by Mary Ellen Eagan
Last Friday, HMMH celebrated the retirement of one of its founders, Carl Hanson. The celebration included about 80 current and former colleagues, friends, and neighbors. Here are just a few of the tributes that were given:
For years, working with Carl meant running into people who not just knew Carl, but called themselves his friends. At Carl’s retirement party, his friends flooded HMMH to pay tribute to his illustrious career. And what distinguised friends they were! Carl has been such a great mentor to me on life, acoustics and beer choices. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him and would be proud to consider myself one of his “old friends”. Enjoy your time! – Jason Ross
I’ve known Carl for over 30 years and during that time he has been a good friend as well as my rail noise and vibration mentor. In the early days, we bonded while spending many hours in various out-of-the-way places “waiting for a train.” I will miss his presence here at HMMH as he moves on to a new phase in life, and wish him clear tracks ahead! – Dave Towers
For those who don’t know me, I am the current head of the rail group at HMMH. I stand very tall on the shoulders of giants like Carl Hanson and others in the room. I echo many of the sentiments here, and Carl has certainly taught me an enormous amount over the years about acoustics and rail. I have many great stories I could tell, and have enjoyed working with Carl over the past 16 years. However, the most important thing I feel that Carl has taught me is to enjoy life, and have fun. I’ve always admired Carl’s ability to work hard and be focused, but to also have fun, both at work and outside of work. Work is important, but having fun and enjoying life are important also. Thanks for everything Carl, it’s been great. Enjoy retirement and don’t be a stranger. – Lance Meister
Carl has been a supervisor, mentor, colleague, friend and friend to me since the early 1970’s, when we were both in the environmental noise group together at BBN. Over the past 39 years, we have spent many hours discussing project details, proposal strategies and even establishing noise impact criteria for the Federal Transit Agency. We worked particularly closely together in Houston in the 1980’s where our paths crossed on noise assessment and abatement studies for both Houston Metro and TxDOT. During my trips with him there, Carl made sure we sampled the best food and music Houston had to offer. Also, since Carl and I are both winemakers, we’ve shared many techniques, experiences, successes and failures over the decades. I’ll miss him at the office, but I know that I’ll be seeing him from time to time, at least for a wine tasting! – Chris Menge
I’ve been thinking about HMMH’s choice of a clock as a retirement gift. On one level it seems rather ironic – especially for a consulting firm, where the basis of our trade is selling hours. On the other, it is perhaps a reminder that the greatest gift of retirement is time – to spend as you wish. As someone who just does not have enough hours in the day to give to everyone who wants it (and absolutely zero time for me) I am very jealous of the freedom that must come with not having to “clock in” on a daily basis. We all know that Carl has many passions and interests and will be using his time wisely and happily – in fact, scheduling both this celebration and our 30th anniversary party has been a challenge because of his busy schedule! We wish him well and look forward to seeing him around for an occasional project – or happy hour. Or both.
On a more personal note, I want to thank Carl for everything he has taught me. Many of you may not know this, but once upon a time, I did rail noise work. In fact, I spent most of a sweltering summer measuring noise in downtown Houston and along the Southwest Freeway corridor. I learned a lot about how transit is planned, the differences between transit noise and aircraft noise, and how to interact with clients. However, the thing that I most admire about Carl – during that trip and consistently over the last 27 years – is his sincerity and acceptance of every person he meets. Carl is the least judgmental person I have ever known. Perhaps it is his Midwestern charm – or my East Coast cynicism (I am quite sure that Carl is the first person I’ve ever known from Iowa, maybe the entire Midwest), but his ability to always see the best in everyone is something I find incredibly admirable and something to aspire to. I will miss those reminders. And the margaritas. – Mary Ellen Eagan