Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Passing of a Friend, Ed Criley

     I recently learned that I have lost probably my oldest friend, Ed Criley. Ed and I attended Kent State University in Kent Ohio together from 1948 through graduation in 1951.  We both received degrees in geology, specializing in hard rock geology.  Ed continued on and became a leading geologist in the United States Geological Survey specializing in volcanology. I went to the University of Utah and specialized in Mining Geology with an emphasis in mining.
      The summer between our Junior and Senior years at Kent State we participated, along with seven other geology students,  in a required class mapping geology on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. The course was taught by our leading professor at Kent, Carleton Savage, a Maine native.  To say we enjoyed ourselves would be the understatement of the year---we enjoyed every second of it.

      Without a doubt the highlight of the fun part of the summer was a nasty hurricane that slammed into the Maine coast. The winds blew everything that wasn't tied down ashore or out to sea. Many of those "things" were Lobster Pots. The shore line was mostly irregular and smoothed granitic rock outcrop. After the storm all along that rocky shore were storm-tossed lobster pots. And in most of those tossed-up pots were wiggly, big-clawed lobsters and still alive---feast makers if there ever was such a thing. And, according to Professor Savage, they would be considered salvage---anyone could harvest them. And boy we did.

      The motel we stayed in had a special lobster holding well which we filled to the brim with reaching, clawing lobsters. The pots we  gave back to the lobster men who were happy to just retrieve their pots. We then proceeded to have a lobster boil to end all lobster boils and gorged ourselves on those delicious but rich, rich, super-rich wonders of seafood.  And, everyone of us got sick, sick and sicker. But, you guessed it, a happy sick. Not once, not twice, but three times, and still had lobsters left over. Ed and I reminisced about that lobster feast as often as we contacted each other. He will be missed not only by me but everyone who knew him. I've lost a wonderful friend.

      Most geologists have a hard time with the concept of God and life after death. But, if there is such a being as God and a place such as Heaven,  I know he took Ed home. And if I luck out and make it, I'll look forward to reminiscing again with Ed. My Friend.


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