David Starbuck reached into the center console of his car and pulled out a polished stone. He dropped it in my hands. After I admired it for a moment he happily told me it was dinosaur poop.
He had pulled that prank on so many students. Some of them would drop the “polished turd” and yell “ew,” the archaeologist told me. In case I was about to do the same, he assured me that there was no harm in holding it now. He slipped it back into a labeled sandwich baggy.
A few months later, he would put the most beautiful blue, 18th century glass cufflinks in my hands, freshly dug from the site of an officer’s hut. It was one of his most exciting finds before he died at the end of last year.
Whenever you met Starbuck, something amazing was always going to happen.