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Even leprosy, the dread of the ages, is being wiped out. This is the third time in the past four years that a violent crime involving mental derangement has put. Texas on the world screen. We should have acted after the assassination of President Kennedy. If Texas would lead the way in a crash program to eliminate mental illness, we would not have to go on viewing the death tower with such hopelessness or helplessness. GEORGIA EARNEST KLIPPLE Reflections on Texas and the Marines Alfred Schild is Ashbel Smith Professor of Physics and director of the Center for Relativity Theory at the University of Texas. This year he has been visiting professOr at the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Atomic Physics in Copenhagen. He sent this letter to editors of certain newspapers in Ireland, Israel, England, Russia, and the United States, including the Texas Observer, which once before published a short story of his. August 4, 1966 Dear Sir, Robert Hamilton Boyer, like John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was a good man, decent, quietly courageous, thoughtful, a man of strong convictions and a man of peace. Both were killed in Texas by men crazed by psychological or physiological pressures, by men with guns who were once U.S. Marines. I first knew Bob Boyer in 1949 or 1950. He was a mathematics undergraduate at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, the brightest man in the second year algebra class taught by Felix Pirani \(who was, at that have had Bob in one of my own classesI don’t remember. Bob graduated at the top of his class and won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. In September of 1956 I was in Europe. I had just started working for the Westinghouse Research Laboratories; the trip was at their expense, and, since I was lecturing in London and at Harwell, I was told to visit Bob in Oxford and try to get him to come to the Westinghouse labs. The following year Bob got his doctorate in theoretical physics and accepted the Westinghouse offer. I myself had just left for a professorship in the University of Texas, and ever since then I had tried to get Bob to join me there. He almost came in 1960 to work together with me, but I was off on a sabbatical that year and he preferred to go to McGill University first and then to Liverpool Universityhis wife Lindsay is from Liverpool. Bob and I kept in close touch as friends and fellow scientists. In 1964-’65, Bob spent a year with the University of Texas relativity group; he and Lindsay and their two small children lived in Austin, and they liked it there. I arranged for an offer of an associate professorship in mathematics for Bob, but he decided to return to Liverpool and to think it over for a year. Robert Boyer was born a white American Christian, a Protestant I believe, potentially an insider of the U.S. establishment, but an outsider and a free spirit by choice and inclination. When I urged him to join the faculty in Austin, he told me 6 The Texas Observer that he hesitated, that he was not sure he wished to return to the states, partly because of his English wife, but also because Americans were not gentle enough for him. His own people were too competitive, too aggressive, too easily swayed towards war and killing, he said, like the people of other powerful nations, the Russians and Chinese of today, the imperialist Britons or Japanese of yesterday, and like most Germans, past and present. Since last September I have been visiting professor in NORDITA*, a part of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. In the middle of October I visited Bob as a guest of Liverpool University. Towards the end of March, Bob and Lindsay spent a week here at the invitation of Professor Chris Boyer and Schild tian Moller, director of this institute. Bob, together with a graduate student in Liverpool, and Tapavi Elias Perko, a young NORDITA Research Fellow from Helsinki, and I, had been working on the same problem, the search for a rigorous solution of Einstein’s equations which would give the complete gravitational field of a rotating body like the sun or a galaxy. Bob and Perko and I talked about it every day that week, and one long afternoon Christian Moller came to my office and joined the discussion. Bob and I decided to join forces and, with his student and Perko, to work together by mail, telephone, and, whenever possible, in direct personal contact. All this time I kept urging Bob to come permanently to Austin. In his last letter to me, dated June 16, he said, “I write shortly before leaving for the States [to visit his family in Johnston, Pa.] and thence to Mexico [to work with Jerzy Plebanski of Warsaw University and the Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados of the National Institute of Technology in Mexico City]. I shall probably be passing in Austin the first week of August.” I re *Nordisk Instit for Teoretisk Atomfysik. plied a week later, mostly shop talk, but also, “It is too bad that the Senior Lecturership at Liverpool did not work out. My advice would be to get in touch with Bill Guy, [Chairman, Department of Mathematics, the University of Texas], and not to worry about being in the Math. Departmentyou would essentially be part of the relativity group.” Bob did go to Austin, and there he died. I feel guilty and responsible for this senseless death. I tell myself that this is silly, but a human being cannot always control his emotions and his thoughts, he cannot help the darkness which spreads over his heart and the heavy black ball which weighs down his stomach. Until this morning I was hoping, and hoping hard, that the man who was killed was another Boyer, no doubt as good a man as Bob, but a man I knew only casuallybad thoughts which I could not escape. I might have mourned for Paul Sonntag, but I did not know him and it was easy to forget his deathmy daughter Kitty cried for him because Paul had been in Austin High School with her, and perhaps President Johnson because Paul’s grandfather is his friend. I TELL MYSELF that Bob might have been killed anywhere diseased brain cells can burst into wild growth and press on thoughts in Copenhagen as well as in Austin or Dallas, nerves can snap here as well as there. But then I ask myself if this is really the full truth, and I have now decided that it is not, that it was not a random chance, the roll of a fair pair of dice, that Kennedy and Boyer were shot in Texas rather than in Denmark, that both Oswald and Whitman had been trained in the United States Marines. Danes are more civilized than Texans, and civilization has many facets. It is the difference in background which makes it difficult for the modern Dane to drop his of formality and, even when he tries hard, it is difficult for him to show the easy, open friendliness and warmth of the Texan or, for that matter, of the Viking of another age. But a Dane would also find it difficult to get a gun and almost impossible to get a fast-loading or automatic murder weapon. During his compulsory military service, his officers would not be very militaristic and would not show much patriotismthe great mortal sin of our nuclear ageand none of his sergeants would be sadists. A civilized Dane, when the pressure on the soul or the body becomes too great to bear, perhaps at the time of year when the sun is low and the nights are long, may climb a buildingbut then he may also have the decency to