history

Remembering my brother, Doug Norris

... browsing through some several thousands of photos that are clogging my computer ...

from Don Norris



Just looking at this photo scares the daylights out of me. The climber pictured here is my brother, Dr. Douglas Norris, then of New Hampshire where he was teaching at UNH.

For some reason, Doug had invited me to go hiking in the White Mountains with him -- he was an avid mountainman. Me, I'm afraid of heights. I can remember climbing Mount Katahdin in Maine with my classmate Brian Simm -- scared to death as I scrambled across the half-mile-long knife edge.

Doug got his come-uppance some years later when he fell off a mountain in Washington State, which made his left arm useless for a couple of years. I don't know if he continued the sport, after healing, but I suspect so, for he was addicted to climbing mountains -- here and in Europe.

I shot this photo atop Mount Lafayette, part of the Franconia Notch mountains, opposite the Old Man Of The Mountain -- and I believe that this very trail is part of the Appalachian trail that runs from Maine to Georgia. I remember, when we reached the summit, Douglas walked up the edge of the precipice, the toes of his boots over the edge of a 2000-foot drop. I was clinging to the largest boulder I could find, scared to death -- not of him falling over the edge, but of ME tumbling down off that mountaintop.

Douglas's main job during his later life was in working for a consortium of electric companies, based in California. He spent several years traveling around the globe, meeting with the geniuses who had received grants for some innovative project -- Douglas interviewed those exceptional people to make sure they were doing the project the company had supported.

I lost track of him after our parents passed. He got a divorce, bought a house in an American enclave in Mexico, then came down with Altzheimers. He lingered in care for some several years, then passed at age 80.

In the meantime, I have had open-heart surgery, still recuperating now at 85. I expect to keep going for five or ten more years, although I note some problems with recent memory. It can't be too bad, for writing this article was a snap.

I remember.


October 7, 2016




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