Autobiography: Overview and Chapters

Overview

This page provides access to my autobiography, called What I Remember About My Life, which I began around 2006 and completed in 2010. Although my life did not end when my autobiography did, I closed the text in 2010 (except for fixing a few typos) and have not added to it to reflect later developments.

The work was originally written for deposit in the Phillips Family Papers archive in the Yale University Library. I wanted the archive to contain some recollection of me and of who I was. As I started to write, I expected it to fill about 30 pages – by the end it was more than 31 times as long as that. I never expected to publish it – this quasi-publication on the Internet is more than I ever intended.

It was fun to write, and helpful in getting some perspective on my life. But my main purpose for the book, as explained in the Preface, was to help future students understand the world as experienced by someone of my time. A lot of written history, especially social history, is based on the diaries, letters and memoirs of ordinary obscure individuals that have, centuries later, become primary sources. A good example is the manuscript diary of Glückel of Hameln (1646-1724), now in the Bavarian State Library, originally intended just for her children, but which turned out to be a valuable source for Jewish life and commerce during her time. I aimed arbitrarily for an audience of Yale graduate students in 2319, a date as far in the future as the 1701 founding of Yale was in the past as I was writing. It might be even more useful in 3219 than in 2319, as the knowledge of our everyday lives fades even further away. If, as well, publication on the Internet can help contemporary people understand the more recent past (and much described in the book happened at least decades ago, although not yet centuries), then this work will have been more useful than I expected.

The book is divided into chapters (some chronological, some thematic), and most of the chapters into subchapters. Each chapter is presented whole as a pdf. Chapters and subchapters can be brought up by using the highlighted links either on the Contents page (which gives the list in outline form) or below on this Annotated Contents page (which gives a brief summary of each chapter). Many chapters have documents appended at the end; these too are accessible by link. Anyone planning more than a casual paging through of this work would gain by reading the Preface first – it is not long.

The first four chapters (1, 2, 3A and 3B), relying as they do on my earliest patchy memories, did not allow for the same control, or have the same coherence or narrative flow, as the later chapters. By the time I started writing, most people with adult recollections of these early days, including both my parents, were long dead. Any reader starting at the beginning (and no reader need start there) should be relieved to learn that the pace and style pick up at Chapter 3C.

Chapters 7 (Family Power Relationships) and 8 (Prisoner) are companion pieces and will be best understood if read together, one after the other. The same is true of Chapters 17 (Drugs ) and 18 (Religion).

The original Chapters 3 and 27 have each been broken into three separate chapters (3A, 3B, 3C; 27A, 27B, 27C). But these divisions are the artifacts of mid-project rearrangements and have no other significance; these chapters may be read independently.

Subchapters are lettered: for example, 19.A and 19.B are the subchapters of Chapter 19. Subchapters may be accessed independently by link. Subchapters of the specially-lettered chapters calved off from Chapters 3 and 27 are numbered instead: for example 3A.1, 27A.1. For a reason I now forget, no doubt compelling at the time, all the subchapters in the Chapter 3 series are, eccentrically, numbered continuously from 3A.1 to 3C.10.

There are some fairly tedious listings in the chapters which follow – books I read in my youth, courses I took in college, and the like. They will be of little interest to present-day readers, who are invited to skip over them. But to readers in the 24th century, or the 34th, or the 44th, they might be catnip. Many works of ancient and medieval history base extensive reconstructions on just such lists as these.

Note: Because the chapters were composed on Microsoft Word, and because translating them into HTML disrupts the embedding of the images, I have posted them as pdfs which must be downloaded. Once a pdf is downloaded, clicking an icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen will reveal advanced index and navigating tools.

Although I hold the copyright to this work, anyone may send links to the work or to individual chapters to individuals, and publish links to them on the Internet. If you publish a link on a website, please let me know. Actual republication of any part of the work, in electronic or printed form, requires my permission, which will be liberally given but must be asked for. After my death the copyright to this work will pass under my will to Yale University; inquire of the Manuscripts and Archives division of the Yale Library.


Chapters

Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life,
Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections
I seek for my own use to trace out here.

Walt Whitman, from “When I Read the Book”

Forematter

forematter

The first section, a chapter of its own before Chapter 1, is called Forematter. It contains the Title Page and Dedication, a Table of Contents, a Table of Supplements (listing background material not included as documents but which will be sent to the archive at Yale), and a series of Maps. These show places in Manhattan, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, and Truro and Provincetown (on Cape Cod), that are mentioned in the text. Columbia University, the scene of several chapters, has its own map. The Forematter page also contains the Preface, which gives the origin and plan of the work and states many of its premises, an Author’s Note with some more specific observations about the text, and a Colophon with facts and statistics about the actual manuscript.

Note: While the Table of Contents provides a useful plan of the book, the links will not work in the pdf version. For a version of the Table of Contents where the links work, look here.

Chapter 1. War Baby (1944-1945)

war-baby

Although my parents lived in New York City, I was born in Wilmington, Delaware because it was wartime, my father was in the Army, and my mother followed him from post to post until he was sent overseas and she returned to New York. This chapter collects what little I have been able to glean about my life in Delaware and North Carolina before I first arrived in New York in 1945. As noted, the first four chapters do not have the same coherence or narrative flow as the rest.

Documents: 1-1 Birth Certificate; 1-2 Horoscope.

Chapter 2. My Family

my-family

This chapter tells, again from scant information, what I know about the lives of my parents, their siblings (my aunt and uncle), and their parents, and what little I have been able to learn about their origins in the Jewish areas of Russian Poland and Lithuania and their early life in the United States, and especially (because there is some documentation) about my father’s family’s company Phillips-Van Heusen. I did not attempt profiles of my own siblings, or my nephew Noah (my niece Arianna was not yet born), as they can speak for themselves in the archive at Yale. As noted the first four chapters, including this one, do not have the same coherence or narrative flow as the rest.

Chapter 3A. Early Childhood (1945-1955)

Who I Am

This chapter begins with a description, from memory, of our apartment, Apartment 6-C, at 1136 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It continues with a pastiche of What I Remember from the 1940s, like double-decker buses and old-style telephone exchanges. Another pastiche, My World on Fifth Avenue, describes places I knew in New York in those days, beginning with those closest to home. Playthings describes the toys and games and pastimes of my early childhood, while Domestic Sidelights collects reminiscences of my life during this time.

As noted, the first four chapters (including this one) do not have the same coherence or narrative flow as the rest. I say: “Reviewing these reminiscences … I am struck by how external they are. There is lots on events and conditions, but very little on my inner life. I remember General MacArthur’s parade, but not my own thoughts.” As John Betjeman wrote in his poem “Summoned by Bells” (1960): “Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.”

Documents: 3A-1 Floor plan of Apartment 7-C (which was pretty much the same as ours in 6‑C); 3A-2 Sotheby’s auction catalogue (which pictured much of our 18th century American furniture when we sold it many years later).

Chapter 3B. Later Childhood (1955-1960)

later-childhood

This chapter begins with a description of 112 East 70th Street, the brownstone town house we moved in to that year, when I was about 11. Youthful Interests covers Exploring the City, Museums, Theater, Television and Radio, Print Media, Stamp Collecting, Trading Cards and Sports. As noted, the first four chapters, including this one, do not have the same coherence or narrative flow as the rest. Happy or Sad? is the first attempt in this book to get at internality, rather than the externalities that are the focus of the earliest chapters.

Document: 3B-1 Psychological Testing Report (from 1949, but meant to accompany Happy or Sad?).

Chapter 3C. School

school

This chapter covers my school experience up to the age of 14, first in Early Schools and then in Collegiate, a famously fancy but grossly overrated private school on the Upper West Side.  The subchapter on Collegiate (3C.10) is the first one in this book written from coherent adult recollection.

Chapter 4. Books

books

Since childhood, and up to this day, books have been a really important part of my life. After an Introduction, I name some of the books that were most important to me during Childhood and Adolescence, in College and in Maturity, with some reasons why they have mattered to me and to my lifelong education.

Documents: 4-1 Map of Pooh’s neighborhood; 4-2 Map of Oz; 4-3: Cartoon by Gillam and inspiration by Gérôme

Chapter 5. Geography, Maps and Boundaries

geography

All these have been important to me, both as sources of information and pleasure and as influences on how I grew to see and think about the world. This chapter traces some of that development and discusses some related enthusiasms, like specialized atlases.

Document: 5-1: A page from Scott’s Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue

Chapter 6. Heraldry

heraldry

Yet another childhood interest that became a lifelong study. Indeed I have devoted a whole section of this website to heraldry. In the Autobiography, Heraldry and Me describes how I came to know and love the subject. Heraldic Pleasures is an analysis of the satisfactions offered by this beautiful and under-appreciated art; subsections include Unmediated Pleasures, Cognitive Pleasures, The Heraldic Vision, Image and Archetype, Artistic Tension, and Elements of Excellence. A final section, My Arms and Flag, shows how I designed the arms I now use (found at the top of each page on this website) and the flag derived from them.

This entire set of essays was published in slightly different form in April 2009 as #226 of The Flag Bulletin, and is available on this website as a pdf.

Document: 6-1 My arms as Pope (not included in the Flag Bulletin version).

Chapter 7. Family Power Relationships

family-power-relationships

It is an unfortunate fact that the central issue of my childhood, which has carried over unhelpfully into maturity, was my attempt to assert my autonomy and my mother’s pathological attempt (abetted by my father’s passivity) to suppress it in favor of her dominance. The savage lengths to which she went to achieve this will appear in Chapter 8 (Prisoner), the companion piece to this chapter; the two chapters should be read together. Chapter 7 is an attempt to trace and explain this sad dynamic.

Document: 7-1 Poem by Philip Larkin.

Chapter 8. Prisoner (1960-1961)

prisoner

This chapter tells the story of how my mother confined me in a private prison in a failed attempt to break my spirit. She was able to do this because the very lax laws of the time, long since obsolete, allowed wealthy families to sequester inconvenient relatives, especially minors, at their own discretion and for their own purposes, and because my father failed to stop her. It is a fairly harrowing story. I got over it, eventually, but not without lasting damage; my mother died years later unrepentant and unforgiven. Note: this chapter cannot be understood without first reading Chapter 7 (Family Power Relationships).

Chapter 9. Walden (1961-1963)

walden

My last two years of high school were spent at this progressive private school on Central Park West. It was a happy time and (unusually) a successful school experience. The contrast with the misery of Collegiate (see Chapter 3C.10) can hardly be overstated.

Chapter 10. The Phillips Millions

the-phillips-millions

Of course there are no millions. The purpose of this chapter is to say what I know about our family’s attitudes toward money, and what it ended up meaning to me.

Chapter 11. Columbia College (1963-1968)

columbia-college

This chapter takes me through my undergraduate career at Columbia University in New York City. Subchapters include Freshman Year, Sophomore and Junior Years, Interregnum (a year I spent out of school), Senior Year, and Vignettes and Reflections. The subchapters based on academic years include brief discussions of each of my courses, based on my transcript, and together give some idea of what an undergraduate course of study was like there in the 1960s.

Documents: 11-1 College transcript; 11-2 College diploma.

Chapter 12. Vietnam, the Draft and the Columbia Strike

vietnam

My undergraduate career came at a time of upheaval in American politics and culture, based largely on opposition to the war in Vietnam and the concurrent civil rights movement. Opposition to the war fostered opposition to conscription; the methods of protest against segregation lent themselves well to protest against the war and conscription; and the confluence of these factors, plus the discovery that the government was lying about the war, led to a revival of the left, which in turn helped radicalize the center and the previously uncommitted.

This chapter describes my response to these events and my participation in the larger movement. The War in Vietnam gives the background to the war and its impact in my small part of the society. The Draft discusses the draft itself (conscription), my response to it as a conscientious objector, my own personal draft experience, and my work with the American Friends Service Committee (later repeated at Columbia) founding and running a draft counseling center. The National Conference for New Politics was a short-lived left-wing umbrella group where I was office manager during my year away from school; this subchapter describes the organization and my work there. The Columbia Strike goes into the background of the Columbia student movement, the agitation by Mark Rudd and the Students for a Democratic Society, the occupation of the buildings and the subsequent police (not student) riot. Taken together, the elements of this chapter give some insight into the lefty scene in 1960s New York.

Documents: 12-1 Student Draft Information Center (leaflet); 12-2 Universal Life Church ordination certificate; 12-3 The Dodge Hall Group (leaflet); 12-4 Cartoon by Charles Saxon.

Chapter 13. Politics

politics

Unlike Chapter 12, which focuses on issue politics, this chapter traces my involvement in electoral politics, beginning with my volunteer work for Adlai Stevenson’s doomed second presidential campaign in 1956, when I was 12 years old. Most of it is not about direct participation but is a review of the personalities I favored, in presidential campaigns from 1956 to 2008, and some local contests as well.

Documents: 13-1 Two letters to President Clinton; 13-2 Cartoon by Pat Oliphant; 13-3 E-mails explaining my 2000 vote for Ralph Nader (for President).

Chapter 14. Law School (1968-1971)

law-school

This chapter covers my career at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. Following the pattern set in Chapter 11 (Columbia College), I include brief discussions of each of my courses, based on my transcript; together they give an idea of my professional training. I also discuss my law school experience more generally, including the revolutionary effect the training had on my methods of thought and analysis.

Documents: 14-2: Law School transcript; 14-1: Law School diploma.

Chapter 15. Me and the Law (Part One)

me-and-the-law-part-1

In 1970, after my second year in law school, I went to San Francisco to work as a summer clerk for Michael Kennedy, a famous lefty lawyer, in his small criminal defense firm. After I graduated he hired me as an associate, pending my admission to the bar. It was a great opportunity – his firm did just the very kind of movement defense work I was hoping to practice, and supported the office by representing pornographers. What could be better? In Kennedy & Rhine I tell the story of my work there: on Timothy and Rosemary Leary’s marijuana case, defending the Air Pirates in Walt Disney’s lawsuit against their parody comic book, and on the Mitchell Brothers’ pornographic films. But while I was still awaiting the bar results (I passed) I took LSD, which changed my life very considerably (see Chapter 17.F). I felt I had to stop practicing law and, as I put it, work on my own case. Although this turned out to be just the right thing to do, it was a difficult and wrenching decision to leave this excellent job so soon after starting it, and I describe the circumstances in First Retirement. I stayed away from law practice for almost 17 years.

In 1988 I returned to San Francisco after many years and two long absences, and went back to work as a lawyer in a limited way because I needed a job. Re-entry tells the story, a little out of place chronologically, of my return to practice (first as a family lawyer), and some other steps along the way before I ended up in 1989 at the firm where I spent the last 19 years of my career (for my work there see Chapter 27B).

Documents: 15-1 Letter from 1971 on why I left Kennedy & Rhine; 15-2 California law license; 15-3 U. S. Court of Appeals admission certificate; 15-4: Massachusetts law license.

Chapter 16. San Francisco I (1971-1973)

me as allen

This chapter is about my move to San Francisco and my first years there, apart from my brief work as a lawyer (see Chapter 15.A). After I left law practice I lived for quite a while on unemployment benefits, taking LSD and getting used to my new perspective. (For more about this see Chapters 17 and 18.) I was a kind of hippie, but without their communal spirit or anarchist commitment. I worked a lot of non-professional jobs, drove a taxicab for a while, had an adventure with the Mitchell Brothers’ pornography studio I had represented as a lawyer, learned to smoke marijuana in a much more serious and dedicated way than I ever had before, worked as a typist in a School Board office that didn’t need any typing done, and (I now think) used my time extremely well. In the end I decided to move back to New York and go to library school (see Chapter 20.B).

Documents: 16-1 Taxicab driver’s license; 16-2 The Veteran Civil Servant

Chapter 17. Drugs

drugs

I have done a lot of drugs, and the most important ones, cannabis and LSD, have been very important in my life and very beneficial. This chapter is the story of my non-prescription drug use, from early days to about 2005, when I stopped using psychoactive drugs. Subchapters include Sugar, Tobacco, Alcohol, Amphetamines, Cannabis, Psychedelics, and Cocaine, Opiates and Other Delicacies.

This chapter is a companion to Chapter 18 (Religion), as psychedelics were the pathway to the “Eastern religions,” particularly Buddhism and Hinduism, that are my main spiritual path today. Just as my religious development cannot be understood without drugs, my drug experiences cannot be understood without religion. The two chapters should therefore be read together.

Documents: 17-1 California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, 17-2: Compassionate Use Act letter; 17-3: Page of a letter about LSD.

Chapter 18. Religion

religion

As explained in the subchapter called Background, I was born into an extremely secular Jewish family, where there was essentially no religion at all. I kept with this until college, where in a bizarre episode around 1964 I became an Instant Episcopalian. Naturally that did not last, and I became a secular agnostic again until I took LSD in 1971 and, in Robert Crumb’s vivid metaphor, was Hit by the Meatball and opened to so-called “Eastern religions,” especially Buddhism but also the syncretic flavor of Hinduism called Vedanta. I have stayed with what I learned from LSD to this day.

In 1984 I went to Israel where both of my brothers were studying in Orthodox yeshivas. I was not at all tempted by this as a religious approach, but the experience changed my understanding of myself and my place in history and I began identifying as a Jew. I have put this into the Religion chapter as it seems like a good place for it. Over the years I have strengthened and deepened my use of the discipline of Buddhism as a way of understanding my experience of life and avoiding needless suffering. Although it is more of a psychology than a religion, this chapter definitely seems like the place for it. Beginning in 1991, the artist and Hindu adept Michael Bowen (Baba Kali Das) taught me a lot more about how to be a Hindu than I knew during my psychedelic period, and from that experience I developed a devotion to Sri Lord Ganesha, the great elephant-headed god of India, and became a Ganesh bhakta. All these strands (except for the Episcopalian aberration) have combined to form the complicated path I describe in the last subchapter Where I Am Now.

This chapter is a companion to Chapter 17 (Drugs), as psychedelics were the pathway to the “Eastern religions,” particularly Buddhism and Hinduism, that are my main spiritual path today. Just as my religious development cannot be understood without drugs, my drug experiences cannot be understood without religion. The two chapters should therefore be read together. Buddhism and Ganesha each have their own separate pages on this website.

Documents: 18-1 Letter on being tied to a text; 18-2 Articles of Religion; 18-3 E-mails written while re-reading the Old Testament; 18-4 E-mail on a universal concept of justice; 18-5 Vedanta study notes; 18-6 Litany of 108 names of Lord Ganesha; 18-7 Icon of Lord Ganesha.

Chapter 19. The Leariad

leariad

Beginning in 1970, when as a summer law clerk I worked on his criminal appeal, Timothy Leary and his sometime wife Rosemary Woodruff-Leary kept reappearing in my life. I first met him in a prison in San Luis Obispo, California, where he gave me the permission I seemed to need to take LSD. Later Rosemary and I became very close friends, and she lived as my guest in my houses in Cape Cod and San Francisco. There are other connections too; I discuss them in the subchapter Leary in My Life. Tim’s book Exo-Psychology, which I had read in various early drafts, provided a radical view of human nature and development I still find very helpful; I summarize it in The Eight-Level Theory of Consciousness.

Document: 19-1 Obituary for Rosemary Woodruff-Leary.

Chapter 20. Libraries and Library School (1973-1974)

libraries

As a lifetime book person (see Chapter 4), libraries have always been important to me. In 1973, as described in Chapter 16, I left San Francisco for New York to attend the Columbia University School of Library Service, where I graduated (M.S.) the following year. The subchapter Libraries tells what libraries have meant to me, and Library School discusses my professional training. As with college (Chapter 11) and law school (Chapter 14), this subchapter tracks my course of study in some detail, based on my transcript, and gives a view of how librarians were trained in the 1970s.

Documents: 20-1 Library School diploma; 20-2 Library School transcript; 20-3 Student loan discharge.

Chapter 21. Washington (1974-1975)

washington

In 1974, after graduating from library school, I moved to Washington DC to find work as a librarian, because there were a lot of libraries there. I became a law librarian for a private firm (discussed in Chapter 24.A), and enjoyed the beautiful city and the drama of Nixon’s fall. But I grew restless, and probably unwisely accepted an offer to be an English teacher at a college in Taiwan (see Chapter 22.C).

Chapter 22. Asian Interlude (1975-1976)

asian-interlude

Having accepted an offer to be an English teacher at a college in Taiwan, I had to go there. The subchapter Prelude describes my preparations for the trip. I stopped first in Okinawa to visit friends and stayed there for several months. But finally I did continue on to Taiwan; this subchapter relates my experience there, both as a teacher and as a visitor to a markedly different culture. I did not like it much, and finally made my Escape to Hong Kong and then home to San Francisco.

Document: 22-1 The Elephant Story

Chapter 23. San Francisco II (1976-1982)

san-francisco-ii-2

This chapter covers my life during my second extended stay in San Francisco, after I came back from Taiwan (Chapter 22) and before I left again for Cape Cod (Chapter 25). For the first part of this period I stayed in a beat-up residential hotel and either lived on unemployment benefits or worked scattered non-professional jobs. For the second part I worked as a law librarian in the financial district (see Chapter 24.B). I discuss events in my personal life (such as my studies in an M.A. program at San Francisco State University) and in the life of the City (such as the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk).

Document: 23-1 San Francisco State University transcript.

Chapter 24. Librarian

librarian-2

Here I discuss my work as a law librarian, first at Cohen & Uretz in Washington and later at Farella Braun & Martel in San Francisco. This chapter provides an insight into a specialized professional milieu, with just enough technical material to make it interesting but not enough to make it boring.

Documents: 24-1 Library budget memo; 24-2 Plan of my law firm’s library; 24-3 Memorandum: “What I Do as Librarian”; 24-4: Poem by a lawyer.

Chapter 25. Cape Cod (1982-1988)

cape-cod

My parents had a substantial summerhouse at Truro on Cape Cod. The subchapter Background tells about this property. After childhood I almost never went there, but when my mother died in 1980 and the property passed to her four children (as joint tenants), I decided to move there – I wouldn’t have to pay rent, so it was a way to live without working. Outsiders who come to Cape Cod to stay are called washashores, and Washed Ashore describes my life during the six years I stayed there, including the culture shock of living in a small town that didn’t even have mail delivery. It also discusses my activities during this period of retirement – I studied Tarot and learned to read the cards, I had a radio show and a television show (see Chapter 26 for that), hung out in Provincetown, went often to Boston and New York for infusions of culture, and traveled a lot to stay out of the freezing New England winters. Finally the decision was jointly taken to sell the house, and in Leaving the Cape I tell about that and about the work of preparing the property for sale.

Documents: 25-1 Boundaries of the Truro property; 25-2 Floor plan and pictures of the Truro property; 25-3 Letter re preparing Truro house for sale; 25-4: Sales brochure for the Truro house; 25-5 Pamet backgammon; 25-6 Paintings of Truro and Provincetown; 25-7: Interiors of the Big House at Truro.

Chapter 26. My Broadcasting Career

broadcasting

One of the things I did during my years in Cape Cod, to keep myself occupied and engaged with people, was a weekly classical music broadcast on WOMR-FM, the Provincetown public radio station. After a while I added a television show on a cable TV public access channel, also in Provincetown. The subchapters Radio and Television tell about these adventures.

Documents: 26-1 Typical playlist, Lower Cape Concert Hall; 26-2: Proposal for Show & Tell with David Phillips; 26-3: List of Show and Tell episodes; 26-4: Equipment for shooting outside the studio; 26-5: Plaque from Channel 8; Staff picture, WOMR-FM.

Chapter 27A. San Francisco III (1988-2010)

After we sold the Truro house I moved back to San Francisco, where as William Saroyan wrote “every block is a short story, every hill a novel.” It is my true home and I never expect to live anywhere else ever again. As I say in this chapter: “A great many of the events in this period of my life, the longest period covered in any chapter of this memoir, are dealt with at length in other chapters and I will not repeat them here. Examples include my work, health, travels, writing, religious development, stopping cannabis, and retiring.” Instead this chapter is more episodic and atmospheric, as appears in the subchapters Events and Slices of Life. I include my recollections of the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.

film-strip

Documents: 27A-1 Order of the Compassionate Heart; 27A-2 List of jazz performers.

Chapter 27B. Me and the Law (Part Two)

me-and-the-law-part-2

In 1989, the year after I returned to live in San Francisco for what I expect will be the last time, I went to work as a lawyer at Farella Braun & Martel in the financial district, the firm where I had been law librarian from 1977 to 1982 (see Chapter 24.B). My original assignment was to work on habeas corpus petitions in two Capital Cases. After a while I branched out and developed a practice among the partners in the firm as a Research and Writing specialist in many litigation areas, in aid of cases in active litigation. I also worked on practice development projects, such as writing articles and seminar materials, where there was no client. One subchapter outlines How I Worked, and another gives Vignettes from this specialized practice, which lasted for almost 19 years.

But I was Discontented and Conflicted about my work, and in 2008 an opportunity arose for me to take a Second Retirement from the firm (and my second retirement as a lawyer, too – see Chapter 15.B). I close this chapter with a look at my work as a teacher in the law school mock trial program at Golden Gate University.

Documents: 27B-1 West Key Number System; 27B-2 E-mail explaining my work arrangement; 27B-3 E-mail on my attitude toward work; 27B-4: Law school faculty adjunct appointment.

Chapter 27C. Home

home

In this chapter I describe My House and My Neighborhood, and say why I love San Francisco and why I expect it will always be my home.

Documents: 27C-1 Views of my house and street (1989); 27C-2 Plan of my block, showing my property; 27C-3 Floor plan of my house; 27C-4 Deed to my house; 27C-5 Views of San Francisco.

Chapter 28. Notebooks

notebooks

In 1983 I began using 3″x 5″ pocket notebooks to record all current information. This very convenient system, which eliminates jottings on random bits of scrap paper, has also created a continuous and (to me anyway) very useful record of my life – as I write this in 2013 I am on Notebook #233. This autobiography was originally intended as a brief document to accompany the collection of notebooks when they went to the Phillips Family Papers archive at Yale after my death. This chapter discusses the notebook system and how I use it.

Chapter 29. Collecting

collecting

I have spoken briefly about collecting in Chapters 3B.7, 4.D, and 6.A, and in Chapter 5 mentioned Scott’s Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue as a profoundly influential book in my life. But collecting is such an important part of who I am that I wanted to give it a short chapter of its own. In Stamps I talk about my childhood stamp collection, and what I learned from it about art, history, geography, expertise, and the wider world. In Other Collections I discuss the many other collections I have had in my life, some of which are still active. In How to Collect I take a broader look at the topic of collections and the stages of building them.

Chapter 30. Travels

travels

This chapter is about my travels in America and overseas. I begin with Early Travels in America (before I got a car in 1970). Then I discuss The County Project (my plan to go to every county or equivalent jurisdiction in the United States, about three quarters done as I write this in 2013). Other subchapters include Later Travels in America, Europe, India, Other Places, Cities, and How I Travel. Further information, including some statistics, details of the County Project, and travelogues from my trips since 2008, can be found on the Travel page of this website; additional coverage will go into a Supplement to be sent to Yale.

Documents: 30-1 Countries Visited (as of 2010; for more up-to-date data look here); 30-2 The County Project; 30-3 Letter describing 1973 cross-country trip; 30-4: “How not to get Sick in the Third World”; 30-5: E-mails from India; 30-6: E-mails from New York.

Chapter 31. Culture and Taste

culture-and-taste

John Ruskin wrote: “Tell me what you like, and I’ll tell you what you are.” As an aid to telling what I am, this chapter contains brief statements of my own personal taste in Books, Theatre, Film, Music, Broadcasting, Newspapers, Painting, Decorative Arts, Architecture, Comics, Clothes, Food, Cars, Tattoos and Piercings, and Ceremonial.

Chapter 32. Friends

friends

I have had a lot of important friendships in my life, and yet I have not discussed them, or my friends, in any detail in this memoir. This short essay explains why.

Chapter 33. Love

Cupid-Kissing-Psyche-Love-l'amour-Femme-Classic-Art-large

Just as I don’t discuss individual friendships in this memoir, neither do I recount individual love affairs. This essay discusses my attitude toward love and sex and the role they have played in my life, and explains why I decided some years ago to withdraw my attention and energy from this important area of experience.

Chapter 34. Health

health

This chapter describes the state of my health, in some but I hope not too much detail, up to the age of 66 in 2010.

Document: 34-1 Serious Listeners.

Chapter 35. Summing Up

summing-up

What does it all mean, then? In this final chapter I sum up my life to 2010, first stating my Regrets, and then my Satisfactions, and finally my perspective on The Present and the Future.