Dick Taylor Story
My first encounter with Richard Taylor was on a recruitment visit to SLAC in 1963. Richard was leading the effort to build the Beam Switchyard station at the end of the
accelerator. He seemed agitated while describing the problems, and when I made a suggestion he barked loudly "I DON'T NEED ANY HELP FROM OUTSIDERS!", at which
turned meek and we continued with a pleasant discussion. This set the tone for me that Richard was boisterous, but as time went on I found him to be a good friend, full of
information, and loud at times.
When end station A was being built, a small group was set up to purchase a computer for the acquisition of data there. Richard headed the group; I was part of the foursome as was Gene Rickansrud, Director of the Business office at the time. We chose the SDS 9300 computer and peripherals from Scientific Data Systems. When the system was delivered, the SDS salesman proudly invited us all to come see it. While we all were impressed, Richard immediately opened up the card reader to look inside and saw a small amount of rust on the inner frame. He exploded saying "THIS IS USED EQUIPMENT. SEND THIS BACK AND GIVE ME A NEW ONE!" The salesman complied with humble apologies.
In the early days I attended some group meetings in Pief's office for computer related topics. Quite often a subject would come up that Richard had strong opinions on and he would blast the group with his viewpoint. When done Pief would simply and quietly thank Richard for his contribution and move on. Richard had his say and seemed satisfied.
As a fellow Canadian, I will miss the talks we had about our common origins in Alberta.