Frederick Terman (1900-1982)

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Page 3 of Frederick Terman Travelogue by Julie Newdoll
August 31: Harry is now in Branson, Missouri. I had no idea this was such a hot town. Harry's captions in black.  
We traveled to south western Missouri. Fred visited Branson, the New Country Music Capitol.

I love the way Terman's head really looks like it is in the clouds. We know, of course, that it never was.
Not exactly Mt. Rushmore.
The "Dick Clark American Bandstand Museum" brought back memories.
The Hollywood Wax Museum is a point of interest.
No hitchhiking in Branson. Fred got off with a warning.
He'll try in Denver.
September 5: Harry wrote in a couple of days ago with a new picture. "We discovered an 80 foot easel with a 24 foot by 32 foot canvas. The canvas, a copy of one of  Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings is located in Goodland, Kansas. The project is the brainchild of Cameron Cross 

I checked out the big easel project. You see, paintings are not dead! In their fight to avoid being suffocated by those who wish to label them as obsolete artifacts, they have grown larger and seek to take over the world! This easel weighs 45,000 pounds. I personally think painting is still alive and well. I cried at the Documenta X art show in Germany a few years back, when I saw a round container of smashed canvases as an art piece. I felt better after looking around, however, because many of the installations were not working (perhaps their batteries needed charging?) and / or it was required that you read at least one full page of typed text to comprehend what you were trying to look at. And here I am, in the middle of an electronic arts project, in which I did not even do the painting! You know, I appreciate this artform a lot more than I used to. Thanks for the artistic superimposition, Harry. It means a lot to me.

September 18: Harry wrote to say that he will be driving north to Petaluma on Thursday and handing Terman off for his trip to Stanford. How exciting! I can't wait until he gets there. I will keep you posted as to his travel plans.
September 24: Harry's travels with Fred had a bittersweet ending. He writes, "Fred not only plays the drums he picked a few tunes on the guitar. However, he was unable to get an audition in Branson. We traveled to Petaluma and handed Fred over to my son (Gary Harvey). He will contact you with Fred's travel plans and some photos. He is excited and honored to be a part of Fred's travels and the thought of providing Fred with the final leg of his journey.    
Sandra and I enjoyed Fred traveling with us and being a small part of your project. It was a bit crowded, at times but Sandra was a good sport and accepted Fred as a distinguished guest. The one regret we have is, our camera was stolen, in Las Vegas, and it contained some photos taken between Branson and Las Vegas.  One of the photos was Fred and Barbara. Barbara was a nice lady, we met in Utah. We were at a scenic overlook taking some photos of Fred when she questioned what we were doing. I explained and took a photo of her and Fred, I told her to check the web site and the photo would be there. Sorry Barbara!!

A small part of our project, indeed. I must say, Harry, you were a very big and wonderful part of our project. Thanks!

I was so looking forward to pictures of Fred in Vegas! Oh, well. Maybe Robert Noyce will pass through Sin City on the way to Silicon Valley, unless he is being held captive in a hotel room in Adair, Iowa.

Later that day, I get an email from Gary, Harry's son. "A loud knock at the door… “Who is it”, Courteney asked is it the mailman, no answer, is it one of the neighbors…. no it was this Fred guy. The man apparently traveling the nation with my parents spending my inheritance. The vacation is now over. One of us in this family has a job and now it appears two of us do. No more free rides, Fred must work for his room and board and his ride home on Wednesday, September 27, 2006. The time still to be determined."

Fabulous! I see confetti, marching bands, a red carpet at Stanford!

September 27: Gary is definitely coming today. He says, "Hi Fred's Mom  (As my Parents refer to you). I agree the earlier the better. I was thinking around noon. That way I would have a north bound drive home with out rush hour traffic."

Fred's mom! Very touching. Fred would be the perfect third child.

In the end, we agreed to a time more like 10:30. It is 4:30 in the morning, and I can not sleep, I am so excited about Fred's arrival at Stanford. Inside scoop has it that there will be no red carpet, but there will be something! I will be sure to take pictures.

October 6: I was so impressed at the effort Stanford made to welcome our Terman sculpture. After a year or so working on the project it was very nice to have such sentiment from a well respected university, and the Engineering Department, at that. It was very exciting when Terman entered the courtyard next to a cafe downstairs. We were all standing around trying to see his GPS location on our website to see if we could tell when he would show up, when there he was cruising by on the sidewalk above. I gasped, "There he is!" and everyone turned to see him going by. Here is my Dad bringing him into the courtyard. Gary is on the right in the second picture.

Here is a nice shot of the Dean on the left and Gary and his daughter, Courteney on the right (courtesy of David Orenstein). A better picture of Terman's entry into the courtyard below, also by David Orenstein.

Then things got a bit more stressful for me. My mom had decided at the last minute she wanted to come and bring my 21 month old son, Lorenzo, rather than babysit him at her house, so that she could see the event.  I was told I had about 10 minutes to give a talk about the project. First, the Dean made a nice introduction, I was told. Lorenzo's protest started while the Dean was talking. It began quietly at first, but I could hear it, so I have no idea what the Dean actually said myself.  My dad was operating the video camera, and hadn't gotten it started yet, so I will probably never know.  He must have liked our project, though, or they would not have invited the faculty and staff to see his arrival. (Photo by Gary Lanahan).
(Top photo with Dean Plummer on right by David Orenstein. Other two photos this section by Gary Lanahan.)

Once I began talking, Lorenzo began to scream. My mom tried to get him up the stairs, but he weighs over 40 pounds and she couldn't do it.  I kept thinking, "Jeez, this is taking forever!  Can't she take him to another room?" Then my Uncle (my mom's brother), who is a Stanford Alum and came especially to see this, was recruited by my mother to help her try and get the kicking, screaming child into the elevator.  The crying got muffled for a bit, only to be replaced by the alarm going off inside, when Lorenzo found the alarm button. Once they got him out of the elevator, outside he saw all the bicycles and he was happy. By then, the talk was over, but at least I got to chat a bit more with people for a minute or two.  Then, while they were honking all the horns and ringing all the bells on the bikes, class let out, and a huge flood of students rushed towards them for their bikes.  My mom and Lorenzo retreated back downstairs.

The Dean has a very intense unwavering look, not necessarily at you.  He did not seem like a person that wastes words.  He was very nice and did talk to me, but unfortunately, when that happened, Lorenzo had managed to make it back downstairs and see me.  He rushed up to me and demanded to be hugged and get a "sippy-sip" (he still breast feeds sometimes, especially under duress).   "Hmmm"  I thought "Should I do this in front of the Dean while he is talking to me?" (Photo by Gary Lanahan).

Lorenzo would not take no without another screaming session, and when he is like that, it is very tempting to stuff something into his mouth, so I gave in and put his head under my shirt.  It was all fairly discreet.  The Dean did not waver or flinch for an instant. I was relieved, but I will never know what he was really thinking behind that solid gaze.  Hopefully, he was somehow amused.

Here is my Uncle on the right. Terman still had his SIGGRAPH pass strapped on his wrist.

Then, as quickly as it began, it ended. Terman was shuttled off with the Dean to an important luncheon, where he was well received. Then, later that day, he met the President of Stanford University! I am hoping to get a picture from them of that.

The moral to this story is that the life of a working mother - in this case a working mother / artist, comes with some consequence to the family. It is not easy on the mother, either.  I often say that each brush stroke produces a baby tear.  This phase will pass, but for this reason I do try to make my art load light.  However, it never seems to work out that way.  I had hoped my son might toddle around the event and remember it fondly, somehow, but no such luck. (Photo by Gary Lanahan.)

In any case, Terman is back where he belongs. We still do not know if Stanford will end up with him, or another local museum, but we will let you know. He looks very happy at Stanford, with just one large battle scar on his hip from his journey. Jim, the sculptor, thinks this sort of thing actually adds to the character of the piece. He says, "I consider the dirt, marks, signature, graffiti and other evidence of the artwork actually being out there in the real world to be a kind of patina that attests the fact that they are the real functioning thing and not some traditional hot house portrait. I don't consider my Hitch Hikers to be works of art until they reach their destination."

I tend to agree with everything but the "works of art" part. They look like works of art to me. No matter how you look at it, this object made it all around the country. It was photographed many places, and the image of him in front of these places evoked laughter and surprise from me many times. So many people got to know a bit about Terman for the first time all across the country in the most unlikely places. This would not have happened from wallet sized photos, or a poster. Andy Goldsworthy, famous environmental artist that uses things like earth and leaves to create his works of art, often only has his photographs left when his piece is finished. It has been swallowed up by the sea or blown away by the wind. I consider our piece to be time based, also, but in the end, we have the triple primed extra varnished artist grade acrylic sculpture. That is, of course, if the hitchhiker makes it. It seems like such an accomplishment when it does! When it doesn't, perhaps it becomes more of a legend. We will see what happens with our missing Robert Noyce. (Photo by David Orenstein.)

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Copyright © 2006 Julie Newdoll, Jim Pallas, Mike Mosher, Mario Wolczko