As I prepare to hand the leadership of
the Division of Professional Affairs off to president-elect Tom
Mairs I am happy to report much has been accomplished and great
things lie ahead for the DPA.
All this started with an election. I ran against
a man I knew only by name, but during my term I became acquainted
with him personally. He is a gentleman, a scholar, a good golfer
and a great geologist and teacher. Bob Lindblom, thank you for your
support, your service to the division and the friendship we have
enjoyed this year.
In September, just after our national tragedy, I
prepared to board a plane in Dallas for the Eastern Section meeting
in Kalamazoo, Mich. The man in front of me was an Arab. His name
was Dr. M. Abdullah "something or another."
You cannot imagine what you think at a time like
this. I knew I had to go to the meeting to represent the division,
but was it really worth risking my life?
I boarded the plane and gulped when he sat down in
the seat beside me. During what turned out to be a nice flight to
Kalamazoo, I learned this man was the director of the food service
for the United Nations. The moral of this story is things are not
always the way you think they might be.
In Kalamazoo, there were approximately 150 in attendance
at the meeting. I suspect 149 of them drove to Kalamazoo to attend
the meeting due to our September 11 tragedy!
At the Shreveport meeting, I was afforded the opportunity
to introduce the DPA luncheon speaker. The unique thing about that
opportunity was the fact that I was introducing past AAPG president
William L. Fisher, and he had taught me geology as a student at
the University of Texas at Austin almost 30 years ago.
Bill's talk, as always, was excellent, and I was
honored to introduce a man who had taught me so much.
In May, I attended the Pacific Section meeting in
As I departed from Mt. Pleasant my wife, Deborah,
and I stopped at "Java Jones," a small Texas town's answer to Starbucks.
As our coffee was prepared we talked with Roger Jones, one of the
"Java Jones" owners, and I told him we were headed to Anchorage
for a professional meeting. He mentioned that his brother-in-law
was in Anchorage.
When I told Roger that the next day I was headed
to the North Slope to tour the oil fields, he told me his brother-in-law
flew an airplane for Mobil. I did not remember Mobil being active
in the North Slope and I never gave it another thought. We said
goodbye and headed to Dallas to catch our flight to Anchorage.
The next morning I woke up anxious to see the North
Slope. We arrived at the airport and after a thorough security check,
I received my boarding pass on the BP-Phillips flight to Kuparuk.
After I was seated in the aircraft, the stewardess
came to my seat and asked, "Are you Royce Carr? Captain Ron Kukis
would like to speak with you."
Kukis came to my seat, introduced himself and explained he was Roger
Jones' brother-in-law. We talked a moment and he headed back to
the cockpit. During the flight, the stewardess came back to my seat
and said, "things happen for a reason." I replied, "I believe that
also." She then told me that with the September 11 incident that
security was tremendously increased, but Captain Kukis had asked
me to come to the cockpit and sit in the navigator's seat to watch
the approach and landing at the North Slope.
It was the thrill of a lifetime, yet another new
friendship and an experience I will never forget. Who would have
ever believed that the two of us would have met and become friends
through "Java Jones" in Mt. Pleasant, Texas?
It has been a great year for DPA, and "things do happen
for a reason."
I want to thank all of you who have worked so hard
for DPA. You are the reason DPA is what it is today. Together we
have accomplished a lot:
- The Division is financially sound and membership is stable.
- All of our committees and boards continue to function efficiently.
- The online DPA directory is completed, up and running.
- Be sure to look at the "Correlator" next month. It is totally
redesigned, and I am excited about the new look and approach Dave
Abbott, our new editor, is taking.
In closing, the AAPG, though large, is truly a small
fraternity, and I have enjoyed representing the division this year
as your leader.
As I enter my last month as your president, I leave
you with the statement I began with: "Thank you for providing me
the opportunity to serve and to give back to a career that has been
so rewarding to me."
It has been a worthwhile experience that I will never