wanted the press there. It's good publicity for the museum and the state, and showing people what we do is the educational message we want to get out. And you can't play favorites once you invite the press in. But doing that without turning it into a media circus isn't easy. Shelley controlled the free-for-all by scheduling press days, as well as special viewing days for folks from the area, and for the brass of the army, which did so much to help us.
We knew digging up the best T. rax yet would attract the press, but we were still surprised by their frenzy. One national network show wanted to send a remote truck to do a live transmission from the site. When Shelley explained that their satellite truck would probably never make it over our road, and certainly not with its equipment working, they had another idea. Could I fly out to Los Angeles by private plane in time to appear live on their morning show? Not only would that have meant getting up long before dawn, something I had no intention of doing, but the trip probably would have cost more than our dig.
As it was, a network show and three different American television documentary crews and one from Japan came to tape the dig. Shelley had to schedule them each for different days. One of them even faked our trucking the T. rex away since they couldn't wait around for the real thing. And more than once a crew stepped on a researcher or a bone, or stumbled onto one of us using the area reserved as an open-air latrine. These events sent Pat's blood pressure soaring. Dozens of reporters and photographers came and went (not including the museum's own photographer, Bruce Selyem, who documented much of the dig)—even one guy who claimed to be from the Associated Press, a great surprise to the guy who was sent by the Associated Press.
So Pat had to figure on all these diversions when planning his dig schedule. He also had to plan, as best anyone can, for the summer weather in eastern Montana. It never rains much in this country, but the last few years had been real drought times. Still, with the temperature well over 100 degrees most days, the thunderheads would build up, and by day's end a fierce storm was sure to roll by. Usually you saw only rain off in the distance, along with Ughtning strikes and the occasional rainbow. Together with a fiery sunset it made for a heck of a show every night. But a couple of times the storms dropped on camp. The worst one packed hail and winds of seventy miles an hour that ripped Pat's tent to shreds and tore the weighted tarp off the quarry. Fortunately it didn't rain enough to soak the bones, and the crew had enough warning to trench the site, so the water ran off quickly.
Every workday at the dig, except for flash storms and media blitzes, the schedule was the same. We'd be up and out of our tents and teepees by 7:00 A . M . Not much time was spent on personal grooming. It was eat and run from the cook tent to start working before it got too hot.
Not that we were smart enough to stop working in the middle of the day. The crew took sandwiches along
WE'VE GOT MOST OF THE WANKEL T. REX SHOWING NOW. I'M SITTING IN
THE FOREGROUND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW I CAN SEPARATE THE LEG AND SKULL BONES, WHICH HAVE WASHED TOGETHER, WITHOUT HARMING THE FOSSILS.
matt smith, bob harmon and usually kept working until past 6:00 P.M. Then it and pat le|gg| f|nd m°re t. was dinner, beer, horseshoes, and conversation. I was
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