was never awarded the Nobel prize, nor have I been elected to
the National Academy of Science," writes retired geologist
Meyer Rubin, SB'47, SM'49, PhD'56, whose hobby is best described
in his own words. "But I do have what I believe is a world-class
collection of bobbers.
know, those red and white floats fishermen use on their lines
to show when the fish bites? Hundreds of them, thousands, all
used, none purchased. How did I get them? Hard, dangerous work,
sweating over a kayak paddle. Forty-five years of white-water
kayaking on rivers, taking me into the hiding places of Fishing
bobberensis. Downstream of rapids, in the eddies, they collect
in small groups, snapped or escaped off the lines of fishermen.
I thought they were the burial sites of bobbers, like elephants
going to secret places to die. But then I noticed that the bobbers
grow bigger as the season progresses. So I now wait 'til they
are legal size before gathering them. Some were collected while
still tentatively attached to the fishermen. Why they showed anger
with me as I raced off I can't imagine.
have strings of them across my basement, boxes of them, plastic
jugs full of them. Once I decorated our Christmas tree with them,
but my wife didn't see the beauty and religiosity in it.
thought that when I retired, I would take a handful of them daily
to pay for my lunch. They are worth at least 35 cents each. But
now I just give bags of them to any repairmen who come to the
house and profess to be fishermen. You know, time to give back?
trips to Europe I sometimes interrupt my geologic studies to collect
foreign varieties, so I can truly claim I have an international
MacArthur Foundation has never given me their genius award to
continue my collecting, but they never gave Einstein a penny either.
I maintain my amateur standing, I have my principles, and I have
my unique collection."