My beginning as a legally recognized individual occurred on June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia, in the Bluefield Sanitarium, a hospital that no longer exists. Of course I cant consciously remember anything from the first two or three years of my life after birth. (And, also, one suspects, psychologically, that the earliest memories have become “memories of memories” and are comparable to traditional folk tales passed on by tellers and listeners from generation to generation.) But facts are available when direct memory fails for many circumstances.

My father, for whom I was named, was an electrical engineer and had come to Bluefield to work for the electrical utility company there which was and is the Appalachian Electric Power Company. He was a veteran of WW1 and had served in France as a lieutenant in the supply services and consequently had not been in actual front lines combat in the war. He was originally from Texas and had obtained his B. S. degree in electrical engineering from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (Texas A. and M.).

My mother, originally Margaret Virginia Martin, but called Virginia, was herself also born in Bluefield. She had studied at West Virginia University and was a

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