Laurence M. Klauber
Selected Journal Entries from the 1940s
This morning went out to Corte Madera for lunch. 44 miles. Nothing seen.
I jerked my hand loose and got a tourniquet on (necktie) at once. The pain was evident in the thumb instantly. Started to drive on and then went back (about 1/4 mile) and collected the snake. There was some pain in the armpit at 5:27. Drove as fast as possible in spite of the Sunday traffic. Drove as far as El Cajon myself; GG drove the rest of the way. Loosened the tourniquet at 5:35 and at 5:56 for about 1/2 minute each time. First noticed a tingling and numbness in the upper lip at 5:50; this spread to the tongue and lower lip. It was very noticeable at 6:10.
Reached El Cajon about 6:15 and called up Dr. Knox. He came over to his office above the drugstore and made a deep cross-incision at the site of the bite and got a good flow of blood. However his suction apparatus wasn't working and it took 15 or 20 minutes to get it in order and even then it didn't seem to do much good.
The tourniquet was removed and I don't think was replaced until I reached the hospital. He tested me for horse serum, found I was sensitive and thought I had better not take a shot until I was desensitized. I had him call up Crawford and then went on in to Mercy Hospital where Drs. Mark Young and H.A. Thompson were waiting to see me.
From here on the symptoms are worth very little, being complicated by the results of the treatment
Crawford came in shortly. Was desensitized and given 5cc of serum in the lower arm and the other 5cc in the upper arm. More suction was applied and rubber tourniquets. Was typed but not given a blood transfusion. Arm and thumb very painful probably on account of the treatment, not the bite. Some swelling in the armpit and the facial symptoms continued. Was given dope and got some sleep intermittently.
Thursday, May 23, 1940
In bed with serum sickness and hives. Very nervous. Arm still shows yellow streak and is rather painful, but the hives are the worst part of it.
Saturday, June 1, 1940
Arm still bad. Bothered me a good deal last night. It tires very easily and when it is tired is quite painful. Otherwise there is no longer any apparent effect from the bite. Of course writing is difficult both because of the tired arm and because there is a large mass of dried blood where the pen is held.
Started out for the evening drive at 7:05; dusk but not dark. Windy. Slightly overcast. Cooling fast. Went out on the aqueduct road. The branches are badly washed and risky without a daylight presurvey. First went up Berdoo branch and boiled the car very badly but got out all right. Got back to the main road at 8:17. Now quite dark and breezy 86°
Reached Indio at 11:50 breezy slightly warmer.
S.D. Co miles daylight 65. Night desert hunt 80 miles; 4 hours 45 min. Total miles today 248.
Sunday, June 16, 1940
Shaw worked today and made some head way in the rat's nest in the basement where incoming specimens have been over flowing into every corner.
Saturday, April 12, 1941
Went over to the Natural History Museum and the Zoo. Talked to Mrs. Benchley about papers. Got permission to start a new series under the title "Applications of Statistical Methods to Herpetological Problems." Part 1 will be the frequency distribution and part 2 the desert vs coast.
Tuesday, April 22, 1941
Was appointed general manager of the company [SDGE] today.
Saturday, June 14, 1941
Shaw worked today.
Locality from R.M. Williams 8 mi. NW of Arbucle at Corina Creek Colusa Co. C. marmorata.
[Later entry] The other recipients of LLD's were Harvey Seeley Mudd, the mining engineer; and Karl T. Compton, President of M.I.T.
Thursday, June 19, 1941
Attended the meeting of the Ich & Herp Soc in Pasadena today. Met many herps. There was a symposium on pit vipers in the morning and on Africa in the afternoon. Presided at the first and presented a paper on speciation in rattlesnakes. Chap and I pulled out at about 5:20, reaching Banning at 7:12. Dusk but not dark. Clear and breezy. No moon.
Reached home at 1 AM Miles today 204
Tuesday, December 16, 1941
A M Jackley of South Dakota called this afternoon. Had a very interesting discussion with him particularly concerned with the rattler dens of South Dakota.
Monday, May 11, 1942
As I was due in Los Angeles for a business meting tomorrow, I went via the Mojave for what may be the only snake hunt of the year. Started at 3:30 PM (Pacific War Time) Warm, windy and part cloudy.
San Bernardino at 7 PM Cold cloudy and windy. The outlook bad.
Monday, June 8, 1942
Arrived at Washington at 8:40. Took quite a while checking baggage and buying tickets. Then went to the USNM where I met Miss Cochran. Talked specimens, and statistics. Visted Dr. Stejneger for an hour or more and discussed the possibility of Cope's Chilomeniscus Ephippicus coming from California. Wonderful how the old gentleman (now nearing 91) remembers all the notes and lines of investigation. I asked him particularly about the Baird and Girard ms. to accompany the Pacific RR reports, but he didn't know where it could be.
Tuesday, June 9, 1942
Went to the AMNH a few moments after 9 and stayed until 5:15. Saw Bogert's work on teeth, on cobras (especially teeth) and on Salvadora. He has many wonderful drawings. Met Jas. Oliver; also later in the afternoon Mrs. Clifford Pope. The entire day was spent in the discussion of problems and statistics, and was most interesting.
Friday, January 1, 1943
Although out in the evening I got a fair amount of work done today. As of this date, the tail-length paper, with the exception of a few minor pick-ups, is complete up to the rattler section. The temptation is to drop it now and take up the many taxonomic problems that have lately piled up, including the descriptions of a number of new subspecies. Also I am far behind in card indexing, filing, cataloging and similar activities. But, except for necessary work for other museums and herpetologists, I shall keep on with and try to finish the tail-length study, while the methods and formulas are still fresh in mind.
Monday, February 8, 1943
Went to the meeting of the Fellows SDSNH and heard a too-long talk on Guayule by Osborn. While dozing I had an idea on showing the difference of a specimen from 2 related species by co-ordinates representing probabilities. Think it is a useful scheme and will drop everything and follow it up.
Monday, March 1, 1943
The tail-length paper is finished; now I shall try to find an avenue of publication, or store it in the safe until after the war. It is necessary to keep finished papers separate from the mass of data at home, out of which no one but myself could ever make head or tail.
Saturday, March 27, 1943
Spent most of the morning at the zoo. Saw the room constructed for the specimens to be removed from the Natural History Museum, which is now practically dismantled.
Saturday, April 17, 1943
Worked all day and evening on the correlation paper and it is now practically finished with the exception of the usual checking -- also bibliographiy, acknowledgments, and summary.
Friday, December 31, 1943
Out to dinner and midnight party tonight.
Friday, January 7, 1944
Drove to Los Angeles this morning to attend an Army-Navy Conference at the Ambassador Hotel.
Saturday, April 14, 1945
All day and eveing cliping and arranging correspondents rattler comments for semi-popular paper.
Sunday, April 15, 1945
Worked all day (except Amphion concert in afternoon) on semi-popular paper on western rattlesnake habits. Made some progress -- not as good as I had hoped. Banta called tonight.
Wednesday, April 25, 1945
Started for Twenty-nine Palms this afternoon with GG at 2:30. A cool overcast day.
Reached Riverside at 11:20 cold with some rain. 288 miles today. Night drive 62 miles.
Saturday, May 12, 1945
Worked on rattlesnake habits bibliography, having decided to do it thoroughly. Zoo meeting at noon and out to dinner at night took too much time.
Sunday, May 20, 1945
Worked on the bibliography in the morning. Went out to lunch and stayed all afternoon.
Sunday, June 17, 1945
Pickled snakes in the morning.
Saturday, June 23, 1945
Spent the morning in the Public Library on rattler bibliographical matters and cleaned up everything there. Good progress. In the afternoon, let rattlers swim in the pond and made notes. The rest of the time was spent with postal card inquiries for further information from foresters and similar items; also Jane Peckham's wedding.
Sunday, July 1, 1945
Spent the entire day and eveing reading through old correspondence looking for rattlesnake field notes.
Saturday, July 7, 1945
Put in a long day and evening on the rattler habits paper. Some letters; some bibliographic work. Went over some of the past letters.
Saturday, August 4, 1945
Spent the day and evening on bibliographic work at the Medical Library, main library, and at Chapman Grant's. The bibliographic work for this paper is certainly a long and major effort.
Sunday, August 5, 1945
Spent the day and evening running through all the diaries from 1923 on looking for rattler life history notes that may not have been transferred to the yellow cards. Got up to 1937.
Saturday, August 11, 1945
Spent the morning checking the diaries and on other clerical and co-ordinating work on the rattler habits and life history paper.
Tuesday, August 14, 1945
Peace at 4:01 this afternoon.
Monday, August 20, 1945
This afternoon with Phil & GG went out in the back country. Started at 3:50. Clear & hot. Went out via the highway to Descanso, Cuyamaca, then down the Banner grade to Scissors Crossing. Daylight drive 75 miles; only one DOR seen
Reached Scissors Crossing at 9:55. 82° F. Cool & breezy.
Sunday, August 11, 1946
Worked all day on Indian snake-bite remedies and made good progress. Not easy to co-ordinate and arrange. This Indian-rattler section is going to be much larger than originally contemplated.
Saturday, August 17, 1946
Worked all day and evening on Indians and Rattlers and made good progress. This section should be finished shortly.
Its' been a tough week -- one of the most difficult I can remember. I suppose nowhere is age more evident than in the loss of ability to withstand nervous shocks -- such as that involved in the death of a 15 year-old dog. The terrible homesickness that no home can assuage; the loneliness that is always present; the all-gone feeling in the pit of the stomach; under these circumstances it is hard to be objective and retain a fair sense of relative values. Only a little dog -- yes --but a tearing bitter loss just the same. No patter down the hall; the scratch on the door that never comes.
Monday, September 2, 1946
Finished the Indian and Historical sections. Decided to separate them. The rest of the day was taken up in necessary curatorial work which is now far behind. I hate to waste time in this kind of activity, but it must be done. I am thinking of tackling the Food section next.
Monday, December 9, 1946
Was elected president of the Company [SDGE] today.
Saturday, August 30, 1947
Worked on the copying of the portable bibliography and other misc. work. Bogert came in for lunch, and also for dinner, after which we had a long talk (to 11PM) on herpetological matters.
Sunday, August 31, 1947
Finished copying the bibliography today. This will be a great help on all future trips to libraries. Also worked on various items to clear up the bibliogrpahic records. Drudgery, but necessary for more efficient work later.
Monday, September 1, 1947
Worked all day and evening on the "Speckled Band" project and finished the first draft. [See The Truth About the Speckled Band, reprinted from the Baker Street Journal, an Irregular Quarterly of Sherlockiana. --ed.]
Saturday, February 21, 1948
The entire day -- to 4 PM -- in catching up with a number of unfinished items, mostly bibliographic in preparation for my eastern trip. Hate to quit actual writing of the Habits section of the paper, but it seems advisable to so in order that the eastern trip and library visits can be most efficient.
Sunday, February 22, 1948
Spent the morning at the SD Public Library consulting the Library of Congress and British Museum Catalogs. Made good progress on a bibliographical investigation of ancient and medieval medicine. Lined up a number of new references.
Saturday, June 12, 1948
Spent most of the morning at the Zoo because of various meetings.