Today would be the 126th birthday of Roy Chapman Andrews, the legendary archaeologist upon whom Indiana Jones is supposedly based. Andrews was born and raised here in my hometown of Beloit, WI, and he lies buried in a cemetery only four blocks away from my home. He’s one of Beloit’s most famous offspring—although this week that honor probably goes to Jim Caldwell, coach of the Super Bowl-bound Indianapolis Colts.
Several years back, some Beloiters got together to form the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, dedicated to preserving the man’s history and legacy. My dad’s been a part of this for years, and this year he’s serving as the organization’s president. The biggest event the RCAS runs every year is to give a modern-day explorer the Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award. People like Robert Ballard (who located the Titanic) and Steve Squyres (who heads up the Mars Exploration Rover mission) have won it in the past. This year, it’s going to the famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle.
Every year, the winner comes to accept the award in person and give a fascinating presentation at Beloit College‘s Eaton Chapel. The event is open to the public and costs not one thin penny. I try to take Marty to it every year, and once the quads are interested enough to sit through such a talk, Ann and I will start bringing them too. This year, the event starts at 4:30 PM on Friday, February 5. If you’re around, don’t miss it.
P.S. Happy 75th birthday to another of my favorite Wisconsinites, Bob Uecker! No one ever makes baseball more fun to watch.