November 2011
Beaumont_house_HancockQ. When did you start at Beaumont House? And what was your ASBMB career trajectory like?

A. I started July 1, 1979. That was in the Dark Ages. I had my job interview in the Lee Building in the conference room, which is no longer there, be that as it may. They called (my position) the executive officer then. I had one job, and that was it, and I did that for 24 1/2 years.

Q. What was it like in those early days?

A. When I started, we had two or three other societies (in Beaumont House) plus FASEB offices. Clinical Nutrition, Nutrition, Plant Physiology, and a couple others. Hard to believe that we had so few people -- editor’s secretary Polly Fleming, office manager Barbara Gordon, assistant to the editor Edith Wolff, Mickey Korn and two or three other secretaries who processed manuscripts.

Q. Did you ever have any interesting run-ins with the wildlife on campus?

A. It’s fascinating – the number of black squirrels on the campus. They’re just inbred. It’s an isolated environment, and it’s a recessive trait. The black squirrel population became more and more as time when on, but what squirrel in its right mind would want to cross Rockville Pike? We also had raccoons. People supposedly had raccoons coming down the chimney and so on.

Q. What’s something readers might not know about the campus?

A. I used to run a lot, and so I was in the barn a lot. They installed a shower over there at one time, which got pretty filthy. Inside of the barn, you could see the horse stalls. It was just open, other than a frame. The left end of it was a tool storage place, and the rest of it was one big empty building. We used to have meetings out in the barn. We had credit union meetings and all sorts of stuff in there. But that went away in probably ’85, and that was about the last time they used it for anything but storage.

Q. Once you retired, what did you miss most?

A. The thing I would miss is springtime, because the flowers are so pretty -- the rhododendron and tulip poplars.

Q. Were you at all sentimental about our big move to the new offices?

A. It’s different (at the new location) but a necessity. I’m glad I wasn’t there to do it. I liked it (at Beaumont House). It’s a very different place to be. For a while, it was all there was on the campus. Except, maintenance-wise, it was an absolute nightmare -- to keep the plumbing and the walls and leaks. I would not have wanted to go through the move – for sentimental reasons and others.
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