a tribute by Mark Paley
Herman Bake was one of the most influential people in my life, even though I never took one of his classes, nor spent a lot of time with him. In the last 30 or so years since I left UCSC I have devoted my life’s work to “community work” for lack of a better phrase. In large part, it began at a meeting I had with Dr. Blake on the suggestion of my father as I was planning my last few months on the UCSC campus.
In my 4+ years at UCSC I never spoke with Dr. Blake, but in that meeting my memory is clear. I expressed a desire to do an internship in a different culture in the United States (that was my entire set of criteria). Without hesitation, he pulled out a map and said “you will work here, with Emory Campbell.” Seemed fine to me. Little did I know that Mr. Emory Campbell would become my mentor, a teacher and a life long friend.
“Here” was the most eastern, southern corner of South Carolina. I had no clue how different a culture it would turn out to be. Having lived my entire 22 or so years between Berkeley and Santa Cruz, South Carolina, and the Gullah Culture was to be my home for the next three or so years, that started with a six month internship.
After sometime there, Dr. Blake came for a visit and together we went to Daufuskie Island, which many other tributes have mentioned. I also had the honor to work with Dr. Blake’s Brother, Henry Blake.
It’s an honor to share this tribute with Herman Blake.