Forced to Choose
R. IGOR GAMOW
University of Colorado chemical engineering professor, mountain
climber, inventor of the life-saving altitude-sickness device the
Gamow Bag and son of Big Bang theorist George Gamow
Father dedicated his most popular book, One, Two, Three . . .
Infinity, to "his son Igor who wants to be a cowboy."
In later editions he changed "wants" to
"wanted," but perhaps that was only wishful thinking on
his part? Well this "want" came straight from the books of
Will James. His best known work, Smokey, was about a horse.
For almost 20 years I have had at home a snow white Arabian
stallion, Pegasus, who is and will always be a reincarnation of
Smokey! So you have it. In later years I read Nikos Kazantzakis, and
although his Zorba the Greek inspired me, his major work,
The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, sent me down some new and
magical pathways. Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics introduced
me to Benjamin Hoff's Tao of Pooh, which always accompanies
me on my many trips to the Himalayas. The last book I read, again in
Nepal, was Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, published in
1932. How did he know? I also need to add: I am a great fan of
Freeman Dyson, and I use his Imagined Worlds as a text both
for my students and myself.