Dick Taylor Story
Together with my friends from Bonn, Ariane Frey and Jochen (Joe) Schwiening, I spent two years at SLAC sponsored by the Feodor Lynen fellowships of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Professor Dick Taylor was our official host. We only knew of him and of his work from the text books. So, as a young student I was very surprised to receive the letter of invitation from this famous physicist!
At the time, I was a bit concerned to leave my home and friends. Flights were expensive and I was quite sure that I would be away for two long years. We arrived in October 1996, and found out that someone had arranged an apartment on campus for us. Dick Taylor was away, but to my big surprise he had left an invitation to visit him on the following Saturday at his home, together with Ariane and Joe. I remember that initially I was quite nervous, but within minutes of meeting him at his home everything changed.
He was so easy-going and I felt welcome. California turned from a foreign place to a new home. We spent the whole day at his pool, and talked about this and that. It was like meeting an old friend, although he had never met us before. I remember that I was no longer concerned about the prospect of spending two years at SLAC, on the contrary, I was excited about the time ahead.
Everybody at SLAC was helpful and was trying to make us feel welcome. But it is the day at Dick's pool that I remember most. It certainly made a big difference for me. I kept meeting Dick from time to time at SLAC, and in the years after I had returned to Germany. He had become my friend and mentor.
I'm very sorry to learn that he passed away.