Today is a red-letter day in my life. Earlier this afternoon, I was thumbing for a ride just outside of Wilson, Wyoming when this SUV pulled over onto the shoulder. The lady’s name was Ellen Lederman and we had a great talk all the way over Teton Pass to Victor, Idaho.
Ellen told me that her husband was a Nobel Prize winner in physics. I told her that I had never met a Nobel Prize winner before and that I had never met the wife of a Nobel Prize winner before. She said that her husband was Leon Lederman and that he won the Nobel Prize in 1988. She said that Leon also wrote five books. One of the books was entitled The God Particle; I told her that I had heard of this book.
We then started talking about John Nash and the film A Beautiful Mind. I told her that I thought it was a very good film. I had also read twenty pages of the book A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. Ellen mentioned that she and her husband once had dinner with John Nash.
I told Ellen that I had an English professor at Iowa State University who later won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1992 (Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres). Ellen said that she thought Iowa State was a very good school and that the state of Iowa was very beautiful: rolling prairie and clean and tidy farms that dotted the country side.
Ellen drove me to Victor and dropped me off at the laundromat so that I could wash a load of clothes. After the laundromat, I went to the library and read a couple of important emails that I had received from a publishing company in Maryland. These emails were about a manuscript (Writings from the Road) that I had been working on since the summer.
“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
–Werner Heisenberg (Father of Quantum Physics; awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1932)