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Interview with Frederick M. Hornack, January 9, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Frederick M. Hornack, January 9, 2007
January 9, 2007
Dr. Fred Hornack describes his educational background and academic career at Wilmington College and UNCW. He came to Wilmington College in 1964 to join the Department of Chemistry and retired in 1996. Discussion includes his reasearch and teaching interests in physical chemistry. Among the courses he enjoyed teaching was the "History of Chemistry" required for all chemistry majors. He discusses the people he knew over the years, including William Madison Randall, Will DeLoach, and others.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Hornack, Frederick M. Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 1/9/2007 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 109 minutes


Riggins: Hello, my name is Adina Riggins. I'm behind the camera here on the University archivist. Today is January 9, 2007, already 2007. I'm behind the camera, interviewing a very special guest here as part of our University Archives Oral History program. Please, sir, can you state your name for the tape?

Hornack: I'm Fred Hornack.

Riggins: Thank you. We'll be talking to you about your time here on the faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and your career as a professor in Chemistry. First, though, can you tell me where were you born and where did you grow up?

Hornack: I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent most of my life growing up there, going to elementary school there and also junior high school and high school. And spent quite a bit of time, in the summertime when school was out, we would go down to the New Jersey shore, like Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, and we spent a lot of time there. And I feel as though that's about as much growing up there as it was in the other place. (laughs) But, of course, Philadelphia had some--you know, a lot of friends there in schools and there was a park there in Philadelphia. It was called Wisinnoming Park. We used to go out and play softball. So, I had a pretty nice childhood there. Of course, now it's really overcrowded, I guess. And even the New Jersey shore has got probably a whole lot more houses and people.

Riggins: A very different setting. But, I'm sure it was nice to get away from the city and go to the shore in the summer.

Hornack: Yeah, I don't know why we did that. I think it all started with when one of my aunts and her husband bought a home there. A little place in Seaside Heights, and then we used to go down and visit her there. And the cousins, all different cousins--we came from a family that all crowded into the house. You know, if you owned a house at the beach, okay (laughs), about five families were out there visiting, you know (laughs). And then, my father--we liked the place. And for some reason my people, they didn't come from a place that was on the ocean. I think they came from-- like, in places in Pennsylvania there was no shore there. But for some reason, my family were big swimmers. You know, go to the beach and swim in the surf and all that. Buy boats and push it through the surf. I don't know how that all started. I wish I knew. (laughs)

Riggins: Well, we'll get to your time here later. But, did they come and visit you once you moved down here?

Hornack: Well, not too much. My parents were kind of old and they lived in--they moved to Florida, from the Philadelphia area down to Florida. I really haven't had too many visits from close family members. But we had a lot of visits from friends and people around the country. Oh, my children come by. That's right. The children drive by a lot. And they live in different places.

Riggins: What did you do after high school?

Hornack: Well after high school I went to Massachusetts to college. And that was during the war in--just after World War II in 1946. And it was hard to get into college then. So I was kind of lucky to get into a college. At that time it was called Lowell Textile Institute. Then it became Lowell Technological Institute. Then it became the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. And so, the thing's had about 10 names there through the years, but I like the Lowell Technological Institute. That sounds like it's--you're learning more there. It was hard to find a place in college. I tried to go to Penn State University, and that was full of, you know, veterans coming back, and they had first choice. And they had the GI bill. And so, people like me were just little kids coming out of high school. We didn't have quite the opportunity there. But anyhow, this Lowell place put out a scholarship program to encourage some students to come up there. And so I took a test in chemistry. I think it was something like a--what do you have after high school? Like a-

Riggins: Community college?

Hornack: No, it's tests you take like college entrance aptitude tests or something. And so I did real well on the chemistry, and somehow up in Lowell they gave me this scholarship to go up to Lowell to go to school. And I thought, that's nice.

Riggins: They heard about you through the school?

Hornack: You know, how I heard about it was the actress Helen Hayes announced it on the radio and my mother heard it. Are you familiar with Helen Hayes, one of these old actresses? But anyway, they announced that, that the school was giving out--was trying to get people to come into the textile industry, was really what it was. So we sent off and we got the scholarship. Of course, the scholarship was one thing, but just being able to get into any college, just getting into any place was--because what you were--what I thought was great, yeah. You couldn't get into any place at all.

Riggins: So you took the chemistry aptitude?

Hornack: Yeah, it was chemistry too, which of course I've always liked. At that time I wanted to ride horses and become a forester and go to Penn State University. I think it was State College of Pennsylvania. And I wanted to go there and I wanted to go out and ride horses around forests and--but I also liked chemistry, and luckily (laughs) I got turned onto chemistry because, although I like horses, I think I'd probably get tired of riding horses after a year or two. (laughs)

Riggins: Sure. That's a lot of physical exertion too. So you moved out to Massachusetts?

Hornack: We moved up to Lowell and stayed up there for four years. That was from--I got in there about 1946 and graduated in 1950.

Riggins: And you got your degree in chemistry?

Hornack: Yeah. A degree in chemistry. I did quite well in chemistry there. In fact, I got the highest average in chemistry in my graduating class, which I was surprised because a lot of my friends--I thought--a couple other fellows that I used to do homework with and everything, they seemed like they knew more than I did, so I don't understand how I ended up getting a better average in chemistry. But . . .

Riggins: Maybe they don't test well.

Hornack: (laughs) But anyway, I did well enough so that I was thinking about going to graduate school then. And a lot of graduate schools were looking for people, I don't know--yeah, were looking for people that were interested in chemistry, like Clark University and University of Rhode Island. Schools up around there. They were wanting to interview you, you know. But since my parents had moved to Florida, I thought, gee, I'd like to go to Florida and spend my time at the beaches and swimming while I'm studying, which is kind of a silly thing to think about. But go to graduate school in chemistry and think about, well, I'll be able to go to the beach a lot there. (laughs)

Riggins: I'll have so much free time.

Hornack: So, anyway, I got accepted into Florida State University and got an assistantship down there. They pay a little bit of money so that you can live there and, you know, get along on your own and start doing your work. And then I ended up working in that Department of Chemistry. That was a brand new Department of Chemistry. I was sort of lucky there because it was brand new and it was a girl's school. Or, it was called Florida State College for Women, I think it was. But then the state converted over into a full-fledged university with graduate programs and doctoral degrees and everything else in chemistry. I thought, well that's pretty good. So I went down there and started working. One funny thing was, I came from Lowell Institute, or Lowell in Massachusetts, and I was welcomed by the chairman of the department. And I'm going to do research and he was welcoming me there and he said, "Well, your records show you did very well at MIT." And I said, "MIT? No. I went to Lowell." And he said, "Oh, that's right. You went to Lowell. Okay." He thought I was from MIT. He thought I was a really good student. (laughs)

Riggins: He just saw the Technological Institute in your-

Hornack: Well, it was something like that probably. I don't know what it was. But anyway, he was a really nice department chairman and always tried to be real helpful. A lot of these teachers--see, it was brand new. And so, babies like me were, "Huh," you know, "what's going on?" They were trying to help me. And I remember one time a professor called me in the office and he said, "You know, you're sort of lackadaisical." he called me. "You're lackadaisical. I mean, if you really want to get somewhere and accomplish something, you know, you sort of have to pay more attention to your research and try to be more conscientious and get in the lab and work." And I guess so. So, years later, in fact 50 years later, I called the man back. That same man. And he's still alive. His name is Werner Herz. He's a Professor of Chemistry that's retired from Florida State. And I talked to him on the phone about the good old days, and we had quite a long talk. And I said, "You know, you were really good. You got me in that office and you straightened me out. And I really think that was wonderful the way you handled me." And he said, "Well, good. I was working with you there a little, and I remember." He remembers everything. (laughs)

Riggins: And he saw that you had some skills and intelligence, but you just needed to-

Hornack: Well, of course. They sort of thought you might have some intelligence, but if you're just hanging around and not doing anything, you know, that's-- you know, they try to set you on the path and get you to think more seriously about what you're doing. You're just a kid that's having fun, you know, or something.

Riggins: So, you were doing a teaching assistantship or research?

Hornack: Yeah, I had a teaching assistantship. I had to teach a lot. I never did get a research assistantship, which other students got. That's all they did was work in the lab. But me, I had to teach a lab, which was good for me because I wasn't very good at speaking and teaching. In fact, speaking in front of a group always kind of bothered me a little bit. It was hard work. Like, when I gave seminars in the chemistry department, and I'd be laying there in bed thinking, oh, this is awful. I've got to go in there and speak to the faculty members. But we had a really good seminar program. We had visitors from all over the country. Nobel prize winners, all sorts of things there. Which, I guess other colleges do the same thing, but we had, like Linus Pauling and-

Riggins: Down in Florida you mean?

Hornack: Yeah, FSU in Florida. We had really a lot of famous people. I can think of some of them, but--it was always fun in the seminars because our seminars were rather informal no matter how--whether it was a Nobel prize winner speaking or something else, these were informal where you could say right out of the blue, just say, "What about that? How would you measure that right there?" Right in the middle of the seminar. They don't do that anymore. It's always, you sit there like a--frozen, you know. You can't dare say a word until the end of the seminar. That's no fun. I remember in our seminars--Dr. Herz, for one. He'd say, "Well, you know, you could do that with infrared spectroscopy." And the guy would talk for a while and then Dr. Herz would say, "Oh, that could also be done with infrared spectroscopy." And the guy would speak a little longer and Dr. Herz said, "Ah, yes, I know. It could be done with infrared spectroscopy. Yeah, I know that." (laughs) That's the kind of seminars we had. They were wonderful.

Riggins: How do you spell his last name?

Hornack: H-E-R-Z. Werner Herz. He's still alive.

Riggins: He's a German refugee.

Hornack: Yeah, he was a German of some sort. He actually went to the University of Colorado where the chairman of the department, it was Dr. Ditmer. He was at the University of Colorado. So when he came to FSU to be the chairman, he carried Werner Herz with him, and Werner Herz was really an excellent professor. He was very scholarly. And when he told me to be more serious, he was very serious. In a nice way, but boy, he didn't fool around. I mean, he was working in his office all the time, taking notes. I'd see him flipping through magazines, and writing notes down. Stuff like that. These guys were--they were just good. (laughs)

Riggins: That generation was very good. It sounds like you enjoyed your doctoral experience.

Hornack: Yeah, like I said, it was a little bit nerve racking at times, but I did--I think I was lucky. I got in with a good group of people, you know. You get lucky sometimes. Other people have not had good experiences in graduate school.

Riggins: What was your area? Did you like organic or inorganic, or-

Hornack: Well, I started out doing organic chemistry because the man I worked with was more or less into organic chemistry more than physical chemistry. But I said, you know, I think I really--organic--I really wasn't planning to work on. I really liked physical chemistry. He says, "Oh, you want to do measurements, huh?" And I said, "Well, yeah, I really--and then I'd think, maybe I should go to another professor and work with him". And he said, "Oh, no, no, no. You can work with me. We'll figure out something physical you can do." So I started doing measurements and kinetics and speed of chemical reactions and things. And so, I did get into the physical chemistry area. And then in my post-doctoral research I also went into physical chemistry. So, although I really wanted to get into physical right away, but it took me a little while to get into it. (laughs)

Riggins: Where did you do your post-doctoral work?

Hornack: That was at the University of Arkansas, with another really outstanding man, as far as personality goes. He was really good. His name was Edward Amis, A-M-I-S. And he was sort of a theoretical physical chemist and also like--he did a lot of work in kinetics and physical chemistry. And I also worked at the University of Arkansas with electrode chemistry with Curt Stern was his name, S-T-E-R-N. And he actually left there and went to the National Bureau of Standards. But while he was there, I did post-doctoral work with him. See, they had grants. And he had a grant. Okay. So I went in there and worked with him on the electrode chemistry. He was working with melted salts. Well, you know, most electrode chemistry is aqueous solutions. Well he was melting salts and passing electricity through melted salts. That was a little different. But he had a grant, and so, okay, I went over and helped him and got paid for a little bit from his grant. And then Dr. Amis had a grant and he had me doing some kinetics work. Rates of reaction. Like, you mix things up and you try to see how fast they develop into the products. And then, right in the middle of that, he started building a magnet. He got a grant to build a huge magnet and he wanted to do some experiments in a magnetic field. Like, that was this area where there was a large magnetic field there because of the magnetic apparatus. There was this big magnetic field and this gap, and you put chemicals down there and see how rapidly they work. Well, that turned out to be pretty tough. First of all, building the thing. We had a 600 ampere generator. To get a magnet you have to put electricity through a coil. You know, electrical coils. So we had this 600 amp generator which was going to send electricity through these coils and produce a huge magnetic field. Well, the first thing, the coils would all just burn up with that kind of current. So you couldn't put wires there. So we put copper pipes for the wires and then you could run water through them, see. The electricity has to go around in a circle and most of the time there's not that much current, so there isn't that much heat, see. But the coils--you know, what I'm saying, I haven't thought about all this for many years. You're really waking up my memory.

Riggins: Right. Well it seems to come right back to you.

Hornack: But there were these copper tubing we wrapped it around and you run water through it and, boy, the water came out hot. And they were all--the magnet was running, the electricity was coming through those tubes. All that heat--the water went in cool, but it came out hot the other end, and--but we never did get anywhere with the magnet much, and that was one thing Dr. Amis was a little bit disappointed. He said, "Can't you figure out something with magnets?" I said, "Well, yeah, tried to do this, but nothing happened." And Dr. Amis said, "Well, I never had a research project where I never had any results." And I said, "Yeah, I'm trying. I don't know. I just can't figure out what to do." And so we never could figure out the right way to get the data out of that thing. And later on, I don't think he was able to do too much about it either. You see, the problem is we put a reaction in there and you're trying to see how fast it's going. You know, whether it's reacting rapidly or not. And also you're trying to see whether the magnetic field might have some effect on it. But see, you have a problem with temperature now. If the temperature creeps up, the reaction is going to go faster anyway. Magnetic field or no. You know, you're still going to--it's still going to be getting kind of warm and going faster. So that was one of our problems. And we really didn't have the right equipment to do precise kinetics in a magnetic field. You know, it just wasn't--didn't have enough temperature control. And if you had temperature control, now you've got this magnet and you've got to put it in there somehow (laughs) in between those magnetic poles.

Riggins: Well that wasn't the main--that was some of your research, but I guess you weren't able to publish on that?

Hornack: Well, no. We got no publications on that. But I did some other research with Dr. Amis that was published. And then I did some other work with Dr. Curt Stern on melted salts, and something else there I got published. So, at University of Arkansas, I got at least two publications that we had. I asked Dr. Stern--I said, "I'm going to publish this thing," and he was away while I was doing the research. And then when he came back I said, "Look, I'm going to put your name on this." And he said, "No. I'm not putting my name on that because I didn't do anything on it." In other words, he felt like if he hadn't done anything like giving me some information or helping me in some way, then he just didn't think it was the right thing to do to put his name on there. So that was one publication that just had me on it (laughs). Most of my publications to begin with had other people that I worked with.

Riggins: Sure. But that's the way he felt. What brought you to UNCW, or Wilmington College?

Hornack: Well, from the University of Arkansas, I went into the Public Health Service up at the Taft Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. And a friend of mine was working up there and I said, "I think I'll be going into the Army, maybe the Coast Guard or something like that." And he said, "Well, instead of doing that, you could come into the United States Public Health Service. That counts as service too." I said, it does? Health service? Public Health? How does that serving anything? Well that's the way it is. So, somehow I submitted an application up there to the United States Public Health Service and they accepted me as an officer in the environmental training program, it was. Environmental training program, and I guess my rank was something like--it was a captain in the Army, or something like that. It was something like a 2nd lieutenant in the Navy, I think. Something like that. I think I stayed at that rank while I was there. And we never wore uniforms at all. In fact, it just didn't seem like you were in the service at all. I mean, you're sitting behind your desk working on stuff to present to various public health people from around the country who came from their states. Like maybe, the Health Department from North Carolina, or the Health Department from some other state.

Riggins: And you present results of studies?

Hornack: Yeah, it was pollution mainly, and chemistry, you know, the chemistry in some of the atmospheric science. We got into some physics too, like diffusion in the atmosphere and things like that, and . . .

Riggins: Air pollution then?

Hornack: Yeah, air pollution. Really, that was the biggest thing I was doing there. But the thing about not having to go into the service, that was kind of interesting that you were able to serve there. And if it hadn't been for this friend of mine, his name was John Dolphin [ph?], he was an FSU friend. See, he got his degree at Florida State University. So he goes off. Okay, now a little later I get a degree, and I'm keeping in touch with him to see what he's doing and so forth. And he writes back and says, "Well, you can get a job up here where I am, in the Public Health Service." You know, well that's interesting. So, I guess maybe through his efforts, I was able to get in up there and didn't have to go into the service. So, then I spent not too long a time up there, about two years. And then I decided that I'd rather be a teacher at college. So, and then I tried to figure out where to go. And I went next to the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. And somebody said, oh that's growing. It's going to become the University of South Florida. And I said, well that sounds good, maybe--well, I got down there and that was incorrect. And of course, I knew it already. By the time I got ready to go down there, I knew that story wasn't right because there was another university they were building called the University of South Florida. I thought, oh well. (laughs)

Riggins: So there is a university there?

Hornack: University of South Florida.

Riggins: And is there still the University of Tampa?

Hornack: Yeah, there is still the University of Tampa.

Riggins: And that's a public university also?

Hornack: No, that's private.

Riggins: So that's private. Okay. So they got it confused.

Hornack: Yeah. Anyway, I decided, well I got this job at the University of Tampa. I think it sounds like a good place anyway. You know, Florida--I always wanted to go back to Florida anyway. My wife did because that's where she was from, so--well, that's great. Let's go to Florida. So we went to the University of Tampa and stayed there, I guess, about two years. But, of course, being a little private college, I thought--I got a grant while I was there from the National Science Foundation to do some research with some of the students there. But it was kind of small and I felt like I wanted to do more, like graduate research or something. Or have graduate students, you know. So I started looking around and I found a job--I ran into a fellow at a chemistry American Chemical Society meeting, and his name was Frank Vangelo [ph?]. He was doing a lot of research on cancer compounds and I heard his name a lot and I--oh yeah, you're from Virginia Tech, you know. And he said, "Yeah, we've got a job opening up there." And I said, "You do?" So, to make a long story short, then I moved to Virginia Tech, and I was there for four years. And at the end of four years, the administration was being shaken up there. We had like a new president and the chairman of the department was, I don't know, seemed to be having some problems and--you see, I don't know what it was, but the atmosphere there began to change in a funny sort of way. Like, for example, the department chairman would call people into his office--well, I was one of them - and say, "You know, your teaching is disorganized and, you know, we'd like you to pay more attention to your teaching and not so much on research." Well a couple of months later, it changed around saying, "Oh, your teaching's okay. Now we want you to spend more time on research." (laughs) I mean, stuff like that. Well, anyway, when he said that your teaching is disorganized, it was the wrong time for him to say that because I happened to have one of the most brilliant students in class I have ever had in my life. His name is Brown. I forget his first name. He took everything down in shorthand. Every word I said. So, as nicely as I could, I said to the department chairman, "Oh, it's disorganized." I said, "Well . . .," it's James Brown, I think it was. By the way, that reminds me, there's a pop singer named James Brown. (laughs) I think this guy and him had the same name. So I said, "Well, if I'm disorganized, I guess maybe I could ask Brown for his notes and you could look through and see where they're disorganized. He has the whole thing down in shorthand, then rewrites them all out at home." And the department chairman looked a little bit-"Oh, no, that won't be necessary." So, I thought to myself, yes, it wouldn't be. You have no idea what I talked about. You were never there. You know, nothing. And then you accuse me and tell me. So, now you know why I wouldn't want to hang around a place. By the way, he went to another university too. He was so caught between this research and teaching stuff. And the new president wanted to have more research done. And I liked the idea too of doing more research. In fact, I went to see the new vice president and I said, "You know, I'd like to do research, but I'm getting all these different signals from people, and I don't know what to do." And he said, "Well, if you want to stay here, you're going to have to do research." I said, "But, it's awfully difficult." You know, like the teaching load is huge. It was a big teaching load. I don't know where you'd do a lot of research, like that. Of course, later on they changed into a more research atmosphere. But, that was one reason that I got kind of confused at that university, so I thought, well, I don't know.

Riggins: How did you like Blacksburg after Florida? It's a very different climate.

Hornack: Well, it had snow. It had mountains. And very cold. Blacksburg was a nice quiet little town, but like you say, was a lot of mountains and very cold. The people were very nice there. My wife keeps--to this day, keeps saying, "I like those people back there." And I said, "Yeah, they were nice people." And then when we got the job here at UNC Wilmington, where it was a two-year college, and then there again, I was going into a--just like at FSU, everything was brand new down there.

Riggins: This was still Wilmington College.

Hornack: Coming down here was all brand new too. So I got into two new spots there. When I came here then, that was from Virginia Tech and I really--another thing too, as I mentioned, I came from a big family of swimmers and loved the beach (laughs). Now that shows you a little something about how I jumped onto this--you know, when I got the opportunity to come down here, I thought, my goodness. Get the old bathing suit and get ready to go, you know.

Riggins: So when you came here, was it a new campus? Would you like to put your jackets somewhere else?

Hornack: Just throw it there I guess. The campus had three buildings when I came. It was Alderman, Hoggard, and--maybe those were the only ones. There's three buildings.

Riggins: Maybe James Hall?

Hornack: There was James, Alderman, and Hoggard. I think those were the only three buildings that were here.

Riggins: Do you remember what year you came?

Hornack: Yeah, it was 1964. I was at Virginia Tech from 1960 to 1964. And Virginia Tech was where I really had big research dreams about doing stuff, but the teaching loads and the--it just really--nobody was able to do any research. A couple of people did a little bit of research. Like one fellow sent in a proposal to do research, a friend of mine. And he left right after that, he disappeared to another college. And then when I was getting ready to leave I thought, yeah, I wonder if they'd ever get me any grants around here. And it turned out, yeah, they were going to give him a grant, but he left (laughs). It was a shame. Kind of a mix up there. Of course, now Virginia Tech is really quite a good research institution. They do a lot of work. They have good people there. Of course, I guess it's pretty hard to work there though. You've got to produce, you know, produce research and what you normally expect, but that's really a pretty research environment now. So, if you don't like to do research, it wouldn't be a very good--I mean a lot of research. I've never been really a big researcher because teaching was always what I was interested in the most. And research was just something you did because you felt like it, you liked to do it, and also it was something that you could use your mind on it and learn new things. And then, of course, if people are looking at your publications at the end of the year, it's nice to show you did something, you know.

Riggins: When you came in 1964, it was a small place and the town was small.

Hornack: Very small, yeah. Dr. DeLoach was the one that got me in here. And Dr. DeLoach and I were the two professors with the PhDs, and the college was so young that most of the people had, you know, Master's degrees. But many of those people went off and got their PhDs and came back. Several of them. I can think of at least two, maybe more, went off and got PhDs and came right on back here. And the reason why they came back here was because it was convenient for them to sort of spend time between their research at graduate school and their time maybe teaching here sometimes, you know. So they sort of went back and forth. Instead of being tied up in another city for four years, they were able to come here and go back and then stay here, you know, eventually, after they got their degrees. So, I always admired them for doing that. I thought, how can you do that? You know, try to get a PhD while you're working. You know, that's hard, I think.

Riggins: A lot of them do.

Hornack: But they seem to be able to do it, so.

Riggins: And Dr. DeLoach was the Chair of the Chemistry Department then?

Hornack: Dr. DeLoach, yeah. Dr. DeLoach is the one that--he was kind of an interesting fellow. He wasn't married. He was a bachelor. But he used to--he was very serious all the time. But while he was here he would say little funny things. Like, I don't know if I should tell you this joke, or this little comment he made. He wasn't married. Said, "Well, Dr. DeLoach . . .," we thought maybe he was divorced or something. "Dr. DeLoach, do you have any children?" "None that you could speak of." (laughs) He was quite humorous, you know. He'd say a lot of funny things like that. He laughed sometimes a lot to his jokes, but he was a very interesting fellow I thought. It was kind of fun working with him.

Riggins: He was a good friend to the university, that's for sure.

Hornack: Oh, that's right. Then he turned out to have a little money on the side too that I didn't know about. (laughs)

Riggins: Right. Because he lived frugally, didn't he?

Hornack: Well that's true, yeah. They say that children really take a lot of your--you know, you can't really save as much money because the children are--I don't know. Somebody said that it was like a matter of like $50,000 or $100,000 if you have a child. You know, if they go to college, you have to buy automobiles, and all this stuff. So, it's really going to cost you a lot of money. So, either you have to decide whether you want to have children. Or if you don't have any children, to console yourself and say, well, I'll go to Europe and Spain and I'll console myself on trips to foreign countries and England and go to Buckingham Palace and try to forget my grief that I have no children. (laughs)

Riggins: Well I don't know if they feel that way. What was it like when you came? Was it a heavy teaching load?

Hornack: No. One thing I liked about this place, the teaching loads were, you know, they were actually a little bit less than they were at Virginia Tech. I think at Virginia Tech we had 12 hours of teaching a week, 12 contact hours, which was quite a bit of teaching, when you figure making it all up. And we had no assistantship or no assistants. No assistants of any kind. We had no laboratory helpers coming in to make up solutions and help you, or nothing like that. When I came here I said, "What? We have a laboratory assistant? Oh, how nice". All I had to do was walk in the laboratory, check to see if the bottles of solutions were there, and start teaching. I didn't have to spend hours getting all this stuff ready for the laboratories. I remember Virginia Tech a lot of times moving bottles around and worrying what we were going to do tomorrow, and it was really a much bigger teaching load than we had here, when I came here. I thought here I'm going to a brand new little college and my teaching load is even less. I'm coming from a place that is now getting interested in research and it's piled all over you where you can't do any research. (laughs) We had a few accidents down through the years at these universities too. While I was at Virginia Tech, there was a man who was working with compounds that explode, but he never had--they were nitro compounds. What were they? They were known to be explosive compounds, but nobody heard about it much. They used to dry them in a little oven. A drying oven. And you'd have these big plates of these compounds being there and they'd dry them out because they were moist. They'd been recrystallized and they were moist, or something. But they were explosive. And one time, as explosives are, they're always unpredictable. You think, oh well, it's safe, because it's been safe for the last 10 years, you know. And that's the time they blow up, you know, and it's been safe for 10 years. Anyway, there was this huge explosion and nobody was in the lab. But of course, the drying oven was all blown apart and nobody was there. Nobody was hurt. All we did was hear a big bang and that was all there was to it. And another thing that happened at Virginia Tech was we had a bottle of some kind of--in the laboratory, there was some inflammable liquid. Some organic liquid it was. Something started burning in the lab, and all this huge black smoke was coming all over the place. That was another thing.

Here are UNCW, I can't really think of any accidents we've had or anything like that. The only thing we've had here in the way of accidents, in the laboratory you have to be aware that students can hurt themselves in various ways. And that's one thing we do when we teach a lab. The first thing we do is we talk about, you know, the lab is safe, but here are some dumb things you can do. I used to enjoy telling them that because I could describe how the student stabbed himself and he ran out and the police had to take him to the hospital, you know. Tell them stories like that. Tell them how the glass didn't look hot, but it burned a big blister on his finger and stuff. And I said, but don't get excited about this. I mean, don't be afraid to go into the laboratory because we're making it safe. All you have to do is not do those two things and already you're way ahead, you know. If you don't--you heat a piece of glass, it looks cool, and you grab it. Well that is one of the--well, yeah it does. A piece of really hot glass looks nice and cool. Well, that's not hot. And then, of course, the other trick was pushing a glass tubing through a rubber stopper. Because that allows you to transfer a gas from a flask out somewhere else. You have this rubber stopper with a glass tube that leads the gas somewhere. And the rubber stopper has the hole in it and you just put this glass tube in there. And one of the big tricks was trying to force this glass tube like this, and then it would slip and stab you right in the palm of your hand. And one time it was--we had that happen.

I don't think that happened very much at all because, you know, you usually warn them about that. I used to tell them glass is like a piece of stick. You can just break a stick like that. And a piece of glass, break it like a stick. It's not strong. Glass is weak. A piece of glass, "boop," you can just do that, you know. It's nothing. But one time, somebody did stab himself in the hand. I forget, that was very many years ago. And we had to definitely have a doctor look at that so they could patch it up. Maybe there was even a stitch or two, I don't know. That was one bad thing. Another thing that we had was the phone number for the police department here for the police people, so that if we did have an accident, we'd call the police and they would come and take them to an emergency place. Maybe somebody right here on the campus. I don't know where the emergency stuff was at that time. That was way back there.

But one of the big things in the lab was preventing accidents, because there were several experiments and several things we did. Like bending the hot glass, pushing glass rods. I told them the way you push a glass rod through a stopper is you hold the glass rod right here, right next to the stopper. You don't hold it back here somewhere. Can you imagine trying to push a stick through a hole? It would just snap, you know. So I'd tell them how to do that. The other experiment that used to scare me was the one where we had gas coming out of the gas, going through a Bunsen burner, and the gas came into a tube. And you were heating that tube, and it had gas in it from--the same as Bunsen burner gas in there. You know, gas is explosive. So there's always a possibility if you heat that tube with that gas in there, if there's air in there with it, you know, air mixture--an air/gas mixture is explosive. And so, if there happened to be air in that tube and the student didn't realize that, it might blow up. And then you'd have pieces of glass floating around. But that never happened because, boy, I was really walking around there and checking everything real carefully on that experiment. (laughs)

Riggins: Well, you got your point across so it looks like you ran fairly safe labs.

Hornack: Well, it's pretty safe. I don't think I had too much trouble. That was really the worst experiment. I thought blowing up into--well, we had goggles on. Boy, that was one thing that we did here that we did not do at other universities. When we got here, there was a whole new safety look that they didn't have. When I went to college, I didn't have any goggles on. I was pouring nitric acid in there. I didn't wear glasses then either. (laughs) My eyes are still good though. Pouring nitric acid in there.

Riggins: What about gloves?

Hornack: No, we never wore gloves either. We just knew that if you got acid on yourself you ought to rinse it off with water. But no goggles. Acid would just come right in your face.

Riggins: You've got to be careful. Well, when you came here, I supposed Dr. Adcock was here, right?

Hornack: Yeah, he was here. Dr. Adcock, Lewis Nance, Jim, what's Jim's last name? Good heaven. Let's see, we've got Louis Adcock, Nance--Jim Lewis. Jim Lewis was the other man, and then Dr. DeLoach was here. And I think, that seems like that was about it.

Riggins: That's like three Louis' there. Louis Adcock, Jim Lewis, and Louis Nance.

Hornack: Louis Nance. I think they might have been spelled the same. No, Louis Adcock is Lou, I think. (laughs)

Riggins: Dr. DeLoach, Will DeLoach. So you're maybe about the fifth one.

Hornack: I guess I must have been about like number five. Maybe so. But then, I think the big thing was when we hired Jack Levy. Jack Levy was the next man-- we were looking for somebody to get into this organic business, because I was teaching physical chemistry. So we wanted someone to get into organic chemistry, and just recently Jack retired, and we had a retirement--a group of people talking about him and all that. But I didn't say much about him because, what I would have said was--I would have stood up and said, "Jack, I'm glad I hired you." And everybody would say, "You hired me? You didn't hire me. Will DeLoach hired me." So, well, that's true. It's really true technically. But, I said Dr. DeLoach and I--you and your wife were sitting there. I think maybe we had lunch and you and Doris were sitting there at the table, and Dr. DeLoach and I were talking about, "Well, what do you think about Jack Levy? What do you think?" He's asking me what I think. I mean I could have probably blackballed him. No, that's not right. We can't have him here. You know, you could probably do that. People can put in a bad word in for people, and boy that effects people if you have a good point, that is, which I didn't. But anyway, it is serious about, what do you think? So, I said, "Well, number one, he's going to be doing work in phosphorous chemistry. He's going to be doing phosphorous chemistry, which I think is a good field. It's something new and, you know, they're doing more chemistry with different elements now and he's not just doing the same old stuff, but he's going out in a new field there. And secondly, look at he and Doris sitting there. Don't they make a cute couple, the two of them?" And Dr. DeLoach says, "Yeah, they do. They're kind of nice, aren't they?" And I said, "Yes." And so, we hired Jack. Do you think I'm ever going to tell anybody that? Well, maybe he might see it on this, but, Jack Levy doesn't seem to know that I hired him yet. (laughs) Course you wouldn't say that. You wouldn't say you hired him, you'd just put in a good word for him there, and they were a cute couple too, little Doris and Jack, they're kind of cute.

Riggins: Yeah, they're nice.

Hornack: And they were nice too, nice people.

Riggins: And I know that Jack, he's one person that who I want to talk to as well, but he's waiving a little bit, he's you know, he's kind of quiet. He knows a lot about the university.

Hornack: Who is that?

Riggins: Jack Levy, I mean he's-

Hornack: Is he in here already?

Riggins: No, he won't, he's saying no so far, but I'm going to keep working on him.

Hornack: Well, you have to, you can't just keep saying no. I said no several times to you, but I always intended to come here but this was inconvenient, of course, even today something comes up, then I get lost, I could hardly get here, you know. Pretty awful.

Riggins: Well, you didn't come until 1967 or so?

Hornack: Something like that, yeah, '67 or whatever.

Riggins: A few years that you--you came in to do research as well as teaching, of course.

Hornack: Yeah, of course, then when you came, Jack, was always wanting to do research, and of course I was too, and Dr. DeLoach also interested in doing research. The three of us, and the others of course, were trying to get their PHD's more than to research, but I always wanted to do research but of course here we did have, you know, quite a bit of teaching going on. But you still had more time here, than I had at Virginia Tech to do research. So I did some research of a modest sort of kind. A lot of research I did was like chemical education or something like that. Every now and then I would do some other kinds of research. But chemical education was an area where you could do research a little bit easier than getting a lot of different equipment. I try to do research with different kinds of equipment but I never really did latch on to anything that was really, that I thought was really good that would amount to something. But while I was here I published a lot of papers about you know, different things, like computer work. I got into the computer business in 1966, before anybody else was in the computer business. And I got into the North Carolina-

Riggins: I've heard about that from other people. The TAC.

Hornack: The North Carolina Computer Orientation Project was first run, then it was a North Carolina Educational Computing Service, was the next outfit. And I was heavily in--I got grants for that to travel around the state and do work on computers and introduce people to computers and write computer programs. I wrote a lot of computer programs and two that were good. Now today nobody, hardly writes computer programs anymore, because they're all sitting there already now. You're not going to write a program now, unless you have something real special that you know, that nobody's written anything for, but nowadays they've got all sorts of numerical calculations and stuff all worked out. I used to writing them, it was fun. I gave some presentations at the American Chemical Society meetings on what we were doing on the computers, like get reports and talk about research we were doing with computer programs and other things. And we used to recruit some people to work with us and there was in North Carolina this group, we were sort of like pioneers in the computer business. We started out with 40 colleges all connected to one computer, at Triangle University Computation Center, there was a IBM 360, it was. Okay, the IBM 360 that 40 colleges used back then, that thing today would be considered sort of a little terminal that somebody had in their office, you know. That's what it would be, something like that. (laughs) So, but we thought it was terrific, boy, I mean, it had a lot of power. It shows that your office has a lot of power if you know what to do with it. But this computer, one time I wrote a program and put it in the computer with a whole bunch of numbers and complicated numbers would come out. And I thought, I'm asking this computer to do too much, it's not going to be able to do all this, you know, print out all this stuff, print out page after page of information like this. Oh well. But at that time, we used teletype machines, and we had 40 colleges with teletype machines. That was the North Carolina Computing Orientation Project, you know. All this stuff, we got grants for that. And then the people would correspond with each other by the teletype, and also the teletype could be used to send your programs into the computer and then would teletype it back to you. We'd have this tape. You'd have to punch tape and run it through there, really so much cruder than you would imagine, you know, nowadays. But anyway, so I had this real complicated program with exponential numbers, do you know what they are? Like 10 to the minus-20 and all that kind of stuff. I thought, "10 to the minus-20, this computer does not even know what that is. So I wrote it out and so it prints out this huge table of numbers with 10 to minus-20, 10 to minus-18s, and 3 times 10 to the tenths. And I thought, boy the disciple has been converted or something. Good grief, you know! So that really convinced me of the terrific power of a computer. You got this little thing, and you don't think it can do it. So, from then on I had no doubts about the computer, it could do anything there. (laughs)

Riggins: And so you used it in with education to a degree?

Hornack: Well, it was mostly computer education, what did we do? We went around to schools and gave talks on it. A lot of my job was going around talking about it to people, plus writing programs. And we used to have meetings at the Triangle University Computation Center. We used to have meetings up there. The fellow who ran the meeting was Bani Dank [ph?], he was a former Catholic priest named Bonaventure, and Bani Dank was a great man. And he left the priesthood and then he got married, which happens a lot. He was really good. He was a real brilliant person, and just got into this computer business. And he was a guy that would conduct the meetings, and give out the money and the grants, and he wrote it up, a lot of the grant proposals too, and we wouldn't contribute a whole lot to that. But then we'd go run around and--Jack Mannock, [ph?] he was here at the college. He was in on some of that stuff. He was there.

Riggins: What department was he in?

Hornack: He was up at Western Carolina College, I believe. Yeah, he is in the Chemistry Department here. We both ended up here in the Chemistry Department. We first met each other though, in this North Carolina Educational Computing Service.

Riggins: Has he retired?

Hornack: He might have just retired, maybe just recently, but that's where I met him. And he's another guy I helped hire, because when they said they wanted to hire him down there, I said, "Jack Mannock, oh yeah, I knew him from the computer work. Ah, he's a good guy." So see I'm hiring everybody, and nobody knows about it. They think these other people are hiring. I'm the man who's hiring all these people. I did it. I made it. (laughs)

Riggins: We need your appreciation. (laughs) When you came in the '60s the President would have been Dr. Randall. Did you get to know him at all?

Hornack: Let's see, he was the President and that was a wonderful experience with Dr. Randall because there were only a few buildings and you could walk over to the administration building, which I guess was, was that Alderman?

Riggins: It was Alderman I think.

Hornack: We'd go in there, and they had a little coffee room in there. So you could wander in there any time of day and just go in there and just, by chance you would encounter, maybe some faculty members or maybe Dr. Randall himself. He's sitting there having a cup of coffee, or maybe Dean Cruise [ph?] would be in there. So you never knew who you were going to run into. And Dr. Randall would come in there a lot, and so he'd have coffee with the leader of the university, what would he be then if he was, was he the president?

Riggins: He would be like the chancellor.

Hornack: Yeah, the chancellor president, so you would have coffee with the president and maybe just about every other day if you went there enough. We had Harold Huelin in from education, would be there a lot. There was several other young ladies, teachers, and can't think of who else was in there, but Dr. Randall was almost always there, and he would tell stories about Wilmington. I think he talked about some lawyer in Wilmington named, I think name was Goldberg or Solomon, or something, some lawyer. Wish I could remember that name because I know some Solomon's in town. I don't know how this lawyer, Mr. Goldberg, how he relates into these people, but anyway, he was a very good lawyer. He could just win cases. And I remember talking to Dr. Randall in there, and somehow the lawyer's name came up and he said, "Boy what a lawyer," he said, "He could get you off of it, if they caught you with a knife in your hand," (laughs) You talk about how good a lawyer he was. He said, "If you want a good lawyer, get him, even with a knife in your hand, you won't be convicted." Isn't that funny?

Riggins: That's funny. Yeah. So, he would always be up for saying hello to the faculty.

Hornack: He'd be sitting there having coffee. One time I got some Cuban cigars and I was kind of immature then because I said, "How would you like a cigar?", and he said, "Ok," and I gave him the package of cigars, and he kind of took the cigar out, and I said, "Well, I was just . . ." and he kept the package for a few extra seconds, you know, while he was taking a cigar. And me, I thought in my little juvenile mind, he's going to keep the package of cigars. I said, "I just meant, take one." He said, "Well, of course, here are your cigarettes, what do you think, I knew you meant one, for goodness sake." (laughs) But he was nice about it.

Riggins: But he didn't mind.

Hornack: I thought it was the dumbest thing I did while I was here at the college. (laughs)

Riggins: He was well regarded.

Hornack: Yes, he was really excellent, and he was the man I talked to on the phone before I came here, too. He said, "Oh yeah, we bring them in for this salary, and that salary." Yeah, and he was the man I was really involved with when I came here. He and Dr. DeLoach. Those two were the ones. You had to get by those two people. And Dr. Cruise is another one. So I really had a lot of good feelings for them, and Dr. Cruise is still alive, actually. I never forget people that help me like that. Every time I see Dr. Cruise I say, "Are you short of money right now? Do you need a hundred, maybe two hundred," I mean, "What do you need? You need to go to a restaurant, have a meal right now?" I mean I don't care what he wants, I would do it.

Riggins: He laughs at that, right?

Hornack: Well, no, I never said that, but I just mean that's the way I feel about him. I mean, he doesn't know that, how I feel about him. Sure, he thinks I'm just another guy now, but he doesn't know how I feel. I'm like an elephant or something. I just don't forget when somebody treats me well, and does well for me. Dr. DeLoach did and Dr. Cruise did, Dr. Ram [ph?] was nice. Another person was very nice, was Thomas Brown in the math department. He was very nice to me. All these people are sort of like, what you would say you would sort of bend over backwards to help them no matter what it was. Another man who was very helpful who died rather young, his name was Dave Serin [ph?], he was a math, he was a Biology Department Chair, and I knew him and his wife and his beautiful little boy they had too. His wife's still around here. I think, I called her recently and she talked about her son going to college or something. But Dave Serin, he was a great guy I', telling you. You just remember, and he did something for me too. I'm not saying they were just nice, I mean they actually took a little trouble to help me or to hire me or whatever, so, I don't know. I guess I'm just that type of person that thinks about it.

Riggins: If you don't mind, I'd like to switch the tape and take a little break, because there's a couple more people-

Hornack: I think I'm talking too much.

Riggins: No, this is great. This is exactly-

Hornack: Are you sure it's great? I am babbling away about Seaside Heights, New Jersey, and everything else. You know, very nice for me to hear this, I guess.

Riggins: Well, yeah, we will be giving you a copy for your family.

Hornack: You would? You're kidding?

Riggins: Sure, hold on just one moment, I'll switch tapes.

(Tape Change)

Hornack: I'm talking a lot, but.

Riggins: No. No, that's fine. We're back with Dr. Hornack. This is Adina Riggins behind the camera, university archivist, January 9, 2007, tape 2, and we have Dr. Fred Hornack here. And I would also like to ask you about some people--we were talking about some people that you've known along the way. There's the first provost--I think that you--probably the first provost at the university had a chemistry background. I'm sure you know who I'm talking about. Charlie Cahill came.

Hornack: Oh, Charlie Cahill, oh, yeah. Yeah, he was a chemist.

Riggins: Yes.

Hornack: I don't know whether he was a biochemist or what sort of chemist he was, but he was definitely a competent chemist, and it was kind of fun getting a man like that coming to be the provost. Well, he knows chemistry, you know. That's just another plus. If you need any help, you went and asked him, you know.

Riggins: Alright.

Hornack: Or if you need something, he'd probably understand--"Yes, you do need beakers; I'll get them for you."

Riggins: Yeah, that's true. He always had to be careful not to show favoritism towards chemists.

Hornack: Right. Yeah, he has a much bigger job than playing around with chemistry, though.

Riggins: Right. Well, I interviewed him as well, and actually, he worked closely with the faculty. He was there for the faculty. Did you have much chance to work with him or talk to him about certain things?

Hornack: Not too much because at that time the administration was being more isolated. Remember I told you having a cigar with the chancellor was the good old days, but things were beginning to separate more, where you pretty much had a lot of work you were doing and interacting with the other person just meant you were taking time away from him and you, you know. And he's busy, so we did not have the kind of interaction on the informal basis like we used to have.

Riggins: Right. So when he came around, the university was growing a lot under Dr. Wagoner?

Hornack: Yes. Yes, Dr. Wagoner, he was after, he was after Dr. Randall, yes. Dr. Wagoner, you know, talking about having coffee with Dr. Randall, then by the time Dr. Wagoner came here, you know, that sort of thing, Dr. Wagoner's too busy to go hobnobbing around with cups of coffee, you know. It's too big. Everything's too large and too many faculty members, too many problems coming. I mean, you can see what's happening now. The college is so large now, we see problems popping up right now that we never had before. Dr. DePaolo is the person that sees these things, and I'm certainly not going to have coffee with her while problems like this are roaming around.

Riggins: She has so many stresses and worries.

Hornack: Yeah.

Riggins: So, yeah, it was different times. And around that time, Jack Levy became chair; didn't he become chairperson?

Hornack: Let's see. Jack Levy became chair while Dr. DeLoach was here, before Dr. DeLoach retirement. I forget when Dr. DeLoach retired. But anyway, yeah, he was--the next chairman was Jack Levy. He really wanted to be the chairman. I think he had, like, ideas of research and things that he wanted to do that he didn't think were being done. And so he thought, well, when I get in there, we'll get more research going and all this. But it's pretty hard to do that because the system is already in place, and if you think just hopping into a position--so it's hard to do. But he did encourage people to research. He encouraged me. He encouraged other people to do things. And then when we hired somebody, he encouraged people. He said, "You know, if you take the job here, you're going to be able to do research." And, like, Jimmy Reeves, Jack, I think, was chair when we hired Jimmy Reeves, and he had a good record for research. And we're not going to tell Jimmy, "When you come here, there's not going to be much time." You know, we're trying to make time so that Jimmy Reeves or whoever will have time at least to think, you know, or do something.

Riggins: Dick Ward?

Hornack: Oh, yeah, Dick Ward was hired. I guess he was hired--I don't know the exact order in which these people were hired, but there was Dick Ward, Jimmy Reeves, Ned Martin, Bart Jones. Bart Jones was a very nice addition because he was sort of a very upbeat, personable sort of fellow, and his voice was very clear. And when he spoke you could really understand what he was saying, because my problem was my ears were not so good. But then when Bart Jones came around, boy, I could hear what he was saying.

Riggins: Everything.

Hornack: No probable. He has a very good voice. And to this day, he's a real fine man, fine fellow.

Riggins: Sybil Burgess?

Hornack: Oh, yeah, Sybil. Yeah, she was hired. And then we hired several other people as teachers and lab helpers, like Becky Jones. Her husband is Dr. Bob Jones, whom I have visited to look in my throat, Bob Jones. And she was from Agnes Scott College where another girl here who was teaching there, Beth Wells, her name was. She was hired to work around, take care of the labs, and she was from Agnes Scott, too. So we had two graduates of Agnes Scott teaching here. So Agnes Scott's a little college for women, I think it is. You know it very much?

Riggins: Yes, I've heard of it.

Hornack: I forget where it was.

Riggins: Virginia, maybe Virginia. I'm not sure.

Hornack: Might be Georgia, somewhere.

Riggins: Oh, okay, it could be Georgia.

Hornack: I don't know. But, so we had assistants we were able to hire, people to come in to help out. In fact, just the last 15 years ago, you know, we started hiring people like Ward; Grant, I think, was one of them and Yousry was another one. And, of course, we had some leaders of the labs, like Dick Ward was sort of a lab leader, and then he got involved in other things. And then we had Dean, or was it John Dean or maybe it was Dave Dean. His last name was Dean, I think. Dave Dean?

Riggins: Joan Willey would have come-

Hornack: Yeah, Joan Willy was hired. Yeah, she was hired. And boy, a lot of people have been hired down through the years when you consider the assistants and the new professors and it's really a lot of people.

Riggins: It's a big department, and it's accredited.

Hornack: Yeah, we got our accreditation, I think, when Dr. DeLoach was here. I think he was very interested in doing that because he thought that's what a chairman should be doing, you know, getting accreditation. And that's not too easy to get, you know. You have to fill out a lot of things and tell them faculty members you have and what they're doing and all that. And you get recommendations, like maybe you're a little weak in this subject and maybe you ought to hire somebody in there like that. So, it's a good--accreditation does have some good effects on you. It forces you to sort of think, well, we use the term "outside the box," but I don't know if that's sort of implied. But anyway, think about how to improve things.

Riggins: You started here in 1964, and then you retired in 1996; is that right?

Hornack: 1996, that was 32 years, I guess. Yeah, 32.

Riggins: Well, how did the students change? Did you observe any changes in the students?

Hornack: Well, I don't think I've noticed too much change. Of course, the classes have gotten so much larger, which means there's going to be more of a type of student that does not want to be there in there. We have two classes of students. There's one that are just going to class and they figure--I guess there's more than two types of students--they just feel like they want that subject because they're heading for a goal in life and they need this subject. Then there's some higher level students that maybe think, well, I want that because I'm going to graduate school, or something like that. And then there's always a few of the students that don't want to be there. And I think it's sort of like, "mom sent me." What can you do? You know, mom sent me here. And they're usually rather disappointing, although some of them turn around, maybe, and start doing work. But I've always been able to pick out the students that mom sent over who really, you know, they don't like you, either. You can just tell the whole attitude is so bad. They're irritated about the course, having to sit there, and they really don't like you either, but fortunately, there's not too many of them, so your evaluations still come out fair anyway, even though you've got people saying, "This is the worst course I ever had, and of all the teachers I ever had, this is the worst," you know.

Riggins: Not everybody said that.

Hornack: Not everybody's going to do that.

Riggins: What did you like about teaching?

Hornack: I think the nice thing about teaching is being able to prepare a lecture that makes a little sense and you know it makes sense, and you know it's sort of clear and easy to understand. And then it's sort of fun to do that because you're planning to do certain things on the black board that are kind of funny, or you're planning, sort of like, I guess it's sort of like preparing a show. Like show business, if you don't prepare according to show business, you just have a bunch of complex notes. You know, you really need to go a little bit further than just a bunch of complex notes. You have, like, for example, if you're teaching, like, history and literature of chemistry, the first thing you might say in that class is, "What's so good about history anyway?" Well, this is history in chemistry, isn't it? "History, wait a minute. You're not going to be using any history, are you, in chemistry? You're going to be chemists? What do you need history for?" And now you have to start explaining to them the importance of what history is. Like, history, you actually learn chemistry. When you learn the history of chemistry, you learn chemistry. You learn a lot about chemistry.

Riggins: Did you teach anything?

Hornack: Yeah, I taught that. I taught that course, history of chemistry. And one thing I had to always explain was: Why are you messing around with history? That is not science. That's what everybody says. I had one man in there, really a great person. I think he was still around with a job, recently I called him up. He was a man that, the reason I remember him so much, he was a terrific Air Force hero. He flew during some war. I think it was maybe--it wasn't World War II; he was a little too young for that, but some other war. He flew and crashed, and his legs were injured, and his legs were no longer ever going to be useful to him. So he had to go around with, you know, like, crutches or whatever. He finally learned how to walk with braces and things. And I remember he was in my class, and I was glad to have him because even he, when I said, "What are we doing with history?" Well, then we started talking about history, and maybe that's one of the classes where we didn't start out talking about history. But anyway, we're talking about history, and he piped up once and he said, "Why are we studying all this old stuff?" And I said, "Well, that's because if you know some of the old stuff, you know something about theories and how they come and go, you know about what the old chemists thought and what they did and what they were trying to do, and it sort of makes a better chemist out of you." Just like I used to have this example of driving a car. If you know something about how a car works. If you know, like, there's water in the radiator that shouldn't leak out, your brake pedal shouldn't go way in near the floor, your gas tank should say, you know, there's gas in there. If you know nothing about the car and don't know anything like that, and you just sit in there and drive off, are you a better driver or not? You know how to drive the car, but are you a better driver than the guy who knows about all these other things? I don't think you are. I think if you know history and what people have done, that's just going to make you a better chemistry person. A lot of chemistry people think electrons are real things, you know, that they don't seem to realize that there's a lot of theory about electrons. I had a student in class one time. We were talking about electrons, and I said, "An electron is a particle, which I actually don't believe in." And I just said that to be sort of facetious.

Riggins: Provocative.

Hornack: I said, "But really the electron does exist because it shows up as a spark of light on the television screen, so we know something exists that's called the electron. But what you believe about it is something else entirely." Well, I just don't believe in electrons going around the nucleus, you know, traveling around, which nowadays, people don't even believe that anyway. And this man, he was the son of a jeweler in town. His name was Berman, I think. And so, he was a nice boy, too. And Berman said, "How can you have a PhD in chemistry and not believe in an electron?" He said right in the middle of class. And I said, "Well," and then I didn't say this, but I wish I had. I said, "Well, it's because it's a theory, you know, and you don't have to believe in it if you don't want." He says, "Well, certainly you have to believe in that. That's the basis of chemistry, electrons and atoms." But I could have said something that a professor at University of Texas said once when he had the same question. Say, "How can you be a PhD in chemistry and not believe it?" He says, "Well, the reason why I'm a PhD is I did this research and wrote a dissertation; that's why I'm a PhD. They didn't ask me what I believed." That's what that--at Austin. He was at the University of Texas at Austin, he said that's what he answered his student. Too bad I couldn't have answered that.

Riggins: That is an interesting distinction to make that this is a theory and we teach it because it's believed by many, but it still hasn't been proven. So, now they don't teach that about electrons going around the nucleus?

Hornack: Well, usually, in the old days when I was going to school in Lowell, the electron was like a little moon going around the earth in certain orbits. But even then, the electron was a horrendously mysterious thing that nobody understood what it was. We do know that atoms exist because we see certain things, but there are atoms. There are electrons and there are atoms, so nobody's going to say they don't exist. But then I say, "Okay, they exist. Explain to me what they are or how they work? What do you know about them?" Oh, well, that's something different now. We know they exist. What we know about them, how they behave, we know a little bit about that, how they behave. We know that atoms combine to form compounds like salt forms from elements. But believe me. What we know about salt being produced from the elements is pure theory, a whole lot of theory there. If you're going to tell me that whole idea about how atoms come together and form compounds, if you think that's all fact, you better go back and study the history of chemistry a little bit more. That's the thing, you see. You start thinking everything's a fact. If you know history, you can sort of understand what a theory is. A theory is something in your imagination, but that thing is very powerful that's in your imagination. I mean, imagination is not nothing.

Riggins: It's trying to explain how things work, but it's not proven.

Hornack: Yeah. Imagination is something you use to help you see what happens in reality. For example, a little tiny child might have a theory that Santa Claus is going to bring presents. Her theory is vindicated entirely when she sees wonderful presents the next morning, he was here. In fact, some of the presents might even say "From Santa" on there. So her theory is working, isn't it? That's exactly what we do. Does the theory work? Now, if she gets no presents and she gets a little card saying, "You will never get any presents and there ain't no Santa," well, then her theory isn't too good. A lot of people think theories are facts, you know. That little child thinks it's a fact that Santa showed up. And so a lot of people get confused between that, like what's a theory and what is a fact.

Riggins: It's different things.

Hornack: Yeah. A theory is something that's--really a theory is very important. Isaac Newton, in his head, right up there in his head, came up with a theory. That theory was not a fact. But when he used that theory, here's what he did. What did he do with that theory? He came out with, he calculated a fact and, of course, he used the theory of gravity, and gravity would be considered a fact. Apples drop down. He used some other things that would be considered a fact, too, but his theory was not a fact. The theory became a very good theory, though, and Newton actually figured out how many days it took for the moon to go around the planet Earth. It takes something like 27 days. And in his brain, just from his brain, he didn't do experiments on that moon. All he knew was gravity and how gravity works, the law of gravity. He knew from his work with objects, he knew about motion, like mass, acceleration. He knew all these things. In his brain, he put them all together. I don't know how he did this. This theory he got of acceleration of the moon is just, I mean, I have a study a long time to say I understand it, but anyway. From that brain, he came up with 27 days to go around, which came out to be correct. So, that's the way theories work. But you can call it facts if you want to. Like, say, yeah, this is a fact and that's a fact, but you can get into an argument sometimes if you're too quick to say "That's a fact." Like, to say that sodium gives off electrons when it reacts to form sodium chloride, you could say that's a fact if you want to; but what if we find out it really isn't electrons, it's some other types of something coming off there? Now you're going to say, "Well, I guess my fact isn't a fact anymore," you know, or something. You know, some things are factual because you can see them physically happen. That's what a fact is, something that physically happened, like this paper here.

Riggins: Yeah, but if it's at that level, the subatomic level-

Hornack: Yeah, like if I look in a microscope and I see a little blob floating around in there, the process of seeing that little blob floating around there is a fact. It's something physical. See, that's a fact. Of course, now if you want to interpret the fact and say, well, that was a tuberculosis bacillus or something like that, well, that's probably a theory at that point. I mean, and then if you find out it is, I'm really looking at a tuberculosis germ, well, then I guess, say, well, I guess it's a fact, that germ really is there, and then you can probably say yeah. But there's a lot of confusion about physics and about experiments and theories.

Riggins: Well, it's interesting. With your background in physiochemistry, it sounds like there was some overlap with physics.

Hornack: Oh, a lot of overlap with physics. Thermodynamics, in chemistry, thermo dynamics is the big overlap. Thermodynamics is really an amazing science. I don't understand how they came up with that. You'd say, "How do you understand how Newton came up with his theories and how people came up with thermodynamics," I think is even more unusual to me than even Newton's work. You know, just unbelievable. We have, right now in chemistry, we have charts or tables and books. We can just look up numbers and say, "This reaction isn't going to work." For example, we can take oxygen and say, "We're just going to put this oxygen in a tube and let the oxygen react to form ozone." It never happens. When you look at your chart and say, "Well, I could have told you that. Oxygen isn't just going to react to form ozone. It ain't going to work according to these figures here." You're just letting it happening, but it isn't going to happen; it isn't going to happen that way. So, there's lots of stuff like that that's really fantastic where you can predict whether something's going to react even before you try it out. Of course, it takes an awful lot of chemical data and chemical information to be able to do something like that. And that's the amazing thing, that people have gotten so much information on chemical reactions. That's unbelievable. The whole history of chemistry is totally unbelievable, everything. It started around--the history of modern chemistry started in 1780 or so. From 1780 to the present day, we had, you know, a development of chemistry. And chemistry is still being developed today, of course, like the chemistry of DNA and, you know, things like that. All these things are still developing. From 1780 to now, a change took place which, I don't know how I can describe it. It's just so unbelievable. The whole thing just seems like a pure accident somebody dreamed up or something, never happened, you know. Really, it's just-

Riggins: The way it's changed.

Hornack: Yeah. Like 1780, it started with a man named Lavoisier. He's called the father of modern chemistry. If you brought Lavoisier down and stuck him down in the lab today, he'd probably say, "Please give me a drink; I am feeling feeble." It's just so fantastic what they've done. And they're bringing out machines that almost can see atoms now, like these atom imaging machines. You know, it's just something you would never believe would ever happen. And of course, it all started. What happened, though, was--I guess I should be fair to say that right in the middle of chemistry in about the 1800s, about 100 years after chemistry got started with Lavoisier, right at that time, the greatest discovery in technology, today's technology was ever, it was just impossible to figure out, and that was how to generate electricity was discovered. How to generate electricity, not just play around with electricity, how to generate, produce electricity. And that famous man, whose name deserved to be ranked with Isaac Newton is Michael Faraday in England. F-A-R-A-D-A-Y. In London, England, London, England lit up with electricity in 1880. They had electricity in London. And Faraday was just playing around with stuff that he didn't see any practical use for this. He was just interested in it. He was just a real inquisitive child that grew up in a poor home, working as a little book binder's apprentice. He was not even educated. But the thing was, though, when he got the book binder job, the man who was making up the books, he said, "Well, now, Michael, if you have time, you can read the books around here if you want to." So, the cell phones, the TVs, all started with a little kid reading around in a book binder's office. And, of course, maybe other people might have done what he did, but who knows? Each man has his own little category or niche that he's in, and whether somebody else can come along and fill that. Like Einstein's niche, he has a niche for himself, and we're not so sure that another Einstein can come along and replace him or not, you know. There are pretty ingenious people around, but whether they would just hit on that little idea, it's hard to say. It looks like it could be that Faraday, Newton, Lavoisier, Einstein, these are all unique people without which things would be 100% different, you know, maybe. I don't know.

Riggins: Well, it sounds like you liked teaching that course.

Hornack: The history course?

Riggins: Yeah.

Hornack: Yeah, that was very good, yeah. It was good.

Riggins: Was it required for the majors?

Hornack: Huh?

Riggins: Was it required for the majors?

Hornack: Yeah, it was. That was nice, too, because I got to see the chemistry majors. See, I kind of got shifted around into teaching a lot of general chemistry. As you get older, you generally move more into general chemistry and other things like that, or reduced courses, you know, shortened versions of other courses, like brief physical chemistry I was teaching there. And then we got another guy who was a physical chemist who taught the big more modern physical chemistry. Things like that happen because they think, and it's reasonable that a person that's just got a PhD in a field will be sort of up on things that maybe the guy's been teaching for 20 years, maybe he just isn't up on that subject, which is quite reasonable. I agree with that 100%. Bring new people in to teach these courses, like even organic chemistry, which is really quite different now than it used to be, and a person getting a degree in organic chemistry right now is probably really going to be a little better, perhaps--although a lot of people do keep up. But how many of us really are going to keep up, you know? Of course, sometimes if we keep up, we might end up being better than the guy that just got a PhD, you know, a better teacher, like I say, make it interesting. That's part of it, too, not just unloading, coming in saying, "I know all the modern developments, so you're really going to get..." Well, they might not learn anything then.

Riggins: Right. Did you keep up? Did you go to conferences?

Hornack: Yeah. We did a lot. We did a lot of conferences. The last conference, the very last one I went to, a lot of these were conferences in chemical education because I was in the computer business where we were spreading computer knowledge around, and so we had to go to computer conferences. Like up in Canada and Toronto, they had an American Chemical Society meeting, which I think was joined with computer activities and chemistry. So I had to go there to the ACS meeting to, you know, to attend some of that. I think I might have given a talk up there, too, as I recall, a computer talk about something. But I met this fellow from the University of Pittsburgh and told him what we were doing, and he was interested in what we were doing and worked with us here in North Carolina. So, I went to a lot of meetings. I was a member of the Academies of Sciences, where we used to go to their meetings. In fact, the last years of my work here at--last years of teaching here at the college, I went to just about every North Carolina Academy of Science meeting they had, and I gave a talk in the chemistry section. It was all about computer stuff that I was calculating, and so I went to a lot of those meetings, and I went to academy meetings in Florida. And in Virginia I was a member of the academy of science, too. And then in addition to that, you had the American Chemical Society meetings around the country, which can be quite far away. You know, sometimes you go to Louisiana or maybe some time you go to Atlanta City. I went there--New York and Atlantic City--I went there twice to ACS meetings. It's kind of fun doing that because you meet some of the old guys that you went to school with, some of the teachers you had, you know. That's really the fun part of it when you go to an American Chemical Society meeting, and you see some real famous people, too. I remember some really top-notch people. I remember one that he was a theoretical chemist named Charles Coulson. He came from England. He had a British accent. So we were all sitting there waiting for this really genius, you know, or well-known scientist come in, and all the seats were taken up, and his talk wasn't ready. He wouldn't be giving his talk for a while. So he comes walking down the aisle, goes near the front and sits on the floor. He's sitting there on the floor. Everybody's saying "That's Coulson. Can't somebody give him a seat?" He's just smiling, sitting there, "Everything's fine with me." Then finally he got up and gave the talk. So that's the kind of fun you have. Oh, and then you have fun with other outstanding people. Like Henry Eyring was the man that--I understand he's a pretty high executive in the Mormon Church. He's a Mormon. And he was a theoretical chemist of the highest order, a physicist and theoretical physicist and chemist in quantum theory, Henry Eyring was.

And when I was in the public health service, somebody said--we were talking about theories and science and all that--and one of my friends, Jim Lodge, his name was--I guess he's still alive somewhere--he was a very brilliant scientist in the public health service. And we were talking about Henry Eyring and quantum patterns. And to get the significance of this joke, you have to realize that Eyring is a top world expert in quantum theory. He knows all about it. So this friend of mine, this was kind of funny to me at the time, my friend, Jim, said, "Yeah," we were talking about "Yeah, Eyring, boy, he wrote these books." And Jim says, "You know, Fred, Henry Eyring, he probably knows more quantum mechanics than any other Mormon." And I said, "You're kidding." I started laughing. I said, "Why is that joke funny?" He says, "I don't know. But this guy knows more quantum mechanics than anybody in the world." And he said, "He knows more than-

Riggins: Trying to be funny.

Hornack: Yeah, these funny jokes are coming back. But Eyring, I was in a meeting with Eyring once where he was the speaker and there were other speakers. And somebody that prestigious in a meeting really casts a little fear over the group. So you're getting up and you're not--I've given talks like that. I look down and nationwide experts are there. Yeah, I've given several talks like that where I look and, "Good grief. This guy knows more than I'll ever know." He's sitting there. And you're giving the talk. So, this happened about, I guess about at least twice that happened and maybe more.

Riggins: Right, it sort of gives you a jolt.

Hornack: Yeah. I know.

Riggins: Well, that's not a great feeling, I'm sure, too, to have this expert sitting in on your talk.

Hornack: But anyway, this Henry Eyring was in this one meeting, and he cast--what does it mean when you cast a pall. I mean, it wasn't really that because people respect him and like him. He's a nice guy. But he's just such a wizard, you know, and knows everything. So he's sitting there, anyway; this man was talking about diffusion or something. They had, like, the free energy of diffusion or, in chemistry there's something--diffusion occurs because there's free energy change, you know, it happens. It's a driving force. And he's talking about it. And he's talking about the activity, the activity of a species kind of relates to what kind of free energy it might have. You know, just kind of relation like that. So Henry Eyring's sitting there and this guy's speaking; he gave a good talk. Right in the middle of his talk, Henry Eyring stands up during his talk and says, "I don't think that's quite right, what you just said there." I looked at the man. He said, "Oh, uh..." you could almost see like he's dying on his feet. So Eyring stands up, marches over to the black board. He starts figuring, "Let's see, activity is equal to log," and he has logarithms up there, and suddenly he stops thinking. This is the greatest scientist in Maryland. "No, I think you're quite right on that." Then he goes and sits down. (sighs) Thinking about how that man felt. He thought, he's blowing my talk. But then at the end, "No, you're right." "Thanks for telling me, whoosh." So then he sat down after his talk, but that's the kind of weird things that can happen.

Riggins: He had to work it through. That's funny. He had to think about it. I don't want to go too late. It's almost time for lunch here, or it's past time for lunch.

Hornack: Oh, good heavens. I guess I've been talking too long about all this stuff that's not too important.

Riggins: Couple of things.

Hornack: Was this whole thing on the tape?

Riggins: Did you know?

Hornack: I've got to make my answers shorter then, right?

Riggins: Did you know anyone in the physics department? Did you work with them at all?

Hornack: Yes. The physics was always very close because I was interested in the physical chemistry. The physics and physical chemistry is very close. But of course, physical chemistry is more non-chemistry physics, you know, they don't work with chemistry. But we did have a couple of people that were interested in chemistry and did some physics involved with chemistry. And sometimes when I have my students do a research report that related to something, I remember there was a man from India. What was his first name? I sure wish I could remember his name. His wife was a mathematics teacher here, too, at the same time. I knew that he had done some work with ions in solution, like water molecules attached to ions and all. Did some physical theory on that. And so I told one of my students when he wrote up his paper on this stuff, he was writing about ions, too, in my chemistry. I said, "I want you to go see this physics professor and talk with him about it. You know, I don't care what you talk about. Just go tell him what you're trying to do and ask him about what he's trying to do." And I never did even see, I didn't confirm with the physics teacher at all. So, anyway, the student handed in his paper. And then later on, I think it must have been a year later, the physics professor says, "You know what I'll always remember about you?" I said, "What?" "You sent that student over to me to talk to me about my research." That was funny. I don't know why it was so strange.

Riggins: He talked to you later.

Hornack: Strange things like that happen. So, you do interact with them because if you ever run into any theory, the physics people are called the theory boys, you know. They're the ones that have the mathematical know-how. And I had a lot of stuff in mathematics that I was interested in, and so a lot of times I just couldn't resist going over there and trying to say, "What about this, you know?" "Well, yeah." Like I went in one time, my son was having trouble with differential equations up at NC State. And I told him, I said, "Well," and he was having trouble with his teacher over there, too, because there was something in that math course that wasn't working. So I went in to the physics professor, and I said, "Here's a math thing that the math teacher up there," and the teacher said, "Well, really, yeah, I think it's probably right. I think I'll derive it for you right now," he says. Derive it for you, I said, "Oh, well, don't bother." When he said deriving it and it was just kind of--a lot of people are like that. Well, I don't know exactly what, but I'll just derive it right now on a piece of paper. These people know that stuff so much. It's a fairly simple theorem, too, that he was working in, but I just didn't feel like I wanted to take the time to do that. But we had a lot of fun with teachers.

Riggins: Eddie Olszewski.

Hornack: Yeah, Ed Olszewski, he was another man that worked. That's an interesting story. I'm glad you brought his name up because he was at University of North Carolina, and he worked with a physics professor up there named--goodness, my mind is failing me here--I know his name is Will and I know he was an expert in nuclear magnetic resonance. His name was Paul Hubbard, Dr. Paul Hubbard. And he had a PhD from Harvard where he worked with nuclear magnetic resonance. And he was a theoretical physicist as well as doing experiments. So, we hired here in the physics department, Tim Haywood, who left us. Eddie Olszewski, I guess, is still here, isn't he? And he was up there and they both knew Paul Hubbard. Well, guess what relationship Paul Hubbard is to me? He is my wife's boyfriend in high school. My wife's boyfriend; I don't mean just a friend. He was her boyfriend in high school. So there's an interesting connection.

Riggins: That's an interesting connection.

Hornack: Weird connection. You wouldn't expect that, would you?

Riggins: So, he became a scientist as well.

Hornack: Yeah, he became a scientist--he went to university--he was in St. Petersburg. That's where my wife was raised and went to St. Petersburg high school together, and they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Then he went up to Gainesville and did so well there, he went on to Harvard. He was a real genius in physics and got his PhD there. Then he got a good job at a top-notch institution, University of Chapel Hill. And he was an outstanding scientist in that new field of nuclear magnetic resonance. And it's really funny, we go up to visit him sometimes. It's always funny to have--he and his girlfriend go visit him and his wife once in a while. And they always talk about the old days and the high school, you know, people they knew. Well, the other strange thing was that same high school. I lived in Philadelphia when I was ten years old. I was at Philadelphia. I was playing with a kid in my neighborhood in Philadelphia; his name was George Hichens [ph?]. Where do you suppose he ends up? Now, this is Philadelphia I'm talking about. His parents move to Florida. He ends up with my wife and Paul Hubbard in the same class in St. Petersburg High School. So, how do you figure these connections happen?

Riggins: Yeah, coincidence.

Hornack: Coincidence? That's hundreds and hundreds of miles away in some big town somewhere. His father was a policeman or something like that. He managed to get a job down there in St. Petersburg. That's strange.

Riggins: Right. So were they friends in high school?

Hornack: Yeah. They both played on the basketball team. George Hichens, Paul Hubbard, my wife's boyfriend, are playing on the basketball team. And to this day, Paul Hubbard loves basketball.

Riggins: How funny.

Hornack: And every time we go see him, he got himself a new great big DVR, you know what that is? Digital video recording apparatus. Boy, it's got a nice big screen up there. And he's got a ball game coming up, say he wants to see a certain basketball game that's coming up at 2 o'clock, just pushes is button. No need to worry about that. It'll all be recorded. I'll just come back and check on it some time.

Riggins: It's easy, yeah.

Hornack: It's all done on DVD disks and comes back real clear and perfectly. You know what he said to me? He's a physicist, and he knows a lot about electronics and all the modern developments, to this was a statement, and it's pretty good. He said, "Fred, the DVR is the greatest achievement since television was invented." I thought, well, that says something for you. You're a physicist.

Riggins: Yeah, that's interesting. Well, that brings-

Hornack: DVR, the greatest achievement, the greatest thing--he said, "The greatest thing that ever came up since they had developed television." Because he can just, you know, it's what do I have recorded. It's not this VCR stuff. You know, you ever work with VCRs?

Riggins: Yes.

Hornack: They are just--until compared to DVD manipulations, these things are just a pain in the neck, you might say. I still use VCRs right now, and I have to press buttons all day long.

Riggins: Right. Yeah, it's a lot.

Hornack: Then I've got to go back and wonder where the tape is or do this and do that, you know.

Riggins: You have to know the day of the week and send it. Yeah, it is more complicated. That's for sure.

Hornack: And it's not near as nice as DVD. And of course, DVD, you need more expensive equipment. I've got the VCR free.

Riggins: Yeah? Oh, you already had it?

Hornack: I mean, right now it's free. I don't have to buy it.

Riggins: Sure. It's paid for a long time ago.

Hornack: It's a pretty good VCR, too. It does a lot of good things. So I'm happy with it. It's all I'm ever going to need.

Riggins: What have you been doing in retirement? Sounds like you've been busy with-

Hornack: Well, retirement--what have I been doing? It seems like when you retire you seem to get more work to do, like yard work. You start doing more on your yard, more mowing, more fertilizing, more trees are coming down and branches coming off. And so, in the summer time, you do spend a lot of time on that. And then as you get older, you sort of slow down a lot, too, because like the guy said in the comedy show, his name was Miller, I forget his first name, he's a comedian named Miller. He said when his dad had all these jobs, you know, he'd work 12 hours a day, have 2 to 3 jobs. He says, "Boy, in the old days, they really worked." He says, "Now, when I go to the laundry and the bank on the same day, I need a nap." That's what he was saying. What's his first name, Miller something. Larry--Larry Miller is the comedian's name. Yeah, Larry Miller. Yeah, he had this routine. And that's about the way it is. When you get older, you go to the bank. Like today I went to K-Mart and I came here. Well, my day is shot, something like that, but I still have things I want to do. And, oh, laundry. Like, you put laundry in. You'd think, well, I'll start the laundry--no, I can't do it right now, I need to brush my teeth now. So I can't do that, can't do both. I mean, brushing your teeth, that's a job, you know. Especially if you don't have any teeth. I happen to have some, though. But anyway, so then you go down and, well, I can't start the laundry today. So you wait until tomorrow. About two or three days, you actually put the laundry in and start it. And then, you know--so it's just amazing. Now, golf, I wanted to play golf, but then my legs got too weak to play golf. However, they're not too weak to swim, so during the summer, my entertainment or my going out and doing things is--I do try to go to the beach and swim. And also during the summer, I have all this yard work to do, so there's plenty of exercise in the summer. And that's basically my summers is that. And, of course, the house is full of stuff that needs to be thrown out. You throw one thing out, and that's it for the month, you know. So you only got three thousand other more items.

Riggins: At least you're realistic. Right.

Hornack: There are only three thousand more. Well, that's the ones with the--as I say, three thousand months, one every month. I guess I won't get around to it, will I?

Riggins: And your children?

Hornack: Well, then you have to go to the eye doctor, to see whether your eyes are doing all right. You have to go to the dentist every six months. Going to the dentist, well, you have to have the appointment, make sure you remember when it is. Really, there's just a lot of things to do. Like Larry Miller says, "It's about the way it is."

Riggins: And you have your family that you visit.

Hornack: Yeah, we like to visit them. But since we've gotten older, sitting in the car even for hours and hours, you need to get up and walk around. And even that isn't enough, you know. So it's kind of hard. And we do like to visit people if we can. They come and visit us, which takes up time. And getting the house ready for somebody to come. Like, recently, this was about five weeks' work, somebody wanted to come and stay in the house. Well, the old bed wasn't good enough because the mattress had caved in. It was okay if you weren't too heavy, but it sort of slopes in. So, we needed a mattress. Now, that seems like a simple job, just go out and buy a mattress. Now it's not. It takes days to do that. I was calling Atlanta, Georgia, about mattresses, shipping them, I mean, stuff like that. But then I finally found a little shop right here in time, it's called Abdo's Sleep Shop. I guess they get an advertisement here. I shouldn't give them a special advertisement, but well, they had just what we needed, and my son had checked out stuff, and he knew exactly what the firmness was supposed to be. So, once we found out about where to buy it, there was no problem. But still, now what? It has to be delivered now. The old bed has to be taken out. Do you want to get rid of the old bed? Do you want to give it to the Goodwill? No, you can't do that. You're not strong enough even to carry it to the car. You're not going to give it, you know. So there you go.

Riggins: Well, I think you should take up standup, be a standup comedian in your spare time.

Hornack: Maybe if I had a helper to write it out.

Riggins: Yeah. You have good material right there, you know.

Hornack: It's really tough when you get older. Every little thing, you know. Like we need to go to K-Mart. Before I came here, I actually stopped at K-Mart. And I told my wife, well--I had to drive her because she's going to a missionary group meeting. There are some ladies at the First Baptist Church, and she's going to this missionary thing. We hardly ever find the time to go to church these--you want to go to church? We're just too old. We don't have time to go. You can, but you don't know do you have to sit there and ride. But anyway. She goes to this missionary meeting, and she had to be there at a certain time, and then I had to call you and say, "Oh, I don't think I can make it at 10." See, there, another complication. But I said, "Well, I'll stop off at K-Mart and try to buy something that I need for the kitchen." So I stop off there, walked around in there, and then finally came over here. And you know, it doesn't take much to do away with a day. I don't understand how I had time to teach, actually. How did I have time to teach?

Riggins: Who knows?

Hornack: No time to teach now.

Riggins: And I wanted to show you, you had some questions about using the computers in the library that I can show you.

Hornack: Oh, yeah, that's true. Yeah, well after we get through, I guess. Why? Am I supposed to talk about that right now?

Riggins: Oh, no, no. I was just going to remind you. Well, I think we've covered a good amount of the material.

Hornack: Probably covered something anyway.

Riggins: Yeah. We've covered some great material.

Hornack: I just hope you have somebody who's more concise the next time.

Riggins: I've had longer interviews, believe me, much longer.

Hornack: Oh, good. Because their mind starts working.

Riggins: Yeah. They start thinking about things. Well, thank you very much for coming in.

Hornack: Well, I really appreciate being able to, especially when you said you might be able to get of copy of those things.

Riggins: Definitely. We will talk about that when I turn off the tape.

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