Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - Pat Moore Remembers my Dad

An Angle of Repose

By Pat Moore

John Richard VanderPutten in his sailboat on Long Island Sound, circa 1975 
I remember telling Dick, my Admiral, that my father, also a civil engineer, had made the mistake of telling my mother that there was a term used in construction called the bending moment of the beam... don't load any more onto it... She would say, "Fred, I have reached the bending moment of the beam." 

Then Dick told me of a phrase I should pursue. When you dig a ditch, trying to make straight sides, the dirt slides back in to the bottom, leaving the sides sloping at the "angle of repose"... which sounded like a good thing to find.

 - Pat Moore
Wed, 17 May 2006