In Memory Of Paul J. Pearson

“… we don’t have boundaries here.  Prospect is simply a concentration, and, if you go away, it dissipates.”  Paul J. Pearson

On September 21, 2012, the town of Prospect lost one of its most prominent citizens and supporters, Paul J. Pearson.  He was born in 1921 and lived most of his life in Prospect until his recent death at the age of 90.

My last post dealt with Pearsoney Falls and he was one of the discoverers.  He retained a lifelong affection for Mill Creek and the nearby Rogue River.  In fact, when I was Director of Medford Education International, he gave a lecture on the Rogue River and its habitat.

I first met Paul in 1987 when I started interviewing people for my Prospect book.  My friend Evelyn Ditsworth Walls had supplied me with a list of names of people, who she thought would be excellent sources of information for my history.  Paul’s name was the first on the list.  When I drove to his home on Mill Creek Drive, I was accompanied by my friend, Hollywood architect, Michael J. Evans.  When we entered Paul’s driveway, I took out my camera and tape recorder and then I heard a yell:   “You can just put that camera right back in the car.  I don’t allow pictures.”  And there are no pictures of Paul in my Prospect book.  Despite an inauspicious beginning, we had a pleasant conversation about Prospect’s history and its inhabitants.  However, his keen, analytical mind displayed itself from the start.

RW:  But your main interest is engineering?

PP:  Well, you have to categorize that.  If you’re asking in terms of what is my approach to the physical world around me, engineering is a very important part of it.  But if you ask what’s my sense of social values, well, engineering has no place at all.  So, that’s why I say the question has to be categorized to be answerable.”

Wittgenstein would have been pleased.  Paul always chose his words carefully, taking time to present his ideas.  When I turned off the tape recorder, Paul felt more relaxed.  We spoke about our mutual respect for the Rogue River, and the fact that we we both opposed the Lost Creek Dam, which flooded the Laurelhurst area.  We also shared an interest in classical music, and a thirst for knowledge.

I liked Paul and respected him.  He was a main contributor to the growth of Prospect and will be missed.

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

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