Friday, July 23, 2010

Dean Paul Dean Tate

Paul Tate was a friend of mine from a very young age; a cocky, self-assured, talented kid who was smart enough to do anything he wanted to do. In fact, he was our top ranking scholar when the high school days were over and went on to a life in academia. Paul could just as easily have become a well regarded scientist, a mathematician, or engineer, or doctor, or almost anything he wanted to be--so he became a Philosopher and later a Philosopher Dean.

As a kid he had a sizable paper route that made him enough money to be one of the first car owners in our class--a nice looking green & white 1955 Pontiac. I don't recall storming around the neighborhoods in his car like we did in Coop's old Chevy which likely means that he got it after we had outgrown that phase or that he was just smart enough to avoid being trapped into that kind of service.

Paul had some ambition of being a football player but opted for playing in the band instead. The picture at right shows him and a friend, Larry Guthrie, another future PhD, as 8th grade Meadowbrook Buffaloes.

Competing with him in the academic arena was a real challenge. While he could be beat, he rarely stumbled and gave you an easy victory. If you were competitive with him, he kept you on your toes and that was a useful service for a youngster to provide another. Paul was even known to play some mind games with the competition.

So, even if he never developed into a rock 'em, sock 'em athlete, he was a good trumpet player, and a formidable academic competitor. And I think he is still a functioning philosopher.


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