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Harvey J. Adkins

22.04.1948 - 23.06.2007

Harvey J Adkins

Ph.D. in Microbiology (1982) University of Oklahoma. (Also held B.S. (1971) and M.S. (1978) in Microbiology from the same university.) Profession: Microbiologist/Officer (Commander) in the United States Navy

He was a native of Oklahoma, son of the late George and Mary Francis McKelvey Adkins. Harvey joined the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps during his undergraduate years at the University of Oklahoma, a product of a parochial school system. On receiving his B.S. degree, he was commissioned and sent to a ship based out of Mayport, Florida. 

Following his service in the Navy he returned to the University of Oklahoma and pursued a Ph.D. in microbiology. Then returned to the U.S. Navy. Although he preferred to be involved in academia, he actually felt the 40 years in the Navy gave him opportunities he would have in no way gotten elsewhere. Extensive travel, living in foreign countries four times, see microbiology in aspects ranging from major hospital work, jungle research in infectious diseases, teaching tropical medicine and parasitology to young physicians, operational medicine and finally, detection and identification of agents of biological warfare under field conditions. At one time he was considered the Navy’s prime expert in biological warfare and clinical parasitology. 

Two years following his retirement from the Navy he and his wife Gail moved to Johnson City. Harvey said ‘perhaps there’s really something to be said for the inspirational power of these old Tennessee mountains. I understand it’s been a source for artists of all types through many years, and maybe I’m feeling’ the pull lately. Whatever it is, I seem now rested and facing my one more great life adventure as exactly that- A Great Adventure.’ 

Survivors include: his wife, Gail Adkins of the home; a son, Christopher Adkins of Tulsa, Oklahoma; a daughter, Emily Adkins of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; three brothers, George Adkins of Dallas, Texas, Thomas Adkins of Norman, Oklahoma and John Adkins of Beaverton, Oregon. 

Harvey's secret passion and on meeting Anne Golon in his own words :

Dear Group:

As promised, here are my description and impressions of my meeting with Anne Golon. The day we and the Halls went to Versailles, Steve had set up with Nadja to meet us that afternoon at the Louis XIV statue in the front courtyard. My first impression of Nadja was that the lady is a dynamo with numerous projects in the fire. She's a mile-a-minute speaker, and I found it hard to keep up from the second I met her. She's also completely devoted to her mother's cause and immediately began filling me in as we walked the mile or so to the hotel where we were to meet with Anne and their friend Iva Garo. It became apparent to me very quickly that the case is incredibly complicated involving rights of the publisher vs. rights of the author, made even more complex with the addition by the company's lawyers of the rights of the deceased husband, Serge, who they say are not being considered properly. These are rights, by the way, that he neither asked for nor wanted while he was alive, but the company lawyers have found him convenient to request delays of the trial, because he was listed as a second author on the early books. This is irritating, since the only reason he did that was to make certain that the books were published, since at the time female authors in France were rare and not taken seriously. There's no doubt that he contributed ideas, but he always felt that Anne was the true author. Anyway, I can only speak in generalities, first because I don't want to say anything which might hurt the Golons' case, and secondly because I frankly don't understand all the complex issues involved.

However, it seems to me that what the case is is an attempt by a huge conglomerate (the largest in France, it seems, which derives most of its profits from arms sales) to squash an individual who has dared to challenge its power. Maybe things haven't advanced there from the 17th Century as much as we might think, and Anne is now fighting the same sorts of battles that her heroine did then. Believe it or not, according to Nadja, this company even sold the rights to write future Angélique novels to another person for the equivalent of about $20, despite the fact that Anne never relinquished this right. So, conceivably future adventures could actually be written by someone else entirely!

The talk went along in this vein for a while along with both Nadja and Iva until the arrival of Anne herself. Anne is a very non-prepossessing person who looks very much the same as the only picture I have ever seen of her (with husband Serge) which has been included on numerous book jackets. I don't know when that picture was taken, but about the only difference is age. This lady very quickly impressed me as someone who (similar to what Steve said before) is not about to give up the fight, in spite of the fact that all the cards seem to be stacked against her. The company she is fighting not only owns numerous interests in France, but also controls the media. Several times investigative journalists in France have been wanting to tell the story, but each time they get scared off by the power against whom they are dealing. For this reason Nadja feels that only by raising a scandal outside France will Anne ever get the publicity she needs, because it won't happen there. All in all, a terribly distressing situation to say the least. For all of us who want to see these books finished, all this has become a great distraction to Anne.

Meeting Anne herself was one of the great thrills of my (not so young) life. I had a great trip, but meeting this modest lady ranked right up there with the Louvre and Versailles. I am sure the entire group will be happy to know how animated and happy she became when Steve presented her with our petition. She and Nadja discussed with obvious glee the wording and the fact that so many countries were represented. (Thanks to everyone for that, and especially thanks to Marie-France for all the work she put into it.)

I must admit that I was almost embarrassed to ask Anne to autograph the book I brought with me. She sat for at least 45 minutes trying to thing of the proper wording for a dedication. Since I don't speak French, I would have been perfectly happy with a signature, but she wouldn't have it. She seemed to feel she owed me something special for what I had done in trying to defend her books, which of course, need no defense. I was completely touched to think that a woman that I admire as one of the greatest authors I have ever read would take so much time for a simple dedication. Still, on second thought, maybe that is why she is such a great writer. She doesn't write anything without thinking about it. Anyhow, Nadja translated the inscription for me, and it was wonderful. Still, I feel that I don't deserve the adulation and that it in fact belongs more to the entire group than to me alone, and if I can get my web site back in order, I'll scan it and put it up for everyone to read. Perhaps Marie-France can provide a translation, because I didn't have time to write down Nadja's. One thing that Steve, his wife, Susan, my wife Gail, and I tried to convey (I think successfully) is that there are a lot of people out there behind her and hoping for her success. When she told me how much she owed me for what I have done, I sincerely told Nadja to tell her that if anyone owes anyone anything, I owe her for literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours of great reading which has really meant something to me.

We concluded the session with pictures, which as I have already said were a big disappointment, at least until I see what came out to my daughter's camera. After that I KISSED ANNE GOLON goodbye. I may never wash these cheeks again!

What a fantastic day for me, and I hope that in the future some of the rest of the group may experience the thrill that I did meeting this great writer that we all obviously admire so much.

Very best wishes to everyone,


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Page updated : 12th February 2018 (G)