Soon after graduating from the University of Arizona in 1970,I was afforded many opportunities to participate in excavations at PaleoAmerican sites, mainly in the High Plains of Wyoming on George Frison's projects, but also in Colorado with Dennis Stanford and Arizona with Emil Haury and Vance Haynes. Many of these opportunities resulted from colleagues knowing about my growing expertise in knapping and applying that knowledge to archaeological questions. Other contacts came through Marie Wormington and although I never worked with her on a project, she was very generous with her professional network. It was through Marie that I first met George and June Frison and through them I met Dennis Stanford.
I'm not a great believer in random luck; for the most part I think we make our own luck; good and bad. Sometimes I look back and wonder what my mentors saw in me that allowed them to tolerate my over-enthusiasm to the point of being obnoxiously know-it-all. Dennis said that his first impression of me was less than positive. I wasn't occasionally referred to as Mighty-mouth for no reason. I like to think it was primarily enthusiasm and this is somewhat borne out by the fact that I wasn't summarily shunned. Those early years of arrogance have mellowed, yet I hope and feel that the enthusiasm has survived. Never the less, I was extremely fortunate to be afforded so many opportunities to be involved in what has turned out to be the seminal work in PaleoAmerican research in the 1970s and 80s.
My first experiences with PaleoAmerican archaeology came about because I was an undergraduate student in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. My real interest was in desert archaeology. I had classes and interaction with three professors who worked on PaleoAmerican; Emil Haury, Vance Haynes and Paul Martin. I also had a colleague, Bruce Huckell, who was a budding knapper like myself and equally enthusiastic, if less effusive, about 'Early Man' points, specifically Clovis. Together we busted rocks and roamed the desert in search of Clovis evidence. We were also first to volunteer for whatever opportunities came up to get out into the field.