When Mark O. Robbins found a hobby that interested him, he immersed himself in it. That may explain how it took him almost 10 years to craft a crib.
While a student at Harvard University, Mr. Robbins visited his roommate’s family farm, chopped down a cherry tree, and removed the wood. Nearly 10 years later, he hand-delivered a crib to the roommate.
“He said he wanted it for himself, but he made a beautiful crib, which took years to perfect, and gave it to me when my first daughter was born,” said Andrew Strominger, who choked up while remembering his friend’s gesture. “There were two or three other pieces, and every one of them was perfect. They were sanded by hand, not by machine. They were perfect and beautiful.”
Dr. Robbins, a condensed matter physicist who taught at the Johns Hopkins University’s Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy for more than 30 years, died Aug. 13 from a heart attack while exercising at his home in Baltimore. He was 64.