Chip, early years

I was born at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas on September 26, 1946. In January, 1950, the family moved to Fort Worth. Shortly after, my father opened Bruce Piano Company in the old Binyon O’Keefe warehouse on Fifth Avenue. The store later becomes the authorized Steinway dealer and provided pianos for performers visiting the Fort Worth Symphony and Opera. That May18 my sister Karen was born.


As a three-year-old, I enrolled in the Frisky and Blossom Club at the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. Over the next ten years, I participated in other clubs and classes devoted to insects, rocks & fossils, and stars. I was then a student at Westcliff Elementary School, On July 10, 1954, my sister Susan was born.

I then attended McLean Junior High School and Paschal High School.  As a teenager, I joined a very unusual Explorer Post (Boy Scout Troop for older boys). A couple of good friends who belonged assured me that it was fun, but they couldn’t have known how profoundly I would be affected by my experiences there, among them, the Explorer Post booklist [story]

I did undergraduate studies in Biology at Rice University, Houston, Texas. My introduction to Rice was through Joseph I. Davies. I was a visiting high-school student and he engaged me in an unforgettable conversation about the need for world government. As a biology major, I did not take his fabled Biology 100 course, but I did sit in on some of his lectures, including the opening one in which he threw live frogs into the auditorium seats. Amidst all the screams, he would ask “What is life? What makes us know that these objects are living things?” His final lecture of the year, and of his life, was on the meaning of evolution.