Wednesday
Oct292014

     My personal relationships conference (and one of my earliest conference experiences of any type) was the second ICPR in Madison in 1984. I was fortunate to be working on a project on deception in ongoing relationships (“Fudging with friends and lying to lovers: Deceptive communication in personal relationships) with my mentor Gerald R. Miller, who had been the invited speaker for the opening evening of festivities. And what an evening it was. The conference program indicates that Ellen Berscheid and Leonard Berkowitz were the opening speakers. My memory is that Steve Duck (to whom I am grateful for sending me a copy of the conference “programme”) acted as Master of Ceremonies and some other big names of the time were asked to say a few words.

     G. R. was gracious enough to share his time as the opening invited speaker with a star struck first year doctoral student. So if you can picture it, the line-up on that opening night included Steve Duck, Ellen Berscheid, Leonard Berkowitz, Gerald Miller, other luminaries, and then me. About my only memory of what I had to say that night was quipping that coming after such prominent scholars, I felt as though I was wearing a sign that says, “Who is he?”

     My other memory of that conference was having a lot of fun with many people who turned out to be prominent scholars. I slept on Jim Dillard’s couch and spent social time with Kathryn Dindia, Jim Applegate, Julie Burke, Jim Dillard, Bob Norton, and my graduate school colleague Carra Sleight.

     According to the program, the opening night of the second ICPR was Sunday, July 22, 1984. Ironically, this is twenty years to the day from the opening night of this year’s IARRC, also in Madison. Twenty years ago, I was a first year doctoral student. This year, I return to Madison as editor-elect of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. As the Grateful Dead once said, “what a long strange trip it’s been.”

- Paul Mongeau

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