At Gathering for Gardner 9, Dale Seymour gave a presentation of his spectacular house as well as of sculptures he’d brought to Tom Rodger’s estate. When I found out he lived in nearby Los Altos, I promptly asked him if there was any chance we could come over and see them in person, since Neil is a huge fan of mathematical and abstract sculpture.
Understandably, Neil wasn’t the only one in our crowd interested in seeing the house. I quickly collected Bill Gosper; the Ziegler-Hunts boys and their father; and Bill’s friend Peter Aiken-Forderer, who lives nearby and used to go trick-or-treating there as a child.
Here’s the veranda of the house, and Dale explaining the design of the circular house to us.
There’s a garden of hexagons on the stairs leading down to the yard.
The garden and yard are full of fantastic mathematical sculptures like this.
And this optical illusion.
And this groovy op-art that’ll make your eyeballs spin.
Here’s Kelly in front of an optical illusion.
An ingenious Serpinski triangle made with golf balls.
Stars and circles and spheres and triangles.
And that was just the outside!
After showing us around, Dale led us in through a centrally hinged door which Peter A. had said always had the neighborhood kids talking.
The inside was filled with old fashioned toys and games. We took a tour circling around the inside until we got to the top. Then we circled back around to the bottom where Dale and his wife Margo treated the kids to sodas and snacks, and let them play with the video games in the game room.
As it turns out, Dale is also the world’s authority on gambling chips, and has written the ultimate guide about them for collectors. He showed us some of those treasures as well.
He was also too modest to tell us that he’s written and published the best books you can find for learning about tesselations. I only found this out when I was looking for such a book for Neil, and found out we had met the author!
Then again, having seen the bar of tesslating lizards, I shouldn’t have been surprised: