The Curt Brown Chronicles:1967 ACSM Report

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Many of The American Surveyor magazine’s readers have contacted me to acknowledge the value of Curt’s work and how, he was not only prescient, but also how many of his themes are applicable today. What I find most interesting is the growing number of younger surveyors who inquire about the direction the profession is going and why, they feel it is so important that they learn more about the legal and practice fundamentals about land surveying. I couldn’t agree more. As Curt would say, we are the ones in charge of our profession. I would therefore ask, where are we taking it?
–Michael J. Pallamary, PS

1967 ACSM Report
On August 18th and 19th, 1967, Curt attended the Semi-Annual meeting of the New Mexico Section where he addressed a group of some eighty New Mexico Surveyors and their wives on the subject "Variations on Sectionalized Land Areas in the United States." Typical of the treatment he received while lecturing across the country, an article in ACSM’s Surveying and Mapping journal described his visit:

The meeting, held at Cocina de Carlos in Albuquerque, provided an opportunity for both members and non-member surveyors from all parts of New Mexico to hear Curt Brown speak on a subject in which he is considered to be a complete authority. Members attended from Santa Fe, Artesia, Santa Rosa, Farmington, Gallup and Carlsbad in addition to the Albuquerque area. Mr. Brown’s remarks were exceptionally well received, and even some of the ladies present, who admitted that they did not understand all of the technical terms he used, were nevertheless fascinated by his presentation of the subject, and understood the points he was making.

A copy of each of Mr. Brown’s books, Boundary Control And Legal Principles, and Evidence And Procedures For Boundary Location, which he wrote in collaboration with Professor Winfield Eldridge, were given as door prizes to two of the guests, and the New Mexico Section is indebted to E. S. (Stan) Holman, map and instrument dealer of Albuquerque, for donating the volumes which Mr. Brown autographed when they were presented. A copy of Victor Westphall’s Public Domain In New Mexico, 1854-1891 was presented to Mr. Brown by the New Mexico Section.

Upon his arrival in Albuquerque Friday morning Curt was taken to the Atomic City of Los Alamos by way of the Jemez Mountain country and was given a guided tour of the Atomic Research Center by an old acquaintance and very active ACSM member, Ben Williams, who has been in charge of surveying at the installation for many years. Following the visit to Los Alamos and return by way of historic old Santa Fe, a reception was held for Mr. Brown at the Gold Room of Fabulous Diamond Jim’s at Winrock Center in Albuquerque, to which the heads of departments in Government and Private Industry concerned with surveying had been invited together with all of the members of the New Mexico Section.

On Saturday, August 19th, the day of the meeting, the officers and directors of the Section took Curt by tramway to the top of Sandia Crest near Albuquerque, where lunch was served at the Summit House Restaurant, at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, and where a meeting was held at a spot overlooking the Rio Grande valley to plan activities for the remainder of the year, the Annual Meeting and other matters. One of the highlights of the tram ride, which is the longest in North America, was passing in the tram car a rock cliff a quarter mile away on which was being supported a 30-foot banner bearing the inscription "Welcome Curt." Two members of the crew of a local surveyor had climbed to that point to dramatically emphasize that Curt was a most welcome guest of the Land of Enchantment.

Author Michael Pallamary has compiled the writings and lectures of the late Curtis M. Brown. These works are published in The Curt Brown Chronicles.

A 70Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE