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Archives, History & Records Office

Hours: By appointment Monday-Friday during regular work hours.


Archives E-mail: slacarc[@]
RM E-mail: recordsmgt[@]
Phone: (650)926-3091
Post: SLAC Archives and History Office, M/S 82, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Office Location: Bldg.50, Rm.122

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A story from John R. Ashton

Pief was a gentleman and a scholar and I've said before, an egalitarian who treated people as equals. My first meeting with Pief was in his office in the 70's. Dick Neal, Ken Crook and others were there to talk about problems with LEEP (Laboratory Electronic Equipment Pool) relating to funding, etc. I was very much impressed with how Pief did other "chores" and kept up with the discussion. Funds were made available to buy some new electronic equipment. Tales to tell: Tony Benedetti (deceased) was working in the Klystron Test Lab. He told about a day back in the 60's when he was working on top of a modulator and dropped a tool. A man happened to be walking by. Tony said, "Hey, shorty can you pick up that wrench?" The man stooped over and pitched the tool up to Tony. Of course, the man was Director Panofsky. I have written examples of how Pief treated employees.

  1. A memo written March 2, 1982


    I want to thank you for your bar tending efforts at the Buck Estate last Friday night. Since official relations between the Soviet Union and the United States are very tense, we wanted to demonstrate that the human relations among people interested in science are just as good as they always were. You helped to make this possible.

    With many thanks, Pief

  2. Memo written December 8, 1983

    John Ashton,

    The US-PRC talks held at the Buck Estate in November were very successful. It is the nature of these international meetings to require a coordinated effort by SLAC staff members. I would like to extend my thanks for your contribution. I appreciate your assistance in serving the liberations, which were such a pleasant aspect of this event. In addition, your efforts toward the special radio link needed to assure prompt and reliable communication between SLAC and the Buck Estate are greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much, Pief

The night before the SLAC 40 year celebration my wife and I were invited to dinner in Pief and Adele's home. This was yet another example of Pief's sense of equality. Yes, there were very important people there, such as Nobel Laureate Dick Taylor, Dr. Roger Miller, Dr. Paul Tsai to name a few. There were also other members of the workforce such as Marvin Jones, Rich Torres, and myself. There is no doubt in the hearts and minds of many people Wolfgang Panofsky was a great man.

- John R. Ashton

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Last Updated: 03/29/2022