Sunday, November 06, 2005

Look What I Dug Up

Was doing i bit of sorting out on Saturday. Had a rumage through a couple of boxes of bits and pieces- school year books, lots of photos and old hockey trophries, which i threw was abit hard but i figured i really didn't need my 1982 'A' Division Winners under 10 or 1988 'B' Grade Encouragement awards anymore.
Sometimes you have to let go.
But i did find a couple of letters which still makes me smile and i can't throw out.
Back in 1988 when i was in year 10 we had a assignment for science. Now my memory is a tad fuzzy but it involved making a model of an extinct beastie, and doing a report on it. At the time i was a member of the Riversleigh Society a cool fossil dig site in Queensland, and where you could volunteer and help dig up millions of year old bits of critters. I still have several of the newsletters from the late 80's. The mascot was a Thylacoleo or a 'Marsupial Lion', it was big and fangy and the biggest and fangiest thing on the continent. I had the idea to make one of those. With the help of Mum, i got the address of one of the main researchers involved in the study of ancient Australia and wrote to him asking for advice and infomation. (i don't remember the exact request anymore)
I wrote to Professor Michael Archer , i didn't hear back, wasn't that surprised and ended up making a Pterosaur instead, which was alot easier to make out of paper mache and wire than a cat critter.
Then five months later i recieved this, which i still think after all these years is awesome. A simple "sorry too busy" would have been fine.
I wrote back to him, slightly overwhelmed saying something like "wow its ok, no really, thanks you so much for replying, wow", and must have made some joke about know large men with large swords....and he wrote back. I am still horribly impressed that he took time to reply in such a funny, charming fashion. I may photocopy these and send them to him saying "You rock, and if you ever want someone to make you cups of tea..."
Though i never made it to Riversleigh, i have done a fair bit of volunteer work with living but endangered beasties, and i have always remembered these letters, especially when i have seen an interview or article by the good Professor, so in a way he has inspired me.

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