It's never easy saying goodbye to friends. In this case, the friends are Bernie Erlin and Bill Hime, who have contributed a column to CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION since 2004. Erlin and Hime's final column, Legacies, appears in this issue.
When I came on board in 2007, Erlin and Hime's column was in limbo for reasons unknown. Senior editor Joe Nasvik approached me one afternoon and asked if I would consider bringing back Erlin and Hime.
I visited the archives to read a number of their past columns. Additionally, I reviewed columns Erlin and Hime had written for CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION but were awaiting publication. To me, the decision to publish Erlin and Hime's column again in CC was easy—both men are respected in their particular niche of the concrete industry, and both have detailed and extensive knowledge of the industry. It is all too likely that Erlin and Hime have forgotten more about the concrete industry than many of us will ever learn.
Besides, the columns were not only educational but fun to read. Their creative hooks for engaging the reader were like no other. Where else could you read a column about portland cement that also included references to Thomas Edison and Yankee Stadium?
In 2009, Joe and I visited Bernie at his office and laboratory in Latrobe, Pa. Even though our visit was limited to a few hours, it was certainly a meeting I will never forget. Bernie quickly took us upstairs to show us recent research, his offices filled with a countless number of slides, concrete samples, and technical journals. Next, we visited his testing lab. Dozens of concrete cylinders, forensic pieces of concrete from jobs that had failed, not to mention a bevy of unique testing equipment some of which should eventually end up in a concrete museum—does one exist?
I have never had the opportunity to meet Bill Hime, however, I have certainly heard a lot about him from his peers, specifically Bernie, and learned even more from reading his articles and columns. Following 20 years in the Research and Development Laboratories of the PCA, Hime joined Erlin to form Erlin Hime Associates Inc., which eventually evolved into the Erlin Hime Associates Division of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. Over the course of six decades, Hime's research and contributions to the concrete industry influenced a variety of ASTM and ACI standards. Hime published more than 75 papers, but the one paper that stood out from the others was “Chloride-Caused Corrosion of Steel in Mortar and Concrete: A New Historical Prospective,” published in 1994.
Colleagues and friends for more than 50 years, Erlin and Hime certainly will be missed by the CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION family, as well as the thousands of subscribers that read their column every month. We wish them both the best of luck as they put their pen down in order to spend more time with family and friends.