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Betty



When I first came to the Museum (NMNH), I was really excited
about many things, including the enormous size of the
collections and staff. This size truly provides great
potentials and resources. In my position here I work with
large numbers of the staff - especially the other
researchers - and have very friendly and nice relationships
with almost all of them - see them in the halls and talk
with them frequently. One of the negatives I hadn't really
thought about, however, is that, along with the
wonderfulness of the size comes the other edge of the sword
in that every year a number of my friends who I see a lot
and care for die. No matter how long I'm here it's been
tough to get used to that. It's happened a lot these past
few years (Nick Hotton for one) and never gets easier and I
end up just sucking it up and progressing along.

Well, the internet and the list has become a large museum
of resources and people for many of us with lots and lots of
contacts that we come to know, sometimes only virtually, and
depend on and also develop great affection for. Along with
that, unfortunately, is that at some point, and not all that
infrequently, someone who made a difference within this
community will indeed pass on and, just as with my group
here at NMNH, I still take it personally. I only met Betty a
few times but had been reading her posts for years and
enjoyed her opinions, especially those odd times when they
were different from mine, and talked with her across the
ether at various times. She will be missed.

I think the best way to remember her is to do what we're
doing, which is try and promote the knowledge and
understanding of dinosaurs and paleontology and try to pick
up the slack. That's what I've been trying to do with my
research and other dinosaur activities all these years, is
pick up the slack left when we lost everyone from Marsh and
Cope and Leidy to Barnum Brown to Nick Hotton, etc. Happily
these days, we now have huge numbers of people compared with
past years and are making progress on our understanding of
the beasts at ever increasing rates. It will hopefully never
end, but I guess the voyage is the real thing of value in
such instances, not the destination.


Ralph E. Chapman