It’s Doc’s birthday tomorrow! So he gets a birthday write up today.
I still think the nickname–and the entire Steinbeck quote–fit him nearly perfectly: His sympathy has no warp. He is gentle as hell. He loves finding out how things work and explaining them to you, too.
He’s a quiet man; I don’t think his teachers in school recognized what they had so he’s usually not the first to speak up. But when he does, it’s always insightful and with such a sly sense of humor. You have to be fast to keep up with his connections.
He loves truth. He is passionate about fairness. He will give you endless opportunities to do the right thing–and he’ll try to understand why you’re not doing it in the first place. His patience almost limitless, for nearly anything except deliberate cruelty. Even then I’ve never seen temper from him; just disappointment.
In the long Ann Druyan interview I quoted from a couple months back, she talks about Carl Sagan’s power of persuasion, convincing a creationist he was wrong:
“It was only because Carl was so patient and so willing to hear the other person out. He did it with such kindness and then, very gently but without compromising, laid out all of the things that were wrong with what this guy thought was true.”
That is Doc. So it seems appropriate to end this with another Sagan-related quote: “In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, it is my joy to share a planet and an epoch”…with Doc.