Foreword

Some years ago, I clipped a sentence from an abstract in the program of the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, and pasted it to the bookshelf by my desk. I no longer remember who was the author of this quotation, and I don't know whether his tongue was in his cheek when he wrote: "Geologists are the most literate of all technical writers. Skilled in a descriptive science, strong on grammar, they are beautifully, even romantically fluent."

Perhaps there is an affinity between the earth and writers —and between writers and the earth. Perhaps the thrills and pleasures of digging up clues to the history of our planet—tangible bits of the planet itself—require to be shared.

This sharing can be seen on many levels. Specialists, popularizers, tyros, teachers, hobbyists: all have something to say, and all to more than one audience. Russell MacFall, for many years an editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a hobby collector of both fossils and minerals. His amateur standing with respect to the latter category was shattered two decades ago with the publication of his Gem Hunter's Guide. His amateur position in paleontology is shattered by the volume now before us. Jay Wollin, briefly a landscape designer, holds degrees in horticulture and paleobotany and currently teaches earth science at Oakton Community College in Morton Grove, Illinois.

Both authors remain authentic members of the far-flung community of amateurs of paleontology; for both remain keen collectors and happy devotees of the thrill of uncovering and preserving fossils. It is to their fellow collectors that they address this book. In presenting it, the publisher has chosen well, for one could look long and far to find authors so well established in the affections of their fellows. Both have come up through the ranks of local collecting societies to the presidency of the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical and Geological Societies.

EUGENE S. RICHARDSON JR. Curator, Fossil Invertebrates, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois

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