John L. Sorenson
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Reminiscenses by John L. Sorenson

My Work

This piece has to be pretty extensive for most of a man’s life consists of work. I mean work for pay. I began work around home at an early age, and generally enjoyed it, but I don’t count that here. Likely my first recollection is “thinning (sugar) beets” for neighbor Clark Thornley on his land north of Smithfield, but I already knew how, so I must have been involved earlier, possibly along with my brother Randall. (Beet seed was planted by machine in a continuous row up to a quarter mile in length. Once they had germinated and sprouted to an inch or more a man or boy had to chop out with a short hoe (15 inches long) the extra sprouts to leave a single plant every six to eight inches. Usually the left hand had to pull out all but one of those left by the hoe. This meant bending over for the full length of the row; usually the rows seemed several miles long!) The summer (1938) before I began my sophomore year at North Cache High I spent three weeks or so at this task, earning at most $3 or $4 per hot dry day (a few hotshots, often Mexicans, could chop “a half acre” per day and earn as much as $12; they barely looked up from their row, ever). This was about the only work there was, although I also picked green beans (along with my mother) in the late summer. They grew on poles poked into the ground (beans were picked into a bucket then dumped into a cloth sack) for one or two years (from dawn to noon; after noon in hot weather the beans were too wilted to be acceptable). This was even less profitable work but there was no other source of cash, so that continued in subsequent summers. The year (1941) I graduated from high school I was given the chance to work on the campus of USAC in Logan. My brother had just graduated from the Radio Engineering department and through his close connection with the department chair learned that they would need someone to operate movie projectors through summer school, which was a responsibility of his old department. I got the job. I would pick up a projector (they weighed a ton in those days) and a reel of educational film as per schedule which I then lugged to a classroom somewhere on the campus. There I had to set it up quickly between class periods and show the film when the teacher said to. Quite often the film would break at some random point, whereupon I would re-thread the broken end through the machine and try to go on with the show. Well, I got through it, but it was not pleasant or relaxed work, although it paid comparatively well (of course I had little to compare it with!) I also worked a few weekends at the military warehousing facility at Clearfield in response to an appeal for USAC students to do so to make up for a shortage of civilian workers. In spring quarter I taught a course in Morse code for the Radio Engineering department (I had picked it up very readily during the two preceding quarters). Then in the summer I was given a chance to operate the supply room for a U.S. Navy electronics (radar technician) training program for uniformed sailors that was being run on campus, passing out instruments and kits as they were requested. During the school year I traveled from Smithfield to Logan in my buddy’s (Grant Athay’s) Model A Ford; in the summer travel was via the interurban electric railway or by hitch hiking. I have no recollection about how much I was paid but it wasn’t very notable. During fall and winter quarters I was hired under the National Youth Administration, a federal subsidy program left over from the Depression era, to work in late afternoons as a custodian servicing offices in the Old Main building on campus. Upon entering the Army Air Corps in early March 1943, I obviously needed no supplemental job for the next 40 months. (See my section on military service for details.) Home in the summer of 1946 I was comfortable enough financially with my savings to not need to work. I attended summer quarter at USAC and found it terribly dull—how ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Brazil? The next two and a half years was also job-less as I served my mission, bringing me to June, 1949, and school on the GI bill at BYU. That fall I did undertake Air Force Reserve training as a weather forecaster at Hill Field one weekend per month (the former Army Air Corps had now become the U.S. Air Force) for which I received $40 per month. My brother Randall was living in Clearfield then; I stayed with them on those occasions. Once the Korean War began (1951) I was sorry I had begun that practice because some meteorologists were called back to active duty, and I suffered some serious moments sweating out that possibility. During 1950 I was hired by the Archaeology Dept. to catalog the Gates Collection, a huge file of photostatted manuscripts on native languages of Central America collected by one William Gates, a hobbyist businessman/scholar from Virginia between 1920 and 1940. He had the notion that from those documents the Maya hieroglyphics could somehow be deciphered. After his death his sister sold the collection (in several dozen metal boxes) to someone associated with BYU. I was to sort through those boxes and catalog the materials as well as I could. It was a challenging and instructive task. (Eventually the substantial start I had made on the work was transferred, years later, to the Library staff.) I received a B.S. degree in June 1951 but stayed on to get an M.A. that took until August 1952; that ended my G.I. Bill support. From Fall quarter 1951 I was employed as a graduate teaching assistant handling a couple of (Archaeology) courses each quarter. Plans were underway for the first field archaeology season of the New World Archaeological Foundation to occur in the following winter. (The Foundation was organized by Thomas Stuart Ferguson, a lawyer living in the Bay Area in California. He was a Book of Mormon enthusiast who believed that funds from Mormon donors could be channeled to legitimate archaeologists who ought to be interested in doing more excavation, which at that juncture was very rarely being undertaken, on the earliest civilizations of Mesoamerica (southern Mexico and northern Central America), which he was convinced was the scene of Book of Mormon events (and I agreed). He had published a reasonably persuasive book to that effect in 1950 and had used it to gain the cautious support of some very prominent archaeologists (at Harvard, American Museum of Nat. Hist. in New York, and Carnegie Corporation, a non-profit in Washington) for his proposal to investigate the “origins of Mesoamerican civilization,” a major theoretical concern at that time among archaeologist. The activity would take a neutral stance in regard to the Book of Mormon. Ferguson drummed up some funds from private LDS sources and plans were underway.) I, along with my fellow BYU student Gareth Lowe were committed to go along, based on a minimal subsistence allowance promised to our families (about $200 a month as I recall). (Lowe ended up spending his entire lifetime building on our experience to become one of Mesoamerica’s most respected archaeologists until his death 15 years ago. I arranged for him to receive an honorary doctorate from BYU en route.) Meanwhile, how to support my family until January came, was an urgent issue. I had taken two years of study in the Hebrew language under Prof. Sidney Sperry as part of my B.S./M.A. study (one year of it sitting in his office with just one other student), and he had become a strong supporter of mine. He hired me to teach a Hebrew class in the fall! (There turned out to be only one student, Marvin Hill, who later got a Ph.D. in history and became a BYU professor.) Sperry also arranged for me to be a teaching assistant in a religion class of several hundred students. The combined pay was sufficient to keep us alive for a few more months. The Mexico caper lasted from January 1953 to May (during which Kathryn put up with cases of kids’ chicken pox!) We flew to Mexico City to join our team director, Pedro Armillas, a Ph.D. archaeologist in Spain and a (wounded) veteran of the anti-fascist Spanish Civil War. With him we went by train over 400 miles to Huimanguillo, a small town in the state of Tabasco, which would be our headquarters. There we were joined by three other students (one of whom over the next 50 years graduated at Harvard, taught at Penn State, and became one of the three or four leading archaeologists in Mexico, while another, a Mayan Indian from southern Mexico in turn became one of that country’s top experts over the same period). We were digging there because of Ferguson’s belief that the Book of Mormon city of Zarahemla (which he identified with a place mentioned in the historical traditions of early Mexico) was in that area. In any case no work had previously been conducted thereabouts. We dug one significant site of moderate size and mapped another couple of dozen during four months. Ferguson himself came among us in early May; we had come up with no evidence for his interpretation and his donors threatened to terminate their support. Something had to change. I persuaded him that we should have been looking upriver (the Grijalva) in the state of Chiapas. He and I flew there on a two-week trip to assess the situation. That area had been even more neglected by archaeologists than Tabasco. An aerial, and then a jeep, reconnaissance confirmed my expectations as we discovered several scores of sites that were of a date and in geographical positions that agreed with what I read from the scripture about the lands of the Nephites. Our jeep trip was terminated by the beginning of the rainy season, so I didn’t myself reach what I now believe has proved to be the site of Zarahemla but stopped 30 miles short. (That site, known as Santa Rosa, after two short digging seasons, was eventually covered with water impounded by a hydroelectric dam.) I was left to haul our limited collection of potsherds and figurines to Provo (a story in itself!) while my companion went back to California. Back home I wrote a report, which appeared in print in 1956 as the first paper in a 56-year Foundation publication series, that reported our reconnaissance. On the basis of that, the work of the Foundation shifted to Chiapas in subsequent years and decades (and still continues on a limited scale in the year 2012). (After some years of struggle to find independent financing for the project, at length Ferguson convinced the LDS Church authorities to fund it which they did for the next 20 years or so. Still later it was put under the BYU Department of Anthropology for budgetary purposes although effectively it operated independently.) Back in Provo I contracted with the Department of Archaeology for a fulltime position as an instructor for Fall 1953. I don’t recall how we limped along financially through the summer. That instructor position lasted through the next two years. I don’t have any record of my pay but surely it was no more than maybe $4,000 per year, which we eked out by living at very low rent in university-owned houses that would otherwise have been empty. Early in 1955 I learned that the prestigious National Science Foundation (a government agency) would for the first time offer their pre-doctoral fellowships to students in anthropology. I applied full-bore and was shocked to be advised in March by telegram that I had won one (only three were awarded that first year; I am confident that my M.S. degree from Cal Tech was what put me over the top)! The award was for full fees and tuition plus an allowance for each dependent, for three years, applicable at any school. After careful consideration we decided that with our large family of five children would not fit well when it came to finding housing at places like Harvard or Berkeley. UCLA had an up-and-coming department at that time, so we decided on Los Angeles. We took a train there in August, camped briefly in Jack and Barbara Francisco’s garage while we looked and then ended up in the house on Keeshen Drive. There we spent two years, and then a third year on the same deal in American Fork where I did the field work for my dissertation. While at UCLA I moonlighted for a short time doing a writing job for the “Ministers’ Research Foundation” which I learned about from my bishop. It had been organized by a man from Salt Lake, Ben Summerhays, to provide materials for sermons and newsletters put out as supplemental helps for the use of subscribing Protestant ministers. He had got some local Mormons to put up money for this activity on the grounds that it might potentially positively influence the served congregations toward Mormonism. I wrote up stuff of the kind indicated (mostly innocuously “Christian”). The operation was rather suspect from the beginning. By chance a fellow (female, non-Mormon) grad student in anthropology at UCLA had worked for Summerhays for a time and thought there was something fishy about it. I tended to agree but got paid for about nine months before quitting. (Shortly afterward Summerhays embezzled the “invested” funds and took off to Europe with his secretary!) In 1958 it was time to find a professional job. I had a couple of offers (one in Santa Barbara in fact), but nothing would pay enough to support my family (then seven kids). Finally a friend (a history professor who was director of the library) hired me at BYU as Social Science Librarian in anticipation of building a new library building the next year (salary: $5,400 for twelve-month year). I arranged to teach a couple of courses in anthropology in the Sociology Dept. at the same time, and parlayed that connection into a fulltime position there for the next year. At that point I and my sociologist associates got authorization to offer a major in Anthropology in a relabeled “Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology.” The following year we hired another anthropologist, a graduate of Cambridge U. in England. My primary goal in the new anthropology offering was to so link the field to ther departments that there could never be any possibility that it could be eliminated, and it has been so. I reached the Associate Professor level in 1962y 1964 my salary had risen to about $6,900 (not including summer). In addition to my primary job with BYU I also became involved with a research project on Vietnam (that war was being scaled up at the time). In 1963 David Pack, a former student at the Y under Asianist professor Paul Hyer (I had been his first church “ward teacher” upon our each arriving in Provo in 1949) had approached Paul about doing research on behalf of David’s employer, the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, California. Paul helped put together a team, which he insisted must include an anthropologist, me. (Six other BYU professors were also enrolled, one being Mark Cannon, brother of Joe and Chris, prominent Utah politicians/businessmen, and head of the Political Science Department, who later went on to become the personal assistant to Warren Burger, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.) A sizable contract was awarded and Pack moved to Provo to supervise it. The purpose was to analyze Vietnamese society broadly as to what were the dynamics of the country. The ultimate aim, from the NOTS perspective, was to be able to analyze the likelihood of success of new measures (weapons and strategies) that might be employed in the war. We drew entirely on unclassified (open source) data to construct virtually a “systems analysis” of Vietnamese society and its primary actors (roles and social structures). (Pack examined enough of the “classified” intelligence sources to assure us that they would tell us nothing that we couldn’t learn from open sources.) Working fulltime over the first summer, then part- time over the 1962-63 school year, we constructed a rather remarkable model of the society, and concluded that there was little hope for South Vietnam’s “winning the war” because of inherent corruption and incompetence. My broad macro-societal view out of anthropology proved key to our success, and I was left to write the final report, with some help from Pack. The degree of our success led to an extension of the project into the next summer (full-time) where we were directed to prepare a similar analysis of Venezuela (there was incipient guerrilla warfare there at the time). We accomplished that in two months time! I was by then the project director and again wrote the final report. Both reports were published by USNOTS early in 1964. I made a comparatively large amount of “extra” money from this work, in addition to regular professorial duties, which allowed us to add a large, new room to our old Springville house, shortly before we left it. I worked especially hard at being a professor of anthropology. I taught variety of courses that I was not particularly prepared to teach in order to give my student majors a well- rounded curriculum. In all of them I gave them more than their money’s worth. At least three of them went on to graduate school. At the same time was establishing the anthropology curriculum there existed the old Department of Archaeology. In almost all American schools archaeology is taught as a sub-discipline within anthropology. The archaeology taught at that time at BYU in the old department where I used to teach was an odd thing, a formulation that was neither anthropology nor history nor quite anything else standard. It was the brainchild of Wells Jakeman whose PhD was in ancient history and was supposedly based on ”documents.” Of course 95% of all American archaeology lacked relevant documents. The result was a kind of constrained version of the discipline. Since I had once taught in that department, Jakeman considered me a sort of traitor to have left his “true (academic) religion” to take up anthropology, with which he was not compatible intellectually nor by training. So there was a certain amount of tension between our positions, although I was on good terms with the advanced students in archaeology. I was slated for a sabbatical leave in 1964 (after six years on the faculty). Where to go—productively—and how to pay for it was a puzzle. In the spring the uncertainty was resolved decisively by a phone call from Santa Barbara. People at the Defense Research Corporation had read my two NOTS reports and wanted me to come visit them about a hire. I went and we looked each other over, then they made me an offer (for $16,000). They wanted me to start right then, so at the end of winter semester, I drove B., where I stayed in a motel (driving back and forth to Utah several times) until Kathryn was able to sell the house in Springville and bring the family to California in August. DRC (changed in 1967 to General Research Corporation) had obtained a contract to study “urban insurgency” for a Pentagon outfit (Advanced Research Projects Agency) to which the DRC principals had special connections (their previous work had been entirely in missile warfare gaming). The outfit was headed by some very acute people with a lot of defense experience, but they had no one who knew anything about “insurgency.” That is why they hired me. My first task was to get up to speed to host a conference they said they would put on on the topic. We had a useful gathering in S. B. of people who knew about the Spanish Civil War, the Irish struggle against the Brits, and so on but who had never attempted to generalize about the peculiar parameters of the urban setting. From there on I concentrated on assessing the prospects and vulnerabilities in three concrete settings of the great interest: Teheran (Iran), Caracas (Venezuela), and Guatemala City. By the end of the year (and the contract) I had drawn some useful (at least I thought so) conclusions about the problem and had made some theoretical contributions of value. (The results were classified.) I was considered the company’s chief social scientist and so proceeded to add that dimension to subsequent projects. One was a critical evaluation of a scheme proposed by Pentagon people to build fence fortifications around every village in South Vietnamese so the Viet Cong insurgents could not get at villagers to lure them or threaten them into collaboration! We showed in spades why that tactic was stupid (to the anger of some soldiery general types. Most of the work was done by ex-military persons and various sorts of “operations researchers.” My special concern came to be calculation of a metric to calculate “social costs and benefits” for various proposed measures. Another project included advising on a study of insurgent threat in Thailand (I spent two two-week periods in country on that work; my sister Stella and her husband Clarence Burnham, a soils expert, were in Bangkok at the time working for USAID, which added to my experience). Other work considered the difficulties of conducting normal fire fighting operations in combat-dangerous situations, as well as an especially a major change in research tone for GRC when we did a very large study of how to improve urban transportation for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was part of a GRC strategy to try to deal with more civilian issues instead of just “war.” We hired a couple of political science types plus several economists, and there were some helpful consultants often available. I was not “doing anthropology” in any conventional sense, but I enjoyed the broader perspectives I dealt with. Unfortunately around this time some people in the American Anthropological Association got a bug about “working for the military” and got the organization to condemn such. I resigned as a Fellow in protest and in effect told them to go to hell. I enjoyed my associations with the people at GRC. They were extremely bright and generally sociable. But the constant grind (even with a month per year of vacation time) of flying to Washington or somewhere else to pursue the next contract while still completing the last one began to wear on me. But it was hard to say no to the salary, which had risen to near $30,000, and the delightful Santa Barbara setting. (The reason the company was located there was that when it was launched, several of the founders had sailboats and they thought, why not go for the best?!) I tried to ease my itch for the more relaxed (?) pace of academic life by teaching an evening class (on “The American Culture”) for the Santa Barbara School District. (for which I was issued a teaching certificate), but that did not help very much. Kathryn was enjoying our life in Santa Barbara so much that it was difficult to think about changing. A concrete benefit that I obtained at GRC was a stock option that allowed me to purchase so many shares of GRC stock when they went public in 1967; those I resold later for a gain of about $35,000 (much of which I loaned to Curt to build a home in Park City, later sold). But finally I negotiated a deal with the company to form a new (subsidiary) outfit, Bonneville Research (I was to be the President), through which I would carry on the company’s social science research from Provo using BYU professors where possible. We moved to Orem in August 1969 (after five years in beautiful S. B.) The details of establishing Bonneville Research are too tedious to recount. I rented an office in the second block of North University Ave. in Provo. Most of the business operations were carried out by GRC. Alerted to a request- for-proposals notice from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, I welded together a proposal to plan a new curriculum for their teaching of Japanese, and won it (for $250,000) over two years. Gearing up was a huge effort. My principal investigators were both at BYU, Ernest Wilkins, a Professor of Spanish, who was just being released as the founding head of the Language Training Mission (which later became the Missionary Training Center) at BYU for the LDS Church, and Robert Blair, Professor of Linguistics, a noted innovator in language learning. There were no better people anywhere in that field. They and a large staff worked through the two years and did a fine job. But when we tried to continue that work it was no go. Some minor contracts were also received and worked but not enough. At length GRC had had to pay too much cost out of overhead after the Monterey contract ended, so they pulled the plug on Bonneville. (In 1971 the extensive government contracting in connection with the Vietnam War and the “Great Society” was then being sharply limited, which was one of our problems.) At some point in late 1971 I teamed up with two advanced business students at the Y and several BYU professors to form Transcultural Enterprises, Inc. The primary idea was to sell (mainly foreign) language-teaching services to people on the Wasatch Front. Emphasis was to be on a scheme of learning (Structured Tutoring) formulated by Prof. Grant Harrison that quickly taught parents to effectively tutor their children in anything from basis reading or math to foreign languages. I was Chairman of the Board of Transcultural. The ambitious students opened an office and gathered commitments from BYU people to act as consultant/advisors. However it never succeeded financially. We learned that while the idea sounded good, people were reluctant to follow up good intentions with cash payments. I lost a bit of money in the deal but I did end up with a nicely engraved stock certificate for 42,000 shares in the defunct company! Over the next couple of years (by which time I was again employed at BYU) I was invited to participate in an outfit called Orchestronics, Inc. (this time with no money at risk). An inventor connected with MIT in the Boston area had developed an electronic musical synthesizer that could effectively imitate any instrument. A former student of his, Bill Strong, then a physics professor at the Y (and, coincidentally, to become much later the father-in-law of daughter Marquita Christianson), a former student of the inventor, made a deal for a new speculative company (i.e., Orchestronics) to try to market the device. I was on the Board. The effort eventually failed because the inventor insisted on making one refinement after another until a Japanese company got to the market first with an equivalent system. One of the relatively unpleasant aspects of life at Bonneville was to have to put up with the university administration. They had never before dealt with an operation like Bonneville which was built on the assumption that facilitating research funding by professors would be good for all concerned. Their view sometimes was that I was “stealing” professorial talent. Yet one of the positive features of the Bonneville life was my ability to teach a couple of courses at BYU (I can’t recall what) as well as to deal congenially with lots of teachers and some students. I especially linked up with BYU faculty and other LDS scholars who made up an impressive list of “consultants” at Bonneville (including as I recall Dallin H. Oaks, then at the University of Chicago, who later became President of BYU, and eventually an Apostle in the LDS Church.) One of my Board of Directors was Martin Hickman, Dean of Social Sciences, who became a prime friend. When Bonneville came to an end, Martin took me into a faculty slot within his office, so I was not dependent on any particular department. There I helped show some of his faculty how to negotiate getting external research money, as well as teaching courses in the honors program and political science. Before long he appointed me for several years to a majority-time slot on a major university committee to revise the school’s general education requirements and also made me chair of the University Studies Department for three years (that department allowed students to propose individualized major programs that I approved or not as to their logic and substance—example: someone who was going to inherit an antique shop did a combination of work in business, art history and popular history). In Fall 1978 the dean appointed me chair of the “Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.” What I had begun in conjunction with sociology had been put together with the old archaeology operation in the years when I was gone from BYU, and it had wandered down a number of bypaths in the years since. At that time it was pretty moribund, with numerous personnel problems and no informing vision. I was to “fix” it. That I did over the next eight years, including the following measures: Changed the name simply to Anthropology. Physically the department was invisible in the basement of the old Maeser Building, the faculty having decided not to be relocated into the new social sciences building, the nine-story Kimball Tower then being completed nearby. I moved us into the tower, one floor away from the dean’s office! Replaced two “problem” professors. Greatly expanded the scope of class offerings by bringing in several faculty with new specialties (mostly part-time but including the first {full-time} non-Mormon faculty person and his wife, both Africa specialists). Bolstered enrollment by getting other departments to require some of our courses for their majors. Operated numerous field schools to teach archaeology and anthropology research methods, from Utah to Guatemala to Syria Secured Allen Hall (former dorm) as a fieldwork and storage site for the archaeologists. Launched the “Museum of Peoples and Cultures” in the Allen building (I was the first Director), which has grown to be staffed by professionals and with a total of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Originated a contract archaeology facility to serve public and private agencies; it has grown into the Office of Public Archaeology, in the museum; it has utilized up to a hundred students in regional (paying) archaeological projects while employing scores of professional archaeologists on projects funded at millions of dollars.\\ Securely established anthropology as an indispensable part of the university curriculum. One year took a group of 25 students and faculty to the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Tucson, in which I was a Fellow (where a former Mormon, then at the University of Colorado, upon hearing who we were, said, “Well I’ll be damned!” He didn’t even know that anthropology was taught at BYU.) I did not have strong support from my small faculty, each of whom thought their special little concern should receive more support and emphasis. Instead I had to walk a fine line in making any changes, including abstaining from teaching courses that I would have liked out of deference to “established interests.” But I always taught at least my fair share of the load. A good deal of my energy was expended on “diplomacy,” making connections with other departments and activities that my faculty knew nothing about. (I was an officer in the local chapter of Sigma XI, the research-promoting organization, one year as president, at which time I attended the national convention; local secretary for Phi Kappa Phi, which honors exceptional students each year, and for years on the board of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies; also I was associate director of the BYU Language Research Institute (name?) at one point as well as an officer in the chapter of the American Association of University Professors, which was considered mildly subversive in the eyes of the school administration; etc.) One good thing about being department chair for eight years was that I was paid on an 11-month contract rather than for eight months. Martin H. treated me more than well financially; He always thought I was worth more! If I remember correctly my salary in my last year, 1985-86, was around $65,000. In September 1985 I had a heart attack, brought on by administrative stress (long “to do” lists that never got completely done), as far as I know. After eight days hospitalization and ten days at home I was back at it on a limited basis, but I concluded to retire at the end of the next Spring term at the minimum retirement age of 62. I learned in the hospital that those unfinished “to dos” were of absolutely no concern to anybody else, and I was not even sure I was missed. Who needed it? After retirement I never even looked back. I have probably been back on the department turf a total of five times over the 26 years since. My colleagues didn’t miss me very much and I didn’t miss them. Retirement has been the best, and longest, job I have ever held! I was on good terms with appropriate university staff and so was readily assigned a retirement office in the Amanda Knight Building on University Avenue. I continued my research interests (mainly in Mesoamerican archaeology in relation to the Book of Mormon, harking back to the 1950s, that had long been delayed. I was heavily involved with FARMS (the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies which had had my strong support ever since 1980 when Jack Welch of the Law School brought it to Provo as a research and publication service for Book of Mormon research. (It has evolved through several titles and has ended up, not particularly for the better, as a branch BYU, now known as the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. From the 1990s on I was housed with the foundation in quarters on the south side of the campus in former private houses/trailer. For five years beginning in 1998 I edited for FARMS the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, giving the publication a new visual format and broadened editorial policy. One major research activity in which I have been engaged for the over the last 20 years is “transoceanic voyaging.” It was a major concern since I wrote my master’s thesis at BYU in 1952 on “Evidences of Culture Contacts between Polynesia and the Americas in Pre-Columbian Times.” It was an important but unsettled (to some of us, but of little concern to the vast majority of anthropologists) issue then as now. I continued concern with the matter all my career but only had time to return to the topic seriously upon retirement. In 1990 I published a 1200-page, two-volume set, Pre-Columbian Contact with America across the Oceans: An Annotated Bibliography. On the basis of that and earlier work I became intimately associated with a small group of concerned (non-LDS) scholars in several organizational contexts. Work of great value on the matter continued, particularly with Carl Johannessen, Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon. In 2009 he and I published a paradigm-changing book of 400 pages, World Trade and Biological Exchanges before 1492 that has still to become known to and accepted by anthropologists, geographers, etc. worldwide. I hope I live long enough to see the consequent change. About in 2009 the Maxwell Institute moved into a university building on 800 North just south of the campus. They decided there was no room for me there, so I moved my few items home to 3401 North University Ave. It was a reluctant move at first, but now it seems like the right thing to have done. My professional life has mostly wound down. Except for my last book, Mormon’s Codex, which is still in editing at the Institute (after more than two years!), I am not engaged in serious scholarly work. I just hope I can complete that last major task before I lose all my capabilities. My unpublished correspondence and papers have been deposited in the Archives of the Harold B. Library at BYU. A more or less complete list of my professional and other work (published and unpublished) may be consulted in a document to be found later in these reminiscences under the title “Resume.” A D D E N D U M Brent Hall, the FARMS office manager, and I were standing in the office with Hugh Nibley when we presented him with a copy of my Images book. After a quick scan of it he made the commented "this is the best book I have ever seen of the Book of Mormon." Later Brent thought he would get it on a piece of paper so wrote out what is shown and sent it to Hugh and asked him to sign it. Instead Nibley wrote a fuller note at the bottom of the page, and sent it back. Brent then copied the sheet to me. Obviously it is of much satisfaction to me. (I was a student in several classes under Nibley in 1949-51.)