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                                                    the guru
                                       Walter A. Elmore was born in
                                       Bartlett, Tennessee, served in the
                                       Army Air Corps as a navigator during
                                       World War II, and graduated from
                                       the University of Tennessee with
                                       a B.S.E.E. in 1949. He worked at
                                       Memphis Light Gas & Water Division
                                       until he joined Westinghouse in

                                       1951 as a District Engineer in
                                       Seattle, Washington. He transferred
                                       to the Relay-Instrument Division
                                       in Newark, New Jersey in 1964,
                                       where he became Manager of the
                                       Consulting Engineering Section.
Find out why! To accept                He held that position, following a

something the way it’s always
                                       1989 merger with ABB, until 1992 in
                                       Coral Springs, Florida. He continues

been done is not acceptable.           to work as a consulting engineer
                                       for ABB. In August 1996 the ABB

There is too much of that –            manufacturing plant in Coral
                                       Springs, Florida was dedicated to

accepting things the way they          him. He is past chairman of the IEEE

                                       / PES Technical Council, and past

are. Walt Elmore                       chairman of the IEEE / PES Power
                                       System Relaying Committee. He is
                                       a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and was
                                       presented the IEEE Gold Medal for
                                       Engineering Excellence in 1989. He
                                       was accepted as a member of The
                                       National Academy of Engineering
                                       in 1998. He has presented over
                                       100 technical papers, is one of the
                                       authors of the Year 2000 “Standard
                                       Handbook for Electrical Engineers,”
                                       and is the editor and co-author of
                                       two books: “Protective Relaying
         PAC.SUMMER.2007               Theory and Applications” and “Pilot
                                       Protective Relaying”.
60                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    61
           PAC World: Walt, we know a lot about you professionally. But we                                                                      WE: Yeah, ‘45 the war ended and we were released pretty
           don’t know much about your life.                                                                                                     quickly because they wanted to get us off the payroll. I was
the guru
           WE: All right. I was born in Bartlett, Tennessee, which is just                                                                      a flight officer at the time. This is my last picture here, in my

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keynote address
           outside of Memphis. In my earliest childhood I had a lot of                                                                          uniform.
           kids to play with. There were horses that I had access to. So it                                                                     PAC World: So what happened after that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May 1997 (excerpt)
           was just a wonderful childhood. I didn’t have the burden to                                                                          WE: After that, I had access to the GI bill. I never would
           have to work. We lived in Bartlett until my father died when                                                                         have made it without the GI bill. It authorized universities
           I was six years old. And then we moved to Memphis. My                                                                                to accept you using their rules of acceptance, and then the
           aunt still lived in Bartlett, so nearly every weekend I would                                                                        government would pay the tuition. The government also               To IEEE/PSRC
           go out to Bartlett and spend time with my Grandmother and                                                                            paid for the books. And there was a little stipend to buy a         Williamsburg, VA
           my old friends.                                                                                                                      little food during the month. I went to the University of
           PAC World: Did they have the horses in a farm?                                                                                       Tennessee. We signed up, this friend of mine and I, at the          It’s a marvelous 50th            generated was 1937. The
           WE: No. It was some friends that had the horses. And there                                                                           University of Tennessee Junior College, which is in Martin,         ANNIVERSARY! I appreciate        electric Companies have
           was a little bit of agriculture I was involved with. I picked and                                                                    at the northwest corner of Tennessee. Being, at the time            this so much and enjoyed         been merely re-selling it ever
           chopped cotton, played on cotton bales. They used to extract                                                                         a junior college, it only had two years. But it was good            the 75th so much that I          since, which is why they
           and pile up the cotton seeds in another building, and the                                                                            preparatory stuff. I even had a course in public speaking,          can hardly wait the next         have so much free time for
           pile of cotton seeds would be huge. Back in those days they                                                                          although nobody would recognize that.                               five years when we most          studying rate increases.
           didn’t worry too much about kids. If they broke an arm, they        I had volunteered                                                PAC World: So did you spend the whole two years there?              surely will celebrate the        I attended my first PSRC
           went back home and told their mama about it. They didn’t                                                                             WE: Yes, almost. We spent five quarters there. And then we          25th anniversary unless          meeting in September 1957
           call their lawyer. We were able to get to the top of that thing     for the Army Air                                                 went to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. We had            we can get our historian to      in Denver which was the
           and dive into that mountain of cotton seeds. Wonderful,                                                                              no trouble this time, getting in, because we were from the          straighten out his books.        first meeting of the Main
           wonderful fun for the kids!                                         Corps.                                                           University of Tennessee Junior College and all of our credits       Edison was a brilliant           Committee west of the
           PAC World: What is the first thing that you can actually remember                                                                    just transferred automatically as if we had taken them there.       inventor despite the fact        Mississppi River. Most of the
           from your childhood? Is there a picture from your childhood that    They offered me                                                  About this time, I began to develop a warm and lasting              that he had little formal        hostile indians were gone by
           just pops out?                                                                                                                       relationship with the beautiful lady who is still with me. We       education and lived in New       then. At that time, as now,
           WE: The only thing that I remember from way back is when            a choice.                                                        waited until we finished college to get married.                    Jersey. His first invention in   THE COMMITTEE abounded
           my father died. I remember the anguish my mother went                                    PAC World: So what happened after high      PAC World: Why did you choose electrical engineering?               1877 was the phonograph          with miscellaneous geniuses
           through. My father contracted tuberculosis and was kept             I could either       school?                                     WE: I think because of the mathematical orientation of it.          which could soon be found        and n’er do wells. Bill
           separated from me. At this time, I didn’t really appreciate the                          WE: I had volunteered for the Army Air      I always loved math.                                                in thousands of American         Sonnemann was our head
           impact his loss would have on me. He was a wonderful guy            become               Corps In February of 1943, but I wasn’t     PAC World: Did they teach relaying at the time? Or power            homes where it basically         character in 1957 and
           and had been a superb athlete.                                                           eighteen yet, so they wouldn’t take me.     systems?                                                            just sat until 1923, when        all 5’ 4” of him ruled the
           PAC World: Where did you get your inclination toward technical      a bombardier         They accepted all of the paperwork and      WE: That’s another thing about the University of Tennessee          the record was invented.         Committee with an iron
           things?                                                                                  everything, and they knew that when I       – they had a great, at that time, power orientation. And can        But Edison’s greatest            hand.
           WE: I don’t know. The next phase of my life was school.             or a navigator. reached the age of eighteen I would be off       you imagine? I was able to take a course, a full quarter in         achievement came in 1879         PSRC has always had
           I always enjoyed school. In high school I had marvelous                                  to the Wild Blue Yonder. That became a      ac machinery, rotating machinery, period. A quarter of dc           when he invented the             its share of people with
           teachers. The curriculum was great. It forced me at the             I chose              marvelous experience. I just loved every    machinery, a quarter of transformers, a quarter of symmetrical      electric company. Edison’s       unique qualities. Some of
           time to study literature and mathematics. I took a course                                minute of that, because I was learning      components, a quarter of protective relaying, a quarter of out      design was a brilliant           our early pioneers were
           in drafting. This was a technical high school, and it had a         navigator.           things that I never expected to run into,   of step relaying. And can you imagine something like that at        adaptation of the simple         quite proficient with the
           machine shop. I loved my mathematics teacher. He also                                    eating well and staying in shape.           any university nowadays? They wouldn’t even want to talk            electric circuit. The electric   spoken word and were able
           taught a course in aeronautics, which appealed to me pretty                              PAC World: What exactly were you doing?     to you about that kind of curriculum.                               Company sends electricity        to sustain their elocution
           much, so I took it. I had some physics, trigonometry too.                                WE: First you go through classification,    PAC World: Where did you see a relay for the first time? Did you    through a wire to a customer,    to the level of the finest
               I was on the basketball team. And on top of that, I also        which identifies your capabilities, in terms of being able to    have a relay lab?                                                   then immediately gets the        congressional filibuster.
           had Phys Ed that was tailored to making you tough enough            become a pilot, a bombardier or a navigator – those were         WE: We had a lab, but it was more for rotating machinery            electricity back through         The Committee managed
           to be able to handle the life in the army.                          the three things. And if you washed out, then you went to        and for transformers. I don’t think there were any relays in        another wire. Then (this is      to survive in spite of these
               As a young man during the depression we didn’t have any         gunnery school.                                                  the lab. I saw the first relays probably in a hydro-plant on a      the brilliant part) sends it     silver-tongued orators.
           money. There was never any money in my family, but we               PAC World: What do you mean by washed out?                                                                                           right back to the customer       I always felt that if you
           didn’t seem to notice. That was the environment I grew up           WE: Washed out means you did not “qualify” as a                  I went to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.                 again.                           couldn’t say what you had
           with. Because of that, because I had to deal with just pennies,     bombardier, a navigator or a pilot. They were destined to                                                                            This means that an electric      to say in two or three
           I developed into the cheapskate that I am today. Ask my             become officers. Whereas if you got washed out – then the        I was able to take a course in ac machinery,                        company can sell the             sentences in a meeting like
           wife!                                                               most you could hope for was sergeant. Fortunately, I qualified                                                                       same batch of electricity        that, you probably didn’t
           PAC World: Did you have to work?                                    for all three, but there was some problem with my eyes. In       a quarter of dc machinery, a quarter of transformers,               thousands of times a day         really have anything of much
           WE: First I worked as a pickup at the Memphis Country Club.         the eye test, there was something they found that didn’t                                                                             and never get caught, since      significance to say anyway.
           We tended to a lot of professional tennis tournaments. The          impair the vision, (I was 20/20 and I could see perfectly),      a quarter of symmetrical components, quarter                        very few customers take          Others that have always
           pro would come in and pick out one of us and we would               but there was something that prevented me from qualifying                                                                            the time to examine their        been with us don’t say
           go with him. They usually gave us a pretty good tip at the          for pilot school. So, they offered me a choice. I could either   of protective relaying...                                           electricity very closely. In     anything. They sit and
           end of it. You know – a dollar or something like that. Huge         become a bombardier or a navigator. So I chose navigator.                                                                            fact the last year in which      ponder and blink, but never
           amount of money, I was loaded.                                      PAC World: So that was what, until ’45?                          And can you imagine something like that nowadays?                   any new electricity was          object, suggest a change or

           PAC.SUMMER.2007                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PAC.SUMMER.2007
          by Malcolm MacLaren

   62                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    63
                                                                                                                                              you’ll ever find. This was Bob Cheek, who later ran the            express agreement. I often         waveform analysis, intelligent
                                                                                                                                              computer center for Westinghouse. He knew everything               wondered if their suppressed       systems, digital simulators

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the guru
                                                                                                                                              there was to know about power-line-carrier and high speed          comments might not be a            and most members had not
                                                                                                                                              distance relays, and who unknowingly led me to choose              whole lot more interesting         even heard of the IEC, AOL,
                                                                                                                                              Westinghouse over that other relay manufacturer at the             than those from people             URL or even Bill Gates.
                                                                                                                                              time.                                                              who couldn’t stop talking.         The Internet, of course, had
                                                                                                                                                  The local Westinghouse salesman knew my work, so he            Then, on the other hand,           not yet been conceived.
                                                                                                                                              recommended that they use me.                                      their comments might have          Most of us knew what a hair-
                                                                                                                                              PAC World: Did you have anything to do with relays at the time?    been as exciting as picking        net was. We are still waiting

                                                                                                                                              WE: I was in Seattle working with the utilities there. And I       out socks.                         for the outer-net. I am told
                                                                                                                                              would just go there and say “Well, what do you want to talk        I am frequently asked how          on good authority that the
                                                                                                                                              about?” and they would tell me what their interest was at          one goes about joining the         Internet is the single most
                                                                                                                                              the time, as related to Westinghouse. If they were having          PSRC. It’s a lot like making       important development
                                                                                                                                              a circuit breaker problem, or a relay problem, or they had a       out an application to play         since the flush-toilet. It
                                                                                                                                              new line extension or substation, they wanted to talk about        golf in the Masters or to          allows you to chat for
                                                                                                                                              the relaying for it. I would contribute what little I could and    apply for the Congressional        hours on end with millions
                                                                                                                                              perhaps get East Pittsburgh or Newark, NJ involved. I was          Medal of honor. You Don’t!!        of perfect strangers on
                                                                                                                                              involved in all that kind of stuff. I would go to Tacoma about     You are appointed to the           subjects you care absolutely
                                                                                                                                              once a week and to Wenatchee, which is Chelan County               PSRC by the Chairman,              nothing about. We don’t
                                                                                                                                              PUD about once a week. I would go to Spokane, Washington           prior to which you have            need to worry about what’s
                                                                                                                                              Water Power and talk to them about the same kind of stuff.         demonstrated, for two or           around the next corner for
                                                                                                                                              The Washington Water Power recognized that they might              more years, your willingness       computers because when
                                                                                                                                              have someone who could help them out, so they asked me             to work and to participate         we get there, we will be
                                                                                                                                              to do a relay school for them. I did, I’d teach about four hours   and to contribute.                 obsolete and our computer
                                                                                                                                              a week. I’d take the train over and take the train back. I’d do    Membership is a high honor.        will not have nearly enough
                                                                                                                                              a full four hour session for them. And that went on for a          It is sort of like the house       memory.
                                                                                                                                              couple of months. I was doing quite a few relay schools back       of representatives — with          IEEE papers seem much less
                                                                                                                                              then.                                                              ethics.                            exciting today than they
                                                                                                                                              PAC World: So this is when you started teaching?                   At that 1957 meeting               were in previous generations.
                                                    My first paper                                                                            WE: I was teaching regularly then. I went up to Alaska many        everybody spoke American,          There was one AIEE paper
                                                                                                                                              times. I used to go up there twice a year. I’d go to Ketchikan     nobody had a beard, there          from 1938 which I recently
                                                    was presented                                                                             and Anchorage mostly, though I went to Fairbanks a few             were two gray heads, there         discovered and have been
                                                                                                                                              times.                                                             were, as now, a limited            dying to order called,
                                                    in Port Angeles,                                                                          PAC World: And this was for how long?                              number of people of                ”Adventures in Respiration”
           field trip. We didn’t know what they                            would go to Pittsburgh and run short-circuit calculations.         WE: It was for I guess twelve years. Then they decided             questionable character, there      by Yandell Henderson. I
           were. In the class on relaying we had Washington                Together, we would determine what action was dictated by           they were going to break up the Engineering and Service            were no women, there was           would wager that we have
           a pretty good book written by two                               the results.                                                       department. Service was going to go one way and they were          no “artificial intelligence” [It   a lot more adventures
           Westinghouse guys, Monseth and on overcurrent                   PAC World: When you say run short circuit calculations, how did    going to take all the people who were then called District         was all real], and no virtual      in respiration than Mr.
           Robinson. We had pretty good access                             you do it?                                                         Engineers, take all of those application people and put them       reality [we had only real          Henderson ever dreamed of.
           to information about relays, even relays, in 1954               WE: It was on an analog computer. They called it the               under Sales. And I said no, I’m not going to be in Sales,          reality]. None of our logic        There was another called,
           though the boxes didn’t mean a whole                            calculating board. Chuck Wagner ran it. He is one of the ex-       period. So I negotiated with Bill Glassburn in Newark, NJ          was fuzzy, though some             “Injuries From Artificial
           lot to us.                                                      Westinghouse guys, and incidentally is a past president of         where the Relay Division was located. Before that, I had           of it might have been              Respiration” which sort of
               I graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1949.       the Power Engineering Society. I still hear from him about         written a prize paper with Lew Blackburn about negative            suspect. We wore our neural        piqued my curiosity. I could
           I had co-opted one quarter with Memphis Light Gas and           once a week.                                                       sequence relaying. And so they recognized that I might have        networks on our shoulders          imagine several different
           Water Division in the substation design department. Their       PAC World: Did you start doing something about protection or was   some potential. Bill Glassburn hired me for Newark, so I           and our genetic algorithms         ways in which these injuries
           substation design consisted of six drafting tables and two      it just substation design?                                         went to work for the application group, headed up by Lew           were nobodies business but         might occur.
           engineers, one manager and his assistant. That was the whole    WE: They would give me a new substation, and they would            Blackburn. I learned a lot from him and the assorted geniuses      our own.                           Our new Chairman has
           department, so I was forced to get involved in everything.      ask me to pick out the relays for it (probably to see if I was     with which he had surrounded himself.                              There were about the same          agreed to start off in a
           They threw me into this environment. I was designing            paying attention). Of course being a neophyte, they didn’t         PAC World: Was this your first paper?                              number of filibusterers in the     brilliant burst of energy and
           concrete foundations for huge transformers. I was designing     trust me very far. Everything I did they checked, which was        WE: No, my first paper was presented in Port Angeles               committee as we have now.          do certain things he feels
           cable runs, from the control house out to the switch yard all   the right way to do it. I learned a lot about relays. That was     Washington on overcurrent relays, and their coordination           There were no double clicks        have been lagging and get
           under very careful scrutiny from the people who knew what       my first encounter with the HCB relay. We had quite a few          with other devices on a distribution circuit. That was right       on the web page. The only          some results right away.
           they were doing. I did the steel work for the substation. I     of those in Memphis. The service area wasn’t that big. We put      about 1954 at the Public Power Association Meeting.                viruses were biological and        He will:
           told them where to drill the holes in the steel.                in Memphis’ first 115KV while I was there. We had some             PAC World: How did you feel?                                       the meetings had more to           Immediately get to the
               After I graduated I went back to the Light, Gas and Water   115KV pipe type cable down through the middle of town.             WE: Scared.                                                        do with relaying than data         bottom of this whole Bigfoot
           Division. I’d lay out the whole system, and then the boss            This is when I met one of the finest technical men            PAC World: How many people were there? Was the audience huge?      access, local area networks,       thing.

           PAC.SUMMER.2007                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PAC.SUMMER.2007
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Explore the possibility of        Bring better order to some
     the guru
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            getting the Pulitzer prize for    working group meetings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lyrical poetry for our next       by buying a small handgun.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PSRC guide.                       Working in the PSRC, one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Examine the reliability issue     gets some interesting slants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            more fully and try to find out    on words and punctuation,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            why all relay engineers are       and I would like at this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            dependable, but very few are      point, since I may never get
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            secure.                           another chance, to point out
Walt Elmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arrange for the purchase          the understanding I have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of t-shirts which will have in    developed for some of these
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bold letters, ”Are you using      “snow” words.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the proper protection?”           “User configurable” – when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Contact Sandra Bullock            you see that expression, it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and suggest that she could        tells you two things: one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            benefit tremendously from         that the device is settable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            participation in the PSRC         and two that the author of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            meetings.                         whatever is being written
                                                                                   From everything                                                                                                                          Our new SECRETARY has             has a great deal of difficulty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            agreed to:                        with the use of the English
                                                                                   that you see here                                                                                                                        Find a way to steam stamps        language and wants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            off of the transmittals to        everybody else to join him.
                                                                                   on this wall,                                                                                                                            the PSRC, so they can be          “Knowledge based” – that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            recycled.                         is as opposed to ignorance
                WE: The audience consisted probably of about thirty people.        the most               Relaying Theory and Application.             tee – how was it different from what it is today?                    Discover new ways to make         based, neither of which is
                They didn’t know what a relay was, so it was no problem.                                  George Rockefeller contributed very          WE: At that meeting there were about thirty industry giants.         our sizeable bank account         related to stupidity based.
                The secret to making talks I think is knowing a little more        significant one        heavily to the original material. He was     They all sat around a table and that was it. They didn’t break       appear to be approaching          “Download” – after something
                than your audience does.                                                                  such a sharp engineer. He is one of the      off into separate meetings.                                          bankruptcy, thus                  has been uploaded or
                PAC World: So then you went to New Jersey?                         is this plaque.        few geniuses that I have ever met.           PAC World: Did they have working groups? Or was it just every-       necessitating a near certain      perhaps sidewise loaded, it
                WE: Yes I went to Newark, New Jersey and my immediate                                     PAC World: How did you feel about micro-     body sitting together?                                               increase in all assessments.      may then be downloaded.
                boss was Lou Blackburn and his boss was Bill Glassburn. I          It is on the ABB       processor relays compared to solid state?    WE: Yes, it was everybody sitting together discussing a              Continue to find new ways to      This may be to compensate
                worked hard there, gradually inched my way up, and I finally                              WE: Yes. I never really liked solid state.   common problem. It’s striking when you compare the old               convey some form of               for the fact that there are
                was given the Section. I had some super guys working for           building in Coral There are just too many weaknesses in             days and now in that we used to talk about relays. We don’t          simplified news to the            upscale neighborhoods and
                me.                                                                                       solid state. They fail too easily and are    do that so much anymore. We talk about all kinds of fringe           Neanderthal,                      no downscale, pickup trucks
                PAC World: Were you involved in the development of electromecha-   Springs that was so subject to transient failure whereas            things and related things, that are significant with respect         knuckle-dragging                  and no pickdown trucks.
                nical relays?                                                                             digital relays seem to be buffered           to relaying, but not so much about the relays themselves,            segment of the PSRC who           “Par” – one shot better than
                WE: Not the development, but the application thereof.              dedicated to me. appropriately, so that they don’t have             and in the manner in which they perform. I get a little fussy        have no computer, no              a bogie or one shot worse
                Westinghouse had hundreds of different relays, and we                                     that problem.                                about some of the working group chairmen. They insist                intention of getting one, and     than a birdie or a phase-
                needed to know how they were to be used and what their                                    PAC World: When did they start developing    on calling us the Relay Committee. We are not the Relay              who still look at a keyboard      angle regulator or a project
                strengths and frailties were. That sort of thing was the                                  microprocessor based relays?                 Committee, we are the Relaying Committee. There is a world           with a great deal of suspicion    authorization request. At
                responsibility of my group. We also wrote the application                                 WE: Westinghouse developed the               of difference. A relay is mostly a box, relaying is the rest         and abhorrence.                   least once in a write-up
                part of new instruction leaflets.                                                         world’s first commercial microprocessor      of the power system. There are so many important things              Explore the possibility of        or discussion, one should
                    New functions for mostly electromechanical, some solid-         relays in 1979. It was the under frequency relay. It was           to think about in terms of the power system. That’s where            buying the PSRC their own         identify which of these are
                state (especially systems) and some microprocessor relays           selected because it was just a counter and that choice did         all the transients are, that’s where all the fault currents are,     forest to cover the paper         being discussed because I,
                were specified and the application information prepared by          not present much of a technological challenge, nor did it          that’s where the dc offset is. Those things are important to         requirements for guides           for one, am going to leap
                this group. Also we did model power system testing and              represent a commercial risk. It was a trial balloon.               relaying.                                                            which go beyond the 23rd          to the conclusion that it
                evaluating.                                                         PAC World: When did you join the IEEE?                             PAC World: When you talk about the things you like to do, what is    revision.                         is the former, and let you
                    The test part of the instruction leaflets were written          WE: Well, when I was a student in college, I was a member          the music you like to listen to?                                     Work out a way to trade           worry about the phase-angle
                by the design people and they, of course, had the overall           of the student section and have been active to a degree with       WE: Jazz. I’ve got a lot of old stuff too. I’ve got a lot of Glenn   members like they do in           regulator and the project
                responsibility for the relay or system.                             IEEE for all these years.                                          Miller, Benny Goodman , June Christy, that kind of stuff. I          baseball. We could get a          authorization request.
                PAC World: Were these application notes more or less what made      PAC World: When was your first relaying committee meeting?         enjoy really good jazz piano players like Errol Garner and           couple of screwball pitchers      “Inter-operable” – according
                you write the book?                                                 WE: That was in 1957, the first meeting of the Power System        Oscar Peterson.                                                      from the Substations              to the dictionary means
                WE: The book started out as a collection of notes that Lew          Relaying committee west of the Mississippi. I was able to          PAC World: Did you ever play any music?                              committee in exchange for         ”operates in a community”.
                Blackburn and George Rockefeller had developed in their             come down from Seattle to Denver, but I hadn’t been able to        WE: No. I never had a chance. My mother never had any                a PSRC player who seems           So I have concluded that
                teaching. We expanded it. It became Applied Protective              go from Seattle to Philadelphia where they usually held it.        money, so we couldn’t afford lessons.                                to be out in left field most of   it’s something like a city bus
                Relaying and then the final version is a book, Protective           PAC World: How did you find it at the time? The Relaying Commit-   PAC World: You mentioned you’ve been married for fifty six years.    the time.                         or an abortion clinic and

                PAC.SUMMER.2007                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           PAC.SUMMER.2007
    66                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              67
                                                                                    We have our disagreements, but that doesn't last                   hope for on a fishing trip was a dead fish. In golf you can’t         probably a lot closer to an       Learning the secret
     the guru
                                                                                                                                                       hope for anything except to find your ball after you hit it. So       abortion than a bus.              handshake
                                                                                    long. She likes flower gardening. I cut the yard,                  that’s kind of a waste of time, but I just thoroughly enjoy it.       “Fuzzy logic" – as defined in a   An intimate understanding
                                                                                                                                                       Every now and then I hit a ball and I know that Jack Nicklaus         recent IEEE paper :“ handles      of human foibles along
                                                                                    I take care of that part. If there is a good movie                 on his very best day couldn’t have done it any better. That’s         uncertaintities due to            with a list of the principal
                                                                                                                                                       the thrill of it. I’ll hit ten bad shots and then I’ll hit one that   intentional vagueness rather      trouble-makers
                                                                                    on, or if some restaurant needs a little attention,                is really outstanding, and it just feels good down to your            than avoidable imprecision        Having access to a hundred
                                                                                                                                                       toes, and it’s that far from the pin and that sort of thing. It’s a   or statistical aggregation”.      or more of the most informed
                                                                                    we have an enjoyable outing together.                              great feeling to be able to do that occasionally, to be able to do    Footnote – “may require           relaying experts on the face
                                                                                                                                                       something really spectacular.                                         naïve physics”.                   of the globe
Walt Elmore

                                                                                                                                                       PAC World: So you try to do it once every week?                       “Parameterization" – means        Learning that a circuit-
                                                                                                                                                       WE: I play just about every Monday morning. If the weather            to change settings.               breaker is merely a device
                                                                                                                                                       is not good then Tuesday, what’s the matter with that? Or             “Deasserted” – removed the        used to increase the
                                                                                    considerable distraction, but also a considerably joy. The wife    Wednesday. Normally around here the courses are fairly                input – better to use one         interrupting capability of a
                                                                                    and I both think of them the same way – we both love and           vacant on Monday morning. So I go out there, and the course           word rather than three –          relay
                                                                                    respect them. We get along fine. We have our disagreements,        is mine. Nobody in front of me or behind me, I play at my             one that nobody                   As you go on past the PSRC
                                                                                    but that doesn’t last more than a microsecond or so. We are        own pace.                                                             understands compared              to retirement you discover:
                                                                                    continually disappointed by the movies, so it really has to be     PAC World: Do you play with some friends or just by yourself?         to three that any knuckle-        You should never sweat the
                                                                                    a dandy to have us get out to see it.                              WE: I play alone. I just show up and say here I am, I’d like          head could understand, but        small stuff.
                                                                                    PAC World: When you did this speech for the relaying committee     to play and they say OK. So I get a cart and I play eighteen          the three lack the aura of        Everything is small stuff.
                                                                                    anniversary, what motivated you to do that actually? How did you   holes, and it’s so nice not to have to hurry. If I hit a shot         erudition, in spite of the fact   “How should I know? You
                                                                                    end up doing it?                                                   that’s absolutely terrible I’ll drop another ball and hit it and      of conveying information to       should look it up” comes in
                                                                                    WE: I’m not sure which came first. I had two similar               do it right. It’s just a great pleasure to be out there, walking      the uninformed.                   handy.
                                                                                    talks, they were quite different in what I said. One was           around, it’s so green and beautiful and smooth. And the               “Equivalency” – to make the       “Whatever” is useful.
                                                                                    at Georgia Tech and the other was at the Power System              putting greens around here are in good shape. We get enough           same.                             "Who cares” takes care of all
                                                                                    Relaying Committee. I think, probably, somebody heard the          rain to support them well.                                            “Computerized” – done with        other contingencies.
                                                                                    Georgia Tech talk and asked me to be a part of the Relaying        PAC World: It’s nice to enjoy doing something like that.              a computer – [Nouns               Everybody knows the same
                                                                                    Committee twenty fifth, fiftieth, seventy fifth anniversary or     WE: Well I’ve been playing golf for a lot of years. I didn’t start    converted to adjectives are       amount. It’s just about
                                                                                    whatever it was. I had fun with it.                                seriously until I finished college. I played a few rounds in          the domain of the obfuscator      different things.
                                                                                    PAC World: Do you write other things? Non-technical things?        high school, and in junior college. I was about twenty one            and scoundrel. Place the          High expectations lead to
                                                                                    WE: No, those are the only two things like that that I’ve ever     at the time. I’ve been playing ever since off and on. I played        salt-shaker on the table – The    failure.
                                                                                    done, because I don’t have a vehicle for it. If there was some     a lot in Seattle. We went out every Saturday morning, rain,           salt has been tableized. the      Low expectations lead to
                                                                                    place that required me to do it I would be able to put together    shine, snow. We went out and scraped the snow off the green           unruly horse has been placed      failure.
                                                                                    something. Everything, it seems to me, has a little bit of         one time and played golf.                                             in the stable – the horse has     In relaying, you will quite likely
                                                                                    humor associated with it. The more serious someone tries to        PAC World: How many papers have you done total?                       been stableized].                 not become rich, but you will
                WE: Fifty six years. We were married in 1950.                       be with me, the funnier I think it is.                             WE: Probably about a hundred and twenty.                              “Privatized” – made private.      most assuredly have a rich
                PAC World: What is the secret for being together for such a long    PAC World: Which is the food that you like? For example, do you    PAC World: Do you plan to do more?                                    “Reconfigurated" – changed.       life filled with the rewards
                time?                                                               have a favorite meal or something like that?                       WE: No, I told ABB I’m not going to write any more papers.            “Oxymoron” – words coupled        of knowing you made some
                WE: I live down here, and she lives upstairs. She does her          WE: Well, I like a big thick steak, I enjoy steak very much.       I’m kind of disappointed in papers now. They seem to be               together which are mutually       power system better, and
                thing and I do mine. She has a lot of ladies clubs that she         PAC World: Is there any special way that you prepare it?           written by college professors for college professors. The lack        exclusive. Example –              some utility executive less
                goes to, and she likes flower gardening. She spends a lot of        WE: I’m no good at cooking things like that. If I go to a          of discussion is also a source of disgust for me. It used to be       fuzzy logic [The clearest         irritable.
                time working outdoors. I cut the yard, I take care of that part.    restaurant I’ll order it medium well.                              great. I went to the discussion first, and then I looked at the       way we can broadcast our          I will close with ”aloha”, a
                If there is a good movie on, or if some restaurant needs a little   PAC World: I see. But this is your favorite one?                   closure, and then I would read or maybe not read the paper.           ignorance is through the          Hawaiian expression meaning
                attention, we have an enjoyable outing together!                    WE: Yes. Filet Mignon, that would be my favorite dinner            PAC World: What advice would you give to the young engineers          misuse or distortion of           either hello
                PAC World: And you golf?                                            food. I like fish, salmon in particular. We spent a lot of time    in our field?                                                         the language].                    or goodbye, which just
                WE: I golf. I just disappear. She never suggests that maybe I       in Seattle, and there we got the finest salmon in the world.       WE: Find out why! To accept something the way it’s always             If you do make it to              goes to show that if you
                ought to do something else. When I say I think I’ll go play         PAC World: Did you ever do any fishing or hunting?                 been done is not acceptable. There is too much of that                membership in the PSRC, you       spend enough time in the
                golf tomorrow she says OK. There is never any discussion of         WE: Yes I did some fishing. We went up to Neah Bay, which          –accepting things the way they are. Not delving into it. I            can look forward to:              sunshine, you don’t know
                it.                                                                 is way up in the Northwest corner of Seattle. It’s all the way     don’t know whether it’s a matter of availability of time or           A wonderful lesson in North       whether you are coming or
                PAC World: Do you think it’s the understanding that you have your   on the other side of the Olympic Peninsula. A whole bunch          what. People just don’t seem willing to devote the effort             American geography,               going.
                own interests, each of you, and you have your common interests      of Westinghouse guys went up there and we went out in the          and time to look into things anymore. That’s a fact!! I think         as our presence in                I go now to write my book. I
                and then going along with this?                                     ocean and brought back a lot of salmon. Boy, that was great!       it would be good if, when you reach a little stumbling block,         Williamsburg proclaims .          have chosen the title, ”From
                WE: Absolutely. The other part of it is that we have three          PAC World: But you weren’t doing it on a regular basis?            that you really got into it to find out why you’re about to do        A knowledge of relaying           here to senility.”
                children and six grandchildren. Two of the children and             WE: No, I’ve never fished. I’ve never cared anything about         something, particularly in relaying. Emerson said, “Trust             that has been seared in           Walter A. Elmore
                four of the grandchildren are within two miles of here, so          stream fishing because, I don’t know, fisherman are about          thyself. Every heart vibrates to that iron string”                    the furnace of practical,         Note: The full text is available
                they are constantly flowing through the house. They are a           as crazy as golfers. I used to think that the most you could           Note: The full text is available at                  experienced criticism.            at

                PAC.SUMMER.2007                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PAC.SUMMER.2007

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