Today at Berkeley Lab

Retiree’s Poem Extols the Virtues of Lab’s Efforts to Help Mankind


Though Russ Guidi, an HVAC technician in the Facilities Division, only worked here for seven and a half years, it was enough time for the Lab’s mission to make a big impression on him. The efforts of scientists to find solutions to world problems prompted him to write a moving poem before his last day tomorrow, when he retires.

What inspired him to pen this homage? “I guess my feelings had been building up for a while now, because this place is so great,” Guidi explains. “I hate to leave the Lab, but I’m getting old!”

He was part of the coffee club at the Molecular Foundry, where he would chat with scientists and others about literature. “He is an encyclopedia…he’s not only read the majority of classics, especially philosophy and history, but he can recite many passages from these remarkable texts,” says researcher Alex Weber-Bargioni. “He is one of the most pleasant characters at the Lab….calm, extremely polite, with a deep wisdom that sits directly behind his eyes and shines through them. He became part of the Foundry family and his pleasant demeanor and take on life contributed greatly to the atmosphere here.”

Guidi will transition from helping to keep our offices, labs, and equipment at the right temperature, to a more relaxed life in Sea Ranch, working on his home, fishing, and diving.

My Departing Poem

Striving for better is the reason we are set aside,
A consorted effort that fills one with pride.

Talent arrayed from all over the globe,
The secrets of the universe do undaunted probe.

Other worlds will mark well our science,
If our reason be drawn from a cosmic alliance.

Those who despair at the state of mankind,
A glimpse of righteous glory at this Lab will find.

Greek mythology I am compelled to reuse,
Assigning to the Lab a tenth Muse.

Dedicated to science she is there to inspire,
Our gifted men and women to achievements even higher.

I now depart without unhappiness to debate,
This jewel of knowledge set in a golden state.