Evelyn Witkin - Barbara McClintock: A Personal Friend

Well, I guess I met Barbara [McClintock] my very first day here. I stayed at the dormitory and she was living there at the time. I guess I met here in the living room of the dormitory the very first day that I came and we started talking. I found her absolutely fascinating; she told me quite a lot about what she was doing. We became really good friends. And I spent a lot of time visiting her lab, and she developed a habit of calling me whenever she had something especially exciting. These were the years when she was beginning to discover transposition. I would just sort of drop everything and run over and she would show me something that was beginning to make sense to her and it was just such a privilege to be in that relation[ship] with her-to watch this story develop. It was unmistakably convincing as you explained it. You know, not having known very much about maize genetics it wasn't easy for me to follow. But she was very patient about describing the experiments and she really was very confident about what she was doing.