Anna Morris, May 5, 2003
I am Anna Morris, widow of the late David Maurice. Actually I am Anna Morris Maurice [which is pronounced Morris in England, a custom which David followed]. To crown that, we lived at "10 Downing Street" - only in New York, (in Greenwich Village)!
In the first year David and I were together, we would go out to dinner with various colleagues who I would be meeting for the first time. They would wait until he went to the bathroom and then lean forward conspiratorially and say: "Do you know how famous he is?" I grew quite fond of the ritual, until we went out to dinner with Tony Donn and his wife Linda. As we sat down and Tony put his napkin on his lap, he said the words "Do you know how famous this man is?" My rather startled response was: "Tony, you didn't wait for him to go to the bathroom!"
As I thought about this evening and this award, I was reminded of a quotation which fits both the woman to who's memory this foundation is dedicated and the person it is honoring, David Maurice. It is this, by George Meredith, a 17th century writer and poet:
It is a magnificent thought because it speaks universally to people big and small, great and perfectly ordinary. Tonight it speaks to the legacy of two lives which live on, inspiring us with their "song".
I will not presume to speak of Helen Keller - many of you here know her story and her "song" much better than I. I will speak of David Maurice. His "song" resonates in every one of you here tonight. David touched you as a human being as well as a scientist. We've all heard the stories about David and know that most of them are true. In fact a lot of David's "song" will be remembered in those stories.
What an extraordinary mind, what an extraordinary heart, what an extraordinary person! How playful, and creative, and tempestuous he was! How he inspired the loyalty he demanded. This man had more facets to his personality than a cut diamond and each of us probably found different aspects of him to fulfill our relationship.
To me, he was my constant companion, funny, caring, kind and often considerate. Can you imagine being married to a man like David? - Don't answer that!
Let me finish with another quotation from George Meredith:
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "the man of science" and the "poet",