"Mom, a South Dakota doctor's daughter, and famous CHOP pediatrician, loved her childhood buckskin so my dad created the finest equestrian center on the US East Coast for her and brought over a young FBHS Kiwi Olympic Champion to be first headmaster, followed by a Burghley Horse Trials Winner. Meanwhile, buglers, red-coated fox hunters, and hounds jumped into and out of our pastures. I flew in a Widgeon with our neighbor to their private lake and 110-room summer mountain home. We basseted with neighbors that designed and produced the official Great Seal of the United States, Medal of Honors, ... Purple Hearts, and class rings for West Point and Annapolis. Mom loved nature walks, Audubon's Mill Grove, Longwood, Brigantine, and Peterson's Field Guides. Her dad died when she was 10 y/o. She earned her own way through USD and Temple Medical School by typing fellow students' term papers in the library. She had a very long birder life list, that included the Galapagos and Amazon headwaters. She didn't mind splitting wood, shoveling snow, and lunging horses. She was up and cruising at 4:00 AM (11.01)
AS AN ASIDE: [Dr. Jane edited and typed all of her oldest son's term papers; The future artist got As, even for the one about Klein bottles and Möbius bands (Two of Carroll's buddies left for MIT at 10 y/o). HOWEVER, he was on his own with the Forsythe NWR microscopic Gastrotrichs and Irwin Loops made in his bedroom by wrapping one super thin electronic wire around a pin tip to catch them; AND, his first punch card project that hogtied a Texas mainframe 800+ miles away, ... AND, an Independent study that flooded ALL his department professors' offices under an 1" sheet of tap water - Prof Anderson welcomed him to the Nobel Science Hall smiling in the entrance, a mop in hand. "It could have been. I don't remember."
[Carroll had a few "speaking episodes" in front of pro speakers in Austin (the State Capitol) where thick, waxy, bright cherry red lipstick playfully landed on his cheek as a U. Houston prof (a futurist boardroom consultant) introduced him, had folks enjoying his talk and EVERYONE on a Southwest flight inexplicably gawking and giggling, while popping peanuts -Toastmasters- made him the Rookie of the Year and a highly decorated district officer in the world's #1 ranked district, where he received 91 blue ribbons for his speech, "My Proudest Moment."
"My ΦΒΚ mom was straight-forward, unmasked, hated Christians because 'they're all hypocrites' --- like an 0.11 oz. hummingbird fearlessly running off a raptor. My mother had powerful views. She became a Pediatrician and was Dr. Nelson's first editor of North American Pediatrics, despite a medical school professor who told her she belonged at home pregnant in the kitchen. Mom got Board Certified in Dermatology and joined Pop's massive one-man practice. She asked Christie's to cherry pick her palatial home's precious treasures for Red Cloud School. Nobody messed with my prairie girl mom. The Philadelphia Inquirer loved her. The genius Mark Twain (born in Florida, Missouri) would've equated mom to 'a cat carried by the tail,' one lesson you remember forever --- She was often pictured carrying her big pet cat like a baby. Mom was the MFEO lady my dad loved Until Death They Did Part after about 60 years. She had a soft spot for the Lakota Sioux. Christie's cherry picked her estate for Maȟpíya Lúta Owáyawa."
Doctors C. F. Burgoon, Jr., MD and his unsinkable bride, Virginia Jane (Née Smiley) Burgoon, MD.
"Pop, a banker's son, demanded perfection from everyone (including me), but expected virtuosity. He didn't have any patience, ran a tight ship (He'd been a Navy doctor on live battlefields) at his hospitals, he treated the world's wealthiest, Hall of Fame pro athletes, ... and attracted the best doctors, researchers, and the brightest med students. Pop grew up one block from the Susquehanna. Medical students gave him standing ovations. That was rare for any professor. When I was on the podium after a bike race in Athens, GA, a man elbowed his way up to me to inquire if I was Dr. Burgoon's son. He had been Pop's patient 28 years before. Pop's shadow was international: Doctors around the world sent postage stamps to me for my collection ... I had a Kiwi PenPal and Aramco calendars! Pop was given a carved meerschaum pipe by a Persian doctor, which he smoked harnessed in his racy, red Tiger (The absent-minded professor rolled two.) We have 1,800 YEARS of military history including my SCANDINAVIAN (Burgundarholmr Is.) heritage. Our Palatine patriarch anglicized our family name from Burgund to Burgoon aboard the Lydia, from Rotterdam, enroute to Baltimore, MD in 1740. One of his eight children enlisted with General George Washington. I was named to honor John Jacob Burgoon's neighbor, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, settled in today's Carroll County, Maryland.
Pop knew all his bride's sizes and loved to sneak off to shop at her couture. He adorned her with diamonds and pearls and more. She loved horses. So, he bought 70 acres next door along with a 6,000 sq. ft., ca. 1732 house, 60-horse stable, etc. Pop stayed in his home office reading, peering at slides, or was out re-building stone walls, planting and tagging, setting split rail fence posts, or wearing a cable-knit V-neck sweater perfecting his tennis game. He was always working to perfect everything. I went with him to the quirky genius Philip Jenney's rustic restoration shop that flowed into every nook and cranny in his home along Pine Creek. Oh my gosh, and on 7th and Pine, Sid Jolles - He came home with truck loads of trophies. Pop only went 'to see' and bought from the very, very best. My doctor dad (02.21) was an artist, a real artist! I've heard men whistle while remarking of an attorney, 'Phew. He's an artist.' You don't need a paintbrush to be an artist!
My Debrett's includes the bellicose Burgundiōnes to the north, as Roman soldiers called them, who returned to mainland Europe in about 325 AD and swung their battle-axes to conquer most of Europe. My immediate family's first home was on the hillside occupied by GEN Washington's 12,000 soldiers around Thanksgiving Day, on their march to overwinter at Valley Forge. I've slid down the snowy bank and swum Valley Ck. at Washington's HQ (Ironmaster Isaac Pott's home) before scooting up Mount Misery and racing down to the 10'0" Knox Covered Bridge by the historic Philander Chase Knox house, with the corporate comptroller husband of a medical doctor client splashing his way upstream a few paces behind.
My doctor dad didn't carry a gun onto the battlefield in WWII (Dog Green on D-Day, Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa). His caring attitude made the hell he found in battle all the more anguishing. A man of lesser character would've fared worse among the steaming bodies of men begging, cursing, and crying, seeking his aid in their sacrificial moment. Pop never spoke of the horrors of war with his family or staff, despite the severity of his PTSD and nightmares. He loved to sail a wooden dinghy at Uncle Carter's cozy lakeside Lookout log cabin in the pines and birches of Aiken County, MN (I love the Northwoods lifestyle). My dad's battlefield helplessness awakened upon my sister's death. Pop wasn't ornery or pugilistic. There just isn't enough gauze for the invisible wounds of war.
I'm here because 130 mohawk-haired, UDT-14 Frogmen (SEALs) kept my doctor dad, USS Bull APD-78, and thousands of others safe. Hooyah!"
The man was a front page STAR running back and 440 track guy - Critics meant even faster times.
"A picture is worth a thousand words when you don't have the words.
PAINting was my way to cope with loss."
- Carroll, an artist in life
"My famous pediatrician mom was the horrified woman who raced across our backyard with her daughter wrapped in a blanket - her first child, who died in her hands and wasn't buried (her ashes were abandoned) --- My sister was never again mentioned by our family. It is common for a sibling, like me, to erroneously believe he killed his sister and to feel worthless. My sister and I were named to honor Pop's parents, Helen and Carroll. Helen's death occurred on about her 6th birthday. Pop worked hard, played hard, and had an eye for pretty things. So too did I. Survivor guilt, self-recrimination, and self-penance impaled me. Painted into a corner, I was desperate and dove into the New Age where I saw earnest seekers. My childhood was shot to hell, but my colors were nailed to the mast (I admire the INVINCIBLE spirit of Captain John Paul Jones, and #83!)."
SPORTS & OUTDOORS.
I see things for what they are, undressed at the window, as they were made. By the time Carroll was a teenager he eschewed safety and comfort. He starved for wrestling, raced his bicycles, belted in Kung Fu, whitewater rafted, canoed Class V rapids w/o flotation, in blinding sleet (You could say he has ice in his veins!), did moonlight deep water SCUBA dives and a Doff and Don at 95 feet in a swift current under 12-foot swells, ran footraces, ... Carroll survived close calls with cars, plowshares, and himself. He flew front seat in a Stearman biplane at an airshow after a 10-mile foot race.
When he was a time trial specialist on the track, his favorite stage race sped around Tallahassee, FL, where he was third until the last day when a mechanical ended his race early. He placed top three in Louisville, KY after riding off course through barriers with his head down catching a breakaway. His first road race as an unlicensed beginner was 18.3 miles in Newark, DE; Carroll finished an exciting 2nd, nearly re-passing the first by the line. He'd just re-passed #2. Later, a motorist killed both.
Carroll raced his bicycle on Atlanta's velodrome (and trained on the road) with his feet bolted to his Condor bicycle with Cinelli M71 pedals. He had no brakes, but had reckless, steely nerves and tied and soldered wheels --- Later, he ran 18-19 sub-six miles a day to maintain his endorphin rush. He loves to prepare and compete, to mix it up with the best and to always get better. He clocked a 4:08-mile, 8:56-2-miler, and 31:57-10K (for 22nd place as a 30 y/o runner with thousands of runners behind in the distance; A fleet-footed collegian won with a 28:30; #11 ran 29:30.). He gave 750 public speeches and lived through them, too. You only learn to win when you play on the edge.
On the banked bicycle track he usually won.
SCIENCE SIDEBAR (Minnesota through Texas 1994).
"I invested myself drawing meticulous images of dissected insect anatomy, where highly-detailed accuracy was essential. DYK, 4X0 pens fit naturally in one hand with a beer in the other? Doors were opened to matriculate with a university graduate school with my studies, research, and publications underwritten by a public power company, right after I turned down Du Pont - I'd done 24-hour insect drift studies for eight days at their Atomic Energy Savannah River Lab, hidden in 350 square miles of closed air space; The plant made Plutonium for weapons. The lab would've paid upfront for my PhD if I joined the director's staff afterward.
I graduated from Great Valley Sr. High School in 1969. Twenty-eight (!!!) colleges and universities rejected my application, despite my letters of recommendation. The Minnesota miracles ranged from my last enjoyable summer at the lake to John Denver's concert in the fieldhouse to my aunt and uncle attending my college graduation. A Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society (ΣΞ) stipend and presentation to a cadre of engineers and scientists, arranged by my Gustavus Adolphus College Bio prof, Dr. Myron Anderson, brought an invitation to work with Jay Richardson. Jay co-authored the first Regs for Richard Nixon's new Environmental Protection Agency with ecology pioneer, Dr. Ruth Patrick. The world renowned American botanist and limnologist specialized in diatoms and freshwater ecology at ANSP giggled with delight as I ignited a lemon's phenolics by squeezing the exocarp over a dinner table candle as we supped with my boss, Jay, in Aiken, SC, near the Savannah River Lab - I didn't hold a candle to the prim and proper, erudite Robert McCracken Peck in her office. We were housed in a beautifully renovated Colonial barn on a polo player's estate in horse country. Stroud Water Research Center was tied to Penn. My dad bought me a 1st class Swiss stereomicroscope as a college graduation present one year early - In 1972, Jay paid me $8/hr. and sent his freshwater environmental impact specimens to me to ID while a student at Gustavus - His "bugs" were from all over the US, including the Neches, Sabine, Guadalupe Rivers down in Texas!
My first job was principal investigator for BP, P&G, Scott timber/paper, Washington, D.C.'s water and utilities companies, in Limnology and Ecology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Founded in 1812 by businessmen, clergy, scientists, and high society, it's the Western Hemisphere's oldest natural history museum --- Then in Richardson, Texas, I swapped limericks with my neighbor, the Star Wars lead scientist who programmed the first Skylinks at DFW Airport. Fond Minnesota memories have kept me awake for hours and hours tonight. My classroom had no more walls than a freshwater aquifer! CLEAN, SAFE, PURE NATURAL WATER (not bottled) is where an endowed chair makes a difference as an underground tsunami races toward major coastal cities everywhere.
PS - Against my protest, my Minneapolis aunt drove me to drop-in on one last college after coursing MN, WI, and IA. Tennis Coach Steve Wilkinson picked me up for a campus tour. My abysmal SATs and high school transcript were somewhere (lost) in Iowa. I fell in love with Gustavus and went back the next day, all day! When I landed in Philadelphia three days later, an acceptance letter was waiting for me in my parent's mailbox way out in Chester Springs. Young Coach Wilkerson didn't see the legacy he'd firmly anchor. A Minnesota miracle!
Theodore Roosevelt:, XXVI President of the United States, 33rd Governor of New York:
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance."
Carroll: "I simply stood alone in my biz office at 4 AM and implored the One who made me, and knows me better than anyone, to please reveal my gifts and help me to use them. Then, I went to Spain 'on a lark' and came back an artist! Friends call me ornery, then laugh as they recite adventures in art with me --- like their Amon Carter tale and the Green House story."
A FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE - Nothing from a class or a book.
"Do you know how fast and far a soccer ball flies when you angrily kick it with survivor guilt flooding your veins? You should've seen the Jackrabbits scatter! My dad was one tough guy to live with AND my best teacher. No joke.
Nobody was my identity. I fought for every inch of healing. I began researching what my father had been through in the war and talked with 300-400 people about their experience. Then, I understood Pop's experience, and I loved and admired him, as I do veterans, firefighters, EMTs, ... (Right) Beauty in Essence (Cirsium texanum) in Prismacolor is MY SELF-PORTRAIT."
Marine LtCol Mike Strobl (Taking Chance, 2009, played by Kevin Bacon):
I stayed home. I was trained to fight. If I'm not over there, what am I? Those guys, like Chance, they're Marines.
Marine, Korean War Veteran, Charlie Fitts at VFW Post 10065, Dubois WY:
And you think you're not? Want to be with your family every night - you think you have to justify that? You'd better stop right there, sir. You've brought Chance home. You're his witness now. Without a witness, they just disappear..
John F. Kelly, served beside with LCpl Chance Phelps when he died, and later became a four-star general and 28th White House Chief of Staff:
"I guess, over time, I had convinced myself that I could imagine what it would be like to lose a son or daughter. You try to imagine it so that you can write the right kind of letters or form the right words to try to comfort. But you can't even come close. It is unimaginable."