In July 1998, I enjoyed a short visit with Alfred Varsady in Metten, Germany. We had corresponded together off and on since 1979 but had never met. During those years he had championed a new type of dissection, as discussed in chapter 18 of my book. His biography appears at the end that chapter, on page 220.
In our correspondence we had finally fallen into the mode in which he wrote in German and I wrote in English. (We both understood the other language but found it harder to write and speak it.) We tried the same mode in person, and enjoyed discussing our dissections and also our lives and families. Alfred also showed me the models of polyhedral compounds that he had worked out himself and had constructed out of brightly-painted cardboard. We had a good time together. He had arranged to take me on a tour of the Kloster (monastery) in Metten, and the pictures here were taken in its elaborately decorative baroque library, dating from the early 1700's. Because I used a flash, you get only the barest hint of the splendor of our surroundings. Or was it because the two modern dissectionists outshone those dusty theologians?
Postscript: After several years of battling with increasingly severe medical problems, Alfred Varsady died on August 7, 2004. Although his work on dissections had come to an end by his late 70's, he still enjoyed hearing about the latest dissections, even when he had to have a neighbor write his last letters, which he struggled to sign with his left hand. His last request was that I not forget him. I won't forget him, or his wonderfully inventive approach to dissections.
Copyright 1998-2004, Greg N. Frederickson.
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Last updated August 25, 2004.