Courtesy of Adam Cooper, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
 Bettie Steinberg

The last sands in the hour-glass of Charles Gauntt's science career are silently descending. When the final grain falls on December 31st, Gauntt's 36-year stint as a virologist will officially come to an end.

Retiring was his decision, one he made four years ago. No one had to push him or dangle an enticing severance package. All he needed was to think about fishing on a beautiful lake not far from the land he owns in central Texas. "At some point you say, I want to do something different," says Gauntt, an easy going 66-year-old who is just tickled that he now has time to read Time magazine from cover to cover. "I want to take a history course--adult courses where I don't have to take notes."

Gauntt is working half-time through the end of the semester at...

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