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VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1  50 YEAR CLUB NEWSLETTER                                   PAGE 6

Tribute to Father Henry J. Miller, SJ                          I was put in charge (Master) of the MN FALCON map-
By Daniel McCloskey ‘65                                        ping sand offshore sand deposits on the New England
Father Miller taught physics, my major, at Wheeling Col-       coast. The FALCON went aground off Chatham, Mass
lege in addition to skiing. Father helped me obtain a sum-     and broke up in a nor'easter. I was transferred to the
mer job at Alpine Geophysical Associates, Inc.                 Ocean Cable Protection Group at Bell Labs, where I
                                                               met my wife. Sometime in this period, I lost touch
                                                               with Hank.

In the summer of 1964, Bernie Brunner (Class of ‘64,           Several years ago, I had some time in NYC. I went
Wheeling College) and I went to work for Alpine Geo-           over to Alpine and discussed Hank. They knew about
physical in northern New Jersey doing site and founda-         him, but didn't know his whereabouts.
tion surveys. The Port Authority of New York and New           Several months ago, I lost some friends to cancer. I
Jersey was looking at sites for a fourth airport in northern   started thinking about death. Hank came to mind. If he
New Jersey. Sites included an area by Greenwood Lake,          hadn't got me that summer job in 1964, I would proba-
the current location of the Meadowlands and a third site       bly still be in Vietnam!!!
around Dover. Father Miller was the geophysicist and
field supervisor.

The foundation work was seismic refraction. (I believe         I know another ex-Jesuit, who alluded that ex-Jesuits
Father Miller received his degree(s) in geophysics from        tend to keep in contact with current Jesuits. With that in
Boston College). Bernie and I would lay out lines of geo-      mind, I contacted Father Jim O'Brien, SJ to see what he
phones. A blaster would detonate a stick of dynamite at a      knew about Hank. A contact of Father O'Brien's
depth Fr. Miller specified. Fr. Miller would analyze the       thought Hank had passed on.
data and adjust the surveys. Over the course of the sum-       Another aside: After the alumni mass on Saturday, I
mer, Bernie and I learned a lot of geophysics (reflection      introduced myself to Father Haig telling him he taught
and refraction) and geology.                                   me physics. He asked if I did anything with it. I re-
An aside: During site changes, Bernie and I worked on the      sponded that I had been an oceanographer, geophysicist
MN FALCON, a trawler converted to a research vessel.           and an engineer.
Alpine was mapping offshore sand deposits (seismic re-
flection} for the Army Corps of Engineers. During one of
these changes, I saw the center span of the Verrazano-
Narrows Bridge raisedintoposition.

When I returned to Wheeling in the fall of 1964, I asked                        have
about Fr. Miller. I was told he knew he wasn't coming
back. Nearing graduation, instead of writing a resume, I       2ND ARCHIVE
calledAlpine and started there shortly after graduation.
Hank was there. We talked and later skied together.

I started in a project mapping acoustic provinces in the       Book
North Atlantic which involved oceanography and geo-
physics. I spent time at sea gathering data and in the office
reducing data. During one of my turns in the office, Al-
pine was contracted to do the foundation survey for the
World Trade Center (destroyed on 9/11) in Manhattan.
Hank, I and the blaster from New Jersey and probably
others, worked at night.

                                                                            Di

Sometime during 1966, I passed my draft physical. Al-
pine petitioned the Navy to give me a deferment. Three
days before I was to report for induction, with my parents
in Jersey to take my car home, the telex machine at Al-        Send information toDonMercer at donaldmercer2@yahoo.com
pine confirmed my deferment. I have never been in the          andinclude book name, pictureoffrontcover, year published, year
service thanks to the deferment.                               graduatedand your degree.
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