I hope readers will tolerate the discussion of some personal events in this September 2023 submission.

The first major event, for me, is the 50th anniversary of the Santa Monica Rugby Club. I became the initial player-coach in 1972 as the club was formed. I had concluded my University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) association and was asked if I would coach the new club. I had also just concluded a coaching class led by Jim Greenwood, former Scotland captain and Loughborough coach. He published a book called Total Rugby, which had a profound impression on my coaching style and methods. Jim stayed at my house while conducting the coaching class at UCLA and afterwards I had the benefit of talking rugby with him over a few beers.

My personal history with rugby started in 1947 at Moray House School in Edinburgh, where I was introduced to the game that became such a large part of my life.

In its initial year, the newly formed club won the USA National Club Championship and contributed seven players to the USA national team’s first match against Australia in 1972. 20 Santa Monica Rugby players have represented the United States in international competition on the USA rugby team ‘the Eagles’. Three Santa Monica players have captained the national side. Three additional club players have represented the USA in the World XV. I coached the club until 1978 and I went on to coach the Southern California Griffins, the West Coast Grizzlies and the USA Eagles.

The present flourishing club operates age-group teams of boys, girls, men and women. Although 50 years does not compare with the longevity of rugby, which dates back to 1885, it is a significant achievement in the USA. I was present at the banquet celebrating this 50th anniversary on 29 August of this year.

The other major event of this year, for me, will be my 88th birthday on 29 August 2023. I am in good health, with a few physical limitations. I just passed my driving test and I continue to participate in the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) committees, which include standards development, ultrasonics, audit and ethics. I plan to continue my scrutiny of non-destructive testing (NDT)-related events in the USA and to report on events on this side of the Atlantic for the foreseeable future.

I am also in the final stage of writing a memoir, which I hope to see published very soon.

Thank you to all of my readers!

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