2013 Preparators' Grant


James D. Clark

Although I am 73 years old, I have only been closely associated with the world of vertebrate paleontology for the last fifteen years or so. I had been interested in vertebrate paleontology since about age 5, and I kept that interest so much that in my teens my girlfriend once got so exasperated with my going on about paleontology that she snatched my copy of Romer off the seat and tossed it out the window of my car at 50 miles per hour. I retrieved it but it bears the scars to this day. We later married and had a wonderful daughter; all's well that ends well.  

           


I was forced to decide finally in my 20s, at Colorado College, between vertebrate paleontology and English literature.  Although I loved both, I chose English (more jobs, no math) and went on for my Ph.D. at The University of Arizona.  Then I became an English professor for 35 years teaching early modern British literature and Freshman composition at Miami University of Ohio.  


Approaching retirement in the 1990s, I could see that I might again be able to pursue paleontology in some way, so I joined SVP then participated in a two-week course of field work and lab experience in Montana.  When I returned home to Ohio I contacted Dr. Glenn Storrs, the VP curator at the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC), and became a volunteer preparator.  Since then I have spent two or three days a week in the CMC labs preparing bones, improving my skills, and hoping to continue as long as possible in my second intellectual life.