Frank Sacherer, John Morton, and I had all worked at times for the "Rad Lab," now the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the hill above the UC Berkeley campus. The big accelerator, the Bevatron, was surrounded by concrete blocks to contain the radiation field. We often worked at night. Occasionally we would take a break and boulder on the concrete blocks, which were separated by parallel-sided jam cracks of varying widths from finger cracks to about 4 inches.
A recent post by Tamara Robbins has settled a question discussed up thread concerning the original name of that famous crack now known as the Sacherer Cracker. I had remembered that John Morton wrote to us in Geneva to tell us about the name and referred to it as the Sacherer Crackerer. Now, from Royal's notebook comes the confirmation of that as the original name.
Nice flashback to the Sacherer Cracker. We had breakfast with Mike Sherrick in Oakdale. I remember when the start was still aid. Chris Fredericks was one who had worked on trying to free it. He would entertain us with a detailed description of the problem, including as I remember, a 'red knob'. I like Crackerer.
The day I climbed it, there was a couple climbing the Mark of Art, a slippery looking thin crack which was an offshoot to the right. The guy leading went right up it. Later I asked where they were from and he said Tucson. This was my first inkling that there might be pretty good climbing there.
I remember Rowell was best mate with one of Lawrence's sons and they would have these insane keg parties in the Berkeley Hills accessible only by one of Galen's "modified" cars. Apparently they also had special access to the "Rad Lab" and on occasion would raise hell there.
The dad of one of my high school buddies was a security guard at the Lab and we had some interesting night time excursions over the years. When times were simpler and security was relaxed and we were crazy enough to get away with things.
The 1/2 time scanner jobs at the lab were a climber favorite. You could work anytime day or night, and I could do my week's quota in one Sunday evening.
Here's an off-topic tale from a security guard at the rad lab:
He had been a sergeant in the army in Germany. Elvis was his driver, and one night they were stuck somewhere and had to spend the night with their jeep. The hood was warm, so they slept on it, nested like spoons.