by Kenneth C. Gass
While breaking open rocks one day,
I found something that made me stay
To see if I could find some more
Of what I'd never seen before.
I'd hoped, since one had been in view,
There'd be another, maybe two,
But that was all that I could see,
So I walked home dejectedly.
When I arrived, I took a look
Inside my fav'rite fossil book.
What I observed confirmed my view
That what I'd found was something new.
To see it, one needs two good eyes,
Because of its sub-standard size.
In fact it was so very small,
Mom couldn't see the thing at all.
But with a Hastings Triplet's aid,
And as I opened up the shade,
Its features seemed to jump right out -
Something I'd one day write about.
This fossil had both tail and head,
And that's uncommon, it is said.
For these were molts that normally
Would drift apart quite distantly.
My good friend, Joe, from MPM,
Then asked to make a trade for them.
When I declined he understood.
He knew those fossils were too good.
A few months later, I went back
And gave a boulder one good whack.
What then appeared before my eyes?
Two more - just half the others' size!
And that occurence seemed to be
A miracle - at least for me.
It made me know what I would do
When all my formal school was through.
And what profession did I see?
Of course - paleontology.
It's in professions of those kinds
Where I could publish all my finds.
But that was not my fate and so
I thought I'd have to let it go,
Until my wife confronted me
And said: "Who needs a Ph. D.?"
She said, "Just do it! Then do more.
Come on. What are you waiting for?
Life is too short, and then you die.
Don't let your passions pass you by."
So I embarked, with pen in hand,
Into a most rewarding land -
Not one of fortune, fame or gold,
But of adventures to behold.
I wrote to dozens, and had fun.
To Maximova, Whittington,
To Levi-Setti, Bolton too,
And Richardson, to name a few.
They all wrote back and helped me out -
Professionals, without a doubt.
And two joined forces on my team,
Which helped me to fulfill my dream.
John Temple and Ron Tripp where they -
Two British men with much to say.
As cautious as they tend to be,
They helped me out quite lib'rally.
Our papers added up to three -
Each authored by T, T & G.
Although we did not name my find,
Those gentlemen were very kind.
And then one day when I was sick,
I got a call from Mikulic.
My good friend from ISGS
Desired to work with me, I guess.
He'd run across a trilobite,
For sixty years kept out of site.
When published in CJES,
Our Perryus helped clear a mess.
Along came Edgecombe from the North,
Who brought Glyptambon gassi forth.
He named that species after me -
A touch of immortality.
As years went by, my friendships grew
With Edgecombe, Ramsköld, Watkins too.
And so, with Don and those three men,
I formed a team and tried again.
This time it finally occured -
The sweetest name I'd ever heard -
Named for my wife, and you know why -