The morning was to begin with a bit of mirth. For some reason, I don’t remember why, Dr. Porter asked me to drive. My vehicle at this time was a decrepit old 1939 Plymouth that had survived WWII and several years of use by my older brother. It had many problems. To start the car, I kept a forked stick in the back seat which I used to extend through what was now a hole in the firewall and engaged the switch on the side of the starter motor. Dr. Porter observed this performance with amazement and started to laugh. Any Jay veterans who have ever been in one of Dr. Porter’s classes will know what I mean when I say the laugh was voluminous! I thought the car windows might shatter!
It was a good start for what was to become a very interesting and memorable day dedicated to matters dealing with field biology. He spent the whole day with me in some verdant area south of Washington with which he was quite familiar. I recall sitting beside him on a log while he held a live newt in his hand and expounded on such topics as animal adaptation and speciation. It was a day that I will never forget and probably the only time I ever saw Dr. Porter in field clothes and sporting a rather informal nature.