then, but the house in which we had lived had been 
hauled awav." (Conclusion of Joel Hedgpeth's 
"Memories!' Today, Dr. Hedgpeth is a world- 
renowned marine biologist, writer, lecturer, scholar, 
with headquarters at Santa Rosa.) 

The sawmill of California Peach Growers was 
about one and a half miles south of Mather on the 
road to Carl Inn, Big Oak Flat Road, and Yosemite. 
Logs were brought to the two-band mill over several 
railroad spurs. Finished lumber was loaded and 
shipped out via Hetch Hetchy Railroad. There were 
about five carloads per day, mainly shook material 
for fruit boxes, during the cutting season for the 
whole time Hetch Hetchy operated as a common 
carrier railroad. Peach Growers also operated a 
subsidiary mill, run by Mr. Fascio, which shipped 
carloads of lumber out of Buck Meadows. 

Merle Rodgers hired on at Mather sawmill in 
1919. He remembered the big Peach Growers mill 
and watching their train of cut lumber arriving at 

-;> - .<<fffl .-,;*. 

- . , *! fti* ' ' - "4; 


- TCWS Collection 

Rev Hugh Furneaux, Presbyterian missionary "Shepherd of the Hills" with his two well-known traveling 
companions "Pipe Organ" and "Bagpipes." Rev. Furneaux baptized Joel Hedgpeth at Mather in 1921, and the 
following year his assistants educated young Hedgpeth in the nature of donkeys. 

Page 976 


the interchange each evening. In the early 20s a 
young teenager, Del Gilliam. often visited his 
brother, who was railroad hostler for the Hetchy at 
Mather. They would run over to pick up Peach 
Growers loads at the interchange, and sometimes 
the Hetch Hetchy locomotive would venture all the 
way to the "PG Mill" to get their loaded cars. 
Things were quite informal in the mountains and 
an occasional improvisation was not criticized. 
During 1925 school vacation Gilliam rode a speeder 
on the railroad as fire patrol, 20 minutes behind 
steam locomotive No. 5 hauling lumber trains down 
the Hetchy tracks for Peach Growers. The latter had 
leased the 5-spot and a crew when Hetch Hetchy 
ceased common carrier sevice to Mather and the 
Damsite earlier that year. 

O'Shaughnessy Dam was completed in 1923 and 
the rails removed back nine miles to Mather so the 
right of way could be converted to a highway under 
terms of the Raker Act. The sawmill was shut down, 
having turned out 21 million feet of lumber, and the 
City crews gradually converted the construction 
camp into the family summer camp that enlivens 
the area today. In 1948 the railroad was abandoned 
and all tracks removed. The old station/post office 
building remains beside the paved road that 
replaced railroad tracks. And Joel Hedgpeth writes 
that when he visited Camp Mather a few years ago. 
he noted that the fine pine tree, the one that haa 
been cut down without reason near their cabin in 
1921, was still lying around in sawed-up hunks. 
They had disappeared by 1988. 

Courteiy Ttd Warm 

Peach Growers Sawmill in operation in May 1919. 

_ Courtety Ted Wurm 

Locomotive of the California Peach Growers, Inc., 
hauling logs to the operation's sawmill located a 
mile and a half south of Mather. 


Sea Spiders (Pyciiogoiiicla) 

Proceedings of a meeting held in honour of 

on 7 October 1976 in the Rooms of the 
Linnean Society of London 

Edited by 

Zoological Journal of ilie Linnean Society. Vol. 63. Nos 1 and 2 (1978) 
Published for the Linnean Society of London by Academic Press 



The pycnogonids arc a small group of animals, of about 6GO species, obscure n 
most biologists and given, at best, a superficial treatment in general and studen 
texts. Yet, even the most cursory examination of a pycnogomd bibliograph' 
reveals the names of numerous biologists who have achieved eminence in othc 
fields and whose imaginations have been captured by these .musual animals. 

hi some cases, the allure of pycnogonids has proved to in- only a brief .UK 
youthful seduction. In other cases, sea spiders have provided a longer-lastin 
attraction to which distinguished zoologists have turned from time to time a 
a diversion from their major intellectual involvements. 

Joel Hcdgpcth is a biologist of unquestionable distinction, most particular!- 
well known in the field of marine ecology. In that field, his "I5ig Red Book"- 
as it is affectionately known, his editions of ttenvccn 1'acific Tides, and hi 
numerous incisive writings on a wide variety of ecological topics place him a 
one of the foremost marine biologists which this century h.:.s produced. 

However, Joel Hedgpeth also occupies a unique position in the minds and affec 
tions of that relatively small group of people, scattered around the world, fo 
whom pycnogonids are more than just an aberrant, scarcely seen form o 
marine arthropodan life. Despite his heavy engagement in the wider fields o 
marine ecology and despite the prohibitions of academic Ecological fashion- 
described with characteristic penetrating and sometimes wry humour in Taxo 
nomy: Man 's Oldest Profession, he has provided over some thirty-five years ; 
series of papers which occupy a central position in the corpus of pycnogonk 

That this is so is due, I think, to two phenomena. One is an unhappy acci 
dent of world and zoological history. The other is a most happy accident o) 
inheritance and culture. 

When, in the late 1930s, he was able to divert the major part of his research 
tune to pycnogonids, the number of their investigators and chroniclers had 
Dwindled to a small handful. V. Schimkewitsch, H. Heifer, E. Schlottke, W. T 
Cahnan, J. C. C. Loman, L. Giltay. W. A. Hilton and E. L. Bouvier had pub 
lished or were publishing their last papers; for L. K. Losina-Losinsky, L. Page. 



H. Oshima and K. Stcphenscn the war brought a temporary halt to their 
researches; I. Gordon had turned, as her duties demanded, from pycnogonids 
to the Crustacea. In the fifteen years after 1939 sea spiders did not receive 
more than a hundred mentions in print and, of the research papers which 
treated of them, nearly one half were written by Joel Hedgpeth. 

It is the very highest quality in his writings, as-well as the number of his 
publications in that period, which ensured a continuity of interest in and 
expansion of knowledge of the pycnogonids. In a very real sense Joel Hedgpeth 
carried the torch of pycnogonid studies through a dark time to kindle the 
enthusiasm of a new generation of biologists. 

When, in 1953, I first encountered pycnogonids crawling on a trawl net 
pulled up from the North Atlantic and was curious about their forms and 
nature, there was readily available only The Pycnogonida of the Western 
.\orth Atlantic and the Caribbean. That paper led, inevitably, to On the Evolu 
tionary Significance of the Pycnogonida. 

It was a shock to find that taxonomic writing could consist of such precise 
and scholarly prose and yet be shot through with charm and a sympathetic 
delight in the animals and in the human frailties which their past study had 
evoked. Read one of Joel Hedgpeth 's papers and you will want to read them 

This, then, is the happy accident of inheritance and culture; that pycnogonid 
studies were continued through a dark time by someone with a deep love of 
scholarship, the courage to show his enthusiasms, a deft skill in prose and a 
natural gift for graphic illustration. 

1 have made an attempt to illustrate that latter gift by placing a selection 
of drawings in the text of the volume. The drawings arc in ? variety of styles, 
but no matter what the style, by economy and grace of line each is rich in 
information and evident pleasure. 

Every paper in this volume owes something to Joel Hedgpeth 's work and 
some owe a great deal, for his writings have touched upon almost every aspect 
of pycnoponid biology. It would not be extravagant to claim there is no 
serious student of the group who has not been influenced by his work, not 
merely through the practical necessity of studying his conclusions and data, 
but also by an encounter with that literary elegance and humour which is so 
rare in contemporary zoological literature. Perhaps the last word on this 
point should come from his friend of long standing, Dr Jerome Tichenor, who 
wrote of Research Funding: 

We must improve our image 
To show how good we are: 
For in the scientific scrimmage 
We won 't go very far 
If our image is old fashioned 
When the funds are being rationed. 

Joel Hedgpeth has now relinquished his university posts, but his wisdom in 
marine ecology and conservation places him in great demand all over 
America and Europe whenever governments acknowledge the conflict between 
industrial development and the conservation of marine environments. A 



parochial, but nevertheless important, fear is that government agencies will now 
keep him so busy as to stifle his pycnogonid researches. That would be a sad 


It was most fitting that a meeting to honour Joel Hedgpeth should have been 
held at the foremost British natural history society. He has long had a warm 
affection for Britain, and I am sure that he would not cavil at the suggestion 
that a major aim of his life has coincided with that aim described in the Soci 
ety's Charter as "the cultivation of Natural History in all its branches". 

The Society began its publication of articles on sea spiders in 1800. Re 
cently, it has sponsored more and important publication on the group. It is 
appropriate, therefore, that this, the first symposium volume on the group, 
should be published under the Society's auspices. 

The preparation of any multinational symposium is inevitably fraught with 
some difficulties. That they were minimal in this case was due in large measure 
to the eagerness with which the speakers and chairmen wished to gather to 
honour Joel Hedgpeth. 

Many people assisted the organization. I thank the Society's President. 
Council and Officers tor their encouragement anil, more particularly, I proffer 
my thanks to the Executive Secretary and his staff for easing administrative 
difficulties. Grateful thanks are due also to the British Council for a grant of 
money towards the expenses of overseas speakers. 

F.diting any collection of papers, however slim, brings headaches. I thank 
Dr Humphry Greenwood and Dr Karen Hiiemac for ensuring publication 
and I thank my wife for not merely tolerating the irritability engendered by 
editing, but for dispensing coffee and encouragement. 

Mrs Pamela Vffchon did mountains of typing tor me and I owe much to her 
efficiency and good humour throughout. 

It may seem strange to acknowledge the assistance of the very person xvhom 
this volume honours, but his gentle comment that he was surprised to be 
working so hard for his own festschrift is the very best indication of how 
important is Joel Hedgpeth's position in pycnogonid biology. 

Concerning publication, Dr Jerome Tichenor should, again, have the last 

We regret to inform the reader that 
This book has been printed 
With the aid of electricity. 


Luton College. 

Park Square. 





Introduction ... v 

Contributors x 

MANTON. S .M. Habits, functional morphology and evolution ot pycnoiionuls . 1 

HEDGPF.TI1, JOKI. W. A of ihe I'alacopantopoda wttli ilcscription ot 

a species Irom the Jurassic 23 

FRY, WILLIAM G. A classification within the pycnoyomds 35 

STOCK. JAN' II K\pcriments on food prctcrcncc ami chemical sense in 

Pycnoj;oni-.!.i . 59 

RICIIAKDS. I'I-:TL1< R .uul FRY. WILLIAM (I Digestion m .1 
study of some polar forms .75 

ARN'ALD, |- KANCOISI-.. A new species ot An'iirlivni'lnis (l'ycnoj;onul.i) fouiul 

parasitic on an opistholiranchiatc mollusc 99 

JARVIS. |. II and KINCi. I'. 1:. Reproductive liioluj;y of British px eno^nnids 

(oouenesis ami the reproductive cycle) 105 

CHILD, C. ALLAN Ci yandromorphs of the pycntign'n\Ani>pliHlact\'luspttrtllS 133 

SCHRAM, FRKDHRICK R. and HEDGPETII. JOKI. W. Locomotory mecha 
nisms in Antarctic pycnogonids 145 

MORGAN, ELFED. The energy cost of off-shore migration in .\ymplion 

gracile (P)cnogonida) 171 

DE HARO. A. Ecological distribution of pycnogonids on the Catalan coast . . 181 

FRY, WILLIAM G and STOCK, JAN H. A pycnogonid bibliography .... 197 



ARNAL'D. I 7 . Station Man/if J't'nJuume. Rue Jc la Baiterie-Ja-I.ums. Marseille I SOU ~. 

/'ranee (p. 99) 
CHILD, C. A. Department uj Invertebrate Zoulugy, Siiiitlisunian Jnsiilulion. h'ashingtun. 

DC. :(>JMl. L.S.A (p. 133) 
Dl. IIARO, A. Dcparlnieiltii Jc Zutilogu, iucnliaj Jc Cit'iii'ius. L'niveraiJaJ .\ii!t>n, nii t : Jc 

Itarccliina, Hiirccliiiia. Spain (p. 181) 
I ; !<V. \V. G. Depart menl tit Scifinr. l.nlun Cullcfc. I'ark St/iwrc. I. man. Hi-Jtu'ihlnrc. L' k 

pp- 55. 7 5. l l 7) 

C.OKIHJN. I . llcj!lni,-H (,urjcn.\. LonJtm .S'li'/.^ JS7.. L A.. (Cli.iirm.ini 
II! nC.I'l.TII. I \\ ftifiti Mi'tnciiiii Aicniic. Sjiitu l\osu. (.'alilunthi V^-tO-l. L.S.A (pp 23. 

KINCi. IV I-. l>cpannifnl .' Xi;i;/<i.i'i . t.'ii/i-cr.t/;r (\i/lct;c l SH.II;\,:I. Stni;li inn 1'urk. 

.SV.;;ifri;. (A (p. 1O5) 

.1 \K\ IS. 1 II li'r.v/i-/-i/i/A .i//v. /. ll,i,irn. Tli<- .\cliifi laiitl\ (p ll>5> 
M. \\IUN. S M. l)c/>ariincnl <ij /.onlngv. Uritish Must-inn l.\attirjl Ilistmyl. (.'rumwcll 

RouJ. London .VH'7 .i/j/;. {.'.A', (p. 1) 
MOK(iAN, I!, f), -fart men t ) Ztn'.ltigy and Cinn/iarutnf I'hvtmlugv. I 'nirersitv l 

Hi'-ininxluiiii. I'O H,,\ .'V,.o Hirniinfhu'n Hit 2TT. ( K. (p. 171 ) 
KICIIAKDS. I' K Department <>t Mechanical i.nfineennv. ( inicrwn // Snrr t \. C.iiilJlnrJ. 

>i/rrci . ( K (p. 75) 
SC'HRAM, ! K. Dc/'urnncnr n/ Xnologv. Lastcrn Illinois L : nnersn\. Cliurleituii. lllinnu 

'<l:<>. I'.S.A. (p. 145) 
SiOC.K. I. II Illinium i mi' TuxiiiHiinische /.unliific. Xni>l"gi\rlii Mn\e:i'ii. I'luntagc 

MitlJenltijii. Amsterdam. The .\ctltcrlanjit (pp. 59, 197) 
^ ONGI.. C. ,M 13 Cumin 1'lacc. L'Jinhiirsli /.'//V 2JX. L.K (Chairman) 


Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 63: 197-238 

May/June 1978 

A pycnogonid bibliography 


Department o] Science. Luion College. Park Square. Luion. Hi'Jfnrtlsliirc 



Institiuit voor Taxonoinische Zoologie, Zootogiscli Museum. 
Universiteit ran Amsterdam. Amsterdam. The .\ctlierlamh 

KV.\ WOKDS -I') cnoj:unida-Hantopoda-ll literaturc-iuthors-ntlcs-journals-books- 
co-julhors editors - translators- zoological ecolopca I. 


Introduction 19/ 

Bibliography - - 199 

Index of Joint Authors. Editors. Tranlator> and Alternative Name-forms 235 


We have presumed to prepare a bibliography for the pycnogonids at this time 
for several reasons. 

First, a special volume of articles on pycnogonids presents an ideal vehicle 

for such a contribution. Additionally we fear that, if left to grow for even a 

few more years, a pycnogonid bibliography could find no printed resting place 

except in a specialist bibliographic publication, where it would be inaccessible 

jto many. 

Furthermore we are delighted to display in this festschrift the rOle which 

.Joel Hedgpeth has played in creating pycnogonid literature in the widest sense 

and in consolidating a firm literature base from which we and others could 

work. His own bibliographic work has been most important in furthering 

"research on pycnogonid biology. 


, 0024-4082/78/0063-0197/S05.00/0 1978 The Linnean Society of London 


198 W. G. FRY AND J. H. STOCK 

Finally, now that historians of biology are beginning to attract more of the 
interest that they deserve, we should like to offer this contribution to them, in 
the hope that it may solve some minor problems and offer some profitable 
lines of enquiry. Because biology librarians are historians of science inevitably 
it seems to us, we include them in this dedication. 

That we do presume in offering this bibliography we are sure. We have aimed 
at completeness not only for all writings on pycnogonids qua pycnogonids but 
also for those treating pycnogonids solely as ecological data. Perhaps, by select 
ing more than one aim, we may have missed all targets. However, pycnogonids 
are creeping noticeably in larger numbers into physiology and ecology. We 
would like to hope that, with a basic synopsis of the literature available to 
them, nascent pycnogonologists will flourish. 

Certain possible sources of error should be noted. These arose from the 
necessary attempt to give full journal titles. We have made extensive use of the 
List of Serial Publications in the British Museum (Natural History) Library and 
also of the World List of Scientific Periodicals (4th ed.). Unfortunately, neither 
of these publications is perfectlv complete and neither discriminates consis 
tently between plural and singular word endings. In addition, we have been 
unable to examine 5% of the publications cited. Pooling these inadequacies, it 
is clear that a small fraction of the publications may prove difficult to locate. 
However, we hope that we have not created any "ghost" journals. 

Another problem arises trom national differences in the use of capital letters 
for "important" words. In this context we have acted multinational!) 1 rather 
than internationally, as far as possible. However, to aid distinction between 
journal titles and book titles within a limited range of type-faces, we have 
capilali/.eJ all "important" words in the latter. 

Finally, we regret the necessity lor transliteration trom the Cyrillic alpha 
bet. Inevitably, despite the brave attempts of the British Standards Institute 
(No. 2979: 1958), and Royal Society publications, this produces some barbar 

Manj' people have assisted us in this enterprise. In particular, we thank 
Mr Gavin Bridson, who helped to turn many corrupted abbreviations into sense 
in their proper languages and to track down some of the more obscure articles. 
Joel Hedgpcth most kindly compared an early draft of the manuscript with his 
extensive files and corrected a number of errors and omissions. Mrs Pamela 
Vachon was a most efficient and helpful typist for us, turning heaps of scrawl 
ed cards into legible texts. Our thanks are also due to Mrs Patricia Fry, who 
helped to keep under control the great interlinear palimpsest whose growth 
rate at times threatened the whole enterprise. 

Despite all this assistance we fear that errors and omissions remain. For 
these we are to blame. We also take responsibility for those personal interpreta 
tions which may not please everyone. 



HALLEZ. P.. 19052. VII. Notes fauniques. Archives de Zoologie Experimental el Generate. (4) 3 (Notes 
& Revue, 3): xlvii-lii. (Sometimes cited problematically is Daman (1905).) 

HALLEZ. P.. 1905b. Observations sur le parasitisme des larves de Phoiichtlldium chez Bougainvillea. 
Archives de Zoologie Experimentale et Generate. (4) 3: 1 33-144. VI. 

HAMOND. R . 1963. A preliminary report on the marine fauna of the North Norfolk coast. Trans 
actions of the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists' Society. 20 (\): 1-31; 1-4. 

HANSEN. H. J., 1884a. Fortegnelse over hidtil i de danskc Have fundne Pycnogonider eller Sespmdlcr 
Narurhistorisk Tidsskrifr, Kjfbenhavn. (3) 14: 647-652. (?). 

HANSEN. H J.. 1884b. Spindeldyr. Saspindlcr (Pantopoda eller Pycnogonidae). In Zoologia Danica 
AfbildningerafdanskeDyrmedpopulaer Text. 4: 117-13 1; VII. Copenhagen. (? - 1885.1 

HANSEN, H. J.. 1886. Vorlaufige Mitteilung uber Pycnogoniden und Crustaceen aus dem nordlichen 
Eismeer. von der Dijmphna Expedition mitgebracht. Zoologtsche Amelger, 9: 638-643. 

HANSEN, H. J., 1887. Kara Havets Pycnogonider. In Dijmphna-Togtets loologisk-botaniske Udbytte: 
157-181 ; XVIII. XIX. Kjubenhavn: Bianco Lunos. 

HANSEN. H. J., 1895. Pycnogonider og Malacoscrake Krebsdyr. Meddelelser om Grontand. 19: 123-125. 

HANSEN, H. J., 1930 Studies on Arthropoda. 3: 333-335. Copenhagen. 

HANSEN, H. J. & S0RENSEN. W.. 1898. The order Palpigradi Thor. and its relationship to the other 
Arachnida. Eniomologiska Tidskrlft. IS (3-4): 223-240; IV. 

HANSTROM. B., 1919. Zur Kenntnis des zenrralen Nervensystems der Arichnoiden und Panropoden 
nebst Schluisfolgcrungcn betreffs der Phylogenie der genannten Gruppen. Inaugural Dissertation. 
University nf 1. und: 1-191:66 figs 

HANSTROM. B., 1926. Eine gcnctische StuJie iiber die Augen und Schzenrrcn von Tubellanen. Anne- 
liden und Arthropodcn. Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps Akademicni Handllnfar, Stockholm. (3) J 
? pp. 

HANSTROM. B., 1927. Neuc Beobachrungcn ubcr Augcn und Sehzenrren von Entomosrracen. Schizo- 
podcn und Pimopi-dcn. Zoologische A>i:einer. 70: 236-251 ; 7 figs. 

HANSTROM. B.. 1965. Indications of neurosecretion and the structure of Sokolow's organ in pycno- 
gonids. Sjrsia. /.S': 24-36. 

HASWELL. W. A.. 1K85. PycnogoniJa of the Australian coast with descriptions of new species. Proceed 
ings of the Unnean Society of Ne< South Wales. 9: 1021-1033; L1V-LVII. 

HEDGPETII. J. W . 1"19 Some pycnogonids found off the coast of Southern California. The American 
Midland \aruraliM. jj (2) 45H-465. 2 plv 

HEDGPKTH. J. \V . 19411^ A new pycnogonid from I'cNcadcro. (!alif.. and distributional notes on other 
species. J'mnial <>l r/rV i\'j\fu'ntftnn .\cadcniy nf Sciences. JO (2): H4-K7; 1 fig. 

HEDGPHTI I. j . W . 1 94 1 a. On a vpccicx of Kymphnn from the waters of Southern California The Ameri 
can Midland .\aruralist. 25 (2) 447-49. 1 pi. 

HEDGPKTM. J. W.. 194 Hi. A key to the I'ycnogonida of the Pacific coast of North America. Transactions 
of the San Diego Society for Natural History. 9 (26); 253-264; IX-XI. 

HEDGPETII. J. W.. 1941c. A key to the pycnogonids of the Pacific coast of North America (especially of 
central California) In S. F. Light (td.). Laboratory and Field Text in Invertebrate Zoology 119-124; 
99-105. Berkeley S. LosAngclcst University of California Prns. 

HEDGPETH.J. W.. 1942. Sea spiders. Nature Magaiine. |'l 413-414; 4 figs. 

HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1943a. Pycnogonids of the Bartlett collections. Journal of the Washington Academy 
of Sciences. 33 (3): 83-90, 2 figs. 

HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1943b. Pycnogonida from the West Indies and South America collected by the 
Atlantis and earlier expeditions. Proceedings of the New England Zoological Club. 22: 41-58; VIII X. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1943c. On a species of pycnogonid from the North Pacific. Journal of the Washington 
Academy of Sciences. 33 (7): 223-224; 1 fig. 

HEDGPETH, j. W., 1944. On a new species of Pallenopsts (Pycnogonida) from Western Australia. Pro 
ceedings of the New England Zoological Club, 23: 55-58: XI-XII. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1947a. Pycnogonida. Encyclopedia BHnanlct: 2 pp.; 2 figs. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1947b. On the evolutionary significance of the Pycnogonida. Smithsonian Miscellane 
ous Collections. 106 (18): 1-54; I. 16 figs. 

.HEDGPETH, J . W.. 1948. The Pycnogonida of the western North Atlantic and the Caribbean. Procttdlnfs 
of the United States National Museum. 97(3216): 157-M2;4-53, J charts. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1949. Report on the Pycnogonida collected by the Albatross in Japanese waters in 
' 1900 and 1906. Proceedings of the United States National Mutrum, 98 (3231): 2)3-321; 18-51. 
iHEDGPETH, J. W., 1950. Pycnogonida of the United State* Navy Expedition. 1947-48. Proceedings of 

* the Unite! States National Museum, 700(3260): 147-160; 17-19. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1951. Pycnogonids from Dillon Beach and vicinity, California, with descriptions of 

two new species. The Wasmann Journal of Biology. 9(1): 105-1 17; 3 pis. 

^HEDGPETH, J. W., 1952. Class (or Subphylum) Pycnogonida. Sea Spiders. In E. F. RickettsSc J.Calvin 
*. (Eds). Between Pacific Tides. 3rd ed. 430. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 

^HEDGPETH, J. W., 1954a. Class Pycnogonida. In R. I. Smith et al. (Eds), Intertidal Invertebrates of the 
it Central California coast: 201-210; 91-96. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. 

J. W., 1954b. Pycnogonida. In P. S. Galtsoff (Ed.), The Gulf of Mexico, its origin, waters 


212 W. G. FRY AND J. H. STOCK 

and marine life. Fishery Bulletin of the Fish <t Wildlife Service of the United States. 89 (55): 42$. 

427; 69. 
HEDGPETH. J. W., 1954c On the phytogeny of the Pycnogonida. Acta Zoologlca. Stockholm, 3s- 

193-21 J; 9 figs. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1954d. 1. The Pycnogonida. Reports on the dredging results of the Scripps Institu 
tion of Oceanography Trans-Pacific Expedition. July-December. 1953. Syttemaric Zoology, 3 (4). 

HEDGPETH, J. W.. 1955a. Pycnogonida. In R. C. Moore (Ed.). Treatise on Invertebrate Palaeontology 

(f) Arthropoda, 2: 163-170; 117-122. New York: Geological Society of America. 
HEDGPETH. J. W., 19$5b. Palaeoisopus. In R. C. Moore (Ed.). Treatise on Invertebrate Palaeontology 

(P) Arthropods. 2: 171-17J; 123. New York: Geological Society of America. 
HEDGPETH. J. W., 1956. On the phylogeny of the Pycnogonida. Proceedings of the XlVth International 

Congress of Zoology. Copenhagen. 1953. Section XV: 506-507. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1957. Miscellaneous arthropods-annotated bibliography. In J. W. Hedgpeth (Ed.), 

Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology. 1. Ecology: 1175-1176. Geological Society of America, 

Memoir. 67. Boulder: Geological Society of America. 

HEDGPETH. J. W., 1959. Pycnogonida. In Encyclopaedia Brittanica: 2 pp. -.2 figs. 
HEDGPETH, J. W.. 19611. Pycnogonida. In Encyclopedia of Science and Technology 105-106. 3 figs 

New York: McGraw Hill. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1961b. Pycnogonida. In The Encyclopedia of the Biological Sciences: 851-852. 

New York: Van Noscrand Reinhold. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1961c. Pycnogonida. Reports of the Lund University Chile Expedition 1948-19. 

Lands Univcrsitets Arsskrift, N.F. (2) S7 (3): 1-18; 1-11. 

IIEDGPETH, J. W., 1962a. A bathypelagic pycnogonid. Deep-Sea Research. 9 4K7-191 . 1-2 
HEDGPETH. J. W.. 19626. Taxonomy: Man's oldest profession. 1 1th Annual University uf the Pacific 

f-'aculty Research Lecture. May 22. 1V6I . i + 18 pp.; 2 figs. 
HF.nGPFTH, J. W.. 1962c Pycnogonida In Introduction to Sfashon- Life of tin- Sjn l-'nncisco Hay 

Kegion and the Coast of \nrrliern California 74-75; VI. 2 fips. Herkclry iv Los Arpi-les University of 

C.alilornu Press. 

IIF.DGPFTII. J. W.. 1963. Pycnoponida of tl . North American Arctic Journal of n,r I lotteries Research 

BoarJofCana<lu. 20 (5) 1315-I34K. 1-12 
HKOGl'lvTH, J W . 1964. Notes on the peculiar cpp laying hatut of an nntarctK prosobraruh (Mollusci: 

Gastropoda) The Velifer. 7(1) 45-6. 1 (if. 
lli:iX;i'l Til. J W . 19C.7 Review of Uastc ArthropoJari Slink Quarterly K.-T c>; Hn>lt\<;:. -i: (it 

Hli'lllXY. J.' O'A 

HKDGPin II. J. W.. IVftXa. Hycnoponi'l studies. Antarctic Journal of the United .Vtorn .* (4) 12'' 130; 

HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1968li. Pycnogonios. In E. F. Rickcttsgc J. Calvm.flr tween Pacific Titles 78. 102 104, 

157. 170. 1K6. IKK. 202. 316-317. 349. 351-352. 366-368. 477-7". 157. 256. I4tli ed.. rev J W. 

llcdppcth). Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
IIHDGI'KTH. J. W.. 1969a Introduction to Antarctic Zoopcopraphy. Antarctic Me;' hi>li<i Seriri nf the 

American (geographical Society, Folio II: 1-V; i5 Tips. 
HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1969b. Pycnogonida. Antarctic Map Folio Series of the American Geographical 

Society. Polio //. 26- 28. pis 13. 14. 
HEDGPETH. j. W.. 1969c. Pycnoponida. In P. Gray (Ed.). Encyclopedia nf thr Hiolnfical Sciences: 

780-781: 3 figs. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 
HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1969d. An intcrtidal reconnaissance of rocky shores of the Calapapos The H'asmann 

Journal of Biology. 27(1): 1-24. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1969e. Preliminary observations of life between tidemarks at Palmer Station, 

6445'S.6405'W. Antarctic Journal of the United States. 4(4). 106-107. 

HEDGPETH, J. W., 1970. Marine biogeography of the Antarctic regions. In M. W. Holdgate (Ed.). Ant 
arctic Ecology: 97-104. 1 fig. Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 
HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1971a. Subphylum Pycnogonida, Class Pantopoda. Sea Spiders. In K. L. Gosner. 

Guide to Identification of marine and estuarine invertebrates-Cape Hatteras to the Bay of Fundy: 

400-402; 20-22. New York: Wiley Interscience. 
HEDGPETH, J. W.. 1971b. James Eights of the Antarctic. In. Research in the Antarctic. American 

Association for the Advancement of Science. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1971c. Perspective of benthic ecology in Antarctica. In Research in the Antarctic: 

93-1 36; 1-19. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 
HEDGPETH. J. W., 1974a_ One hundred years of Pacific Oceanography. In The Biology of the Oceanic 

Pacific: 137-155; 1-7. Oregon State University Press. 
HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1974b. Phylum Arthropoda. Subphylum Chelicerata. Class Pycnogonida. In E. N. 

Kozloff (Ed.), Keys to the Marine Invertebrates of the Puget Sound, the San Juan Archipelago, and 
Adjacent Regions: 125-128. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 



HEDGPETH. ]. W., 1974c. Review of Pycnogonids. Science. 1S4: ISO. 

HEDGPETH. J. W.. 1975a. Pycnogonidi. In S. F. Light (revised R. I. Smith & J. T. Carlton). Interridal 

Invertebrates of the Central California Coast. Berkeley: University of California Press. 
HEDGPETH, J. W.. 1975b. Review of Pycnogonids and of British See Spiders. Quarterlv Review of 

Biology. 50(3): 330-331. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., 1977a. Paleoisopus. In .WcGrjw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 9: 

HEDGPETH. J. W., 1977b. Pycnogonida. In McCraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technoloty. 11: 

110-112; 3 figs. 
HEDGPETH, J. W., in press. At sea with provinces tnd plates. In Biogeography. Biology Colloquium. 

Oregon State University Press. 
HEDGPETH. J. W., 1978. A reappraisal of the Palacopantopoda with description of a species from the 

Jurassic. In. Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society of London. 63 

(1 + 2): 23-24:1-11; 1-4. 
HEDGPETH. J. W. & FRY, W. G., 1964. Another dodecopodous pyenogonid. Annals and Magazine of 

Xarural History. (13) 7. 161-169; 3 figs. 
HEDGPETH, J. W. & HADERLIE. E. C.. 1978? Pycnogonids. In R. Morris. D. P. Abbott & E. C. Hader- 

lie. Invertebrates of California Shores (?). Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
HEDGPETH. J. W. & MCCAIN, J. C.. 1971. A review of the pyenogonid genus Pantoplpetta (family 

AustroJccidae, emend.) with the description of a new species. In G. Llano & I. E. Wallen (EJs). 

Bioloity of the Antarctic Seas. -I. Antarctic Research Series. I 7: 217-229; 6 fics. 
HEEZEN. H C. & HOLLISTER. C. D.. 1971. Pycnogomda. In Tie r'ace of the Deep H. 28. 92-94. 

98-100. 121. 2.74-2.76. New York: Oxford University Press. 
HEGNT.R. R. W. & STILLS. K. A.. 1959 Subclass Pycnogonida. In Culltge ^<>/<>e>- 2oH. 279: 1 fig. 

New York: Macmillan. 
HELPER. II., 1909 Biolognch-fauniMische Bcobachtungen an Pantopotlrn iler Nonl- und Osisce. 

fnaut;ural-Dissertat:un A.V/. Chrtsnan-Alhreclits Untvrrsitot zu Kiel 1-19. 11 fiijs. 1 map. 
HELI liR. II.. 1915. Pjniupoda. In C. A. Apitein (Ed.), \omlna conservonda. Sitzuntsherichte tier Gesell- 

sclaj'i \iirurf,irichenJer h'reundt :u Berlin. 5 147. 

HEL|'|;R. H.. 1932a. I'amopoda. Kukentlial-kriimbm-h. Hjndbuch der Zoolugit. J (2) (4): 1-66; 52 fipt. 
HELI-'ER. II.. 1932b. Pantopoda; Nachtragt Ferdinand Broili'* Eii'deckunpcn fowiler Hantopmlen. In 

Kukenthal-Krumhach. llandhuch drr /.onlngie. J (2) (5): 67-72. 3 fipv 
HELFKK. II.. 1932c. Das Patitopixlcn-Schrifttum. Slt:une.iherlrhte tier eieseltirttiiti \aiurfiinrhenilrr 

Frcuii,lc :n llerlln 235 254 

HELFICR. II.. 1935 Mccrcsspnuicn. l>i-r \aturf,, rtrlicr |?| 
HELII\K. II., IV36a. The lislicry >,Toun<ls near Alexandria (tlgyptl. VIII. I'ancnptKJa Minixtrv nf Com- 

tnercc ^ Industry. I'gypr. .V*irrt A Mcmnirv. N<l. /ft' !<>. 3 ftps. 

HtLI KK. II.. 19361). 1'antopoda. Die Herwelt Nord- und Ostsee. Jl (Xla3): 1-5; l-map. 
HELFKR. II.. 1938. Kinipc neuc Pantopoden au^ dcr Sammlunfz de% Zoolopischen Museums in Berlin. 

Sir:utigsf>rrictitf der <;?xcllscttaft \aturfrtrschendcr f-'reunde zu Berlin. 79J7(2): 162-185: II fipv 
HELFER. II. & SCIILOTTKIi. E.. 1935. Paniopoda. Dr. It. C. Bronns Klassen und Ordnungen des Tier- 

reichs. 5(4) (2): 1-3 14; 223 figs. 
HELLER. C., 1875a. Ncuc Crustaceen und Pycnogoniden. Gesunmelt wahrend der K K. osterr. unpar. 

Nordpol-Expcdition. Vorlaufige Mitteilung. Sitsungsberichte der mathemattsch-natur\vtssenschaft- 

lichen Classe der K. K. Akademie der H'iuenschaften. Wen. 71 (1). 609-612. 
HELLER. C.. 1875b Die Crustaceen. Pycnogoniden und Tunicatcn der K. K. osterr. -ungar. Nordpol- 

Expedition. Denkschriften der Kaiierlichen Akademie der Wiaeruchaften (Mathemarisch-Narur>tuen- 

ichaftliche Claae). Wien. 35: 25-*6; I-V. 
HENDERSON. J. R.. 1885. Recent additions to the invertebrate fauna of the Firth of Forth. Proceedings 

of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. S: 307-313. 

HENRY. L. M.. 1953. The nervous system of the Pycnogonida. Microentomology. IS (1); 16-36; 15 figs. 
HERDMAN. W. A., 1896a. List of Pycnogonida. In. The marine zoology, botany and geology of the Irish 

Sea. Fourth and final report of the Committee . . .. Report of the 66th Meeting of the British Aaocia 

tion for the Advancement of Science: 442. 

HERDMAN, W. A.. 18966. Pycnogonida. In 9th Annual Report of the Ltvtrpool Marine Bloioglcil Com 
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HERDMAN, W. A., 1901. Fourteenth annual report of the Liverpool Marine Biological Committee and 

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Liverpool Marine Biology Committee: i-)2. (Sometimes ched as CHADW1CK. H. C. 190J.J 
HERDMAN, W. A., THOMPSON, I. C. & CHADWICK, H. C. 1900. Fauna distribution lists for the south 

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Ed Ricketts ( 1 897- 1 948) 
Marine Biologist 


Joel W. Hedgpeth 

Lajolla is something of a Mecca for 
marine biologists, not only because of 
Scripps, but also because of Us unique 
collection of marine life-, it was here 
that Ed Ricketts, the man on whom 
John Steinbeck based his immortal 
"Doc, " came to collect the specimens 
that kept his ricketty laboratory in 
business and Cannery Row in beer. 

Stephanie Pain. \eu Scientist, 18 Sept 1986 

Ever since John 
Steinbeck metamor 
phosed his friend 
Ed Ricketts into 
"Doc" and stuffed 
him into Cannery Row, that 
"poisoned cream puff" (as one 
critic called it), too many read 
ers have gotten the idea that a 
person becomes a marine biologist by 
just being one, without really doing 
much of anything except guzzling 
beer. Ed would have accepted this 
misconception with his usual good 
humor, but since the above descrip 
tion of Ed as a resident eccentric of a 
"ricketty lab" impugns his profes 
sional status as a collector of speci 
mens for research and classroom 
study, he would probably have 
demanded an apology: he knew 
perfectly well that collecting in a 
marine laboratory's area has always 
been against the rules. Today, when 
the shores near Scripps are protected, 
he would have had grounds to sue 
for libel. At the very least, the descrip 
tion that lends "local color" to an 
otherwise authoritative British journal, 
is inaccurate not the least slip being 
the several hundred miles between 
the "ricketty lab" (what a pun from 
Ms. Pain!) at Pacific Grove and 
Scripps Institution at La Jolla. 

Just what is a marine biologist' 
What do marine biologists do? 

During the years that Ed Ricketts 
thrived on the Monterey peninsula, 
many students at the Hopkins Marine 
Station knew him and learned from 
him as an informal adjunct faculty 
member, especially after the publica 

tion of Between Pacific Tides in 1939. 
He freely made available his unpub 
lished papers on intenidal zones and 
wave shock to both faculty and 
students at Hopkins, as well as to 
visitors from other parts of the world. 
He was, in short, a part of the local 
scene, a man respected as a learned 
and qualified marine biologist in the 
best sense: a scientist who studies 
animals and their relations to each 
other, as well as to the physical 
environment in which they live. 

Ed did not reach this stage of 
knowledge overnight. He had very 
little appropriate training. As a boy 
raised in Chicago, Ed had little 
experience with nature except a year 
in South Dakota. He probably visited 
the Field Museum, in those days a 
gathering of bones, stuffed animals 
and dusty seashells in cases. He 
transferred to the University of 
Chicago from Illinois State Normal, 
where he had taken courses in 
zoology and psychology. At Chicago, 
his college record was undistin 
guished, but he flunked no courses, 
although he was docked three grade 
points for persistent absence from 
chapel. When he was a student 
during the 1920s, there was no such 
thing as a major in marine biology. 
There was, however, the ecology 
course taught by W.C. Alice, who for 
several years had been conducting a 
field course at Woods Hole and 
compiling observations on the 
changes in the fauna of the region. Ed 
came away from the University with 
memories of Alice's course Alice 
remembered him as one of "a group 
of Ishmaelites" and of Dr. Libbte 
Hyman's stories of the fantastically 
rich fauna and flora of the Monterey 
coast that had to be seen to be 
believed (those were the days before 
precision lenses and color slides). 
Alice, who, like Dr. Hyman, had 
visited Hopkins, thought the abun 
dance of life on the shore "appalling." 

Without graduating, Ed left the 
University of Chicago to establish a 
biological supply business at 

Continued on page IS 

Appendix ( 

The Steinbeck Newslettei 
Vol. 9, No. 1, Fall 1995 


Marine Biologist 

Conttnutd from pagt 17 

Monterey. The idea to start the 
business had come from another 
student, A.E. Galigher, with whom he 
had shared living quarters. The Pacific 
coast of those days was not like 
Woods Hole, where classes and 
research since 1870s had established a 
sound base of known animals and 
plants. On the Monterey coast most 
invertebrates had yet to be described 
in monographs, and the only general 
work, Johnson & Snook's Seashore 
Animals of the Pacific Coast, was not 
to be available until 1927, five years 
after Ed arrived. He was thus con 
fronted by a new and largely unstud 
ied fauna, and he had to set about 
learning something about them, 
which meant careful collecting, 
labeling, and if necessary shipping to 
the National Museum in Washington 
for identification and description. The 
result of this activity is evidenced in 
the impressive number of obscure 
animals bearing the name rickettsi. 
This work stirred in him an interest to 
know more, and he spent long hours 
building up information in libraries 
and talking to people at Hopkins or 
Berkeley in order to set up an exten 
sive interlocked index file on various 
sizes and colors of cards. None of this 
professionalism shows in Cannery 
Row (or in the unfortunate movie of 
that name) or in John Steinbeck's 
profile, "About Ed Ricketts." Yet all 
these activities, as well as the pain 
fully worked-up graphs of tidal levels, 
are as much the stuff of marine 
biology as is walking on the seashore 
"in reverent contemplation of living 
things" or trying not to get seasick on 
a whale watching cruise. 

And of course, and not least 
important, Ed as marine biologist 
wrote about things seen and experi 
enced and speculated about. In this 
he was influenced by W.C. Alice's 
Animal Aggregations, published in 
1931 and thereafter always in Ed's 
library as one of his honored and 
often-consulted books. He read 
biological journals with a keen eye; 
he noted, for example, a reference to 
a man named Cabrera (in Argentina) 
who articulated a law of ecological 
incompatibility: "In the same. . . 
locality, directly related animal forms 


always occupy different habitats or 
ecological stations." Ed recognized 
this generalization as a fundamental 
ecological statement at least twenty 
years before it became accepted by 
theoretical ecologists. 

But however accomplished as a 
marine biologist, Ed was sometimes 
hurt by a lack of degrees. An uncom 
prehending reader for the Stanford 
University Press, to whom ecology 
meant only temperature and pH, 
recommended against the proposed 
preface for the first edition of Between 
Pacific Tides, and science was held 
back twenty five years. 

There is, of course, much more to 
marine biology: we bring ourselves to 
these studies. To borrow an expres 
sion from an eminent writer on 
environment ethics, Holmes Rolston, 
in Philosophy Gone Wild (1986> "To 
come alone to this [seashore] is to 
travel into an isolation that no one 
could support if he did not bring with 
him, like a carapace, the whole 
weight of his culture." 

In the frame of this metaphor, Ed 
fits like some bright, exotic littoral 
crustacean, sometimes gaudy and 
elusive like the Sally Lightfoot, 
sometimes brooding. This quotation 
of Rolston has a distinctly 
Thoreauvian (6ne, and for what it is 
worth, Ed's tippy toe mouse dance 
was a maneuver not unlike Henry 
David Thoreau's dance, when he was 
seen "spinning airily around, display 
ing most remarkable lightness and 
agility" (Walter Harding). Thoreau 
himself brought with him wherever 
he went a remarkably varied cara 
pace. Indeed, there was a strong 
flavor of Zen in both lives; both 
followed the "watercourse way" of 
Alan Watts, literally stated by Ed: "If 
you are caught in the current, don't 
fight it, but drift with it." As stated of 
Alan Wans, Ed was "a true human . . . 
not a model of righteousness, a prig 
or a prude, but [one who] recognized 
that some failings are as necessary to 
genuine human nature as salt to 
stew." Some people have labored too 
long over the mundane implications 
of this view of life in reference to Ed, 
forgetting that above all he was a 
student of life, especially on the 
seashore, and that his highest ambi 
tion was to write "good and true 
manuals" about marine invertebrates, 

and that his idea of heaven was to 
on a rich shore on a good low tide 
was a man who once wrote on the 
tide page of one of his many note 
books, "all the good, kind, sane liti 

All marine biologists hope to s 
coral reefs at least once in their liv 
but Ed never did. The great adveni 
of his life was traveling to the Gull 
California, to the "Sea of Cortez," 
financed for him by John Steinbecl 
He made the most of it, both in 
observing the collecting, and in 
writing up the findings. In record t 
he got the specimens out to the 
authorities so that he had the nami 
that were essential, and he wrote t 
technical appendix that to him wa; 
significant part of the book. He ke 
journal, which Steinbeck did not, 2 
contributed one of his famous phil 
sophical essays that became the 2 
Sunday chapter of the book. Many 
critics were confused and puzzled 
the book, but at least Joe Campbel 
understood it and that was enough 
The trip was Ed's experience with 
strange, awesomely empty landsca 
and a sea teeming with creatures h 
had never seen before. As a projec 
with John Steinbeck, Sea of Cortez 
gave Ed hopes for more, eventual! 
voyage beyond the northern latitui 
He hoped first to finish pan of his 
trilogy of books about the Pacific 
Coast, and he was well on with th< 
northern pan of it, to the Queen 
Charlotte Islands. But it was not to 
He met his fatal accident in the mi 
of preparations for the northern tri 
And so it was left to others to writi 
books about Coral Reefs; Between 
Pacific Tides remains as a worthy 
monument to a unique and devote 
marine biologist. 

Joel Hedgpeth gave a longer version 
of this lecture at the first annual Ricke 
Memorial Lecture in Monterey, 
15 November 1986. 

Logo, Pacific Biological Laboratories. 

295 Appendix D 

Letter from Aldo Leopold, 1947 


Madison 6 


Joel W. Eedgepeth 

Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission 

Austin, Texas 

Dear Mr. Hedgepeth, 

I pricked up my ears when you came out on "progress" in the 
American Scientist, but your "Ugn Against the Land" has now 
brought me to full attention. I an pleased that this is the 
fore runner of a book. Please do not let anybody talk you 
into a discreet silence. Eeep right on rriting at any cost. 

When you get through with California, please do Texas. 

Yours sincerely, 

Aldo Leopold 

P.S. Do you have reprints? If so, please send ont to Starker 
Leopold, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley; and one to me. 


"Progress the Flower of the Poppy,' 
American Scientist, Vol. 35(3), 1947. 

















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300 Appendix F 

The Geological Society of America 
Memoir 67 


Volume 1 


J.,rl AY. lloclgpeth. Editor 

1 i:!i- -r.-'iti/ ,-,f Cnlifurnia, Scripps Inftitvtion nf Oceanography 
La Jolla, Calif. 

Prepared un.k-r the direction of a Committee of the Division of Karlh Sc. cures 

National llescarols Count-il, National Academy of Sciences 

\Yasliington, D. C. 

December 80, 1957 



specialists was enlisted, each of whom prepared one 
field. To this large group the Committee extends its 
if the contribulors are not given but the held of interest 
vilh his address al the lime of going lo press. 

press ils thanks to the Office of N'aval Research, whose 

ice-Chairman Gunter lo make an exlended stay at the 

:>ps Institution of Oceanography and a short visit lo 

ic Institulion in 1948-1949. Laler, through a similar 

veen the Scripps Instilulion of Oceanography and the 
















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ic Treatise. The Commillee also desires lo express ils 
les Geological Survey for encouragement and support; 
e and many of the other contribulors lo the Treatise 
;ical Survey. Many members of the slaff of ihc Gco- 

titution, the Xalional Museum and of olher organiza- 
ittee in the critical review of manuscripts; this help is 
also wish to thank Karl P. Schmidt for iranslalingl 
lied in German. 
V. W. Rubey, Arlhur Sevan, Ernsi Cloos, and Francis 







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has been planned as an appraisal of accomplishments 
















r indirectly to paleontology. In attempting to obtain 
; and its collaborators discovered several blank areas 

d thus initiated several investigations that otherwise 
nil some time later. These developments were gratify- 

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The Committee wishes to 










L'niversily of California, S( 














)llice of Xaval Research, Joi 

issembling and organi/.ing 
mils. During the summer o 
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nany of the conlributors to 
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Gunter'i Archive*, No. 10. June 1992 


Appendix H 

Summary of Statement to the Natural Resources Subcommittee 

off the Committee on Government Operations, 
Congress off the United States, House off Representatives, 

on the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary 
an Ecological System, San Francisco, California, 

August 21, 1969. 

Joel W. Hedgpeth 

Much has been said about obtaining the maximum 
benefits from a natural system, as if a body of water 
could be partitioned to serve all the possible purposes 
that man could think of. The multiple purpose concept 
is not as simple as it sounds when applied to a dynamic 
environment. Because of our scale of values and the 
different timing of our demands, our purposes may not 
coincide with the operations of the natural system. In 
other words, man's talk of "purpose" means the pur 
poses to which he would put nature, not nature's use 
of itself. So far. all the plans for water diversion, 
wastewater disposal and modification of the natural 
system of rivers, bays and nearshore ocean in central 
California have been an attack on nature, not a design 
to live with nature, and we have lost sight of the pur 
pose or purposes that man should gain from this 

If we view the system from the historical perspec 
tive it is obvious that the first purpose of San Francisco 
Bay (in its broadest sense) was to provide food. This 
is amply attested to by the more than 400 shell mid 
dens left by the Indians on the shores of the Bay. In 
Indian time as now the San Francisco Bay area was 
one of the most populous regions in California, but the 
base for this population was the ecologically natural 
base of abundant food supply. Perhaps only a few thou 
sand Indians were maintained in this natural system 
under a sustained yield basis, but it appears to have 
been a stable culture that endured for more than 3,000 
years. This culture came to an end, at least symbotcal- 
ty. with the establishment of San Francisco in 1776. 
five days before the Declaration of Independence. Now. 
only seven years before the second century of occupa 
tion of the Bay area by the destructive, anti-ecological 
culture of allegedly civilized man. there is serious con 
cern by many that we may not last the next hundred 
years. Probably we wffl out live the gloomier prophets 
of doom.'but it is inconceivable that we can endure In- 
this locality for 3,000 years at the present rate of violent 

environmental exploitation. 

In any event, man's first purpose for nature, as a 
resource for food, was served in San Fraadsco Bay to 
significant degree after displacement of the original 
culture for at least a hundred years, until 1876 or 
perhaps until 1900. However, even by 1876 there were 
indications that pollution from sewers was locally of 
fensive, and the reliance oa the resources of the bay 
proper declined, although such resources as fish whose 
well being depended on the estuarine and delta reaches 
of the bay continued to be important, and ** are. 

The second purpose that man found for San Fran 
cisco Bay was to serve his commerce. The Indians 
paddled across the narrower parts of the Bay on rafts 
of tules, but the use of the bay for commerce was 
negligible until mid 19th Century. Although the shell 
mound cultures may have exported as much as a third 
of their harvest to the interior. It was probably carried 
overland. In terms of human history the sequence has 
probably been the same everywhere man first settl 
ed on the shore for food, then he ventured upon the 
waters, first for fishing, then for exchange of goods with 
other cultures. 

In San Francisco Bay fishing came after com 
merce, and oyster culture, developed last of afl, had 
the shortest run. In the older, more estab&shed 
cultures, cultivation of the spadous tidal flats of the bay 
would have been one of the first purposes developed. 

The third purpose to whkh we have put Saa Fran 
cisco Bay has been the most short sighted and destruc 
tive one of disposal of mining wastes aad later of 
sewage. At first little notice was taken of the use of San 
Francisco Bay as a cesspool but the steady shoafing 
of the bay from hydraulic mining debris dUI receive 
notice. However, the prime reason for stopping this 
rapid shoaling was not that It was filling the bay but 
that It was destroying prime agricultural land. There 
to too much talk of "response" of waters to introduced 
materials, the capacity of the bay to "accept" waste 


materials and dilute them to concentrations that are 
inoffensive to man or not overtly deleterious to aquatic 
life. This purpose, which is considered a "benefit" in 
the lexicon of the sanitary engineer, is an anti- 
ecological approach to the environment. It says 
essentially that man's purpose is to abuse nature. In 
a multiple-use scheme for exploitation of the 
environment it is the anti-ecological purpose that may 
have the most effect on the environments, bring into 
action a sort of Gresham's Law for ecology that bad 
environments will drive out good environments. Filling 
the bay would of course destroy the bay entirely, and 
can hardly be considered a legitimate purpose in terms 
of the natural environment. 

This brings us to a purpose that was not realized 
or understood until fairly recently, that is, the bay serves 
as a moderator of our climate because of its surface 
area. It seems tautological to say that the Bay area 
without the bay would not be the Bay Area, but such 
proposals as the Reber Plan to dam it off completely 
and fill most of the shallow areas were certainly made 
in ignorance of the importance of the surface area of 
the present bay. whose characteristics as an 
ameliorating influence on local climate depend directly 
on its circumstances as a body of water subject to tidal 

Even the Kaiser engineers, in their elaborate 
reports on the cloaca maxima the Bay area, concede 
that San Francisco Bay is a "unique natural resource," 
yet their proposals are made either without reference 
to the effect of other engineering designs for the total 
system, or on the assumption that they will inevitably 
be constructed. The reassurances that as many 
purposes as possible will be served by the proposed 
alterations in the natural environment may sound like 
good engineering, but such a plumber's apocalypse is 


bad ecology. The problem overlooked here is that 
reduction of environment to the lowest common 
denominator of multiple engineering purposes (and 
protection of fish and agricultural lands appear to be 
after thoughts in the plans) may have a synergestic 
effect aO of these modifications may act together to 
produce an effect greater than the sum of the separate 
parts, and the Gresham's Law of ecological 
environments could operate to produce the most 
unfavorable environment (or every purpose of both man 
and nature. 

We would better serve our future if we reversed our 
priorities for the San Francisco Bay and delta area, if 
we dedicated our engineering skill to achieving first the 
maximum production of fisheries resources, 
maintenance and improvement of established 
agricultural lands and amelioration of the climate, and 
secondly to diverting water to other areas already out 
of ecological balance with their environment, and lastly 
to developing lands of dubious productivity. Perhaps 
we do not know all we need to know to achieve these 
ends, but our present pell-mell collision course with the 
environment will not be solved by more knowledge 
unless we also change our course. There may simply 
not be enough water to serve our highest needs and 
purposes and to serve those of another drainage basin 
as well. If so, we should not seek means to act upon 
the decision we will have to make eventually, namely 
that uncontrolled growth of cities is not in itself a good 
to be encouraged and fostered, but that it must be 
controlled and where necessary limited. Certainly we 
cannot treat the Bay area as an afterthought and expect 
it to survive as a uniquely different region, or to 
maintain its natural resources in a system of 
engineering works designed for another purpose. 



Appendix I 

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In 1965, Dr. Hedgpeth accepted the position of 
Professor of Oceanography and Director of Oregon State 
University Marine Science Center at Newport. From 

Newport, he roams the world teaching, lecturing and 
serving as scientific consultant. 

The Oregon Academy of Science, citing Dr. Hedg 
peth for outstanding achievement, says "Because of his 
knowledge and communication skills, he is often asked by 

legislative bodies, planning commissions and citizens' 
groups to assist in solving marine and estuarine environ 
mental problems. His influence in these matters is recog 

nized nationally and internationally." 

Author of hundreds of books, book reviews and 
commentaries, Dr. Hedgpeth's writing style is as attrac 
tive as it is accurate. "There is," says Ward, "an infectious 

enthusiasm about Hedgpeth's writing that makes it irre 
sistible." He laces his scientific abstracts with literary ref 
erences Thoreau, Robert Burns suggesting his wide- 

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to illustrate a point. 

Dr. Hedgpeth has received the highest scientific 
honors, both in America and abroad. Yet he says, "The 
motivation for studying the seashore is not to produce 
scintillating ideas that win prizes or gain admission to 
academies, but to gain fresh understanding, further in 
sight into the orderly jumble of processes and interac 
tions on the world's most significant interface, the edge of 
the largest of living spaces on our globe. And so we hope 
that the seashore will still be worth visiting when all the 
lands are filled with people and machines." 

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Joel W. Hedgpeth, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Oregon State 
University, has been a recognized leader in the development of marine 
biology on the Pacific Coast for 25 years. As a research scholar, he 
has contributed significantly to the literature of Pycnogonids, 
Crustacea, Mollusks and marine ecology. He has written extensively in 
the fields of marine and estuarine ecosystems and is the reviser of the 
standard intertidal biology book for our coast, Between Paci fi c Tides. 

He completed his degrees at the University of California, Berkeley 
campus. He held positions with the U. S. Engineer Department, U. S. 
Bureau of Reclamation, Texas Game Fish and Oyster Commission, University 
of Texas, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and was Director of the 
Pacific Marine Station of the University of the Pacific before joining 
the School of Oceanography staff of Oregon State University in 19&5- 

Because of his knowledge and communication skills, he is often asked by 
legislative bodies, planning commissions and citizens' groups to assist 
in solving marine and estuarine environmental problems. His influence 
in these matters is recognized nationally and internationally. The 
Oregon State University Press will soon publish a compilation of his 
entire environmental writings. 

His book reviews and commentaries are highly valued by other authors, 
publishers and colleagues alike. In addition to his professional 
scientific contributions to our society, he also is widely known as 
writer, poet and Irish harpist. Inspiration and enjoyment is provided 
to many through his contributions in the literary and musical arts. 

He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a past- 
president of both the Western Society of Naturalists and western section 
of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. 

Through his energetic and stimulating leadership, marine programs in 
schools have become important curriculum additions. The groundwork he 
had laid with teachers has provided a solid foundation for the education 
of a citizenry aware and appreciative of the significance of the marine 
environment. His impact by activities continues to spread from Oregon 
and California throughout the land. 

Joel W. Hedgpeth is a dedicated scholar, scientist, lecturer, editor, 
poet, educator, mentor and perhaps most importantly, a friend to all who 
are concerned with man's relationship with the planet Earth. 


Vita or Curriculum Vitae 

Joel W. Hedgpeth 

(as of December 31, 1972) 

Marine biologist, systematic zoologist (Pycnogonida), environment 
alist (since 1921), lecturer and writer. 

Born: September 29, 1911 at k in the morning at his grandfather's house, 
929 Chestnut Street, Oakland,, California. 

Father: Joel Hedgpeth, 1875-1956, born on Little Dry Creek near Academy, 
Fresno County, California, (a blacksmith). 

Mother: Nellie Tichenor McGrav, I87l-1956, born at 1126 - 21t Street, 
San Francisco, (a Presbyterian missionary, teaching California 

Wife: Florence Warrens, born October 2, 1911, north of Cedarville, 
Modoc Co., California 

Children: Sarah Ellen, born 1950 at Berkeley, Calif.; Warren Joel, born 1952 
at San Diego, Calif, during campaign parade for Eisenhower. 

Education: - 

Pre-scbool. My grandfather's library and the family attic (including 
accumulated back magazines to 1889) - 

Grade 1, Linclon School, Stockton, Calif. 1918; Grade 2, Haight School, 
Alameda, Calif., 1919 i Cole School, Oakland, promoted to L3 Jan. 1920; 
Grades 3-fc, Lincoln School, Berkeley, Calif., 1920-21; Grades U-5, Palo 
Alto Military Academy, 1922-23 i Grades 6 through 8, Washington School, 
San Leandro, Calif., 192U-25 ;. Grade 9, Lockwood Jr. High, Oakland, Calif., 
1925-26; Grades 10-12, Fremont High School, Oakland, Calif., 1926-29; 
San Mateo Jr. College, 1929-31; University of Call forni a, > Berkeley, 1931- 
33: 1933-3*1; 1938-39, M.A. in Zoology awarded 19UO, Thesis, "Factors 
limiting the distribution of Diaptomid Copepods," Committee in Charge: 
S. F. Light, H. J. Kirby and W. B. Herms; University of Texas, 19U8-119, 
not advanced to candidacy because of internecine dispute, returned to 
University of California, Berkeley, 19*9-51, Ph.D. formally awarded in 
1952, Thesis, "Ecological and distributional relationships of marine and 
brackish water invertebrates of the coasts of Texas and Louisiana," 
Committee in Charge: Ralph I. Smith, J. Wyatt Durham and Willard D. 

Languages: English, written and spoken. Reading knowledge of German and 
French. Can decipher, with codebooks, Russian and Welsh.. 


Places lived in for at least six months: 

Oakland, Calif. (929 Chestnut St., 1911-12; 1919-20; 1015 Hollywood Ave., 
193U-35); Clippergap (near Auburn, Calif.) 191U-16; Stockton, Calif. 117- 
18; Alameda, 1919; Berkeley (1919 - 1/2 Fair-view St.) 1920-21; Mather, 
Yosemite National Park, 1921-22; Palo Alto, Calif, (at Palo Alto Military 
Academy) 1922-23; San Leandro, Calif. 1923-29; San Mateo, Calif., 1929-31; 
Berkeley, Calif. 1931-33; Ridge (near Willits) summers 1933, 193 1 *; Wash 
ington, D. C. 1935-36; Walnut Creek, Calif. 1936-39; in field, Sierra 
foothills, 1939; Baird (near Redding) 1939-^0; Sacramento, Calif. 19Ul; 
Walnut Creek, Calif. 19U2-15; Rockport, Texas 19 l 5- 1 t7; Port Aransas, 
Texas, 19^7-50; Berkeley, Calif. 1950-51; La Jolla, Calif. 1951-57 
(with summers at Dillon Beach, Calif.); Dillon Beach, Calif. 1957; 
Sebastopol, Calif. 1957-65; Hevport, Oregon 1965- 

Countries and places visited: 

England, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Rev Zealand, McMurdo Sound, 
Palmer Peninsula, Chile, Japan, British Columbia, Baja California and 
Sonora, Devon, Cornwall, Cardigans, Merioneth, Northumberland, Argyll, 
Helgoland, Hesse, Provence (La Camargue), La Paz and Guaymas, Vancouver, 
and Queen Charlotte Ids., Hawaii (Oahu), Canal Zone, Ecuador, Galapagos, 
Alaska (Pt. Barrow). 

Environments : 

San Francisco Bay and delta; rocky and sandy shores of California and 
Oregon; Tomales Bay; coast and bays of Texas; coastal ranges of northern 
California; Surprise Valley, Calif.; Antarctic and Galapagos shores. 

Employment : 

Current position: Professor of Biological Oceanography, Oregon State 
University. Since 1965- 

Previous employment: Lab. Asst. (part time, student), San Mateo Jr. 
College, Aug. 1930-June, 1931; Odd Jobs and student during depression 
years, including scientific artist for S. F. Light, etc., 193U-36; 
Printer and proofreader, Piedmont Press, Oakland, Calif., 1936; 
CAF-2, Div. Loans & Currency, Treasury, Washington, D.C., May 1936- 
April 1937; Clerk, Calif. State Compensation Insurance Fund, San 
Francisco, Sept. 1937-June 1938; Jr. Aquatic Biologist, U.S. Corps 
of Engineers, Sacramento, Calif., June 1938-Hov. 1938; Jr. Aquatic 
Biologist, U.S. Bur. Reclamation, Redding, Calif., Sept. 1939-Dec. 
19UO; Lab. Asst., Div. Animal Industry, Sacramento, Calif., April 
19Ul-Dec. 19U1 ; Freelance writing and independent self-supported 
research culminating in major systematic monograph on Pycnogonida, 
at Walnut Creek, Calif., 19Ul-l5; Marine biologist, Texas Game Fish 
& Oyster Comm., Rockport, Texas, Feb. 19U5-June 19^7; Asst. Res. 
Scientist, University of Texas, Marine Science Center, Port Aransas, 
Texas, June 19U7-June 19U9; Visiting instructor and professor, Pacific 
Marine Station, University of the Pacific, summers 19W, 19^9, 1950, 


1951, 1955, 1956; Teaching Assistant in Zoology, University of California, 
Berkeley, 19^9-50; Assistant Research Biologist, Scripps Institution of 
Oceanography, 1951-57; Professor of Zoology and Director, Pacific Marine 
Station, University of the Pacific, Dillon Beach, 1957-65; Professor of 
Biological Oceanography and Resident Director then Head Yaquina Biological 
Laboratory of Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, Newport, 
Ore., 1965- ; Visiting Professor, Stanford University (TB VEGA Cruise 17), 
Spring 1968; Visiting Professor, University of Arizona at Puerto Penasco, 
Sonora, June-July 1972. 

Consulting experience: 

Editorial consultant for various publishers at college textbook level 
and editorial advisor for school science series; various advisory panels 
for the National Science Foundation and Office of Haval Research on 
systematic biology, oceanographic facilities and marine biology; ex 
pert witness in defense of environment on San Francisco Bay delta sys 
tem , consultant on environmental impact analysis for nuclear power 
plants; analysis of master plan for Tomales Bay. Committee to analyze 
oceanographic manpower for National Science Foundation; Board of 
Visitors, Invertebrate Zoology, U. S. National Museum; Marine Biology, 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

Grants and contracts (all now expired): 

For systematic zoology (Pycnogonida), National Science Foundation; 
long term studies of the near shore environment, Office of Naval Re 
search; Research Participation for High School and Jr. College 
Teachers, National Science Foundation; Antarctic biology, National 
Science Foundation. 

Courses taught: 

General Ecology; Marine Biology; Invertebrate Zoology; Introductory 
Entomology; Marine Zoogeography; History of Marine Biology and devel 
opment of ideas therein; The Death of Progress (an environmental col- 

Lecture subjects: 

The Pycnogonida; Historical Aspects of Marine Biology; Radioactivity 
in the Sea; The California Water Plan; Life of Intertidal Zones; 
Philosophy on Cannery Roy (Ed Ricketts & John Steinbeck); The Re 
cycling of Excalibur Environmentalist as a Celtic Revival; Poetry 
of the Sea; The Estuarine System; My life as an environmentalist, etc. 

Editorial experience: 

Treatise on Marine Ecology for Geological Society of America; member 
of various editorial boards, including Pacific Discovery, Ecology, 


Limnology and Oceanography, and editorial referee for Science, Marine 
Biology, etc. Currently member editorial board of The Veliger, Quart 
erly Review of Biology, and Oceans magazine; advisor on Invertebrate 
and Marine Biology, McGraw-Hill Co. 

Professional society memberships: 

Founder, Society for the Prevention of Progress, 19M; Sigma Xi; Fellow, 
California Academy of Sciences ;;Charter Member, Society of Systematic 
Zoology and American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; member, 
Ecologica, Society of America, AAAS, Marine Biological Association of 
the United Kingdom, Western Society of Naturalists. Offices: Pres 
ident, Western Section of ASLO, 1966; Western Society of Naturalists, 

Professional recognition: 

Delegate for U. S. Geological Survey, Colloquim on Nomenclature, 
International Congress of Zoology, Copenhagen 1953; Member Inter 
national Colloquium on Classification of brackish and estuarine 
waters, Venice 1957; Convener, First International Congress of 
Oceanography, 0. N., New York 1959; Fellow, California Academy of 
Sciences, I960; Faculty Research Lecturer, University of the Pacific 
196l; California Conservation Award 1961; Member, organization com 
mittee for Association of Tropical Biology, Barro Colorado Canal 
Zone 1963; Invited speaker and summarizer, Colloquium on Estuaries, 
Jekyll Island, Georgia 196U; Surtsey Research Conference, Iceland 
1965; Convener, Symposium on Estuaries, AAAS meetings, Berkeley 
1965i Life Fellow, International Oceanographic Foundation, 1967; 
Visiting faculty, Stanford University TE VEGA cruise 17 to the 
Galapagos 1968; Contributor, National Symposium on Thermal Pol 
lution, Portland 1968; Member, SCAR Symposium on Antarctic Biology, 
Cambridge, England 1968; Participant, Conference on Ecological As 
pects of International Development at Airlie House, Va. 1968; 
Visiting lecturer, University of Wyoming 1969, Participant, Conference 
on Environment i: No Deposit-No Return" of U. S. National Commission 
for UNESCO, San Francisco 1969; Invited speaker, California-Nevada 
Wildlife Conference, Fresno 1970; Participant, Conference on John 
Steinbeck, Corvallis 1970; Commencement speaker, Fresno State 
College, 1970; Member, Congress on Population and Environment, 
Chicago 1970, Invited speaker, Air & Water Pollution Workshop, 
Boulder, Colo. 1970; Convener, Ocean World Conference, Tokyo 
1970, Summarizer, Northwest Estuarine and Coastal Zone Symposium, 
Portland 1970; Visiting lecturer, Brighan Yound University 1971; 
Conference on Conservation Problems in Antarctica, Blacksburg, Va. 
1971; Second Coastal and Shallow Water Research Conference, Los 
Angeles 1971; Antarctic Medal 1971; Sumnarizer, Symposium: The 
Fate of the Chesapeake Bay, College Park, Md. 1972; Visiting scholar, 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute 1972; Coastal Zone Workshop, Woods 
Hole, Mass.: 2nd Congress of History of Oceanography and CHALLEN 
GER Centennial, Edinburgh 1972; Helgoland Symposium: Man in the 


Sea, 1972; Law of the Sea Conference, Seattle 1972. 
Publications : 

Over 100 titles, exclusive of book reviews, short commentaries, 
abstracts, verse, etc. 


Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology , Vol. 1, Ecology. 
Geol. Soc. America 1957 (editor). 

Between Pacific Tides by Edward F. Ricketts and Jack Calvin, 
Stanford University Press. Latest edition, 1968 (reviser and 
contributing author) . 

Introduction to Seashore Life of the San Francisco Bay Region, 
University of California Press, 1962. 

Other: (selection of typical titles): 

Livingston Stone and Fish Culture In California, Calif. Fish & Game 
27(3), 19 1 *!; Reexamination of the Adventure of the Lion's Mane, 
Sci. Monthly, 60, 19^5; On the Evolutionary Significance of the 
Pycnogonida, Smiths. Misc. Cons., 106(l8), 19*7; The Pycnogonida 
of the Western North Atlantic and the Caribbean, Proc. U. S. Nat. 
Mus., 97, 19U8; An introduction to the Zoogeography of the 
Northwestern Gulf of Mexico with Reference to the Invertebrate 
Fauna, Publ. Inst. Mar. Sci. Texas, 3(1), 1953; Some preliminary 
consideration of the Biology of inland mineral waters, Arch. 
Oceanol. Limn. Venezia 11, Suppl., 1959; Pycnogonida of the North 
American Arctic, J. Fish. Res. Bd. Canada, 20(5K 1963; Bodega 
Head - a partisan view, Bull. Atomic Scientists, March, 1965; 
Ecological Aspects of the Laguna Madre, a hypersaline estuary, 
AAAS Symposium, Estuaries, 1967, The Atyid shrimp of the genus 
Syncaris in California, Int. rev. ges. Hydrogiol., 53(M, 1968; 
An intertidal reconnaissance of rocky shores of the Galapagos, 
Wasmann J. Biol., 27(1), 1969; Philosophy on Cannery Row in_ 
Steinbeck, the Man and His Work, Ore. State Univ. Press, 1971; 
Perspectives of benthic ecology in Antarctica in Research in the 
Antarctic, AAAS, 1971- 

By Jerome Tichenor: Poems in Contempt of Progress, The Clandestine 
Press, 1965. 


J W Hedcpeth ~5 
Addendum, Vita, 1973-74. (as of March 17, 1977) 

Joparted from Oregon otatc University, Sept. 30 1973; currently 
emeritus professor. 

Adjunct Professor, Pacific Marine Station of the University of 
the Pacific, 1974 

Visiting professor, Ucripps Institution of Oceanography, Soring 
Quarter, 1976 (Lectures on the history of marine biology) 

Consultant, National Science Foundation, on problems of impact 
ofn science or scientific and logistsics support activity 
on Antarctica, 1974-75. Visited Antarctica (McMurdo and 
.iouth Pole, November 1974) 

Conoiltant, otate of Victoria (at Melbourne) on studies of 
fort i hilip nnd WAsternport bnyrj, Nov. -Dec. T.97'1 . 

various other consultant activities including with otatc Water 
Resources Duality Control Board on oan Francisco Bay. 

Attended Helgoland Marine Biolof^ oymposium 1972, presented 

paper on Impact of Impact Studies (publ. Hel^ol. Wiss. Meeres- 
unters. 1973); Attended Challenger Centenrary Symposium, 
Edinburgh, 1972; paper on De rairabile marls publ. Proc. 
Hoyal Soc. Kdinburng, etc. 

Attended Helogellnd Marine Biology Symposium 1976, delivered paper 
on Models & Muddles (in press); participated in first 
annual Symposium on Pycno;onida, Linncan Society, London, 
October 1976; proceedinss in press. Honoured at the dinner 
as dean of pycnogonodists. 

Received Browing Award for Achievment in Preserving; the Snvironmen' 
(Simthsonian Inst.,) Oct 1076. 

recent pi/blications: 

One hundred years of Pacific oceanography, in- Biolosy of 
the Oceanic Pacific, OSU press, 1974. 
The Living I2dge. Geoscience and l-ian, 1975 (a review of inter t 


In Press: Man on the oeashore: An exponential force against 
finite limit in Wildlife in America (CEQ; Govt Printing 


iidited ihiiK edition of Jerome Tichenor's Poems in Contempt of 
Progress (Boxwood Press, Pacific Grove 1973, 32.95) 
The Outer Shores: From the papers od Erfward F. Ricketts. Mad River Press, 

current address: Part ! ^75; Part II 1979 

5660 Montecito Ave 

Santa Rosa Calif. 95404 





January 1 1983 

I. History of marine biology. A short lecture series. 

1. Forebodings and beginnings. Aristotle, Ooniao and all 
to J. Vaughan Thompson. 

2. Victorians at the seashore and at sea- Forbes, Gosse 
Huxlev & the fisheries, and stirrings on the continent. 

3. The rise and chance of theories of ecology of the sea. 
Moebius and the community (especially of oysters); Petersen 

and food chain models; The Soartina syndrome. 

II. 1 The estuarine way of Iffe. (sone overlap with 1.3). "Dependency", 

retention and opportunisc. 

2. San Francisco Bav. A tangled tale of acadenic negligence, sanitary 
engineers and water nolitics. (and some anal'pous episodes elsewhere). 


III Han on the seashore- coastal problems of use, destruction and 
social activist. ([since the days of Justinian]) Emphasis on 

the California exaraple. 

IV The pycnoconida: an excurlson in zoology. 


V. Philosophy on the seashore- Ed Ricketts with a dash of Zen. 

* * * 

The Recycling of Excalibur. The environmental movement as the latest 
chase of the battle between Roaan practicality and the Celtic view 
of life. The noral of cvcling as exeaplified by Sir Bedir'veres failure to 
return Arthur's sword to the lake, etc. (Similarities to Indian view 
of man's, 1 ^ na ture' considered when lecturing on reservations) 

* * - x "J 

The Toetrv of the Sea. Readlncs fron poetry exemplifying Ban s interaction with 
and interpretation of the sea an "antidote to tl>e Kipling-Masef ^ield 

school of talll ships and rustv ttauv seaners etc. 



Update of C V, September 1992; 

Joel W. Hedgpeth, Ph D, F.M.L.S.*, FCAS etc 

1980 Elected honorary A member of Estuarine Research Foundation. 

1982. Attended International Symposium on Utilization of Coastal 
Ecosystens at Rio Grande, Brasil, 21-27 November 1982. 

1982-83 (uncertain date) listed on EPA honor roll of consultants 
who never would be missed, categorized as "excellent scientist but 
complete misanthrope." 

June 1983- Attended herring conference at Nanaimo, British Columbia 
1983- December, honored by Western Society of Naturalists as Neptune 
wrestling with giant sea cucumber on their annual program and T- 

1985. Prepared document on Pacific Coast barriers and other coastal 
features as related to potential dangers to coastal property under 

contract for U S Fish & Wildlife Service; result had very short press 
run and distribution was limited. I was given only 15 copies for 
personal distribution. 

1987. Attended IV International History of Oceanography Congress, 

at Hamburg & Kiel, September. 

1987-1990 Participated in evidentiary hearings before the State 

Water Resources Board in behalf of The Bay Institute of San 


1990-1992. Involved in testimony and analyses of Sonoma county 

gravel wars, wastewater controversies, critiques of EIR's etc., 

writing letters to editors, and numerous book reviews, mostly for 

Quarterly Review of Biology 

1991. Elected Foreign Member, Linnean Society of London. 

May 1992. Attended and participated as panelist in State Lands 
Commission on Public Trust and biodiversity in Sacramento. 

May 14-17 Participated as invited keynote speaker in a Steinbeck 
and the Environment conference on Nantucket. 

* Unfortunately I have mislaid the charming letter from the Linnean Society 
apologizing for inadvertently placing me on the list of the deceased and departed and 
lamenting that it would be two years before they could get out a revised membership list 
I must assure them that I expect to survive that long. 

316 Appendix K 


Commencement address, Fresno State College, June 3, 1970 
Joel W. Hedgpeth 

There is a strong flavor of good old Methodist ministers in my background, 
so naturally I must use a text. My text is from Leviticus: 

The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine; 

for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the 

land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the 

land. (Leviticus 25:23). 

If you go out east of here a few miles, where the land begins to rise 
toward the mountains, you will find a large boulder by the roadside with an 
inscription that tells you the town of Academy once flourished there. Not far 
away from there is the cemetery, where, as it says on that boulder, "many of . 
the county's earlier families and their descendants now rest nearby." 

Among these are my people: my name is on those stonas since Joel seems 
to be a favorite in our line of Hedgpeths, and my father was born on Dry Creek 
nearby and my great uncle was pastor of the little Methodist church at 
Academy . 

In the year 1858 my father's people left Missouri for California. They 
manumitted their slaves, sold their land in Nodaway County, outfitted heavy 
wagons hauled by teams of six oxen and on the 22nd of April they "crossed the 

wide Missouri" and struck out across the broad rolling prairies of Kansas. 

At Albuquerque they turned their wagons eouth, to use for the first time the 

road surveyed by Lt. Edward F. Beale the year before. This is the route that 

is now part of Highway 66, so vividly described by John Steinbeck in The 

Grapes of Wrath. They passed by El Morro, the inscription rock, on July 7, 1858 

317 2 

and left their names upon the rock, along with many others. Disaster befell 
them on August 17, 1858 when the party was attacked by Indians at the 
Colorado River. They lost their stock and many of their wagons and they 
had to go back to Albuquerque to winter over. In 1859, escorted romantically 
enough by Lt. Beale and his camels, they completed their emigration to 
California. They were assisted across the Colorado River by Major Armistead, 
commandant of the newly established Fort Mojave, who became a general in the 
Confederate Army and died in Pickett's Charge. My people settled first in 
Visalia and then moved to Dry Creek just after the Academy was established. 
In those days it was an important settlement, for it was on the main road in 
the San Joaquin Valley between Los Angeles and Stockton. The road was along 
the foothills because the lowlands were often impassable in winter. Academy 
was the big town of the area and had the first high school in this district, 
which was its pride. The school boasted of its fine building, blackboard, 
and all that, and especially of its "well selected library of 56 volumes 
enclosed in a black walnut bookcase." But Academy withered away after the 
railroad came in 1872 and Fresno became the big town and county seat. Now 
there is nothing left at Academy but a subdivider who has laid out some lines 
and is trying to sell "Academy Ranchitos." I am not surprised to hear that 
they are not selling very well. 

Progress passed Academy by, but its ideals for higher education have been 
abundantly fulfilled here at Fresno State, and some of the descendants of 
the old pioneers still live around here. Academy, I would think, would be a 
very suitable place for the headquarters of the society I founded some years 
ago, called the Society for the Prevention of Progress. But there are not many 
houses left there suitable for headquarters, unfortunately. 

My father's people tried to solve a difficult problem of their times by 


selling out and moving west. Of course they were the kind of people that 
moved west anyhow, and ever since they got to North America they had moved; 
they moved with Daniel Boone into Missouri. Today quite a few young people 
will turn their backs on our social problems for a while and join a commune. 
This is a symbolic group emulation of Thoreau's year at Walden. We cannot 
all do this even if we wanted to because this kind of use of the land is 
simply not possible for all of us. There is simply not enough land for 
this non-exploitive way of life for our population. We are on the horns of 
a dilemma here. And of course here in the San Joaquin Valley we are in the 
vast land of agribusiness. An unlovely word, invented by people I am 
fortunately not acquainted with. This then is the vast world of the rail 
roads and agribusiness. Some of you have read no doubt of the times past as 
described rather dramatically by Frank Norris in the Octopus, and of course 
in more recent times by John Steinbeck in his books In Dubious Battle and 
The Grapes of Wrath. This idea of agribusiness of course would be foreign 
to the Old Testament philosophy of my Methodist forebears. But it was on 
the way even in the 1870 's and it was in 1880 that some ranchers were shot 
down by railroad men at Mussel Slough. It is ironic to remember today that 
this same octopus receives a substantial federal subsidy for keeping land 
out of production in the San Joaquin Valley. History has strange quirks. 

Frank Norris concluded The Octopus with an optimistic paean to the 
wheat that would always be here in spite of the greed and troubles of men, 
that would feed the starving of India, yet in his story the survivor of 
these troubles turns away and goes to sea. We were already in trouble with 
the land then, as indicated by this story and its ambiguous conclusion. 
Really, the trouble is our imperfect stewardship of the land. We were in 
trouble long before Highway 66 became what John Steinbeck called "the mother 


road, the road of flight." The trouble really began, if we must fix a 
date, 201 years ago when James Watt took out the first patent on his 
steam engine. 

Two centuries ago is no time at all, even in human history (as a 
country we have still six years to go to complete our first 200 years) , 
but we now find ourselves in the dilemma of the Chinese proverb: "he who 
rides a tiger cannot dismount," yet we must dismount and subdue the tiger. 
It is remarkable how little of this danger was foreseen by the prophets of 
progress in the rational, utilitarian age which still influences so much 
of our political and sociological theory of our world. Despite a sonnet 
to a polluted stream by Wordsworth: 

"Was the intruder nursed 
In hideous usages, and rites accursed 
That thinned the living and disturbed the dead?" 

and such demurrers as Dickens' description of the building of the railroad 
across the unspoiled countryside of England in Dombey and Son, there was 
little concern for what was happening to the earth. True, George Perkins 
Marsh as early as 1847 and in his book Man and Nature in 1864, when this 
valley was pastorally naive, warned that the earth was "fast becoming an 
unfit home for its noblest inhabitant." 

Nevertheless men have found it pleasing to listen to the utilitarian 
sirens who have lured them toward the dangerous rocks of progress - the 
doctrine of serving the greatest happiness of the greatest number may spring 
from a philosophy "deficient in imagination" that threw "the mantle of 
intellect over the natural tendency of men in all ages to deny or disparage 
all feelings and mental states of which they have no consciousness in them 
selves" so one of them, John Stuart Mill, said of Jeremy Bentham, the 
patron saint of utilitarianism. He ignored, said Mill, "the whole unanalyzed 

320 5. 

experience of the human race." But there is some consolation in all this - 
men can change their ideas and philosophies and the doctrine of progress is 
vulnerable: after all, it is an idea, not a fact. As J. B. Bury pointed out 
50 years ago (The Idea of Progress, 1920), time is the very condition of 
progress - it is obvious that idea would be valueless if there were "good 
cause for believing that the earth would be uninhabitable in A.D. 2000 or 
2100. The doctrine of progress would lose its meaning and would automatically 
disappear ." 

But the utilitarians are still with us, especially the Atomic Energy 
Commission. They tell us that they know what will be good for us, and that 
is power generated by atomic energy, and still more power. They seem less 
concerned for the real future of mankind than they think, or would like us to 
believe, they are. For the present policy of developing atomic power is 
"after us the deluge" with a vengeance. Because the high activity wastes 
generated by these plants not the mild stuff that leaks out is laying 
against the future a terrific deluge. What is going to be done with this 
stuff? It will not decay for 200 years or more, some of it not for thousands 
of years . 

Of course here in California we are embarked or at least our politicians 
are (it is being fought behind the scenes by lawyers energetically) upon the 
State Water Plan. Another example of profound anti-ecological ignorance. 
There has never been an adequate ecological study of this plan or its impact 
on the environment. Water, to be sure is a problem in California and is 
needed in this valley, but is more and more of it needed for more and more 
people? Here is the problem that everyone is preaching loudly. We just can't 
go on having more and more people. 

The choice is looming up: perhaps we should cut off the possibility of 


o . 

having more and more people. But really this will not be achieved in my 
opinion until it is the philosophy of everyone that too many people are 

Mary Austin had a very unfortunate experience in the Owens Valley and 
she said the diversion of water to Los Angeles and the destruction of that 
valley would bring retribution, that the earth would speak out. She was a 
pretty good prophet, but she couldn't have predicted the way it has hap 
pened: the pine trees are dying and people are advised to leave Los Angeles 
at the rate of 10,000 a year. This is the sort of thing we are making pos 
sible with this kind of activity. 

Of course we cannot go back to the good old days of Academy, we are 
going to have to look forward to the bad new days. Not long ago we had a 
national day of observance for the earth. A day of ecological awareness. 
Many things were said about the peril that confronts us and what we must do. 
I was among those who like my staunch Methodist forebears, took to the 
circuit and preached the gospel. We did not expect, and still do not 
expect, the world to be redeemed overnight, or men to change their ideas 
immediately. The moral of Earth Day was that we were concerned for the 
future, and that we were asking ourselves why we are on this earth at all. 
We cannot expect to solve this problem of our survival by magic or by words 
alone, especially when we are not sure just what the minimum environment for 
the continued life of Homo sapiens is on earth, to say nothing of what the 
optimum environment might be. 

So we need everyone's help and we hope that Earth Day started some 
people at least on a lifelong commitment for these bad new times that are 
coming up. Of course some of us are still basically optimistic and we hope 
things won't be quite that bad. We have some Jeremiahs in our midst who 



are saying things a little too extremely so they have no way to back off. 
We could be wrong in some degree but not in the basic predictions, because 
these are based on the carrying capacity of the earth. 

But only a few weeks after the euphoria of Earth Day we see in the 
papers that our politicians and economist are getting worried about the 
costs of cleaning up the environment. This would cut into the economic 
structure, we might lose jobs and this would cut down industry so we'd 
better keep on going the way we have. It's not easy for mankind to under 
stand that he like the individual can die. We all know we must die so we 
put the thought aside. For the whole species, the whole society, to 
realize that there are certain things we must do, is very difficult. So 
the obvious thing from the reactions of some politicians is that the real 
issue is not pollution or the cost of cleaning it up, but the desirability 
or the undesirability of our present social and economic structure, that 
is so destructive to the environment. Time is simply running out on progress, 

Now a lot of words have been said about how we can get all we need 
from the sea once we have exhausted the land, that the resources of the sea 
are inexhaustible and there will always be fish in the sea. But we are 
terrestrial beings and the land will always be our chief resource. At this 
time we get about 2 or 3 per cent of the world's protein needs from the sea, 
represented by a fisheries catch of perhaps 60 million metric tons. To keep 
up with the population explosion we should count on ten times this or 600 
million metric tons by the next 50 years, but this is beyond the limit the 
sea can yield and we might get at most about half or a fourth, or 250 to 300 
million metric tons. The reason for this is that people have been confused 
about the total volume of the oceans and the parts that are usable. To be 
sure, there is some sort of life nearly everywhere in the ocean, but it's 


pretty thin and the activity goes on in the narrow coastal areas and the 
comparatively shallow areas near the surface. But these are tne areas we 
treat most thoughtlessly, that we overfish and that we pollute by dumping 
things in at the shore or by fallout from the air. And fallout doesn't 
necessarily mean radioactive materials. Detergents, pesticides and other 
things when applied may go up in aerosols and be transferred into the 
atmosphere so that they are carried even to the Antarctic regions where they 
are concentrated in penguins and Antarctic seals for example. Indeed we will 
have to be even more careful about what we do on the land to save what we 
can of the resources of the sea. 

In ten years so I have heard somewhere something like less than half 
of you will be doing what you planned or studied to do in the last four 
years. I hope that percentage is even less as far as Indo China or any 
other remote part of the world is concerned. At the same time I hope an 
even greater proportion of you than now committed will be in the environ 
mental ranks. 

You will be needed you are now to protect this valley from becoming 
another Los Angeles slum, for even out into the hills are these people who 
would subdivide all the hills in Tulare County in a mad urge to make money, 
who boast of the state's largest subdivision near Visalia, and send their 
agents out to buy off university critics and three times their university 
salaries. Would you like to be a tame ecologist for Boise Cascade? Every 
one concerned for the future of this valley should examine this scheme and 
seek to change the policies of this company by direct action, appearances 
at hearings, as stockholders, or whatever you may happen to be, for if ever 
there was an organization that deserved the scorn of Isaiah, this is it: 

324 9. 

Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till 
there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the 
earth! (5:8). 

I noticed in the Fresno Bee this afternoon that Supervisor John Krebs 
said Fresno County planning commission members should have the decency to 
resign if they cannot attend meetings. I hope that if any of you rise to 
such lofty positions as members of planning commissions you will go to the 
meetings. This kind of direct personal action must be the part of every 
one of us to protect what we can of the environment. 

What happened to all the beards? Are they outside picketing us? I 
don't object to whether you come with a full beard or come stark naked like 
the ancient Celts went into battle, but I would only ask that those of you 
who take up the arms of words please use them with reasonable coherence and 
consistency. Nothing wearies the patience of the people in governmental 

boards and hearing commissions and the like as much as aimless, unprepared 

harangues that consume a great deal of time and never get -nowhere. 

But the lawyers, the merchants and the chiefs and everyone else will 
be needed. Especially the lawyers, and 1 think this is the principal direc 
tion we must go in changing our laws, getting better substance, environ 
mental awareness, into our legal system. Surprising, for instance I have 
been involved in fights about beaches and water rights, and from the 
viewpoint of the ecologist our legal structure is very strange and non 
sensical. The good judges who decide what a beach really is do not seem to 
know what the tide is and you can't understand the nature of the beach 
without understanding the tide. We have a great deal to learn because of our 
delusion with the god of progress and our belief that we are the chosen of 
this earth. 

325 10. 

And so, we hope to see you in the ranks, the ranks of thoughtful 
action, not of Quantrell's raiders or burners of computers. I too have 
a distrust of our modern technology and I am convinced that our salvation 
does not lie with our machines, but I think we will need the help of some 
of these gadgets, because we must work out a whole new system. The environ 
mental cause does not need and does not want martyrs in the streets and on 
the campuses nor soldiers fallen on battlefields it is a cause for living, 
for people and their survivors. Of course we assume, those of us who are 
called environmentalist, that man's tenancy of the earth is worth pro 
longing and that it is best for ourselves now living and for our descendants 
to avoid the terrible consequences of exceeding the carrying capacity of 
the earth. We are asking of all men that we do not forget that we are 
strangers and sojourners on this land. 


INDEX- -Joel Hedgpeth 

Alexander, Josephine, 174 

Antarctic Medal, 222 

Antarctica research program, 76- 
77, 207-222 

Hedgpeth Heights, 222 
Hero research vessel, 210-211 
Lindblad tour, 213-215 
report of scientific 

activity's effect on the 
environment, 216-220 
studying pycnogonids, 208 

Aquatic Habitat Institute, 267 

Army Corps of Engineers, United 

American River proposal, 114 
Bodega Head project, 192-193 
San Francisco Bay model, 256 

Arnett, Ray, 183 

Astro, Richard, 108-109, 227-228 

Axelrod, Dan, 88 

Azov, Sea of, 236-237, 248-249 

Barnes, Grant, 110, 118 

Bay Institute of San Francisco, 

247, 268 

Berolzheimer, Charles, 158-159 
Bertrand, Jerry, 219 
Between Pacific Tides, 92, 93, 95, 

97-98, 104-106, 108, 110, 122- 


Bigelow, Michael, 18 
Bodega Bay proposed nuclear power 

plant, 171, 173-191, 193 

University of California's 

role, 181-186 
Bodega Head, 192-193 
Bolin, Ralph, 120 
Briley, DeWitt, 61-62 
Brower, Anne Bus, 9-10, 234 
Brower, David, 233-234 
Browning Award, 274-275 
Bureau of Reclamation, United 

States, 45, 246, 249 
Burt, Wayne, 196-199, 202 
Buzzatti-Traverso, 146 
Byrne, John, 117, 198 

Caen, Herb, 189 

California Department of Fish and 

Game, 232, 241, 270 

Calvin, Jack, 105-107 

Campbell, Joseph, 106, 108-109, 

111, 124-125, 228 
Gaspers, Hubert, 143-144, 236 
Child, Al, 120, 130 
Clegg, James, 186 
Collier, Albert, 235, 253 
Cone, Donald, 175 
Constance, Lincoln, 87-88 
copepods , 79 
Creagh, Agnes, 146-147 
Curtis, Garniss, 272 

Daniel, J. Frank, 65-66 

Dasmann, Ray, 116-117, 184 

Davoren, William T., 247 

Dayton, Paul, 212 

Denton, Richard, 251 

Dillon Beach, 150, 157-160. See 

also Pacific Marine Station 
Dunning, Harrison, 246 

ecological concepts, 90-92, 96, 

101-102, 123 

Environmental Defense Fund, 247 
environmental impact reports, 242 
Environmental Protection Agency, 

241, 267 
environmentalists vs. 

agribusiness, 74, 244-247, 264, 

estuarine studies 

in Russia, 236-237, 249-251. 

in Texas, 235-236, 252-253 
See also San Francisco Bay-Delta 
environmental issues 

Fahrenbach, Henner, 208 
Fellows Medal of the California 

Academy of Science, 274-275 
Fish and Wildlife Service, United 

States, 247 
Fischer, Hugo, 254-256 


Fisher, Walter K. , 123 
Flower, Enola, 47-48 
Flynn, Errol, 18, 211-212 
Fox, J. Phyllis, 251, 257-261 
Frederick, Aaron, 42-43 
Freeborn, Stanley, 72 
Fry, Bill, 129, 204-207, 213 
Furneaux, Hugh, 37-38 

Gaffney, Rose, 191-192 
Cause's Principal (competitive 

exclusion), 122-123, 124-125 
Gifford, Edward W. , 66-67 
Gilbert, Grove Karl, 238-239, 254 
Giles, George, 132 
Gilliam, Harold, 191 
Gleason, Walter, 238, 264-265 
Grendon, Alexander, 178-179 
Grinnell, Joseph, 78-79, 101-102, 

Gunter, Gordon, 74, 80, 115, 132- 

134, 144, 145, 152, 235 

Hamby, Bob, 180 

Hand, Cadet, 163, 181, 184-186 

Hart, James, 18 

Hatfield, Mark, 198 

Hedgpeth Heights, Antarctica, 222 

Hedgpeth, Florence Warrens (wife), 

79, 151 
Hedgpeth, Joel (father), 1-2, 10- 

15, 32-36, 42-44, 48-49, 52, 58 
Hedgpeth, Joel Walker, other 

family, 2-6, 8-9, 11, 16-17, 19- 

21, 23, 27, 32, 50, 54, 59, 83, 

161-162. See also McGraw, 

Edward Walker; McGraw family 

Hedgpeth, Sarah Ellen (Mrs. Paul 

Boly) (daughter), 151, 200 
Hedgpeth, Sarah Ellen (Nellie) 

Tichenor McGraw (mother), 1-22, 

25, 34-36, 41, 43, 47, 52-53, 

56-60, 69, 127 
Hedgpeth, Warren Joel (son), 28- 

29, 151 
Hemphill, Henry, 23, 72-73, 83, 


Hilton, William A., 120-121 
Homes, Geoffrey, 18. See also 

Mainwaring , Dan 
Home, Alec, 266-267 
Hosmer, Jennie (Bee), 23 
Hubbs, Carl, 148, 149, 150, 211 

Jinglebollix, 120-121 
Johnson, Ralph Gordon, 166-169 

KPFA radio station, 178-181 

Kashevarov, Father, 106 

Rashevarov, Xenia, 106-107 

Keen, Myra, 84 

Keep, Josiah, 83 

Kortum, Bill, 188 

Kortum, Karl, 167, 187-188, 203 

Kozloff, Gene, 105 

Krone, Ray, 251 

Ladd, Harry, 133-134 
Leopold, Aldo, 115-116 
Leopold, Luna, 115-116, 182 
Leopold, Starker, 182-184 
Lldicker, William, 240-241, 271 
Light, Sol Felty, 70, 72, 77-79, 

88, 91, 93, 99, 102, 157 
Littleworth, Arthur, 264-265 
Llano, George, 216-217, 222 
Loosanoff, Victor, 170, 261 
Love joy, Ritchie, 106-107 
Lund, E.J., 80, 81, 151-153 

Mainwaring, Constance, 17, 93, 94 
Mainwaring, Dan, 18-19, 108-109 
McGraw family, aunts of Joel 

Hedgpeth, 2-6, 16-20, 27, 32 
McGraw, Edward Walker 

(grandfather), 2-7, 19-25, 27, 

31-32, 42, 49, 62, 69 
Marine Science Center, Oregon 
State University, 196-203, 
225, 228 

Mertes, David, 167-168, 202 
Meyer, Amy, 38-39 
Meyers, Samuel, 171 
Miller, Alden, 70-71 
Moss Beach, 157 


Murphy, Al, 102-103 
Murphy, Dennis, 23, 99 
Myers, George S., 239-2AO 

Needham, Paul, 182 
Neilands, Joe, 189-191 
Nichols, Fred, 241 
Noble, Alden, 156-158, 160, 166, 

Office of Naval Intelligence, 

United States, 137-141 
Oregon State University, 196-203, 

Outer Shores, The, 94, 98, 109-110 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company 

[PG&E], proposed nuclear power 

plant, 173-191, 193 
Pacific Marine Station, Dillon 

Beach, 159-163, 166-171, 194, 

204-206, 229 
Painter, Theophilus, 79 
paleoecology, 119, 133, 167 
Papenfuss, George, 161, 181 
Peltier, Jason, 245 
Pesonen, David, 44, 183, 188 
Pesonen, Everett, 44-45, 188 
Peterson, Carl G.J., 91 
Port Aransas, 80, 151-152. See 

also University of Texas. 
Prichard, Don, 232, 255, 270 

characteristics of, 76, 85, 128, 
130, 208-209 

interest in, 73, 75, 85-86, 127, 
130, 170 

studies of, 75-76, 102, 115, 
129-131, 204-205, 211-213 

Racanelli, John A., 243-244 
Reber plan for San Francisco Bay, 


research and publications, Joel 
Hedgpeth, 73-76, 79-80, 90-93, 
96-99, 102, 104-106, 109-120, 
122, 127, 129-130, 133, 179-180, 
204-205, 207-210, 212-213, 216- 

220, 231, 235-236, 244-247, 252- 

253, 256 
Revelle, Roger, 133, 135, 142-143, 

145-149, 172 

Reynolds, Malvina, 180-181 
Ricketts, Ed, 92-97, 99, 104-111, 

113, 120-125, 129, 157, 227-229 
Robilliard, Gordon, 219 
Rowland, Ed, 50 
Russian scientists, 137-141, 170, 

173, 221, 236, 250 

Salmon preservation studies, 73- 

74, 114, 244-246 
Sampson, Arthur W. , 64 
San Francisco Bay, oyster 

distribution in S.F. Bay and 
Delta, 232, 260-261 

scientific research on, 238-243 

striped bass population, 262-264 

tidal hydrography, 255-256 

tule hypothesis, 257-260 
San Francisco Bay-Delta 

environmental issues, 231-273 


Sauer, Carl, 82 
Schmitt, Karl Patterson, 143 
Schmitt, Waldo, 71, 73, 129 
Schopf, Thomas, 166, 169 
Schramm, Fred, 130 
scientists and public policy, 265- 


Scott, Tom, 198-199 
Scripps Institution of 

Oceanography, 119-120, 135, 142- 

143, 145-147, 150, 172-173, 231 
sea spiders. See pycnogonids 
Shasta Dam environmental impact 

studies, 73-74, 114 
Shubel report on S.F. Bay 

environmental problems, 270 
Singer, Charles, 70 
Sloan, Doris, 270-272 
Smith, Felix, 247-248 
Smith, Ralph, 164-165 
Society for the Prevention of 

Progress, 113-117 
Stanford University, 110, 240 


Stanford University Press, 110, 


Steinbeck, Carol, 94-95, 228 
Steinbeck, John, 18, 94-95, 104, 

106-110, 112, 227-228 
"Steinbeck and the Sea" 

conference, 108-110, 112 
Steinberg, Joan, 163, 165 
Stephenson, T.A. , 131 
Stewart, George, 67-68 
Stock, Jan, 129-130 
Sutton, Jim, 261 

Texas Game Fish and Oyster 

Commission, 74, 80, 94, 115, 

151, 235, 252-253 
Thorson, Gunnar, 91 
Tolmazin, David, 250 
Tomales Bay, 169-170 
Treatise on Marine Ecology and 

Paleoecology, 131-137, 141-149, 

165, 236 
Trinity River, 246 

United States Bureau of 

Reclamation, 246, 248 
United States Fish and Wildlife 

Service, 248 
United States Geological Survey, 

133, 238-239, 241 
United States Office of Naval 

Intelligence, 137-141 
University of California, Berkeley 

evaluation of students and 

faculty, 65-68, 70-72, 77-79, 
82, 87-88, 102, 181-186, 240, 
266-267, 270-272 

marine studies, 157, 163, 240, 

255, 270-272 
University of Pacific, 149, 157, 

161-162, 170-171, 176, 193-194, 

196, 204-206 
University of Texas, 80-82, 151- 


Vaughan, Thomas Wayland, 133-134 
Warren, Earl, 44 

water issues and studies 

See environmentalists vs . 
agribusiness, San Francisco 
Bay-Delta environmental 
issues, Shasta Dam 
environmental impact studies 

Windscale, England, nuclear 

incident, 174, 176-177 
Wohlschlag, Curly, 269-270 
Wood, Charles Erskine Scott, 233 
Wright, Sir Charles, 220-221 

Yaquina Biological Laboratory, 
196-203, 225. See also Marine 
Science Center, Oregon State 

Zenkevitch, L.A., 137, 236 


B.A., and M.A. , in History, University of 
California, Berkeley. 

Postgraduate studies, University of 
California, Berkeley, American history and 

Chairman, Sierra Club History Committee, 1978-1986; 
oral history coordinator, 1974-present; Chairman, 
Sierra Club Library Committee, 1993-present. 

Interviewer/Editor, Regional Oral History 
Office, in the fields of natural resources 
and the environment, university history, 
California political history, 1976-present. 

Principal Editor, assistant office head, Regional 
Oral History Office, 1994-present. 

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