Josh and I haven't spoken in ages, so my memory begins to fade. I can't remember whether I liked him most for his sense of humor or his considerateness.
Josh started at Duke in the summer, so he was in town before I moved to Seattle in mid-July. We both had so little time that I combined my good-bye with him to a last visit to Duke Gardens, where he consented to pose with my favorite tree. (See how considerate he is?)
Having given testimony to his chivalry, I feel compelled to offer an anecdote about his sense of humor. His diversity statement discussed being a nice Jewish boy from the northeast at UVA, with a comical story about his housemates' response the first time he put raisins in his grits. I thought it was far more comical watching him and his friend Jay (whom I helped with medical school apps), both of whom were on UVA's rowing team, fold themselves into my Geo Storm when we went to dinner. But I don't have a picture to share -- I was doing the driving. Fortunately, the restaurant wasn't far.
What do you mean, you don't believe I have a favorite tree? Doesn't everyone have a favorite tree? Look! (I've been waiting for a chance to use this photo.) Isn't that a magnificent tree? An awesome tree? An incredible tree?
Hey, I'm not the only one to love this tree:
"Cambridge University Botanic Garden’s Dawn Redwood is judged to be one of ‘Fifty Great British Trees’ in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Thought to have been extinct for over 5 million years, this ‘living fossil’ at the Garden was the first Dawn Redwood to be planted in Britain after its chance discovery in a remote Chinese village in 1941.
Now commonly known as the Dawn Redwood, the first Metasequoia glyptostroboides to grow in Great Britain since the dinosaurs dominated the flora in the Mesozoic era, was planted in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in 1949."
"Duke's is one of the original trees grown from seed collected from the rediscovered specimen." says a press release.
2006 Update: Josh is working in New York; he stole a rare hour from work to have dinner in Chinatown with my clients last year after the Forum.
2011: a wife and daughter have been added, but Josh prefers that they make their public debut elsewhere. Congratulations, Josh, and thanks for everything.
2015: Duke has trimmed the roots of the tree and destroyed its natural beauty, but I believe it was for medical purposes.
2017 Update: Josh and family are still in San Francisco, where he has built a very impressive career.