I was born in South Chicago on 21 September 1931 and, as a child, regarded Mr. Capone as an unalloyed blessing to the community. I divided my childhood between South Chicago and northern Saskatchewan in Canada, suffering culture shock every time my center of activities was shifted. I attended Sterling Township High School in Sterling, a farming/manufacturing center in northern Illinois, where I was second-string right tackle on the Golden Warriors. I make a point of this because I believe that every one of the 11,400 residents of Sterling, including the entire instructional staff of the high school, believed that the school system existed primarily for the purpose of justifying the existence of the football team. It was before the days of free substitution, and the first-string right tackle, "Iron Man" Glenn, was held in high esteem for having played the full sixty minutes of every game of his (and my) varsity career. I nevertheless succeeded in having my nose broken several times (it was also an era before faceguards) and my front teeth knocked out, and what more can a kid hope for from a sport well-known for building character?
I graduated High school in 1948, the year that Paul Richards took over as manager of the White Sox and Frank Lane traded Cass Michaels for Nelson Fox, and, for some reason that they would never reveal, the University of Chicago offered me a scholarship. I ended up attending college back in South Chicago, six blocks from John Fiske Elementary School, where I had started this going to school business back in 1936, the same year that the Nationalist forces of Francisco Franco rebelled against the government of the Spanish Republic and Luke Appling won the AL batting crown with a .388 average. I graduated with a BA in 1950, two weeks after North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel and the Korean War began, and began graduate work in Ancient History.
I was working on my Master's thesis when I received a letter telling me that the forces of Godless Atheistic Communism were beating at Democracy's Door and that the President (Truman, to be precise) and my fellow citizens needed my help desperately. It was an offer that I could not refuse, so, from 1952 to 1954, I helped beat back the Communist menace as the Master Gunner of an antiaircraft artillery battalion, and had my nose broken a couple of more times as a member of a hand-to-hand combat team. That was more than forty years ago, of course, and I was a trifle more active at the age of twenty than I am at present. I was discharged from active service with the respectable rank of sergeant, so please don't call me "sir."
I decided that it would be a good thing to learn a profession, since all I knew was how to make steel, truck-driving, warehousing, and going to school. So I spent the next couple of years, 1954-1956, apprenticed to an old and experienced land surveyor and civil engineer working out of Amarillo, Texas. That was during the great drought of the 1950's, which I don't suppose that any of you know much about, but, if I start telling dust-storm stories, you'll know where I'm coming from. When I got my professional licenses, I returned to school at the University of Texas at Austin with the aid of the GI Bill and an assistantship teaching judo in the Physical Education Department.
In 1962, I married a young lady named Carolyn, who had captivated me when we were both taking a seminar in Homer's Iliad. I finished my doctoral dissertation, The Normans in South Wales, in 1963 and joined the faculty at University of Kansas in the same year. Though, I used to ask myself if, given the choice, I would prefer to live inthe mountains or on the sea-coast, I never seemed to have found the time to move away from Lawrence or KU. In 1967, our son and only child was born. Just before his senior year of high school, my son had reached the height of 6' 8" and was led to believe that he might be the starting center for the Lawrence High School basketball team. Then a transfer student named Danny Manning arrived. I told my son about Iron Man Glenn, and we agreed that Life Can Be Pretty Tacky.
At one time or another, I've lived in Chicago, Amarillo, fourteen miles north of Loon Lake, Austin TX, El Paso, San Francisco, New York, Dublin, Paris, and London. My favorite place, though, -- when I can spend time there -- is the village of Valldoreix, in the mountains above Barcelona. Of course, I also like the Plaça del Pí, which is sort of "my" neighborhood in Barcelona. I can more or less read several languages, but I'm still working on achieving some fluency in spoken English.
Somehow or another, I got involved in computer telecommunications back in 1988 and devote a good deal of my "spare" time to encouraging the development of on- line resources. I have collected over a hundred co-workers known as The Heritage Group. You can look at some of the thing that we're doing by looking there. I like to write when I have the time to do so, and generally reminisce about my childhood and youth. I'm old enough for that sort of thing to be more or less expected of me. Some people seem to like to read what I write and have put a few of these stories on-line. So, if you would like to know more about me for any reason, you can look around in The Electronic Kansas Collection.
Let's see. What else might you like to know about me... I had a pulmonary yeast infection back in 1990 and get to have a blue handicapped parking tag. I will be retiring at the end of this school year, so this is my last semester of teaching.
I've written several scholarly books and articles (they make us do that, you know). If you like that sort of thing, here's a list of some of the things I've published. I'm currently working on the history of three families from a neighborhood in the city of Huesca, Spain, during the twelfth century.
I guess that's everything important about me. No, wait! I despise rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, and carrots.
The Normans in South Wales, 1070-1171 (Austin and London, University of Texas Press, 1966).
Ed.,The Human Perspective: Readings in World Civilizations (2 vols.: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1986).
Ed., A Global Perspective: Source Readings from World Civilizations (2 vols.: San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989).
Co-Ed., Classics of Eastern Thought (San Diego CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990).
The Chronicle of San Juan de la Pena. A Fourteenth-Century Official History of the Crown of Aragon. Introduction, Translation and Notes. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991).
Co-Author, Essays on World History: A Teachers' Supplement to A Global Perspective. (Ft. Worth TX: Harcourt Brace Publishers for the Southeastern Association of Teachers of English, 1992).
Co-author, The Western Frontiers of Imperial Rome, A.D. 69-284 (Armonk NY: W.E. Sharpe, 1993).
Herman of Tournai, Restoration of the Monastery of St. Martin's of Tournai (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1996).
Ed., The Human Perspective: Readings in World Civilization. (2nd edition, revised and expanded: 2 vols.; Ft. Worth TX: Harcourt Brace, 1996).
1.(with C. A. S. Nelson) "A Lost Fragment of the Defensio Juris Domus Lancastriae," Speculum 40 (1965): 290-293.
2. "The Butlletí de Centre Excursionista de Catalunya," Library News and Notes, Watson Library, University of Kansas
3. Ed. and Introduction to A Teacher's Resource Unit in World History (Lawrence, Kansas: Extramural and Independent Study Center, University of Kansas, 1969)
4. "Rotrou of Perche and the Aragonese Reconquest," Traditio 26 (1970): 113-123.
5. Introduction to The Embassy to Constantinople of Liutprand of Cremona (Lawrence, Kansas; Coronado Press, 1972).
6."Land Use in Early Aragon: The Organization of a Medieval Society," Societas (1973): 115-127.
7. "The Aragonese Pardina: Its Etymology, and Functions," Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts (University of Garyounis) 7 (1975): 31-51.
8.(with C. A. S. Nelson) "Orosius' Commentary on the Fall of Roman Spain," Classical Folia (1977): 85-104.
9."The Foundation of Jaca (1076): Urban Growth in Early Aragon," Speculum 53 (1978): 688-708.
10."Christian-Muslim Relations in Eleventh Century Spain," Military Affairs 43 (4) (1979): 195-198.
11.(with C. A. S. Nelson) "Occident 42 of the Notitia Dignitatum: Dating and Structure," Res Publica Litterarum 3 (1980): 115-129.
12."The King and Aye," Kansas Alumni Magazine (June, 1983): 15-17.
13."The Aragonese Acquisition of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza," Estudios en Homenaje a Don Claudio Sanchez Albornoz. Vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, l983): 227-236.
14."Internal Migration in Early Aragon: The Case of Ena and Baón," Traditio 40 (1984): 131-148.
15.(with Arnold Weiss) "An Early Life of Rodrigo Jiménez de Cisneros," Franciscan Studies 42 (1982): 156-165.
16. "Quelques documents de Saint-Sulpice-en-Bugey relatifs a la fondation du monastre de Chassagne-en-Bresse," Citeaux 1986: 82-105.
17. "Horses and Hawks: The Accommodation of Roman and Customary Law in Early Aragon and Navarre," Res Publica Litterarum 11 (1988): 215-219.
18. "The Place-Names of Val Ancha and the Fall of Roman Spain," Locus 2 (1989):
19. "Personal Name Analysis of Small Bases of Data. Some Applications to the History of Medieval Aragon," Historical Methods 24 (1991): 4-15.
20. "King Sancho's Horse and the Principle of Sovereignty In Fourteenth-Century Aragon," Medievalia et Humanistica (new series) 18 (1992): 47-65.
21."How Can a Computer Aid Research?" Manchester University (UK) Faculty of Arts Computer Support Group Newsletter 4 (Spring 1993): 4-5
Now, wasn't that interesting?
from Lawrence KS