The measure of a man, Saxton Pope.
Those who knew Saxton Pope best, thought of him as a remarkable physician and an able surgeon. Those who knew him through some of his writings, might have thought of him as an anthropologist. Those who knew him through his handiwork thought of him as a skilled craftsman. Those who knew him casually thought of him as a clever magician. Those who knew him intimately appreciated his unusual musical interest. Those who knew of him through the European and American sport journals, thought of him as the famous archer, holding the world’s record for a “flight shot.” Those who knew of him as a hunter of “big game,” knew that he was the first white man in a thousand years, to bring down mountain lions and grizzlies with the long bow and arrow. Finally, the sportsmen of three continents know that the African lion-”king of beasts”-was added to the victims of the long yew bow and swift arrow of this fearless bowman. There are those who marvel that such achievement could have been crowded into the busy years before Saxton Pope was fifty, and there is reason to marvel. It was his manner of living, his will to know, and his tremendous energy that made the “play” of Saxton Pope as notable as his professional work.
In the art of handicraft certain things facilitate matters, one of them being the hand itself and its adaptability. For some work the hand is perfectly made, for other work it must be adjusted. Sooner or later in their relationship, Saxton Pope’s hands were the marvel and the study of his intimate friends. His hands were comparatively small, loosely knit, and rather thin; being supple they were capable of great flexibility. The fingers were long and slender; without tapering they ended in the spatulate tips of the creative digit. Though the observer might frequently see a fan-like spread of the fingers. Pope had no affectations in the use of his hands, and there was little or no lost motion in his rapid movement of them. From the size and shape of these hands no one could possibly be prepared for their phenomenal strength; neither could there be any doubt that the limitation of their achievement would be that of time, and never that of inefficiency. All the years of his busy life bear out this conclusion.
The study of Saxton Pope.
The study of Saxton Pope the man, is quite as fascinating as Pope the Professor, Physician, Surgeon, Magician, Musician, Craftsman, or Hunter. In stature Pope was a small man, but possessed of such personal charm that he was conspicuous in a multitude. He was dramatic without being theatrical; he was unobtrusive but he was never unobserved; he was the kind of man people laughed with, but they never laughed at him. His way of spending time even in his childhood was remarkable. Early in life he learned the value of time-counting work a blessing, and any task well done worth while. For Saxton Pope there were astonishingly few hardships. He was so vitally alive, so vitally interested in all that he undertook; he demanded of every effort such finished results, that he made of his life a series of superb successes. His many interests made him a versatile man; his many accomplishments made him a notable man. His play and relaxation were serious to the extent that he made them valuable to himself and others; his performance of duty was modestly done but magnificently achieved. A scholar and a specialist, Pope was humble in regard to his great learning. Honest and unpretentious, he was unhesitating and unashamed in admitting that he did not know. Accepting and requiring little for himself, Saxton Pope gave tremendously to his friends. From life he took only that which enabled him to serve; to the world he gave a wealth of service.