I suppose anyone who has received this award previously has had the same thoughts as I have. Namely, you wonder how you ever got here to become so honored as the recipient of the Paleontological Society Medal. Paleontology is an awe-inspiring profession. Over the years, I have discovered that everyone who started out merely as a colleague or collaborator became a friend. Evidently, paleontologists are a congenial, although somewhat unusual, group. I am proud to be a member.

Where did it all begin? My parents were immigrants. We lived in what today might be called an ethnic neighborhood in...

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