Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Duly Quoted

Here's a funny (and telling) story about a job interview someone had with Johnny von Neumann (and my post here):

"Von Neumann lived in this elegant lodge house on Westcott Road in Princeton... As I parked my car and walked in, there was this very large Great Dane dog bouncing around on the front lawn. I knocked on the door and von Neumann, who was a small, quiet, modest kind of a man, came to the door and bowed to me and said, 'Bigelow, won't you come in,' and so forth, and this dog brushed between our legs and went into the living room. He proceeded to lie down on the rug in front of everybody, and we had the entire interview---whether I would come, what I knew, what the job was going to be like---and this lasted maybe forty minutes, with the dog wandering all around the house. Towards the end of it, von Neumann asked me if I always traveled with the dog. But of course it wasn't my dog, and it wasn't his either, but von Neumann---being a diplomatic, middle-European type person---he kindly avoided mentioning it until the end."

--Julian Bigelow
quoted in:
Who got Einstein's Office
Ed Regis
p 110

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