Updated: 22 Aug 2014
I wrote him a letter in October 1964, which he answered with an invitation to visit him at the university. As luck would have it, the trip to Durham was made possible by having been invited to present a scientific paper at an international conference on materials science being held at that time in Raleigh, N.C., just 25 miles away!
After presenting my paper, I visited Rhine in an afternoon before catching a flight home to California later that evening. My purpose was simple. After telling him my idea I naively asked, "Am I crazy?"
Rhine replied by showing me his private library and giving me from it a recent book published by Soviet scientist L.L. Vasiliev called Experiments in Mental Suggestion. With obvious enthusiasm he then declared, "Not only are you not crazy, but your idea is urgent! We have been waiting years for a man with your background. Here's the phone, call your wife and tell her you are coming to work with me in our new Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man!"
Flattered, but taken aback, I responded, "I can't make such a decision at such a moment. I've barely begun a new career."
"All right", he replied, "but please stay the night at our expense and then attend a meeting at our laboratory in the morning." To that I agreed.
Arriving at his laboratory apprehensive, I was greatly relieved to encounter the lab personnel had become excited by a visit of two unexpected celebrities: TV star Eddie Albert and his buddy, folk song singer and actor Burl Ives. I was to learn that this kind of surprise was not unusual for Rhine and he graciously invited the visitors to attend the meeting. I was pleased to have the pressure off and content to silently watch the proceedings from a corner in the back of the room.
To be continued....[Albert's questions and invitation.... Ives' demure....the lunch....]