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Bernstein met second wife Susan Goldhor through mutual friends. “I thought he was kind of cute and had a really nice smile,” she recalled. Susan, a biologist with an interest in mycology, recalled Bernstein joking that “I did mushrooms, and he did mushroom clouds.” On their first date, they hiked the White Mountains. Then they planned a longer hike. “I didn’t have the right socks, and I got blisters. These were big hikes every day. I was really having a hard time, I was in pain, I was exhausted, and so I complained to Aron about this. Aron hated whiners, so he wrote me a letter afterward that it wasn’t going to work out, that he wasn’t going to deal with whiners. He was a very, very straightforward person — he didn’t play games.”

She convinced him that she wasn’t actually a whiner, and he took her to a Mozart concert at Jordan Hall. Bernstein loved music, “nothing later than Schubert, and preferably a lot earlier— I couldn’t get him to go to a Mahler concert.” They married in 1990. Hiking was a shared passion, and they bought a vacation home in the White Mountains. “We hiked in summer, fall, and winter — I remember hiking in a blizzard. Until Aron was 86, we were still hiking and snowshoeing together. The hikes got shorter but the pleasure was still there.”

From an MIT News obit for Aron Bernstein, professor of physics.

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