For years, I've maintained this website with quite a bit of anonymity. Folks have been kind to write to me from time to time as they have encountered my work, and I've been thrilled to get every message. One of the things that I've seldom done is talk about who I am and what influence The Three Investigators has had on my life.
First, my name is Philip Fulmer. If you are a college football fan, then you probably know that Philip Fulmer is the name of the former head coach of the University of Tennessee. He's a distant relative, although the exact relationship is unknown.
As a youth, I discovered the Three Investigators series of books. It happened for me in the 4th grade, and the first book I read was The Secret of Skeleton Island. I was hooked. That particular library only had four books in the series: The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy, The Mystery of the Green Ghost, The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure, and The Secret of Skeleton Island. I read them all several times in the 4th and 5th grades.
My father was a minister; so we ended up moving quite a bit. That could have been traumatic, but one of the things that made the moves bearable was the hope that at whatever new town we found ourselves, the school library and/or public library might have some Three Investigators books that I hadn't read before. In a way, Jupe, Pete, and Bob were my friends who moved with me and were willing to share a new adventure (or adventures) in every new town to which I moved. I never read any of the books past Monster Mountain before graduating from high school because they weren't available where I could find them. My parents weren't the types to buy a lot of books; so the idea of finding these books in a store where I could own them was never an option.
Once I graduated from high school and had some money to play around with on my own, I started searching for T3I books in used bookstores everywhere I went. That was the biggest source of my books for years until the internet opened up all the possibilities that we have these days. So I now own all the stories in the US series, although it doesn't form what I would call a perfect collection.
So what did I grow up to be? Like many who trace their thinking skills back to Three Investigators, I can say the boys had a big impact on me. I grew up to become a scientist. I earned a PhD in nuclear engineering, worked in consulting and the nuclear power industry for a number of years with a specialty in performing environmental radiological analysis for the Department of Energy for several major projects. In 2002, I found my way into teaching nuclear radiation physics, radiation safety, and electronics at the college where I earned my BS degree, where I am now a tenured associate professor. You can find my "professor" website at swampfox.fmarion.edu/fulmer