- The Light Side of Science
Our first ASI was to occur at a conference facility outside the small town of Urbino. Some events at this ASI have already been detailed, but there were more. Attendees were supposed to arrive at the train station in Pesaro, a small town on the Adriatic coast
and some 20-30 miles from Urbino. Buses were provided to carry the attendees to the conference site on Sunday, the designated arrival day. But one attendee felt the need to arrive a day late, without telling anyone about his plans. This was a young professor from one of the Texas schools, whom I will call Dr. S. On Monday, we received a phone call that he was in the train station in Pesaro and wanted to know when we would pick him up. Well, we didn’t plan to, but finally arranged for a car to bring him from the train station. In an earlier time, Dr. S had acquired a nickname as the “little boy.” This had occurred at a major international conference in Rome. The conference excursion had gone to the ruins at Ostia Antica. The organizers had carefully arranged that no one would be left there, and so people were asked to carefully remember on which bus they had arrived. Dr. S had come on our bus with a great many of our shared colleagues. When it came time to return to Rome, our bus could not leave, as we were short one person. When the driver asked if anyone knew who was missing, one person said that they thought it was a little
boy who had been on the bus. So, the driver went and searched, finding nothing. Presently, someone got off another bus, which apparently also had not left as it had too many people. Here came Dr. S, in his shorts over to our bus. As he climbed aboard, the driver remarked “Here is the little boy.” This name has stuck with him ever since.