When Jack Blount, of Rutland, came to consciousness in his native New Jersey — he started school in Cedar Grove — World War II was raging in Europe and the Pacific. His father, an electrical engineer, worked 6 and 7 days a week, gasoline for family outings was hard to find, as were nylon stockings, and food was rationed. The family vacationed summers at the shore, where young Jack found oil and tar in the sand, left there he says, by ships sunk by Nazi U-boats in the North Atlantic. When he got his Gilbert Chemistry set, he set up his first chem lab in the basement. By the time he got to 10th grade, Blount had decided chemistry would be his life’s calling. Higher education took him to Antioch College, then to the University of Wisconsin. His work took him around the world, Australia, for two years, then back to the United States. His travels, with his wife, included the Arctic and hobnobbing with penguins in Antarctica before settling down in Vermont. Visit bit.ly/JBlount to see and hear Jack Blount tell his story in this week’s Talking Pictures video.